If you’ve been sitting around taking up space and time while toying with a possible short story idea, or if you’ve been putting off a story revision, then maybe this will motivate you to take some action. Writer’s Digest has announced a new popular short story competition for stories that fit into the following categories: Romance, Mystery/Crime, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense and Horror. Have too many stories and don’t know which one to submit? Hey, you can enter one story in every category. Rules? Essentially two: Entries should be 4,000 words or less and must be received by November 1, 2005. If you’re interested, go to The WD Popular Fiction Awards for more info and the rest of the rules.
Here’s the list of prizes:
GRAND PRIZE:$2,500 cash, $100 worth of Writer’s Digest Books, plus a manuscript critique and marketing advice from a Writer’s Digest editor or advisory board member.
FIRST PRIZE: The First-Place Winner in each category receives $500 cash, $100 worth of Writer’s Digest Books, plus a manuscript critique and marketing advice from a Writer’s Digest editor or advisory board member.
HONORABLE MENTION: All Honorable Mentions will receive promotion in Writer’s Digest and the 2006 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market.
While I don’t, as a rule, advocate many contests, Writer’s Digest is a well-respected entity with contests that have real value. There is a contest fee but it is nominal. For you lazy ones or the postally-challenged, you can submit online–if you use a credit card.
Years ago I entered the Writers Digest short story competition. It was one of the first contests I’d ever entered and, frankly, I did it merely to give myself a goal to write toward. I did send my story off. Later, I realized that the judge was an editor from Omni Magazine. They published a lot of good sci fi but my story was more in the women’s fiction vein. I figured the judge wouldn’t give it a nod. To my surprise I ended up ranking right around 50 out of more than 3,500 stories. I still have the Honorable Mention certificate and remember what a great motivator it was for me at the time. Even now the memory brings a smile. So, you never know. Go for it.
Now you know what to do this weekend. Have fun.