Winning Writers - best resources for poets and writers

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Welcome to Our July Newsletter

Adam Cohen

We found nearly two dozen free poetry and prose contests with deadlines between July 15-August 31. View their profiles now!

New feature: See below where we spotlight contests that are best for writers in the emerging, intermediate, and advanced stages of their careers.

Coming next month: We'll announce the winners of our 13th annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest.

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest
Deadline: September 30
Our 12th annual open-theme poetry contest will award $3,000 in prizes. The Tom Howard Prize of $1,000 will go to the best poem in any style or genre. The Margaret Reid Prize of $1,000 will go to the best poem that rhymes or has a traditional style. Ellaraine Lockie will judge. You may submit 1-2 poems of any length for a flat $16 fee. Published and unpublished work welcome. Submit online.

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

Featured Sponsor: Enter Writing Contests at

Open now, the Novel Contest at FanStory will select three writers for a publishing contract with GWL Publishing. FanStory members may post three chapters of their novel and include a synopsis to enter. See the complete guidelines.

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: 50 Words Writing Contest, Share a Story in a Poem, Free Verse Poetry Contest, Haiku Poetry Contest, Sonnet Poetry Contest. Learn more...


Recent Honors and Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

Congratulations to J.S. Kierland, Rod Walford, Rebecca Foust, Patricia Schultheis, Elaine Abramson, Sally Stewart Mohney (featured poem: "Water, rising.", Beebe Barksdale-Bruner, Robert Walton, Darrell Lindsey, A.M. Thompson (featured poem: "Nullipara"), and Susan Stinson.

Learn more about their achievements.

Everything you need to know about self-publishing an eBook

Download your copy of Guy Kawasaki's APE: Author, Publisher, EntrepreneurFree only through BookBaby!

If you are planning on publishing an eBook, this is an absolute must-read. Bestselling authors Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch offer up the ultimate how-to guide for converting, publishing, and selling eBooks.

This book sells for $10 but the authors are letting BookBaby offer downloads for free! (Your choice of ePub, .mobi, or PDF)

Guy Kawasaki is the author of eleven previous books, including What the Plus!, Enchantment, and The Art of the Start. He is also the cofounder of and the former chief evangelist of Apple. Shawn Welch is the author of two previous books, including From Idea to App, and iOS 5 Core Frameworks. He is also the developer of several iOS applications.

APE: How to Publish a Book - 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...

Register Now for The Visionary: A Writing Workshop with Joy Harjo and Pam Uschuk

Registration closes on August 1

Come to Tucson, Arizona during September 26-28 for a three-day intensive workshop to explore visionary writing. Award-winning writers Joy Harjo and Pam Uschuk will guide participants in on-site writing explorations in a desert garden setting. Special techniques will nurture insight and vision, including astrology, cards, and energy work.

The workshop price is $600. We will help find local hotel arrangements. Daily lunch and transportation to and from the workshop site will be provided. Space is limited to 15 people. Call 970-903-7914 to learn more.

See the full-size workshop poster.

The Visionary: A Writing Workshop

The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference

This is the original, one-of-a-kind, total immersion poetry manuscript conference. Faculty includes nationally-renowned poet-editors and publishers. Work with the best for the best results!

Our unique, realistic method of manuscript evaluation sets poets with a manuscript-in-progress on a path toward publication. Poets also get a look into the publication world and make important contacts with leading editors, teachers, and publishers.

Find out more about our upcoming conferences:

The Colrain Classic
Truchas Peaks Place, New Mexico
September 19–22, 2014

The Colrain Classic
White House Inn, Wilmington, Vermont
October 24–27, 2014

The Colrain Intensive
The Brandt House, Greenfield, MA
November 21–24, 2014
Limited to 8 poets

The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference

FundsforWriters - Free Newsletter and award-winning author/editor C. Hope Clark bring writing opportunity and motivation to your email every Friday, and have done so for 15 years. Grants, contests, markets, publishers galore, so that you have more time to write.
“The newsletter is becoming a Bible for me because you are thoughtful and conscientious in what you choose to print (and not print, I would assume). It is all of tremendous benefit, not just some throw-away information.”

C. Hope Clark

The 2014 Rattle Poetry Prize

Deadline Today! July 15. The annual Rattle Poetry Prize offers $5,000 for a single poem to be published in the winter issue of the magazine. Ten finalists will also receive $100 each and publication, and be eligible for the $1,000 Readers' Choice Award, to be selected by subscriber and entrant vote.

With the winners judged in a blind review by the editors to ensure a fair and consistent selection, an entry fee that is simply a one-year subscription to the magazine—and now a large Readers' Choice Award to be chosen by the writers themselves—we've designed the Rattle Poetry Prize to be one of the most writer-friendly contests around.

We accept entries online and by mail. See for the complete guidelines and past winners, and enjoy "My Mother Told Us Not to Have Children" by Rebecca Gayle Howell, winner of our 2013 Readers' Choice Award (and a Pushcart Prize).

The 2014 Rattle Poetry Prize

Dream Quest One Poetry and Writing Contest

Dream Quest One

Deadline July 31. This writing contest is open to anyone who loves to express their innermost thoughts and feelings in poetry or to write a short story that's worth telling everyone! We're accepting poems, 30 lines or fewer on any subject, and short stories, 5 pages maximum on any theme (single- or double-line spacing). Multiple entries welcome.

Short Story First Prize: $500, 2nd: $250, 3rd: $100
Poetry First Prize: $250, 2nd: $125, 3rd: $50

Entry fees
$10 per story
$5 per poem

See the complete guidelines at, and read the winning story from our winter contest, "A Grave Surprise" by Jill Sadowsky.

New Millennium Writings 38th Competition

Deadline extended to July 31. Our 38th competition will award $4,000. Submit online at

$1,000 each for the Best Poem, Best Fiction, Best Nonfiction, and Best Short-Short Fiction.

Newcomers are published alongside famous writers, in our anthology and online. Previously published pieces welcome if under 5,000 in circulation or online only.

"I found this to be one of the most powerful literary experiences I've ever had. For anyone who gives a whit about writing or the human condition, New Millennium Writings should be required reading."
                                                      —Kane S. LaTranz, Alibi

Please enjoy the winning poem from our 35th competition (and the inspiration behind our 2014 anthology cover), "Out of the Blue" by Susan Maeder.

New Millennium Writings

Tupelo Press July Open Reading Period

Tupelo Press

Deadline: July 31. Throughout July, Tupelo Press will hold open submissions for book-length poetry collections (48-90 pages) and chapbook-length poetry collections (20-47 pages). Submissions are accepted from anyone writing in the English language (whether in the United States or abroad). Include a cover page with the title of your manuscript, your name, address, phone number, and email address. There is a reading fee of $28 for each manuscript submitted. Multiple submissions are accepted, so long as each submission is accompanied by a separate $28 reading fee. Submit online or by mail.

Read the complete guidelines before submitting your manuscript:

Learn more and read "raving: i" from The Vital System by CM Burroughs, published by Tupelo Press in 2012.

Grayson Books Poetry Prize

Deadline: August 15. Winner receives $1,000, publication, and 10 copies. Reading Fee: $25. Judge: Dick Allen.

Please submit manuscripts of 50-80 pages; include a Table of Contents. For electronic submission, please enter here. Do not put any contact information on the manuscript. That information will go on a submission form.

Writers who prefer to mail their entries should send a 50-80 page book manuscript with two cover pages (one with complete contact information, one with no contact information), a reading fee of $25, and SASE for results to Grayson Books, P.O. 270549, West Hartford, CT 06127.

To learn more, please visit Enjoy "Tomb of the Unknown" by Frederick Foote, our 2013 winner.

Grayson Books

The Launch Lab from GrubStreet


Calling all authors with upcoming book launches
Do you have a book debut coming up in the next year, or do you know a writer who does? GrubStreet is accepting applications through August 15th for the Launch Lab, a program that equips writers with upcoming book launches with the knowledge and tools they need to be effective in their marketing efforts in a way that's right for them. Participants get social media and marketing advice from industry professionals, personalized coaching, media training, career planning help, access to an engaged and motivating community of fellow authors, and more! Learn more and and apply at

Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Contest

Deadline: August 26
Judge: Amaud Jamaul Johnson
First prize: $1,000

The Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Contest is open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Translations are not eligible for this contest. Poets submitting work for consideration may be published authors or writers without prior book or journal publications.

Multiple TQ editors will consider each entry and select 20 finalists. From the finalists, contest judge Amaud Jamaul Johnson will select a winning poem and three runners-up. At no time will our judge have any identifying information about the authors.

Results will be posted online in the fifth issue of Tupelo Quarterly, on October 15, 2014. For complete guidelines, please click here.

Tupelo Quarterly

2014 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

Donald Barthelme

Deadline: August 31. Gulf Coast is now accepting entries for the 2014 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose, judged by Amy Hempel. The contest is open to pieces of prose poetry, flash fiction, and micro-essays of 500 words or fewer. Established in 2008, the contest awards its winner $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions receive $250 and will also appear in issue 27.2, due out in April 2015. All entries will be considered for paid publication on our website as Online Exclusives.

We accept submissions both via our online submissions manager and via postal mail, and all entrants receive a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast with their reading fee. Entrants may submit up to three pieces with each entry fee. Multiple submissions are allowed, but each new entry of three pieces must be accompanied by a separate entry fee. Visit for more information and read last year's winning entry, "Bats".

Please also enjoy this excerpt from Josie Sigler Sibara's winning entry in our 2012 contest, "The Compartment"...

On The Premises Short Story Contest (no fee)

Deadline: October 3. The premise of our 24th contest is "Property". Submit a 1,000 to 5,000 word story that uses the contest premise. Winners receive between US$40 and US$180 and publication. There is no fee to enter our contest.

Any genre except children's fiction, exploitative sex, or over-the-top gross-out horror is fine. We will also never accept parodies of another author's specific fictional character(s) or world(s). No exceptions!

Click for details and instructions on submitting your story. To be informed when new contests are launched, subscribe to our free, short, monthly newsletter. On The Premises magazine is recognized  in Duotrope, Writer's Market,, and other short story marketing resources.

On The Premises

New Feature: 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
Past Loves Day Story Contest (prose, due September 17)

Intermediate Writers
Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize (poetry, due July 25)

Advanced Writers
Writers' Trust Hilary Weston Non-Fiction Prize (for Canadians, due July 30)

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

Spotlight Contests at Winning Writers

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: ProLiteracy Awards More Than $100,000 in National Book Fund Grants


ProLiteracy is proud to announce over $100,000 in National Book Fund grants to 65 community-based programs around the nation in support of literacy and basic education.

"Every year, we receive a number of compelling, high-quality applications," says Michele Diecuch, senior membership and program manager. "We are pleased to be able to offer grants to nearly two-thirds of the applications we receive."

Since its inception in 1995, ProLiteracy’s National Book Fund has awarded more than $2.9 million in grants, helping more than 305,000 Americans improve their reading skills. The next National Book Fund application process will begin in March 2015.


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Tom Laverty, Business Development Manager, BookBaby

New at Reiter's Block

Hobby Lobby's Questionable Theology
"I don't believe Christians should take advantage of economic inequality to enforce what we believe to be God’s will. Coercive shortcuts reveal our lack of faith."  [more]

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

Jendi Reiter