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Welcome to Our August Newsletter

We found almost three dozen quality free poetry and prose contests with deadlines between August 15-September 30. View their profiles now! See below for contests we especially recommend for writers at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced stages of their careers, and a large selection of calls for submissions.

Cathy Bryant

Congratulations to Cathy Bryant, winner of our 2015 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. Jendi Reiter and Lauren Singer judged Bryant's poem, "Sexual Positions for Those No Longer Young", to be the best of 4,436 entries. We also congratulate runner-up Susan White for "English Teacher's Daughter". The number of great poems motivated us to award a total of $2,450, more than we planned. Read all the winning entries and the judges' comments. Read the press release. Our 2016 contest is now open for entries. As always, this contest has no fee.

Deadline September 30:
Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

We will award $4,000 in prizes. The entry fee is $10 per poem. Ellaraine Lockie will judge. Submit poems in modern and traditional styles, up to 250 lines each. Previously published work accepted. See last year's winners and enter here.

In this issue:
Julian Peters illustrates "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot, part three.

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

Featured Sponsor: Get Feedback For Your Writing at

Get detailed feedback for every poem, short story, and book chapter that you write. Enter contests with cash prizes. Over 50 contests to choose from every month! Contests are always free to paid members. Participate for cash prizes. Click here to learn more.

Contests open now:

New Arrival Story
Writers new to FanStory are invited to submit a story that starts with the sentence, "Hell found me." Winner receives $100 cash. Deadline: August 20.

ABC Poetry Contest
The initial letters in the first four lines of ABC poems follow the order of the alphabet. The last line begins with any letter. $100 to the winner. Deadline: August 27.

Lune Poetry Contest
A lune has 5 syllables in its first line, 3 in the second, and five in the final line. Rhymes are optional. The winner takes away $100. Deadline: September 2.

Blank Verse Poetry Contest
Blank verse lacks rhyme but has a metrical pattern, usually iambic pentameter. Cash prize of $100 for the winner. Deadline: September 9.

See all our upcoming contests...



Recent Honors and Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

Congratulations to Bracha Nechama Bomze, Diana Anhalt (featured poem: "Dress Rehearsal"), Robert Morgan Fisher, Linda Heuring, David W. Berner, John A. Brennan, Christine Benedict, Barbara Brockway, Janet Ruth Heller, Ruth Hill, Elizabet Stevens, James Osborne, Robin Coste Lewis, Susan Tepper, and Charlie Bondhus.

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest judge Ellaraine Lockie's latest poetry chapbook, Where the Meadowlark Sings (Encircle Publications, 2015), was favorably reviewed by Sarah W. Bartlett at Mom Egg Review. Bartlett writes, "I deeply appreciate the voice of this collection of poems. Not only do they paint a vivid picture of Big Sky country, where I have visited in awe of its spaciousness and grandeur. They also portray an intimate portrait of lives lived big and bold as the space they occupy...The scope of her topics is as sweeping as the endless prairie and as particular as the mouse skeleton in the cabin wall. She brings the reader with her into memory and leaves us rich with details of home, its soil still clinging to the roots."

WW editor Jendi Reiter reprints two poems by Arthur Powers on her blog, "Nauvoo To Bishop Hill" and "Sunday Afternoon/Missouri". Mr. Powers is the final judge of our Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest.

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

Have news? Please email it to

Fall Programs at the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center

92Y Unterberg Poetry Center - 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

Lori by Charlene Wexler - Just $2.99 at Amazon

Lori by Charlene Wexler

FundsforWriters - Subscribe Free


Under the hand of C. Hope Clark, FundsforWriters is a motivational and informational Friday newsletter devoured by over 30,000 readers. From markets to grants, crowdfunding to publishing, FFW leads writers to success.

"You gave me the little hints, the confidence that it could be done, and so many other small but important nuggets to push on and finish my book."

Gulf Coast: The Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

Deadline: August 31. Gulf Coast is now accepting entries for the 2015 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose. The contest is open to pieces of prose poetry, flash fiction, and micro-essays of 500 words or fewer. Steve Almond will judge. Submit online or by mail. Click for the complete guidelines.

Established in 2008, the contest awards its winner $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions will also appear in issue 28.2, due out in April 2016, and all entries will be considered for paid publication on our website as Online Exclusives. The entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast.

Please enjoy "The Compartment" by Josie Sigler, the winning entry from our 2012 contest, selected by Ander Monson.

Donald Barthelme

Snake Nation Press: Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry and Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award

Deadline: August 31. Submit electronically or by mail. We congratulate the winner of our 2014 Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award, Misty Urban of Findlay, IL, for her manuscript A Lesson in Manners, chosen by Jacob Appel. The winner of our 2014 Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry is John Paul O'Connor of Franklin, NY, for his manuscript Half the Truth, chosen by Tania Rochelle. Read the judges' comments.

Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry

  • $1,000 award and publication
  • Entry fee: $25
  • Submit a manuscript of up to 75-100 pages
  • Previously published works may be entered

Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award

  • $1,000 award and publication
  • Entry fee: $25
  • Submit a novella of up to 50,000 words or a manuscript of short stories of up to 200 pages
  • Any well-written manuscript on any topic will be considered
  • Previously published works may be entered
Snake Nation Press

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
Library Journal's Self-Published E-book Awards. Win $1,000 prizes in each of four genres: Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. Due August 31.

Intermediate Writers
Hudson Review Short Story Contest. $500 award for short fiction. Due September 1.

Advanced Writers
Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship. US poets can win $54,000 for a year of travel outside North America. Due October 15.

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 for Social Change


We believe that the abilities to read, write, and perform basic math are human rights, fundamental to other learning and to being successful in today's world. Yet nearly 800 million adults—one in five adults worldwide—lack basic literacy skills. Literacy for Social Change integrates learning and community improvement by teaching basic literacy skills along with critical thinking and cultural expression for individual and community action.

The resources available at ProLiteracy will help you understand the role adult literacy plays in many social change efforts. You can learn how to support literacy and social change initiatives around the world, in your region, and in your community.

Action Areas

  • Children's Education
  • Economic Self-Reliance
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Human Rights and the Status of Women
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution

Learn more at ProLiteracy.

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Julian Peters: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot (part three)

Julian Peters: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot (part three)

Julian Peters: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot (part three)

Julian Peters: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot (part three)

To be continued in our September 15 newsletter. See the previous installment in our July 15 newsletter. See the text of the poem at Poetry magazine. See more comics by Julian Peters.

The Last Word

Content Warnings and Disability Activism
My recent drift away from organized religion owes at least as much to religion's assumption of neurotypicality as to any doctrinal mismatches. Because of the great diversity of mind-body types and life experiences, the "universal" religious value-system that brings one person into balance tips another person further off. For instance, a depressed, dissociated person may sink deeper into that condition by following the Buddhist/New Age prescription to dis-identify with your desires and feelings, while the same advice may be a healthy corrective for someone who's driven by out-of-control cravings. That's not a problem if you know who you are and what you need. But every religion tends to shore up its authority by assuming that the type of person who is most helped by its prescriptions is the only real or preferable type that exists.

[continue at Reiter's Block]

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

Jendi Reiter