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Welcome to Our March Newsletter

We found 40+ quality free poetry and prose contests with deadlines between March 15-April 30. View their profiles now!

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

14th Annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (no fee)
Top prize $1,000. Ten Honorable Mentions of $100 each. Winning entries published online. Accepts published and unpublished work. Final judge: Jendi ReiterEnter for free by April 1.

23rd Annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest
Two top prizes of $1,500 each. 10 Honorable Mentions of $100 each. Winning entries published online. Accepts published and unpublished work. Fee: $16 per entry. Final judge: Arthur Powers, author of A Hero for the People (Press 53, 2013) and The Book of Jotham (Tuscany Press), which won the 2012 Tuscany Press Novella Award. Submit online by April 30.

New! The North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books
Three top 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. Judges: Jendi Reiter and Ellen LaFlecheSubmit online or by mail by June 30.

In this issue:
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost, illustrated by Gavin Aung Than

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

Recent Honors and Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

Congratulations  to Jeff Walt, Dawn Schout (featured poem: "The Side of the Road"), Gil Fagiani (featured poem: "The Weeds"), Elizabeth Varadan, Charlotte Mandel, Tom Taylor, Dianna Mackinnon Henning, Charlie Bondhus, Trish Hopkinson, E.C. (Gene) Ayres, Tricia McCallum, Billy D. Mitchell, Marla Alupoaicei, Lesléa Newman, Ruth Hill, and Tim Kimbirk.

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

Have news? Please email it to

Download Carla King’s Self-Publishing Boot Camp eBook Free from BookBaby

Download Carla King’s Self-Publishing Boot Camp eBook Free from BookBaby

Strange Angels by William Pitt Root

Order now from Wings Press or Amazon

Praise for Strange Angels

"Root's voice is a gift of passion containing whole landscapes, legacies. His voice is sinew, blood, and bone—the well-muscled body carrying light."
Naomi Shihab Nye, poet

"Celebrating a whole life in free-wheeling, big-hearted poems with their tenderness, wildness, and tough grace, William Pitt Root's Strange Angels is a collection to revel in and honor."
Ann Fisher-Wirth, author of Dream Cabinet; editor of The Ecopoetry Anthology

"Root's new book, Strange Angels, is a word feast from one of America's great lyricists. And he remains for me the foremost voice of [his] generation. Nothing is alien to him; even the desert beckons in these poems, and his own aging is a source of wonder and magic."
Paul Christensen, author of Strangers in Paradise

"Root's unforgettable voice sings from the edge of the Everglades to America's great Southwest. A widely traveled man of the world who cares deeply for all its inhabitants, Root sows his poems of our West like rain in the desert. Strange Angels is a remarkable continuation of one of America's strongest poetic voices."
Doug Peacock, author of Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness

"The 'Strange Angels' of William Pitt Root take flight with pinions fashioned of fire, water, earth, and air. His work is profoundly elemental; every encounter with others, nature, the word, every 'conjunction of my shadow and yours', occurs like a visitation. Root gives to us an angel that has eaten of the tree of knowledge and speaks with the wisdom of one who knows 'all of us are walking upon the waters under the earth.'"
Rebecca Seiferle, author of The Music We Dance To and Bitters

Click to enjoy a sample poem, "Calling the World to Order".

Strange Angels by William Pitt Root - 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

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.

"I entered a contest you referenced and won first place! It was a tough competition and this experience empowered me! Thank you so much for the encouragement and resources." ~Dorit Sasson, Giving Voice to Your Story

Nimrod International Journal's Literary Awards for Fiction and Poetry

Deadline: April 30. It's time to enter the 37th annual Nimrod Literary Awards: The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. The Awards offer first prizes of $2,000 and publication, and second prizes of $1,000 and publication. One of the oldest "little magazines" in the country, Nimrod has continually published new and extraordinary writers since 1956.

Winners will also be brought to Tulsa for the Awards Ceremony in October. All finalists will be considered for publication. For complete rules, visit Nimrod's website:

  • Poetry: 3-10 pages of poetry (one long poem or several short poems)
  • Fiction: 7,500 words maximum (one short story or a self-contained excerpt from a novel)
  • Fee Per Entry: $20 payable to Nimrod, includes a one-year subscription (two issues)

Learn more and read "Fukushima, March 11, 2011" by Lynn Shoemaker, the 2nd-prize poem in our 2013 contest...

Nimrod International Journal

Tupelo Press: Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry

Tupelo Press: Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry

Deadline: April 30. The Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry includes a cash award of $3,000 in addition to publication by Tupelo Press, 20 copies of the winning title, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. We suggest submitting a manuscript of 48 to 88 pages of poems, but all manuscripts will be read and considered with full respect, regardless of length.

Manuscripts are judged anonymously and all finalists will be considered for publication. Final Judge: Carol Frost. Results will be announced in late July 2015.

Learn more and read "March" by Ye Chun, winner of our 2011 contest...

Dancing Poetry Festival Contest

Dancing Poetry Festival

Deadline: May 15. Three Grand Prizes will receive $100 each plus their poems will be danced and filmed. Many smaller prizes. All winners will be invited to read at our 22nd Festival at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, September 19, 2015. Each Grand Prize winner will be invited onstage for photo ops with the dancers and a bow in the limelight.

Winning poems have ranged from the travels of Matisse to a Picasso painting, falling leaves, love, Iraq, China, history, dance, current events, reverie, socially significant situations, and even some humor sprinkled here and there. Please don't feel constrained to write a poem about dancing.

Learn more and enjoy "Crone's Pantoum" by Andrea Bates, a 2013 Grand Prize winner...

The Backwaters Prize

Deadline May 31. The Backwaters Prize is an annual award, opening on April 1 to all poets working in the English language, given to the author of the best submitted manuscript of original poems. The prize is $1,000 cash and publication of the winning manuscript. Our judge this year is Heid Erdrich. We adhere to the CLMP code of ethics for administering a literary contest. Submit online through Submittable.

We congratulate our 2014 winner, Katharine Whitcomb, for her winning manuscript, The Daughter's Almanac. Final judge Patricia Smith chose her manuscript from more than 200 submissions. Katharine's book will be published in September 2015. Please enjoy a sample poem, "Vox".

The Backwaters 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
Stony Brook Short Fiction Prize (for college students in the US and Canada; due April 1)

Intermediate Writers
James Laughlin Award ($5,000 prize and extensive promotion from the Academy of American Poets for a poet's second book that is under contract to a US publisher and forthcoming in 2016; due May 15)

Advanced Writers
George W. Hunt Writing Prize ($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: The Most Extensive Resource for Literacy Programs Nationwide


ProLiteracy has teamed up with other national literacy organizations to create a database of literacy providers throughout the US—so that finding a local literacy program is easier than ever before.

Find out more about our National Literacy Directory.

ProLiteracy, with some of our key partners, maintains and supports a variety of referral programs to connect people in need of basic reading, writing, math, computer, and English-language skills with the programs and services that can best help them. These referral programs also connect people interested in becoming volunteer tutors with local literacy programs. Volunteers are critical to programs around the nation, helping to reduce waiting lists and increasing capacity.

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"Winning Writers has been providing a valuable service to the writing community for over ten years. The listings for contests and publications are always inspiring and professional. To build community, they support writers' successes in a special section that highlights their subscribers' recent publications. As an advertiser, their support is top-notch. Responsive and creative, they service their advertisers with copy and design assistance. Overall, a great site, and a great service!"
Joan Gelfand, award-winning author of three poetry collections and the forthcoming novel, Fear to Shred (Incanto Press)

Zen Pencils: Gavin Aung Than Presents "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

Gavin Aung Than Presents "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

The Last Word

The Spiritual Gift Shop; or, Living in Syncretism
"Lent can be a time when we shame ourselves and further split off the shadow side of our psyche. Or it can be a hopeful movement into the liminal space where we have to trust God more than our ideas about God. This year, I'm giving up doubting my intuition for Lent." [continue at Reiter's Block]

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

Jendi Reiter