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Welcome to Our February Newsletter

Adam Cohen

We found 50+ free poetry and prose contests with deadlines between February 15-March 31. LOGIN HERE and check them out! Need assistance? Need a password? Let us help. Follow us on Twitter at @WinningWriters.

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest - No Fee
Deadline: April 1
Our 13th annual humor contest is free to enter. Judged by Jendi Reiter and Lauren Singer. $2,000 in prizes. Submit one poem of any length online.

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest
Deadline: April 30
In its 22nd year, now sponsored by Winning Writers. Accepts all styles and genres, published and unpublished. Arthur Powers will judge. $16 fee for each entry of up to 6,000 words. $3,000 in prizes. Submit online.

Also open now, our Sports Fiction & Essay Contest, with $3,000 in prizes.

Advertisers: We send this newsletter to over 50,000 subscribers. Ads are just $150 each. On a tight budget? Pressed for time? Advertise to our 21,000 Twitter followers for just $30 per tweet or less. Get the details.

Enter Writing Contests at

Participate in an 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: Valentines Poetry, Valentines Writing Contest, Share a Story in a Poem, Free Verse Poetry Contest, Haiku Poetry Contest. Learn more...

Writing Contests at

Recent honors and publication credits for our subscribers

Congratulations to Robert Walton, Joan Gelfand, Anna Scotti, Kerry Rawlinson, Noble Collins, Helen Leslie Sokolsky (featured poem: "Ode to a Fallen Sparrow"), Charlie Bondhus, Lesléa Newman, Glenn Dahlem, David Kherdian, Sally Bellerose, Mi West, Judy Juanita, and Trina Porte. Get more details on their success.

Don't miss the many links to award-winning poems and stories in the sponsored messages below, generously provided by our advertisers.

"A collection of stories so real, I had to pinch myself"

—Susan Reinard,

If you want to write short stories, the best thing you can do is read short stories. A Hero For The People by Arthur Powers, judge of the 2014 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, is a collection of highly crafted, highly readable award-winning stories. Read "The Bridge" now for free.

"Arthur Powers is more than a totally captivating, adventurous storyteller, he is a wonderfully accomplished writer who enriches the reader's experience of life. In short, Powers is in that rare company of authors who are impossible to put down."  ~John Reid, founder of the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

Arthur Powers - 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...

Cutthroat Offers Writing Mentorships and Manuscript Evaluations

Cutthroat Journal has brought together the finest writers like Joy Harjo, Patricia Smith and Doug Anderson to offer online writing mentorships and manuscript evaluations. Get professional, personalized guidance at a fraction of the cost of writing programs and conferences. We're now offering mentorships in poetry, short stories, memoir and essays. Manuscript evaluations are available for novels, screenplays, poetry and short story collections. Learn more...


Hope Clark Announces Release of Book Three: Palmetto Poison

Palmetto Poison

Politics turns poisonous in Palmetto Poison, the latest release in The Carolina Slade Mystery Series from award-winning author and editor C. Hope Clark and Bell Bridge Books. Set in rural South Carolina, the series follows the adventures of Carolina Slade, a smart, focused, sometimes over-thinking woman who's learned she's more than a Federal bureaucrat. She likes justice, just her own way.
"Carolina Slade is the real deal—Southern charm, a steely determination, and a vulnerability she'll never admit to. Slade is at her absolute best in C. Hope Clark's Palmetto Poison!"
~Lynn Chandler-Willis, best selling author and winner of the 2013 Minotaur Books/PWA Best First Private Eye Novel Competition

Last Call: Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Contest

Deadline: February 19. Judge: Alicia Ostriker. Submit up to 5 unpublished poems of any style or sensibility. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in the third issue of Tupelo Quarterly; three runners-up will also be published. All entries are considered for publication. Enter online. Please enjoy the winning entries from our inaugural poetry contest and learn more about our current contest...

Tupelo Quarterly

Last Call: Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award

Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award

Deadline: February 28. Judge: Ruth Ellen Kocher. Submit a previously unpublished, chapbook-length poetry manuscript (20-36 pages) with a table of contents. Enter online or by mail. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication by Tupelo Press. All finalists will be considered for publication. Learn more and enjoy "Segment of a Circle" by Anna George Meek, winner of our 2011 award...

Last Call: Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Competition

Deadline: February 28. Judge: Glenn Patterson. Create, in a tiny fragment, a completely resolved and compelling story in 300 words or less. First prize: 1,000 euros. The top ten stories will be published in our 2014 Fish Anthology. Learn more and enjoy our "Serene Surburban Sunday" by John Mulligan, our 2012 competition winner...

Glenn Patterson

Last Call: Utmost Christian Poetry Contest

Utmost Christian Writers

Deadline: February 28. Christian writers are invited to compete for $3,000 in prizes, including a grand prize of $1,000 and a second prize of $500. Special awards for rhyming poems. Learn more and enjoy "The Cave" by Bryana Johnson, the winner of our 2013 contest...

Last Call: 42 Miles Press Poetry Award

Deadline: March 1. Sponsored by Indiana University. Submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages. Winner receives $1,000, 50 copies, and an invitation to give a reading in South Bend, Indiana. The final selection will be made by the Series Editor, David Dodd Lee. Manuscripts should exhibit an awareness of the contemporary "voice" in American poetry, an awareness of our moment in time as poets. We are excited to receive poetry that is experimental as well as work of a more formalist bent, as long as it reflects a complexity and sophistication of thought and language. Urgency, yes; melodrama, not so much. Learn more and enjoy "It's Hard to Believe in the Soul" by our recent winner, Bill Rasmovicz...

David Dodd Lee

Last Call for upstreet 10


Submission period: September 1-March 1. No fee. upstreet, an award-winning literary annual, seeks quality submissions—with an edge—of short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry for its tenth issue, to appear in early July. We are now a paying market. Authors will receive $50-$150 for poems and $50-$250 for short stories or essays. Each author will also receive one complimentary copy, and may purchase more copies at a reduced rate.

Learn more and enjoy "Galway, Fireplace" by Jennifer Barber, from upstreet number nine...

Bellingham Review's Annual Literary Contests

Deadline: March 15. Three $1,000 prizes and publication in Bellingham Review are awarded for works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The 49th Parallel Poetry Award is given for poetry; Kathleen Flenniken will judge. The Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction is given for a short story; Shawn Wong will judge. The Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction is given for an essay; Joy Castro will judge. Learn more and read "Elegy with Trench Art and Asanas" by Jane Satterfield, our 2013 49th Parallel Poetry Award winner...

Bellingham Review 2014 Contests

Gulf Coast Prizes

Deadline: March 15. Top prizes of $1,500 each in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. All entries will be considered for publication. Andrea Barrett will judge fiction, John D'Agata will judge nonfiction, and Rachel Zucker will judge poetry.

Begun by Donald Barthelme and Phillip Lopate, Gulf Coast is the nationally-distributed journal housed within the University of Houston's English Department, home to one of the nation's top ranked creative writing programs. Learn more about our 2014 contest...

Gulf Coast

E.M. Koeppel $1,100 Short Fiction Award

Writecorner Press

Deadline April 30. Submit unpublished fiction on any theme, up to 3,000 words per entry. Winner receives $1,100. Editors' Choices will receive $100 each. The winning short story and editors' choices are eligible to be published online. Learn more and read "Slipping Into the Gene Pool", last year's winning entry by Mike Tuohy...

Dancing Poetry Festival Contest

Deadline: May 15. Three Grand Prizes will receive $100 each plus their poems will be danced and filmed. All winners will be invited to read at our 21st Festival at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, September 20, 2014. Each Grand Prize winner will be invited onstage for photo ops with the dancers and a bow in the limelight. Learn more and enjoy "Out of Temper, Out of Tune" by Jan K. Dederick, a 2013 Grand Prize winner...

Dancing Poetry Festival

PSA: Literacy and Health

  • Only about 12 percent of Americans have the skills necessary to navigate the health care system.
  • More than one in two adults can't properly read a drug label.
  • One source estimates the cost of low health literacy in the U.S. at between $106 billion and $238 billion annually.

You won't find a more cost-effective investment in America than literacy education. Find out more at ProLiteracy.

Calls for Submissions

New at Reiter's Block

"Trust Your Imaginary Friends, and Don't Scare the Horses"
Sometimes it seems to me that religion, like writing a novel, is an attempt to introduce other people to your imaginary friends. If enough of them also develop a relationship with Jesus (or Captain Kirk), your inner world becomes the consensus reality, and you've just shifted the reference point of sanity in your direction. Conversely, what we call mental illness may be a real inner experience that the patient can't get others to believe, or can't express in consensus language because she confuses literal facts with metaphors.

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

Jendi Reiter

Winning Writers is proud to have been one of the Writer’s Digest “101 Best Websites for Writers” every year since 2005!