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Best Writing Contests 2021 - 2022, recommended by Reedsy

Winter 2022 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q2 2022 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Summer 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q1 2022 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Summer 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

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




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FLASH FICTION CONTEST

    SPRING FLASH FICTION CONTEST WITH GUEST JUDGE LITERARY AGENT SHARON PELLETIER

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 Sharon Pelletier, literary agent with the DG&B. Stop by the contest page, download the pdf guidelines, and read all about Sharon’s preferences. The Spring 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: May 31, 2022. 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: July 31, 2022. 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

  ON SUBMISSION WITH HEALTHLINE MEDIA EDITOR ELINOR HILLS

This month were delighted to interview my friend and editor Elinor Hills at Healthline Media, the #1 health information property in the U.S. (according to Comscore U.S. Media Metrix/Multi-platform, Key Measures 2020). Elinor works on the Bezzy Brand, Healthline’s new multimedia site dedicated to people living with a chronic condition. Not only is this new site a wonderful way to build your platform and meet terrific editors like Elinor, it’s a paying market! MORE >>

     
  SOMETIMES LOVE IS FUNNY: AUTHOR DENISE WILLIAMS CHATS ABOUT ROMANCE WRITING, CREATIVITY, AND BODY POSITIVITY

Author Denise Williams is an inspiration. Her second novel, The Fastest Way to Fall (2021), has been lauded as a triumph in its handling of the rarely seen theme of body positivity, but it is also a well written rom-com, adult contemporary romance that can stand on its own with all the elements that any avid romance book reader would hope to find. WOW! was able to speak with Ms. Williams amidst a busy book release schedule about the craft of romance writing, creativity, body positivity, querying agents, and more.  MORE >>

     
  HOW TO ROCK IN A DIFFERENT GENRE

Writers are told to specialize, which makes sense. Producing quality work in one genre consistently builds a brand, so readers know what to expect. It’s easier to sell our work, whether we are pitching to agents and editors or self-publishing. The journey becomes more challenging if we want to create something different from what readers anticipate. However, it’s possible to write amazing books and screenplays in a variety of genres. Stretching our creative muscles this way also helps us craft more engaging work in our main genres. Pinar Tarhan chats with eight accomplished multi-genre authors—Lucy V. Hay, Daniella Levy, Fiona Leitch, Carmen Radtke, Julie Clark, Karien van Ditzhuijzen, Helen Black, and Leigh Camacho Rourks—about how they pull it off, from the initial inspiration to write different genres to pitching and promotion.  MORE >>

     
  GETTING PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES' MODERN LOVE COLUMN: INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTIE TATE

To be published in The New York Times is a dream of many writers. For Christie Tate, it became a reality. She soon found out that writing success is not all literary agents and accolades! Kelly Eden interviews Christie Tate about her experience being published in Modern Love, hate mail, her new book, and advice for emerging writers. MORE >>

     
  WELTER: SEEKING POETRY, FICTION, CNF, AND ART

It’s soon to be April, which means National Poetry Month is around the corner. Welter’s respected profile of championing beautiful writing and visual art in both print and online has been going strong for 57 years! WOW interviews Betsy Boyd, Editor-in-Chief and a professor and class advisor to the University of Baltimore MFA students who produce the journal, and Micaela Walley, Poetry Editor, about what they’s seeking in submissions. MORE >>

     
  25 YEARS OF JOURNALING FOR THE HEALTH OF IT: CHATTING WITH MARI L. MCCARTHY

Join us as we chat with the founder of CreateWriteNow, Mari L. McCarthy about journaling, what prompted her to start journaling, her company, tips for quieting your inner critic, journaling exercises, and more. Mari also shares several opportunities, including receiving a free Journaling Power workbook and becoming a Journaling Journey guest blogger. MORE >>

     
  CREATING CHOICE: WHAT I LEARNED FROM CONVERSATIONS WITH BESTSELLING AUTHORS AND WORKING WRITERS

A working writer’s life is defined by creative choices. The genre we write in, the techniques we employ, and the places we submit all define the landscape we play in. Additionally, our choice to write, whether full time or not, can impact the strength of our skill, voice, and ability to snap back after rejection. As a means of inspiration, Margaret Buapim looks back at three conversations with authors Mary Monroe, Karen Brown Tyson, and Brittney Morris. MORE >>

     
  NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR SUSAN SHAPIRO’S THE BOOK BIBLE OFFERS INSIDER TIPS ON GETTING PUBLISHED

In her latest guide, Susan breaks down the complicated world of publishing for authors of poetry, essays, short stories, novels and nonfiction, and every subgenre in between, even cookbooks, humor and picture books, with valuable and up-to-date advice that will inspire and often surprise you. MORE >>

     
  WRITING IN DEEP POINT OF VIEW: AN INTERVIEW WITH LISA HALL-WILSON

Deep POV is a way of writing your story, where readers are inside the characters’ minds and can feel the emotions through their thoughts and reactions in real time. Frustrated with the information available in writing craft books on writing deep POV, Lisa Hall-Wilson spent years learning as much as she could about this technique. Her book, Method Acting for Writers, was the result of her teaching deep POV online for the past few years. Michelle Cornish interviews Lisa about how writers can use deep POV in their own writing. MORE >>

     
  BARZAKH MAGAZINE: SEEKING ART, POETRY, AND MULTI-GENRE PROSE

This month’s guest journal was recently named to a “Best Of” list for 2020-2021 of favorite presses, magazines, publishers, and journals to follow. Barzakh Magazine is a multi-genre journal with an international stance. “Barzakh” is a word/concept that names the connecting link, the “between” of something. As a temporal concept it can be, and historically was, considered an interval of time. WOW interviews managing editor Christy O’Callaghan about the journal’s recent awards, what the editors are seeking in submissions, and more.  MORE >>

     
  A BOLD VOICE, A FIRST DRAFT IN ONE MONTH, AND THE INSPIRATION TO SLAY: AUTHOR BRITTNEY MORRIS

Margaret Y. Buapim-West interviews Brittney Morris, author of the award-winning YA novel, SLAY. Brittney’s writing ritual is to write a book in one month, and landed her agent (our friend Quressa Robinson with Nelson Literary Agency) during Pit Mad, a Twitter pitch event that occurs at different times of the year, right after NaNoWriMo. Prior to landing her agent, Brittney received around two hundred rejections! If that’s not enough to encourage you to keep writing and pitching, I don’t know what is. Brittney is a delight, and these two talk about the craft choices, fast writing, and why she broke all the querying rules during Pit Mad. MORE >>

     
  LITERARY AGENT AMY GIUFFRIDA WITH THE JENNIFER DE CHIARA LITERARY AGENCY

As we enter the festive holiday season and visions of sugarplums (and dreams of agent deals!) start to dance in our heads, (let’s gather around the proverbial, wreath-decked hall and hearth for another “fireside chat”—this time with Amy Giuffrida, associate literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Agency. Amy shares what she's looking for in middle grade and young adult submissions, genre trends, and more. (Hint: vampires are making a comeback!) MORE >>

     
  CRAFT FROM INSIDE A LITERARY JOURNAL: EMILY EVERETT, MANAGING EDITOR OF THE COMMON

Emily Everett is a writer and the managing editor of The Common, so she knows a thing or two about craft. Founded in 2011, The Common is an award-winning print and digital literary journal published biannually, in the fall and spring. In this interview by Christy O’Callaghan, Emily shares some trends in submissions, her biggest piece of advice for writers who want to improve their craft, pet peeves in submitted work, and The Common’s great programs. su MORE >>

     
  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 >>

     
  FRACTURED LIT: SEEKING FLASH FICTION UNDER 1K AND MICRO UNDER 400 WORDS, INTERVIEW WITH EDITOR K.B. CARLE

Our guest journal this month is garnering attention in the literary community, particularly on Twitter, when it comes to all things flash and micro fiction. Fractured Lit publishes flash and micro fiction year-round and they do not charge submission fees. Great news! They also pay—$50 per piece for micro, and $75 per flash! This journal consistently puts out some of the best of what's out there today in flash and micro fiction. And, its Associate Editor is busy racking up her own impressive list of flash fiction publications. Please give a warm welcome to K.B. Carle, Associate Editor for Fractured Lit! MORE >>

     
  JO VARNISH, CNF EDITOR OF X-R-A-Y LITERARY MAGAZINE: SEEKING FICTION AND CNF UNDER 1,500 WORDS

X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine’s vision is to publish uncomfortable, entertaining, and unforgettable prose that shines brighter than the skeleton in your body, prose that sees through the skin and reveals something deeper. WOW chats with creative nonfiction editor, Jo Varnish, about what she’s looking for in submissions and the the ingredients of a great essay. MORE >>

     
  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 >>

     
  TAYLOR BYAS, POETRY EDITOR AT FLYPAPER LIT

Flypaper Lit accepts poetry, prose, and reviews through Submittable. And great news, writers! They pay! Can I get an AMEN? Since our column last month showed the love to CNF, this time it’s all about poetry. Please give a warm welcome to Taylor Byas, poetry editor of Flypaper LitMORE >>

     
  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 >>

     
  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 >>

     
  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 >>

     
  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 >>

     
  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 >>

     
  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 >>

     
  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 >>

     
  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 by Angela Miyuki Mackintosh walks you through the beats and also reviews their Cracking the Beat Sheet course. MORE >>

     
     
  WINTER 2022 FLASH FICTION WINNERS

The results are in! After careful deliberation our honorable guest judge, literary agent Hannah Andrade with Bradford Literary Agency, has made her final decisions. Read the winning stories of the 750 words or less Winter 2022 Flash Fiction Competition. MORE >>

     
  Q2 2022 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 Q2 2022 Essay Competition. MORE >>

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On Submission with Healthline Media and Bezzy Editor Elinor Hills
Sometimes Love is Funny: Author Denise Williams Chats About Romance Writing, Creativity and Body Positivity
How to Rock in a Different Genre
On Submission with Welter: Editors Betsy Boyd and Micaela Walley
On Submission with Welter: Editors Betsy Boyd and Micaela Walley
25 Years of Journaling for the Health of It: Chatting with Mari L. McCarthy, founder of CreateWriteNow
Creating Choice: What I Learned from Conversations with Bestselling Authors and Working Writers
Writing in Deep POV with Lisa Hall-Wilson
Interview with Christy O'Callaghan, managing editor of Barzakh Magazine
The Book Bible by Susan Shapiro
Craft from Inside a Literary Journal with Emily Everett of The Common
A Bold Voice, a First Draft Manuscript in One Month, and the Inspiration to SLAY: An Interview with Brittney Morris
Craft from Inside a Literary Journal with Emily Everett of The Common
KB Carle, editor with Fractured Lit, a paying flash fiction market
Jo Varnish, CNF Editor of X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine
Emily Ladau Shines a Light on Disability
Exposition Review: Seeking multi-genre, prose, poetry, stage and screen, art and comics
Flypaper Lit poetry editor Taylor Byas
Lilly Dancyger, author, essayist, editor
Marissa Glover, senior editor with The Lascaux Review
Susan Shapiro Discovers the Power of Forgiveness
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
How to Write Blurbs that Sell!
After NaNoWriMo: How to Revise Your Manuscript
How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal
How to Finance Your Self-Publishing Efforts Through Crowdsourcing
How to Write Your First Draft in 4 Weeks
The Layered Edit
How to Write Fiction That Keeps Readers Up at Night
 
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