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Contests: Flash Fiction and Essay Contest

The Summer 2015 Flash Fiction Contest is now closed and in judging. Thank you for your entries, and we wish you the best of luck this season! Please sign up for our e-mail newsletter (upper right hand corner, gray box) for contest announcements.

WE NOW HAVE TWO CONTESTS!

WOW! Women On Writing now hosts two quarterly contests: one for fiction writers and one for nonfiction writers. We’ve hosted the flash fiction contest since 2006, and over the years, writers have asked us to open up an essay contest. So we are happy to add the essay contest to our offerings. We look forward to reading your work!

Click on the links below to jump to:

Quarterly Flash Fiction Contest

Quarterly Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

 

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Quarterly Flash Fiction Contest

FALL 2021 FLASH FICTION CONTEST

OVERVIEW:

WOW! hosts a (quarterly) writing contest every three months, and has done so since 2006. The mission of this contest is to inspire creativity, great writing, and provide well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The WOW Flash Fiction Contest has awarded over $100,000 in cash to writers since its inception. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. We are open to all styles and genres of flash fiction, although we do encourage you to take a close look at our guest judge for the season (upper right hand corner) if you are serious about winning. Please make sure you download our Contest Terms & Conditions PDF below for complete guidelines. Get creative, and let’s have some fun! Remember, we only allow for 300 entries, so enter early to ensure your spot. We look forward to reading your work!

WORD COUNT:

Maximum: 750

Minimum: 250

The title is not to be counted in your word count. We use MS Word’s word count to determine the submitted entry’s word count.

PROMPT:

OPEN PROMPT!

That’s right, this is your chance to shine, and get creative. You can write about anything, as long as it’s within the word count and fiction. If you’re feeling inspired, write something new, or dig out those stories you started way back when and tailor them to the word count.

We’re open to any style and genre. So, get creative, and most of all, have fun.

Click to Download the FALL 2021 FLASH FICTION Contest Terms & Conditions PDF

CONTEST DEADLINES:

FALL: September - November 30th 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - NOW OPEN!

WINTER: December - February 28th, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - CLOSED

SPRING: March - May 31st, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - CLOSED

SUMMER: June - August 31st, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - CLOSED

ENTRY FEE: $10.00

This is not a reading fee. Entry fees are used to award our 20 winners as well as administrative costs.

We are limiting the number of entries to a maximum of 300 stories. Please enter early to ensure inclusion. If we reach 300 entries, we will disable the PayPal buttons.

Buy Entry Only: $10.00 CLOSED

Buy Entry Only: $10.00

Have you entered WOW's contest before?
What's your story title?


OR

ENTRY WITH CRITIQUE: $20.00

Buy Entry with Critique: $20.00 CLOSED

Buy Entry with Critique: $20.00

ADDITIONAL OPTION: Due to popular demand, we now have two options for your entry. For an additional $10.00 you can purchase a critique of your contest entry.

Have you entered our contest before?
What's your story title?

Upon the close of our contest, and after the winners are announced, you will receive a critique from one of our round table judges on three categories:

  • Subject
  • Content
  • Technical

You will be provided with your scores (1-5) in each category, and personal editorial feedback as well. There’s also an additional category that does not get scored: Overview. That is the general impression your story had on the reader. Please be patient upon the close of our contest and allow time for our editors to thoroughly critique your piece. We send out critiques after the contest winners are announced.

PRIZES: 20 WINNERS TOTAL!

FIRST PLACE:

  • $400.00 cash prize

  • $25 Amazon Gift Certificate

  • Entry published on WOW! Women On Writing

  • Interview on the WOW! Women On Writing Blog

SECOND PLACE:

  • $300.00 cash prize

  • $25 Amazon Gift Certificate

  • Entry published on WOW! Women On Writing

  • Interview on the WOW! Women On Writing Blog

THIRD PLACE:

  • $200.00 cash prize

  • $25 Amazon Gift Certificate

  • Entry published on WOW! Women On Writing

  • Interview on the WOW! Women On Writing Blog

7 RUNNERS UP:

10 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • $20 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • Name, state, and title entry published on WOW! Women On Writing



Click to Download the FALL 2021 FLASH FICTION Contest Terms & Conditions PDF

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF. Download the latest version at https://www.adobe.com

Please read the contest terms & conditions in full before submitting your entry. Please make sure you read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) before sending us an email.

Note: Previous winners who placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd ARE allowed to reenter this season. Also, if you placed as a runner up or honorable mention previously, you may enter again. Basically, everyone is welcome to enter!

Best of luck!

PREVIOUS WINNERS & UPDATES:

Summer 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Update 9/1: The Summer Flash Contest is now closed and in first round judging. The first round is the most intensive round of judging and lasts 1 month and 1 week. Judging is conducted by 12+ judges. We expect to have a list of finalists by October 7, 2021. We will post a list of finalists here, as well as send finalists further information on their judging schedule. At that time, we will also send back critiques to writers who purchased one. Thank you for your participation, and we wish you the best of luck in the first round! If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at contestinfo[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com and we will get back to you ASAP. We post updates right here, so please check back on this page (be sure to do a hard refresh of your browser). You can also sign up for our email newsletter or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thank you for sharing your writing with us, and we look forward to reading your work.

Spring 2021 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2021 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2020 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2020 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2020 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2020 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2019 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2019 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2019 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2019 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2018 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2018 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2018 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2018 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2017 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2017 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2017 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2017 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2016 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2016 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2016 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2016 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2015 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2015 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2015 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2015 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2014 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2014 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2014 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2014 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2013 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2013 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2013 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2013 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2012 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2012 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2012 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2012 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2011 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2011 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2011 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2011 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2010 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2010 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2010 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2010 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2009 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2009 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2009 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2009 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2008 Essay Contest Sponsored by Skirt! Books

Summer 2008 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring  2008 Flash Fiction Contest Sponsored by Seal Press

Winter  2008 Flash Fiction Contest Sponsored by W. W. Norton

Fall  2007 Essay Contest Sponsored by skirt! Books

Summer  2007 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring  2007 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2006 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2006 Flash Fiction Contest

 

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Quarterly Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

 

QUARTERLY CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

OVERVIEW:

WOW! is proud to introduce our newest essay contest! The mission of this 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! Please make sure you download our Contest Terms & Conditions PDF below for complete guidelines. Get creative and let’s have some fun! We look forward to reading your work!

WORD COUNT:

Maximum: 1000

Minimum: 200

The title is not to be counted in your word count. We use MS Word’s word count to determine the submitted entry’s word count.

TOPIC:

OPEN TOPIC!

You can write about any subject you want to explore, as long as it’s within the word count and nonfiction. If you’re feeling inspired, write something new, or dig out those essays you started way back when and tailor them to the word count.

Click to Download the CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST Terms & Conditions PDF

CONTEST DEADLINES:

Q1: August 1 - October 31st, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - NOW OPEN!

Q2: November 1 - January 31st, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - CLOSED

Q3: February 1 - April 30th, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - CLOSED

Q4: May 1 - July 31st, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - CLOSED

ENTRY FEE: $12.00

This is not a reading fee. Entry fees are used to award our winners as well as administrative costs.

We are limiting the number of entries to a maximum of 300 essays. Please enter early to ensure inclusion. If we reach 300 entries, we will disable the PayPal buttons.

Buy Entry Only: $12.00 CLOSED

Buy Entry Only: $12.00

What's your essay's title?


OR

ENTRY WITH CRITIQUE: $25.00

Buy Entry with Critique: $25.00 CLOSED

Buy Entry with Critique: $25.00

ADDITIONAL OPTION: Due to popular demand, we now have two options for your entry. For an additional $13.00 you can purchase a critique of your contest entry.

What's your essay's title?

Upon the close of our contest, and after the winners are announced, you will receive a critique from one of our round table judges on three categories:

  • Subject
  • Content
  • Technical

You will be provided with your scores (1-5) in each category, and personal editorial feedback as well. There’s also an additional category that does not get scored: Overview. That is the general impression your story had on the reader. Please be patient upon the close of our contest and allow time for our editors to thoroughly critique your piece. We send out critiques after the contest winners are announced.

PRIZES!

FIRST PLACE:

SECOND PLACE:

THIRD PLACE:

7 RUNNERS UP:

10 HONORABLE MENTIONS:



Click to Download the CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST Terms & Conditions PDF

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF. Download the latest version at https://www.adobe.com

Please read the contest terms & conditions in full before submitting your entry. Please make sure you read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) before sending us an email.

Best of luck!

PREVIOUS WINNERS & UPDATES:

Q4 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest Update 8/1: The Q4 CNF Essay Contest is now closed and in first round judging. The first round is the most intensive round of judging and lasts 1 month and 1 week. Judging is conducted by 12+ judges. We expect to have a list of finalists by September 7, 2021. We will post a list of finalists here, as well as send finalists further information on their judging schedule. At that time, we will also send back critiques to writers who purchased one. Thank you for your participation, and we wish you the best of luck in the first round! If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at contestinfo[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com and we will get back to you ASAP. We post updates right here, so please check back on this page (be sure to do a hard refresh of your browser). You can also sign up for our free email newsletter or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thank you for sharing your writing with us, and we look forward to reading your work. Write on!

Q4 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest Update 9/7: First round judging has been completed, and we have a list of finalists. Thank you for your patience. 12+ first round judges scored essays on subject, content, and technical. Essays that scored a 14 or 15 out of a possible 15 advance to the finals. You can see the finalists list here: Q4 '21 Essay Finalists PDF (listed by title only to keep things anonymous). We are sending an email to finalists today with the rest of their judging schedule. If you participated in the Q4 contest and do not see your essay's title on this list, then unfortunately, your essay did not advance. Please know that our judges did not have an easy time. There were many outstanding essays submitted this season. Thank you for sharing your work. We hope you submit again if you feel inspired. The Q1 season is currently open with a deadline of November 30th. We will be announcing final results of the Q4 Contest the first week of October. Stay tuned, and write on!

Q4 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest Update 9/8: Critiques have been sent to all writers who purchased a critique. If you purchased a critique and don't see it in your inbox, please double check your spam folder. If it's not there, please email us at contestinfo[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com and we will resend. Thank you! :)

Q4 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest Update 9/22: Thank you for your patience! This was a tough season. The finalists' essays were all excellent in every way, and our judges did not have an easy time. After careful deliberation, the judges have narrowed down all entries to the Top 10 and 10 Honorable Mentions. You can see the Top 20 list here: Q4 '21 Essay Contest Top 20 PDF, listed alphabetically by essay title. We sent an email to the Top 10 this morning requesting bios/photos. As soon as we receive them back, we will begin working on the results page for publication. We estimate October 6 or 7, and will send all contestants an email newsletter with a link to the winners' pages. If you were a finalist and do not see your essay's title on this list, then unfortunately, it did not advance. However, please know that all essays were outstanding, and we wish we could publish them all! Just making it to the finals in this competitive season was a huge accomplishment. We hope all finalists feel encouraged to keep writing and submitting. Your essay was strong in every category. Additionally, we have a monthly markets newsletter that contains the best markets for women writers. You can find the sign up here (check the box for "Markets Newsletter"). Thank you for sharing your work with us, and keep up the excellent writing! Much love, and write on!

Q3 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q2 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q1 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q4 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q3 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q2 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q1 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q4 2019 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q3 2019 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q2 2019 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q1 2018 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q4 2018 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q3 2018 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q2 2018 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q1 2017 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

 

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QUOTES FROM CONTESTANTS:

“Thank you so much for my critique! Even though I didn’t win there was much valuable information shared that I know will make my story so much better. I will definitely take the guest judge’s suggestions to heart and rework my story to submit next time. This is the best critique I’ve ever received! Thank you for running such an organized contest and supporting women writers!”

- Stacey Ray, San Diego, California

 

“Please thank the editor who critiqued my story. She pointed out several consistency errors and one major plot point I never would’ve noticed. I got more out of this one critique than years at my writers group! It’s a big help because I plan on expanding this story into a longer piece. This wasn’t the first time entering your contest, but it was the first time receiving a critique. My advice to others will be to spend the extra ten dollars because it’s worth it!”

- Vanessa Chen, Casa Grande, Arizona

 

“I wanted to thank you for the gifts from my honourable mention, which arrived yesterday.  I was ‘tickled pink’ by the thoughtfulness behind every gift.
 
On another note, I want to congratulate you for the wonderful job you do every day.  When I enter your website, a feeling of grace, kindness, and generosity of spirit prevails.  It is inspiring to feel those sentiments when all I’ve done is punch a few keys to order the fiber optics to display your site.”

- Evelyn Marentette, Ontario, Canada

 

“This award, and being published on the WOW website, made it feel official; I really am a writer!... a special thanks to the staff and editors of WOW...and reading the past winners’ stories is an excellent way to hone your own writing skills.”

- Donna Wilkins, New Mexico

 

“Thank-you so much again for the services you are rendering by running this website, the contest and all that you do. You have to be the most encouraging people I have ever met!”

- Jane Johnson, Kansas

 

“Your contests help spur some of us writers who have our hands full with so many other things to make out time for our writing.”

- Ubong-Abasi Johnathan, Ontario, Canada

 

“Your site is so supportive and warm hearted, I feel like I have found the sisters I never had! Your personal attention to every detail makes it so special that I think even the most astute writer would have a hard time putting my heartfelt gratitude into words. Thanks again for everything. You have given me more than you know.”

- Dianne Greco, Port Jefferson, New York

 

“Thank you for having a challenging word length. I also love the way you communicate with your writers. You really appreciate the time and effort that everyone puts into their entries. It’s a pleasure to read your emails and your website.”

- Mandy Vicsai, Australia

 

“I just wanted to send a quick note to say, "thank you". I was one of the Honorable Mention Winners in the Flash Fiction Winter Contest and the goodies y'all sent me as a prize were so wonderful and thoughtful. When I opened the package, the care and consideration were obvious and it was tremendously appreciated.”

- Kristen Lamb, Texas

 

** Visit the WOW! Women On Writing Blog to keep up with the latest in contestant interviews on Tuesdays! Or Subscribe to The Muffin via Feedburner to receive posts via e-mail.

** Please subscribe to our email newsletter (subscription box located on the top right of every page) to keep up with the latest contest info and developments from WOW!

Do you have a question about the contest? Send us an email and we’ll get back to you: contestinfo[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com. Please make sure that the question isn’t already answered in the contest terms & conditions. Thank you!

Are you an author who would like to donate copies of your book or e-book as a prize to all twenty winners? Or a company interested in donating products to our winners? If you would like to donate a prize to this contest, and be featured on this page, please contact us at contestinfo[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com with your request. We accept books, subscriptions, gift certificates, and other products upon approval.

Would you like to sponsor a contest? Contact us at ads[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com.

 

WOW! Flash Fiction Contest Guest Judge - Literary Agent Erin Clyburn with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Spring 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!
Winter 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!
Fall 2020 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!
Summer 2020 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!
Spring 2020 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!
Winter 2020 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!
Fall 2019 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!
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Spring 2019 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!
Winter 2019 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!
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