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Welcome to Our June Newsletter

We found over three dozen quality free poetry and prose contests with deadlines between June 15-July 31. View their profiles now! And see below for contests we especially recommend for writers at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced stages of their careers.

Adam Cohen

Last Call! The North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books
Deadline June 30. 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. Categories: Mainstream/Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction. Memoirs welcome. Judges: Jendi Reiter and Ellen LaFlecheSubmit online or by mail.

In this issue:
Introducing Julian Peters with his illustration of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot, part one.

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:

New Arrival Poetry
Poets new to FanStory are invited to submit an acrostic poem. $100 Visa gift card for the winner. Deadline: June 17. Two days!

Share a Story in a Poem
Write a poem that tells a story and also rhymes. Winner receives $100. Deadline: June 24.

Free Verse Poetry Contest
Submit a poem not bound by a fixed meter, rhyme scheme, or line structure. $100 for the winner. Deadline: June 30.

Haiku Poetry Contest
Submit a three-line poem that "paints" an image in the reader's mind. You may follow the traditional 5-7-5 syllable plan or a different plan. Winner takes away $100 cash. Deadline: July 7.

See all our upcoming contests...



Recent Honors and Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

Congratulations to Silvia Curbelo (featured poem: "Garden Party"), Kate Sebeny, Wendy Waters, Norbert Hirschhorn (featured poem: "The Disappeared"), Carmine Dandrea, Thelma T. Reyna, E.E. King, Rick Lupert, Cathy Bryant, Adam Phillips (featured poem: "Full Moon"), Robert Walton, Trish Hopkinson, Robert Iulo, Scott Ennis, Charlotte Mandel, Charlie Bondhus, David Kherdian, and Terri Kirby Erickson.

Winning Writers editor Jendi Reiter's new poetry collection, Bullies in Love, was favorably reviewed by Carol Smallwood at The Commonline Journal. Assistant editor Ellen LaFleche won an honorable mention in the 2015 Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize for Poetry for "Prayer for the Insanity of Grief". The contest was judged by Marilyn Chin.

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

Have news? Please email it to - 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.

"Thanks to you, I entered a contest, landed a top-shelf agent, acquired a publishing contract, and recently published a short story in a renowned mystery magazine. Bless you for your good intentions and hard work to indeed help in the success of your readers."

The 2015 Autumn House Press Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction Contests

Postmark deadline: June 30. The winner in each genre will receive book publication, a $1,000 advance against royalties, and a $1,500 travel/publicity grant to promote his or her book.

For our 2015 poetry contest, the preliminary judges are Alison Taverna and Christine Stroud, and the final judge is Dorianne Laux. For fiction, the preliminary judge is Heather Cazad, and the final judge is Sharon Dilworth. For nonfiction, the preliminary judges are Michael Simms and Heather Cazad, and the final judge is Dinty W. Moore.

Congratulations to our 2014 winners!

See our complete contest guidelines and enjoy "The Word That is a Prayer", a poem from Practicing the Truth.

Autumn House Press

The Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers

The Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers

The 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize

Deadline: July 15. In honor of its 10th anniversary, we're doubling down: The annual Rattle Poetry Prize has doubled, now offering $10,000 for a single poem to be published in the winter issue of the magazine. Ten finalists will also receive $200 each and publication, and be eligible for the $2,000 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 a runner-up Readers' Choice Award to be chosen by the writers themselves—the Rattle Poetry Prize aims to be one of the most writer-friendly and popular poetry contests around.

We accept entries online and by mail. See for the complete guidelines and to read all of the past winners. Enjoy "Waiting in Vain" by Craig van Rooyen, winner of the 2014 Rattle Poetry Prize.

Rattle Poetry Prize

Grayson Books Poetry Prize

Grayson Books

Deadline: August 15. The 2015 Grayson Books Poetry Prize is now open to submissions. This is open to all poets writing in English. Use Submittable to submit your 50-80 page manuscript electronically here.

You may also submit your work by mail with two cover pages (one with complete contact info, one with no contact info), a reading fee of $25, and SASE for results to Grayson Books, P.O. 270549, West Hartford, CT 06127.

The winner will be awarded a $1,000 prize, publication, and ten copies. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if we are notified immediately about an acceptance elsewhere. See the complete guidelines at

Mekeel McBride will judge this year's contest. Among her many poetry collections is Dog Star Delicatessen, New and Selected Poems 1970-2006.

Please enjoy "Blimps" by Robert Aquinas McNally, our 2014 winner.

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.

Donald Barthelme

On The Premises Short Story Contest (no fee)

Deadline: September 5. The premise of our 26th short story contest is "Straightforward". This contest's premise is about technique, not content. Your story can be about almost anything you like (see genre note below), but all of your story's events must be presented in chronological order.

In other words, time must move only forward in your story—NO FLASHBACKS ARE ALLOWED. (No "flash forwards" either—meaning no glimpses of the future that return the story to the present.) Start at some point in time, take us "straight forward" through the story's events, and end when it's over. Winners receive between US$60 and US$220, and publication. There is no fee to enter our contest.

GENRE NOTE: 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

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
We Said Go Travel Writing Contest. Submit 1-5 articles about your independence. "Where do you feel free and the most true version of yourself?" $500 award. Due July 4.

Intermediate Writers
GLCA New Writers Awards. Seeks first books of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Win $500 and invitation to tour the Great Lakes Colleges Association member colleges. Publisher should submit book by July 25. Early entries encouraged.

Advanced Writers
Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. C$25,000 for novels or short story collections published in Canada during the calendar year by Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. Must be submitted by publisher. Due July 29.

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: XPRIZE and Barbara Bush Foundation Set Sights on Empowering 36 Million US Adults Through Literacy


Our friends at ProLiteracy have called our attention to an exciting new competition:

XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, in partnership with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, announce the launch of the $7M Adult Literacy XPRIZE, a global competition challenging teams to develop mobile applications for adult learners that result in the greatest increase in literacy skills in just 12 months.

"A parent's literacy level is a significant predictor of their child's future educational success, influencing generations to follow," said Barbara Bush, founder of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. "As I celebrate my 90th birthday today with my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I am inspired and hopeful that this Adult Literacy XPRIZE will bring about a radical breakthrough to end the cycle of low-literacy in America and that my grandchildren will grow up in a country where education is abundant and accessible to all."

"An estimated 36 million adults in the US lack basic literacy skills, as do millions more around the world," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and CEO of XPRIZE. "Existing programs require classrooms and teachers and cannot possibly scale to meet the need of the millions of adults who need support. The Adult Literacy XPRIZE demonstrates a paradigm shift in how we approach adult learning globally, with educational applications that are effective, scalable and that can be accessed anytime, anywhere."

"In partnership with the XPRIZE Foundation and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation is excited to support the Adult Literacy XPRIZE to help propel adult education into the 21st century and beyond. This initiative helps create smart, mobile solutions that take learners further and faster than they thought possible," said Denine Torr, Dollar General's director of community initiatives.

The $4M Grand Prize will be awarded to the team with the best performance across all adult learners, over the 12-month field test. Bonus Prizes of $500,000 will also be awarded to the two teams with the best performance in each of the two key demographic groups: native English speakers and non-native English speakers.

Following the awarding of the Grand Prize and Bonus Prizes, cities across the US will compete to encourage their adult learners to download and use the winning applications, using tailored education, marketing and outreach campaigns. A $1M purse will be split among all finalist teams that meet the minimum performance benchmark to advance to the Cities Competition. A $1M prize will be awarded to the city that encourages the greatest percentage of its adult learners to download and use any of the finalist solutions over a six-month period.

For more information, and to register your intent to compete, visit

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-Tom Laverty, Business Development Manager, BookBaby

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

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

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

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

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

The Last Word

It's the Real Thing: "Mad Men" and the Art of Sincerity
"The impulse to produce something worldly, even commercial, out of your moment of enlightenment doesn’t mean that enlightenment wasn't genuine. And on the flip side, boundary-less emotionalism and flamboyant devotion to spiritual practice can also be a mask for egotism, passive-aggressive power, and seduction." [continue at Reiter's Block]

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

Jendi Reiter