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Q4 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Spring 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q3 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Winter 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q2 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Fall 2020 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q1 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Summer 2020 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q4 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest




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Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise. ~ Julia Cameron

FLASH FICTION CONTEST

    FALL 2021 FLASH FICTION CONTEST WITH GUEST JUDGE LITERARY AGENT ERIN CLYBURN

Do you need some writing inspiration? Contests are a great way to spark your creativity, and you may even win a prize! Get your best work together and consider entering the WOW! quarterly flash fiction contest with guest judge Erin Clyburn, literary agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. Stop by the contest page, download the pdf guidelines, and read all about Erin’s preferences. The Fall Contest is open to all genres of fiction between 250 - 750 words. Only 300 stories are accepted, so enter early to ensure your spot in the contest. Over $1350 in cash prizes. Deadline: November 30, 2021. MORE >>

     

CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

    CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

WOW! is proud to introduce our newest essay contest! Writers have been asking us to host an essay contest for many years, and we’ve finally listened. The mission of this essay contest is to inspire creative nonfiction and provide well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. Your story must be true, but the way you tell it is your chance to get creative. We are open to all styles of essay—from personal essay to lyric essay to hybrid essay, and beyond! Word Count: 200 – 1,000 words. Only 300 essays are accepted, so enter early to ensure your spot in the contest. 1st Place: $500. Deadline: October 31, 2021. MORE >>

     

WRITING WORKSHOPS & ONLINE CLASSES

    WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING CLASSROOM

Whether you are looking to boost your income or work on your craft, we know that education is an important part of a writer’s career. That’s why WOW! handpicks qualified instructors and targeted classes that women writers will benefit from. All of the courses operate online and are taught one-on-one with the instructor and in a workshop. The flexibility of the platform allows students to complete assignments on their own time and work at their own pace in the comfort of their own home. Visit the classroom page and check out our current line up of workshops: creative nonfiction writing, personal essay, memoir, fiction writing, writing for children, screenwriting, playwriting, ghostwriting, freelance writing, blogging, author platform, independent publishing, poetry writing, copy editing, travel writing and more. MORE >>

     

FEATURED ARTICLES

  EXPOSITION REVIEW: SEEKING MULTI-GENRE PROSE, POETRY, STAGE & SCREEN, ART, AND COMICS

Exposition Review publishes one themed issue annually, with submissions open from September 15 to December 31 each year. Great news! They pay for accepted work. The journal also has calls for submissions four times yearly for multi-genre flash competitions. Their “Flash 405” competition awards prizes for fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, stage & screen, and experimental pieces. Find out what the editors are looking for as we interview Co-Editors-in-Chief Mellinda Hensley and Annlee Ellingson, along with Lauren Gorski, Comics and Film Editor with Exposition ReviewMORE >>

     
  MARISSA GLOVER, SENIOR EDITOR WITH THE LASCAUX REVIEW: SEEKING FICTION, POETRY, AND CNF

Reprints in the literary journal world are as almost as rare as unicorns, so you’ll want to hear what our next guest has to say. Marissa Glover is senior editor at The Lascaux Review, a wonderful journal with an interesting name. Ann Kelly interviews Marissa about what she looks for in creative submissions, how the journal made the decision to accept reprints, and their fantastic contests. MORE >>

     
  SUSAN SHAPIRO DISCOVERS THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS

WOW interviews New York Times bestselling author Susan Shapiro about her new memoir, The Forgiveness Tour: How to Find the Perfect Apology, a poignant, heartfelt journey into emotional healing. Susan is the author of the inspiring writing guide, The Byline Bible, which was culled from her 25 years as an award-winning, popular professor teaching at NYU, The New School and Columbia University’s MFA programs. She pioneered “the instant gratification takes too long” method and since the pandemic has led numerous online classes and panels, which have helped countless students around the world find their way to publication. MORE >>

     
  ON SUBMISSION WITH ... LILLY DANCYGER, AUTHOR, ESSAYIST, AND EDITOR

For this month’s “On Submission With...” column, we have an experienced literary journal editor and book editor, as well as a memoir author, accomplished essayist, classroom instructor, and editor-for-hire for projects ranging from full manuscripts to individual essays. Please give a warm welcome to Lilly Dancyger, author, essayist, and editor. MORE >>

     
  EMILY LADAU SHINES A LIGHT ON DISABILITY

We’re so excited to interview Emily Ladau, the celebrated and internationally known disability rights activist, writer, and speaker. Her new book, Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally will be released by Ten Speed Press this month. A native of Long Island, New York, Emily has forged a career building allies for the disabled community across the world. She’s the Editor-in-Chief of the Rooted in Rights blog, a platform dedicated to amplifying authentic narratives of the intersectional disability experience. We chat with Emily about her latest book, her work as editor, and her tireless advocacy for the disabled community. MORE >>

     
  ON SUBMISSION WITH ... JANNA MARLIES MARON, FOUNDING EDITOR OF UNDER THE GUM TREE

We sat down with Janna Maron, founding editor and publisher of Under the Gum Tree, where she shared what the journal seeks in creative nonfiction submissions. We also chatted with Janna about her freelance editorial services, her Nonfiction Bootcamp program that will help get your memoir manuscript or CNF essay collection into fighting shape, and her podcast that brings some of today’s best CNF writers to the table to share their tips. MORE >>

     
  ON SUBMISSION WITH ... MARIA ROGERS, LITERARY AGENT WITH THE TOBIAS LITERARY AGENCY

Maria Rogers has been with The Tobias Literary Agency for just over a year, working from their Nashville office. Maria’s editorial and agenting experience spans nonfiction to poetry, literary to commercial fiction, as well as books for children and young adults. In this interview, Maria helps us demystify the writer-agent dynamic, offering valuable industry perspective and approachable, concrete advice that can help boost our confidence when outreaching to agents. MORE >>

     
  USING SAVE THE CAT TO WRITE A MEMOIR, AND CRACKING THE BEAT SHEET COURSE REVIEW

Memoirists can use craft elements to elevate their true stories. If you’ve read bestselling memoirs like Wild, Educated, The Glass Castle, and Brain on Fire, you’ll notice they have a distinct character and story arc and an underlying theme. In fact, I bet if you mapped them, you’d find they fit into Save the Cat’s fifteen story beats. This article walks you through the beats and also reviews their Cracking the Beat Sheet course. MORE >>

     
  LESSONS FROM A SELF-TAUGHT WRITER: INTERVIEW WITH NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR MARY MONROE

Fifteen years between the publishing of her widely received and acclaimed first novel, The Upper Room, and her second novel, Mary endured the loss of her agent and fifteen years of rejection. Ms. Monroe did not give up. Rather, she listened to critical analysis of her writing and used it as fuel to create a personal writing education plan. Margaret Y. Buapim-West sits down with Mary and chats about the craft of writing. MORE >>

     
     
  AFTER NANOWRIMO: HOW TO REVISE AND EDIT YOUR MANUSCRIPT

Non-writer friends might have thought your sanity was in question when you told them you were writing an entire novel in one month—especially the month that holds Thanksgiving and the biggest shopping day of the year. But you knew what you were doing all along. You were letting go of all the structure and technique that gives writers anxiety and just writing—freely and quickly and getting a first draft down on paper. Now, it’s there, and you’re wondering, what do I do next? How do I possibly turn this freeing, supportive, and positive experience of NaNoWriMo into a publishable document without going insane? Never fear—you don’t have to go crazy during the revision process. Just follow along as we take your 50,000 plus words to a whole new level. MORE >>

     
  HOW TO WRITE A NONFICTION BOOK PROPOSAL

A well-crafted proposal can be the difference between a yes and a no thank you. It is a strategically composed document that sells your book idea, and you as an expert to potential agents or publishers. When done effectively, they will sing your praises and offer you a contract. Here are the sections you need to include in your proposal. MORE >>

     
  LYRIC ESSAYS AND THE POWER OF LANGUAGE TO TRANSFORM: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHAUNA CRAIG, CNF EDITOR FOR ATTICUS REVIEW

When I tell people I write lyric essays, I get blank stares. They correct me, do you mean lyrical essays? Or they say, aren’t those just poems? When I try to define it, I sometimes fumble. In graduate school, I learned lyric essays are scene driven—not stories—with lots of description. I learned that lyric essays often employ research and weave that into personal reflections. They are sometimes described in terms of form: they are short, fragmented, braided, etc. It feels as if all these definitions fit, yet none are definitive. And perhaps with any experimental form of writing, definitions must, by necessity, be up for discussion. Chauna Craig and I tried to narrow it down, but perhaps only widened the field of possibility when trying to pin down this mysterious and alchemic form. Interview by Naomi Kimbell MORE >>

     
  HOW TO WRITE YOUR FIRST DRAFT IN 4 WEEKS

I wrote the first draft of my historical novel in sixteen days. You read that correctly—sixteen days. My experimental novel was written in about three weeks. Both were released in 2018. Though I am intensely proud of this accomplishment, I’m not telling you this to brag. I’m telling you that you can do this, too. Here’s how. MORE >>

     
  HOW TO FINANCE YOUR SELF-PUBLISHING EFFORTS THROUGH CROWDSOURCING

Let’s face it: Making a decent living writing only through projects that excite you is hard. Many writers have day jobs or dabble in part-time work. Some are freelancers. Quite a few have been successfully utilizing crowdfunding to bring their works to life, which enables them to finance their projects via the help of supporters, who in turn get exclusive rewards depending on the level of their support. Fascinated by the concept, Pinar Tarhan talked to eight writers—Melissa Frey, Amy Zellmer, Bethany Atazadeh, Joanna Penn, Maxima Kahn, Ksenia Anske, Katie Li, and Jas Rawlinson—who have mastered Patreon, Kickstarter, and Chuffed. They touched on what drew them to each platform and shared their tips on how they create content and rewards for supporters of different financial levels and market their crowdfunding campaigns. MORE >>

     
  HOW TO INCREASE YOUR WRITING PRODUCTIVITY

Spanish romance writer Corin Tellado wrote over 4,000 books, American writer Lauran Bosworth Paine—over 1,000 books of Western fiction, and English romance writer Kathleen Lindsay—over 900 books. What amazing productivity, diligence, and dedication! Can every writer do this? Probably not. We all have different talents, life circumstances, and writing goals. However, I believe that all writers could and should improve their productivity to accomplish more. Here’s how. MORE >>

     
  SEEKING THE SOUL OF THE STORY: HISTORICAL FICTION IN VERSE

YA historical fiction in verse seems to be on the rise. Last year, two novels in verse made it on Publisher’s Weekly Top YA list. What is it about poetry that allows it to traverse the boundaries of genre? Join Women on Writing for a conversation with Marilyn Nelson, Stephanie Hemphill, and Melanie Crowder, three YA authors who find poetry to be the perfect tool to bring history alive for YA audiences. MORE >>

     
  ON LYRIC ESSAYING AND CASTING ON

Chelsey Clammer writes a lyric essay on the process of writing a lyric essay and knitting! She talks about patterns—both in writing and in knitting—and how important forming connections is, as well as leaving gaps—holes—to let readers take a breath, fill in the intentional blanks themselves. She’s writing an essay that looks like knitting. She says lyric essays are all about exploring the possibilities of ideas. That the meaning is in the exploration. She also provides writers with a practical sidebar at the end of the article that defines the lyric essay, shares examples of different essay structures, and even includes several writing exercises, so you can write your own lyric essay. MORE >>

     
  THE LAYERED EDIT: A STEP-BY-STEP MANUSCRIPT EDITING PROCESS

I’m always surprised when an aspiring writer finishes a draft, runs it through spell check, and sends it out. I’m not surprised when a writer gets a rejection. Revision is as vital as original writing. The first draft is about passion and creativity and flow. The edits give you the chance to work on structure, language usage, layer in settings and senses, and make the difference between a decent manuscript and a great one. Over the years, I’ve come up with a layered editing process that’s served me well for short stories, plays, novellas, and novels. Now, I’m going to share the process with you. These steps are done after your initial draft, but before you show anything to a trusted reader. By Devon Ellington. MORE >>

     
  HOW TO WRITE FICTION THAT KEEPS READERS UP AT NIGHT

Obviously, I don’t want anyone to lose sleep—or their job—because of my work, but I do want to keep readers turning the page. I accomplish this in my genre fiction by building a dynamic plot with engaging characters in the drafting process. Then during revision, I sprinkle in the details that make my story pop on the page. Checking for these three important elements (plot, characters, and details) over the course of my writing process ensures that I keep readers’ attention. By paranormal author Camille Faye. MORE >>

     
  HOW TO TWIST LIKE AGATHA CHRISTIE

I love Agatha Christie and Golden Age mysteries; and since I started writing a murder mystery myself, I’ve been trying to work out how Agatha did it (or dunnit?!). I’ve had to act like a detective and look carefully at her novels to find clues. So now, I decided I’d share with you how to write a Christie-like plot twist. Learn Agatha Christie’s plot devices and why her twists are so memorable, including “Everybody Dunnit,” “Misdirection,” “Setting and Confinement,” “Stately Homes,” “Transportation,” and more. By Louise Tondeur.  MORE >>

     
  SPRING 2021 FLASH FICTION WINNERS

The results are in! After careful deliberation our honorable guest judge, literary agent Emily Forney with BookEnds Literary Agency, has made her final decisions. Read the winning stories of the 750 words or less Spring 2021 Flash Fiction Competition. MORE >>

     
  Q4 2021 CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS

Check out the results of our latest essay contest! Read the winning essays of the 1,000 words or less Q4 2021 Essay Competition. MORE >>

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Marissa Glover, senior editor with The Lascaux Review
Exposition Review: Seeking multi-genre, prose, poetry, stage and screen, art and comics
Susan Shapiro Discovers the Power of Forgiveness
Lilly Dancyger, author, essayist, editor
Emily Ladau Shines a Light on Disability
Literary Agent Maria Rogers
Janna Marlies Maron, founding editor of Under the Gum Tree
Using Save the Cat to Write Memoir
Lessons from a Self-Taught Writer: Interview with NYT Bestselling Author Mary Monroe
How to Twist Like Agatha Christie
On Lyric Essaying and Casting On
Lyric Essays and the Power of Language to Tranform: An interview with Chauna Craig, editor of Atticus Review
How to Write Blurbs that Sell!
After NaNoWriMo: How to Revise Your Manuscript
D.M. Pulley, Thriller Novelist and Master Storyteller
How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal
How to Build Your Platform Before You Are Published
How to Finance Your Self-Publishing Efforts Through Crowdsourcing
How to Write Your First Draft in 4 Weeks
Historical Fiction in Verse
The Layered Edit
Speculative Memoir
How to Write Fiction That Keeps Readers Up at Night
How to Increase Your Writing Productivity
An Author’s Guide to Book Bloggers
 
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