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Welcome to Our November Newsletter

Adam Cohen

We found over four dozen free poetry and prose contests with deadlines between November 15-December 31. View their profiles now!

See below for contests we especially recommend for writers at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced stages of their careers.

We congratulate the winners of our 2014 Sports Fiction & Essay Contest. We liked this year's entries so much, we awarded $500 more than we originally planned.

Zach Mankofsky's first-prize story "Death of a Cubs Fan" probed the limits of loyalty and the difficulty of knowing those closest to us. Flavored with tragicomic, self-mocking Jewish humor, the well-paced tale builds toward revealing the reason for the narrator's estrangement from his late father.

Susan Ryan's first-prize essay "Proper Equipment" is a serious yet upbeat memoir of overcoming sexism on and off the links. As a medical equipment sales representative, the author did much of her networking on golf courses whose rules seemed to belong to a different century. In her opening lines, she suggests that golfing is a sport for optimists; the same could be said of being a businesswoman in a man's world.

Read the 14 winning entries with remarks from Jendi Reiter. Read the press release.

In this issue:
"Suggestions for the Next iBooks Update"


Want to view past newsletters? Go to Need assistance? Let us help. Follow us on Twitter at @WinningWriters.

Featured Sponsor: Enter Writing Contests at

Over 50 writing contests are available at That includes the Novel Contest (deadline November 28).

Participate in FanStory's active online writing community. Improve your writing and get motivated. Get detailed feedback for every poem, short story, and book chapter that you write. See how your rank compares to other writers. Over 50 new contests every month. Always free to paid members. Participate for cash prizes. Click here for more information.

Contests open now: Horror Story Writing Contest, Novel Contest, Quatrain Poetry Contest, Story Contest: "No One Would Take It", Story Contest: What If?, Faith Poetry Contest. See all our upcoming contests...


Recent Honors and Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

Congratulations to Annie Dawid, Mary Lou Taylor, Dianne Alvine, Robert Walton, Sari Sikstrom, A.M. Thompson, Trish Hopkinson, Helen Leslie SokolskyLesléa Newman, and Judy Juanita!

Learn more about their achievements and see links to samples of their work.

BookBaby: Get your book printed for just $19!

BookBaby - Calls for Submissions

We are a free online resource to help you find paying markets for your poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Updated daily, we report on editors and publishers who are actively seeking submissions, pay standard or competitive rates, and do not charge reading fees. Founded in 2001, is edited by freelance writer Brian Scott (@busyguru). Learn more... – a new, free way to grow and connect with your audience is a platform, a hub, and a community dedicated to helping authors maximize their audience.

We will help your writing career blossom.

The concept is simple: On Scriggler, everything revolves around shared stories, poetry, ideas. The audience can interact with these stories by liking, disliking, and commenting. These interactions are recorded to create a statistical portrait of every audience member. Scriggler can then match these profiles and come up with reading suggestions uniquely relevant to every reader. We also actively promote your publications across social networks.

We run live events and monthly writing contests to further showcase our talent pool and provide additional promotional opportunities to our members.

The best part is—as an early adopter you get all the perks of premium membership free, for life.

All our contributors keep the rights to their work, always. Join our friendly and supportive community today.


The Shy Writer Reborn

The Shy Writer Reborn

The Shy Writer Reborn, by award-winning author C. Hope Clark, brings hope and guidance to the introverted writer struggling in a noisy publishing world. An introverted writer's wake-up call from a seasoned lady who collected tricks and put them into practice in order to sell her words, not her soul.

From Amazon reviews:

"What stands out about this book for me is that Hope has a true and abiding empathy for other writers and helping other writers is a profound mission for her."

"The Shy Writer Reborn is full of optimistic, friendly, and eminently practical advice on how to balance the introvert's need for seclusion with the need to market and promote oneself and one's work."

"C. Hope Clark is the first person in my experience to not only address this personality trait as a writer, but to tell me that I am okay just as I am."

Little Red Tree: International Poetry Prize

Little Red Tree Anthology

Deadline: December 31. Little Red Tree Publishing is proud to announce its 5th International Poetry Prize, with a first prize of $1,000, runner-up $250, and $50 to five finalists.

The prizewinner, runner-up, and third-place poet will feature prominently, with full biography, in a special collection called The Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize 2015 Anthology. The book will also include a wide selection of poetry from those submitted that did not make the final selection but were considered worthy of publication. The book will be published in the summer of 2015.

A book launch will be scheduled at a suitable venue in New London, CT. All winners and published poets will be invited to read their poems. See the complete contest guidelines at Little Red Tree.

We congratulate our most recent winner, Leland James, who submitted "Spirit Road".

Little Red Tree: Vernice Quebodeaux “Pathways” Poetry Prize for Women

Deadline: December 31. Little Red Tree Publishing is proud to announce the 5th Vernice Quebodeaux "Pathways" Poetry Prize for Women, which includes a $1,000 cash award and offer to publish a full-length collection of poetry with a generous royalty contract. The book will be published in 2015. See the complete contest guidelines at Little Red Tree.

Vernice Quebodeaux, born in Egan, LA (on the banks of the Bayou Plaquemine Brûlé), was a poet who spent a lifetime struggling with the demands of raising children, family feuds, bigotry, apathy, and indifference to her writing aspirations. On her death the beginnings of a book of poetry called Pathways was found by her daughter Tamara Martin and incorporated into a book, Sundays in the South. We are honoring her life and cherished goals by creating this competition to recognize the specific unique voices of women poets.

We congratulate our most recent winner, Cathleen Calbert, who submitted The Afflicted Girls.

Vernice Quebodeaux

Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award

Robert Frost Foundation

Deadline: February 1, 2015. The Robert Frost Foundation welcomes poems in the spirit of Robert Frost for its Annual Award. The winner will receive $1,000 and the opportunity to read at a Frost Foundation event. Up to ten runners-up will be shortlisted at the discretion of the judge.

Online submissions are now welcome via Submittable. Otherwise, please submit two copies of each poem, one copy with contact information (name, address, phone number, email address) and one copy free of all identifying information. Reading fees are $12 per poem. Make your check payable to The Robert Frost Foundation. Mail your entry to: Lawrence Library, Attn: Robert Frost Award, 51 Lawrence Street, Lawrence, MA 01841. Email submissions are accepted at if you send your entry fee by regular mail.

You may submit up to three poems of no more than three pages each. Both published and unpublished works are accepted. See the complete contest guidelines and enjoy Idris Anderson's Honorable Mention entry from our 2014 contest, "Red Oaks".

Call for Submissions: upstreet (no fee)

Deadline: March 1, 2015. 
Award-winning literary annual upstreet seeks quality submissions of short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry for its eleventh issue. Past issues feature interviews with Jim Shepard, Lydia Davis, Wally Lamb, Michael Martone, Robin Hemley, Sue William Silverman, Dani Shapiro, Douglas Glover, Emily Fragos, and Robert Olen Butler. Distributors: Ingram, Media Solutions, Disticor (Canada). Chains: Barnes & Noble, Hastings, Books-A-Million.

For new guidelines, including payment, and to submit, see

Please enjoy "Distinguished" by Denise Duhamel, published in upstreet number ten.


Spotlight Contests

Some contests are best suited to writers at the early stages of their careers. Others are better for writers with numerous prizes and publications to their credit. Here is this month's selection of Spotlight Contests for your consideration:

Emerging Writers
Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics (essay exploring the theme of ethics; $10,000 in prizes; due December 8)

Intermediate Writers
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Program (honors books just about to be published; publishers nominate works of literary fiction, short story collections, and literary nonfiction; fiction and nonfiction winners will each receive $10,000; due December 12)

Advanced Writers
George W. Hunt Writing Prize (awards a $25,000 fellowship to a US writer aged 45 and under, whose work reflects engagement with Catholic thought and culture; due March 31)

See more Spotlight Contests for emerging, intermediate, and advanced writers within The Best Free Literary Contests database.

Spotlight Contests

Calls for Submissions

To ensure consideration, assume that the editors must receive your submission by the date specified, unless a postmark date is indicated.

PSA: November is Family Literacy Month


November is Family Literacy Month, a time to celebrate the important role families play in fostering their children's basic literacy skills and attitudes toward learning. Parents are often children's first and most influential teachers, but sometimes it is children who inspire us to learn. Take the case of John, a California father of two boys...

For more than 30 years, John navigated life with a painful secret: he didn't know how to read. He managed to graduate and even start a business, but when his son Shawn began correcting his mistakes while he was reading to him, John knew it was time to seek help. John entered one of ProLiteracy's member programs. Through much hard work, he acquired reading and writing skills and ultimately a new lease on life. John learned to love reading and now shares that enthusiasm with his community as an outreach coordinator for his local library. Motivated by his children, John became the father, citizen, and person he always wanted to be.

For more information on how you can help parents like John, visit ProLiteracy today.

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Tom Laverty, Business Development Manager, BookBaby

Comics by Ali Shapiro: Suggestions for the Next iBooks Update

Ali Shapiro: Suggestions for the Next iBooks Update

Ali Shapiro: Suggestions for the Next iBooks Update

The Last Word

Sponsor Me: Fall Fundraisers for Literacy and Domestic Violence Services

I am writing a poem a day in November to raise money for the Center for New Americans. CNA is a community-based, nonprofit adult education center that provides the under-served immigrant, refugee, and migrant communities of Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley with education and resources to learn English, become involved community members, and obtain tools necessary to maintain economic independence and stability. Sponsor me at Razoo: Jendi Reiter's 30 Poems in November.

On December 7, our family-of-choice, a/k/a Freedom Team, will be walking in Northampton's annual Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage. This 5K run and 3K walk supports Hampshire County's domestic violence shelter and advocacy organization. Please sponsor my page at PledgeReg!

...continue at Reiter's Block

Jendi Reiter is the editor of Winning Writers. Follow her on Twitter at @JendiReiter.

Jendi Reiter