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Major magazines offer writing contests

Two major magazines are currently offering writing contests with cash prizes totaling $8,000. The magazines are Glamour and Good Housekeeping. One is a short story contest and the other an essay.

Glamour magazine is not only offering a $5,000 cash prize and an opportunity to publish but is also sweetening the deal with an opportunity to meet with a top literary agent. Glamour’s My Real Life Story Essay Contest is looking for “an inspiring true story.” The judges panel will be looking for “original style, strong writing and a compelling story.” Submissions can be mailed or entered online. Manuscripts must be between 2,500 and 3,500 words. The deadline is August 15, 2011.  See the link below for all the guidelines. Will you be the next Glamour essay winner?

The next contest, a short story competition, is conducted by Good Housekeeping with a prize of $3,000 with possible publication. The short story must be an original work of fiction and should have a theme “that focuses on women’s lives today.” U.S. writers over the age of 21 may submit a story between July 1 and September 1, 2011. Manuscript wordcount is up to 3,500 words. See the link below for complete guidelines. Will I open the May 2012 issue and read your story?

Things to remember if you’re going to enter contests:

  • Always, always read the rules and regulations and follow them exactly. Don’t assume.
  • Be sure and stay within the wordcount. Do not assume it is okay to go over. That just gives them a reason to disqualify you.
  • Check the deadline date. Is it the last day to submit or mail (postmark needed) or is it the date the manuscript must be received. These are two very different things.
  • Don’t get fancy or cute with your entry and use crazy fonts or bright colored paper. A simple, easy-to-read font like Times Roman or Ariel and white paper will do. Judge’s eyes get tired. Be kind to them. (See if the fonts are specified.)
  • Double-check your entry against the rules one last time before you hit the submit button or seal the envelope.
  • Enclose all requested entry fees and submission forms.

Additional things to do if you plan to enter these contests :

So, what do you think? You might be surprised to learn that Good Housekeeping only received 5,000 entries last year. Given the high profile of the magazine and the number of writers in the country, I was a little surprised to read that. The magazine has also agreed to publish the second and third place entries, too. Will you submit a story to either or both of these magazines? Let’s talk about it.

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