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Welcome to Our December Newsletter

Adam Cohen

Another bumper crop of contests this month: over four dozen free poetry and prose contests with deadlines between December 15-January 31. View their profiles now!

Preditors & Editors Readers Poll
The annual Preditors & Editors Readers Poll will accept votes during December 24-January 14. Nominate work for recognition, including your own. Please vote for Winning Writers in the Resources category. Click to participate.

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

Opening on January 15:
The North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books
It's easier than ever to self-publish your book, but how can you stand out? Which services are worthwhile? Who can you trust? We've developed the North Street Book Prize to help. Three winners will each receive $1,500, a credit towards the high-quality publishing services at BookBaby, free advertising in this newsletter, and expert marketing advice from Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of The Frugal Book Promoter. We'll award cash prizes of $6,000 in all, with gifts for everyone who enters. Learn more at

In this issue:
"Least Appealing Summer Residencies"


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 new writing contests every month at Participate in our 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. Our contests are always free to paid members. Participate for cash prizes. Click here to learn more. Contests open now:

Story Contest: What If?
What if your character awoke and didn't know where he or she was? Write a story of 500-7,000 words. Deadline today!

Faith Poetry Contest
Submit a poem that represents faith. It can be spiritual, political, intellectual, or emotional faith. Deadline December 22.

Christmas Story
Write a story that captures the fun, spirit, excitement, frustration, or joy of the holiday season. Deadline December 25.

Lune Poetry Contest
A lune has 5 syllables in the first line, 3 syllables in the second, and 5 syllables in the third. All subjects welcome. Deadline December 28.

See all our upcoming contests...


Recent Honors and Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

Congratulations to Rick Lupert, Carol Smallwood (featured poem, "Rain Gives"), Eleanor Freeman, Meg Eden (featured poem, "Beijing and I Meet for the First Time"), Ruth Hill (featured poem, "Not All"), Lois P. Jones, R.T. Castleberry, Trish Hopkinson (featured poem, "Prima Facie"), Heather M. Browne (featured poem, "Directions of Folding"), Joan Blake, and Joan Gelfand.

Ellaraine Lockie, our Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest judge, had three poems featured in the French online journal Levure Littéraire: "Clean-Up in Rwanda", "The Tour", and "War and Peace on the Prairie". The theme of Issue #10 was "Words and Declarations of War". Watch a video preview of the issue. Read the poems.

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

Free Guide from BookBaby

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).

A few of our special features include:

  1. Sci-fi/fantasy markets that are soliciting stories
  2. Anthologists who are seeking submissions for special themed anthologies
  3. Magazine editors who are accepting fiction and nonfiction articles for upcoming issues
  4. Literary agents who are seeking new authors to represent
  5. New book imprints that are seeking new authors for debut titles
  6. Literary journals with time-sensitive reading periods that are accepting limited submissions of poetry and prose
  7. Announcements of new editors at high-paying magazines and what they are currently seeking from freelance writers
Visit now

Register for Advanced Writing Workshops at 92Y

92Y: Advanced Writing Workshops

FundsforWriters - Subscribe Free


FundsforWriters touches 45,000 readers with its calls for submissions from contests, grants, markets, publishers and agents. Writer's Digest Magazine chose the website for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for the past 14 years. Award-winning editor and author C. Hope Clark brings opportunity to you, so you have more time to write.

"You inspire me to have more courage, to reach higher, and you offer me threads of hope that I, too, can continue to grow and contribute something of worth to the world. Do you have ANY idea how much you mean to all of us who sit at our computers on Friday afternoon, waiting for your email to come in? Thank you for your dedication to sharing the roller-coaster ride of writing. You are a gifted teacher and mentor."

10th Annual Accenti Writing Contest

Grand Prize: $1,000 and publication in Accenti Magazine
Second Prize: $250 and publication in Accenti Magazine
Third Prize: $100 and publication in Accenti Magazine

Deadline: December 31, 2014

Winners celebrated at the Annual Accenti Awards during the Montreal International Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, April 2015.

The contest is open to prose works on any topic, maximum 2,000 words. Writers worldwide may enter. Blind judging. Entry fee: $20. (Prizes and fee in Canadian funds; submit online.)

See our complete contest rules and read past winning stories by Terri Favro and Andrew Foster.

Accenti Writing Contest

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

Tupelo Press Dorset Prize

Deadline: December 31. The Dorset Prize includes a cash award of $3,000, publication by Tupelo Press, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. Final Judge: Edward Hirsch. All finalists will be considered for publication. Results announced in spring 2015.

The Dorset Prize is open to anyone writing in English, whether living in the United States or abroad. Submit a previously unpublished, full-length poetry manuscript of between 48 and 88 pages (of poems). Enter online or by mail.

Learn more about the contest and read "Poem" by Jeffrey Harrison, winner of the 2011 Dorset Prize...

Tupelo Press – New Crime/Thriller Short Story Contest (no fee)

A chance to raise your profile has teamed up with publishers to sponsor a new writing contest in support of The Hope Academy for Girls.

We are excited to announce our new international writing competition. It is free to enter. We are looking for 10 outstanding crime and thriller stories to publish in an anthology. The shortlisted stories will get a crowdfunding campaign that may see them published and sold around the world. Profits from the book sales will be donated to The Hope Academy for Girls— a self-sustaining, multi-purpose school for at-risk girls in Sierra Leone.

Deadline: January 31, 2015. Length limit: 7,500 words. Participants will be asked to register and publish their manuscripts on

We look forward to reading your stories! Complete guidelines:


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 "A Life", Michelle Y. Burke's Honorable Mention entry from our 2014 contest.

On The Premises Short Story Contest (no fee)

We've raised our prize money! Here are the details on our current contest.

Deadline: March 6, 2015. The premise of our 25th short story contest is "Learning". Submit a 1,000 to 5,000 word story in which one or more characters make a deliberate effort to learn something or figure something out. (The key words are "deliberate" and "effort.") The characters do not have to succeed in their effort to learn, but they have to try. Winners receive between US$60 and US$220 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 Current Contest

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
John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest (for US high school students; $10,000 in prizes; due January 5)

Intermediate Writers
American Book Awards (recognizes books that contribute to America's multicultural literary tradition; due December 31)

Advanced Writers
Griffin Prize For Excellence In Poetry (two top prizes of C$65,000 for poetry books; due December 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: Literacy in the America and the World


The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies surveyed 5,000 adults aged 16-65 in the US and 23 other participating countries in 2011-12. Key findings:

  • Those with poor literacy skills are more than twice as likely to be unemployed.
  • In nearly all countries, at least 10 percent of adults lack the most elementary computer skills.
  • Successful literacy integration of immigrants is not a matter of time but of incentives and policies that encourage language learning.
  • Those with lower skills proficiency also tend to report poorer health, less trust, and lower civic engagement.
  • The US mean literacy score was below the international average—ranking 16th out of 24 countries.
  • The difference in literacy proficiency between people with the lowest and highest education levels was greater in the US than in any of the other 23 countries.

Learn more

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Tom Laverty, Business Development Manager, BookBaby

Comics by Ali Shapiro: Least Appealing Summer Residencies

Ali Shapiro: Least Appealing Summer Residencies

The Last Word

A Long-Overdue Education in Racism: Where to Begin?
The killing of unarmed African-American men and boys by white police officers has sparked protest movements across the country, challenging us white Americans to confront our participation in a racist law enforcement system...In doing activism around the issues that affect me personally, I've gotten a glimpse of how it feels to suffer from other kinds of prejudice. I want to turn that empathy into effective action, and that starts with listening to African-American voices. So I'm using the rest of this post to recommend some of the books, websites, and Twitter feeds that are helping me begin my education in racism and racial justice. [continue at Reiter's Block]

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

Jendi Reiter