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Best Writing Contests 2021 - 2022, recommended by Reedsy

Q1 2023 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Summer 2022 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q4 2022 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Spring 2022 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q3 2022 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Winter 2022 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q2 2022 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Summer 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q1 2022 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest


Summer 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Spring 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners


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A Word After a Word After a Word is Power. -  Margaret Atwood

FLASH FICTION CONTEST

    WINTER FLASH FICTION CONTEST WITH GUEST JUDGE LITERARY AGENT EMILY FORNEY

Do you need some writing inspiration? Contests are a great way to spark your creativity, and you may even win a prize! Get your best work together and consider entering the WOW! quarterly flash fiction contest with guest judge Emily Forney, literary agent with BookEnds Literary Agency. Stop by the contest page, download the pdf guidelines, and read all about Emily’s preferences. The Winter Contest is open to all genres of fiction between 250 - 750 words. Only 300 stories are accepted, so enter early to ensure your spot in the contest. Over $1350 in cash prizes. Deadline: February 28, 2023. MORE >>

     

CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

    CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

WOW! is proud to introduce our newest essay contest! Writers have been asking us to host an essay contest for many years, and we’ve finally listened. The mission of this essay contest is to inspire creative nonfiction and provide well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. Your story must be true, but the way you tell it is your chance to get creative. We are open to all styles of essay—from personal essay to lyric essay to hybrid essay, and beyond! Word Count: 200 – 1,000 words. Only 300 essays are accepted, so enter early to ensure your spot in the contest. 1st Place: $500. Deadline: January 31, 2023. MORE >>

     

WRITING WORKSHOPS & ONLINE CLASSES

    WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING CLASSROOM

Whether you are looking to boost your income or work on your craft, we know that education is an important part of a writer’s career. That’s why WOW! handpicks qualified instructors and targeted classes that women writers will benefit from. Visit the classroom page and check out our current line up of workshops: creative nonfiction, personal essay, memoir, young adult, narrative structures, screenwriting, playwriting, ghostwriting, poetry writing, travel writing and more. MORE >>

     

FEATURED ARTICLES

  ON SUBMISSION BROOKE WARNER, PUBLISHER OF SHE WRITES PRESS

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to find a publisher for my memoir manuscript. While I continue querying agents, I’m also researching other routes to publication to possibly add to my outreach this year. I’m therefore excited to welcome our next guest, Publisher of She Writes Press, Brooke Warner! I chat with Brooke about a “third way” for writers to get published, and the importance of green-lighting our work. Interview by Ann Kathryn Kelly. MORE >>

     
  HOW TO APPROPRIATELY WRITE RACE AND ETHNICITY IN FICTION

Every primary character deserves a description, including, but not limited to, their skin tone, superficial features, cultural background, and of course, their personality traits. Often, race and ethnicity are ignored or hard to work into the descriptions and can cause writers anxiety and worry over doing it correctly. So, the often unintended mistake of skipping description of ethnic details perpetuates the idea that white characters are the default unless explained otherwise. MORE >>

     
  ON SUBMISSION WITH SARAH ELAINE HAWKINSON, EDITOR OF SASEE MAGAZINE

Want to start the New Year on a high note by landing a paid byline at a prestigious women’s magazine? Find out how by reading our interview with the creative and talented Sarah Elaine Hawkinson, the editor of Sasee Magazine. Sasee welcomes editorial submissions from freelance writers. They’re seeking new, unpublished, first-person, non-fiction material that is for or about women. Essays, humor, satire, personal experience, and features on topics relating to women are their primary editorial focus. Interview by Ashley Memory. MORE >>

     
  HOW EVERY PROTAGONIST IS A SUPERHERO

Every protagonist is a superhero. Even if you’re writing an adult romance, you can apply the guidelines of creating a great superhero to your story’s main character. You can accomplish this by remembering the key aspects of any cape-wearing or super-powered good guy. By author Shelly X. Leonn. MORE >>

     
  FACEBOOK AND AMAZON ADS: LEARN A PROVEN METHOD FOR AUTHORS WITH MATTHEW J. HOLMES

Lori Holmes is an international bestselling author of metaphysical fantasy books. She is also a self-published author. When she made the choice to become an indie author, her husband, Matthew (Matt), decided he would help her with her advertising while he also took care of their twins. Fast forward a few years, and now Matt Holmes is not only running successful ad campaigns on both Amazon and Facebook for his wife’s books, but he is also teaching other authors his system in his courses. MORE >>

     
  ON SUBMISSION WITH OFF TOPIC PUBLISHING

Off Topic Publishing offers a monthly contest that cycles between fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; a monthly poetry box; chapbook and anthology publishing; writers conferences and retreats; an active community and more. Lindsey Harrington interviews editor-in-chief Marion Lougheed about how Off Topic started and their various initiatives, what their editors are seeking in submissions, and much more! MORE >>

     
  BUT IT REALLY HAPPENED THAT WAY: TIPS FOR BLENDING REAL LIFE INTO FICTION

Maybe you’ve heard this before at a writing workshop—or possibly said it yourself: But it really happened that way! The truth is stranger than fiction, or so the saying goes. There are some things we’d simply never believe if we encountered them in a novel. But what if you’re trying to write what you know and basing a story on a real-life event? What happens when that fails? Is there a way to salvage the piece? Or better still, could you weave real-life details into fiction in a way that would enhance and elevate the story? Even if you aren’t writing from real life, the techniques below can help you enrich your fictional worlds and draw your readers into your stories. By Charity Tahmaseb. MORE >>

     
  DON’T WAIT FOR LUCK: SOPHIE POLDERMANS SHARES HOW TO CREATE MOMENTUM ON A TOPIC

The work of Dutch author Sophie Poldermans has taken off against this background of long-overdue and international appetite for the female account of war. Her book, Seducing and Killing Nazis, relays the duties carried out by three Dutch women, all teenagers at the outbreak of World War II. Rosie MacLeod interviews Sophie about how she managed to take an overlooked chapter of history and turn it into a best seller on many book lists, garner top tier publications, and land a Tedx Talk. MORE >>

     
  IN CONVERSATION WITH KATHY FISH

When I think about the art of flash writing, one name immediately springs to my mind—and I bet many of you, especially fans of evocative, memorable flash, will be familiar with Kathy Fish! Ann Kathryn Kelly interviews Kathy about the art of writing flash fiction, Kath’s flash collections, and her popular flash workshops. MORE >>

     
  THE ONE-TWO PUNCH STORY OPENING

Most techniques for opening a story, also known as narrative hooks, focus on the first line of the story. The idea behind most narrative hooks is that the first line should be so interesting that it makes your reader want to read the second sentence, which then makes them want to read the next, until they have read the entire first page. This is a technique I'm calling The One-Two Punch Story Opening. By Madison Estes. MORE >>

     
  FROM JOURNALIST TO NOVELIST: CRAFTING CHARACTERS WITH THE 5 WS AND AN H

For decades, journalists have relied on a basic formula to build the foundations of their stories: the five Ws and an H, or Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Novelists can use these same building-block questions to construct three-dimensional characters who live and breathe in readers' minds. Author Ekta Garg shows you how! MORE >>

     
  WORLDBUILD LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST

There’s nothing more exciting or daunting than crafting a fascinating science fiction or fantasy world from scratch. By its very purpose, there are countless parts to build and get lost in. The prospect can feel too overwhelming to dive too deep beyond the needs of the plot or characters, but it is in those details where the world truly comes alive. I like to call worldbuilding fictional anthropology. By Shana Scott. MORE >>

     
  ON SUBMISSION WITH LISA DUFF OF RIVERCLIFF BOOKS & MEDIA

Ashley Memory interviews groundbreaking entrepreneur, publisher, and editor Lisa Duff, who established Wetware Media, a non-fiction audiobook publishing company that’s published over 150 audiobooks. Lisa also started Rivercliff Books & Media, a literary imprint of Wetware Media, and PenDust Radio, a podcast of short fiction and nonfiction. Lisa’s companies celebrate voice in both the written and spoken word. Find out what they’re looking for and how to submit! MORE >>

     
  PERSEVERANCE AND STRENGTH: HOW AUTHOR DANICA DAVIDSON WORKED WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, EVA MOZES KOR, TO PUBLISH HER STORY

Danica Davidson, the author of eighteen books for kids and teens, talks about writing her new children’s book, I Will Protect You: A True Story of Twins Who Survived Auschwitz (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2022). Danica shares how she got connected with Eva Mozes Kor, one of the twin sisters who survived Nazi experimentation during the Holocaust, wrote the book in a child’s point-of-view, and saw the book through to publication after so many rejections. MORE >>

     
  HOW TO HAVE THE RIGHT VOICE FOR MIDDLE GRADE

Danica Davidson shows you how to write in a child’s voice. Learn about vocabulary choices, how to write authentically and child-friendly, and some common mistakes to look out for. MORE >>

     
  ISOLATED VOCALS: WRITING DIALOGUE, SPEECHES, AND AUDIO SCRIPTS

In this article, complete with audio interviews, crime author Angela Clarke shares her tips for writing dialogue in fiction and using it for characterization. Dr. Sara Lodge, who worked as a speechwriter to the late Kofi Annan, talks about crafting speeches for others and identifying the nuances and characteristics of the target voice. Rosie MacLeod shares advice for scripting radio and podcast episodes. MORE >>

     
  ON WRITING AND COMMUNITY: YA AUTHOR JC PETERSON

In this author interview, JC Peterson shares how she balanced her family and COVID along with writing, and what she learned while crafting her young adult novel, Being Mary Bennet, which earned her a spot in the popular mentorship program, Pitch Wars. After completing the program, JC sold Being Mary Bennet in a two-book deal to HarperTeen, with the first release in March 2022 and the companion novel slated for winter 2023. JC also shares the marketing tips she’s discovered along the way and the answers our multitude of questions about the characters and world inside of her book. MORE >>

     
  3 WAYS TO BECOME A BETTER PODCAST GUEST

Podcasts offer a unique opportunity for you, as an author, to share your story, experiences, and expertise with an entirely new audience you may not have reached otherwise. Nicole Pyles talked with a variety of podcast hosts and other experts on what makes an author a great guest. You’d be surprised by how many podcast doors will open for you by following these simple tips. MORE >>

     
  WE CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THIS: CHELSEY CLAMMER ON ESSAY WRITING, TRAUMA, RESILIENCY, AND HER THIRD ESSAY COLLECTION, HUMAN HEARTBEAT DETECTED

Chelsey Clammer’s third essay collection, Human Heartbeat Detected, published by Red Hen Press, looks at how humans are both beautiful and terrible to one another. In this interview, we chat with Chelsey about creating an essay collection, the themes in her book, structuring lyric essays, how to write about people in your life, her teaching style, submitting to journals, and so much more. MORE >>

     
  NEVER TOO LATE: HELENA RHO TALKS ABOUT HER MEMOIR AMERICAN SOUL AND WRITING AS A WAY TO MOVE FORWARD IN LIFE

“Fierce” is a word that springs to mind when describing American Seoul. Helena Rho does not back down when faced with daunting situations, which includes telling readers how those events felt impossible to confront in the moment. One of the memoir’s most inspiring qualities is that it grew from Helena’s decision to leave a successful career as a pediatrician to write, which we chat about below. Read on to find out how Helena pushed through self-doubt to “write like your life depends on it ... because how and what you write will exist long after the haters and naysayers are gone.” MORE >>

     
  ON SUBMISSION WITH RED HEN PRESS DEPUTY DIRECTOR TOBI HARPER

In this month’s column, Ann Kathryn Kelly interviews Tobi Harper, Deputy Director at Red Hen Press and founding editor of Quill, a Red Hen Press imprint that publishes queer literature. Tobi is also the publisher of the Los Angeles Review literary journal. Tobi says that Red Hen Press is “looking for deep, wild stories we’ve never seen before. Stories so authentic and vividly described that your skin prickles. There are plenty of books that 100,000 people might like. We want the books that 10,000 people will absolutely love.” Read on to find out what they’re looking for in book-length submissions, information on Red Hen and LAR contests, what it’s like to work with an independent press, and more. MORE >>

     
  PASSION AND PERSEVERANCE PAVED THE WAY FOR AWARD-WINNING WRITER AND POET RUTH MOOSE

At the age of 75, Ruth won the Malice Domestic 2013 Prize for best first traditional mystery novel for her book, Doing It at the Dixie Dew, which was published by Minotaur Books (St. Martin’s Press), the same press that published her follow-up book, Wedding Bell Blues. Writing novels is the crowning touch to a career as a short story writer, poet, newspaper columnist, librarian, editor, and creative writing teacher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She’s published five collections of short stories, including her latest, The Goings on at Glen Arbor Acres, released in May 2022. Join Ashley Memory as she chats with Ruth Moose who shares her “Rule of the 4 P’s” plenty of writing tips, and her secret to continually generating new work at the age of 83! MORE >>

     
  ON SUBMISSION WITH UNDER THE SUN EDITOR CINDY BRADLEY

Under the Sun literary magazine is seeking creative nonfiction under 5,000 words. I sat down with associate editor Cindy Bradley, who is actually a long-time WOW subscriber, and a talented writer. We chatted about Under the Sun’s editorial process, the creative nonfiction genre, what their editors look for in submissions, why their essays win notables in Best American Essays every year, and their Summer Writing Contest, which opens July 1st! Interview by Angela Mackintosh. MORE >>

     
  DANGER AROUND THE CORNER: A DISCUSSION WITH TRUE CRIME AUTHOR LESLIE RULE

In 2020, Leslie Rule published A Tangled Web (Citadel), now out in paperback, about a case featuring a female murderer who utilized an almost unprecedented means of digital deception in order to mislead and antagonize the victim’s loved ones. She and I discussed our interest in true crime, advice for writers interested in the genre, our shared love of author Lois Duncan, and why she decided to write A Tangled Web. Interview by Renee Roberson. MORE >>

     
  ON SUBMISSION WITH HEALTHLINE MEDIA EDITOR ELINOR HILLS

This month we were delighted to interview my friend and editor Elinor Hills at Healthline Media, the #1 health information property in the U.S. (according to Comscore U.S. Media Metrix/Multi-platform, Key Measures 2020). Elinor works on the Bezzy Brand, Healthline’s new multimedia site dedicated to people living with a chronic condition. Not only is this new site a wonderful way to build your platform and meet terrific editors like Elinor, it’s a paying market! MORE >>

     
  SOMETIMES LOVE IS FUNNY: AUTHOR DENISE WILLIAMS CHATS ABOUT ROMANCE WRITING, CREATIVITY, AND BODY POSITIVITY

Author Denise Williams is an inspiration. Her second novel, The Fastest Way to Fall (2021), has been lauded as a triumph in its handling of the rarely seen theme of body positivity, but it is also a well written rom-com, adult contemporary romance that can stand on its own with all the elements that any avid romance book reader would hope to find. WOW! was able to speak with Ms. Williams amidst a busy book release schedule about the craft of romance writing, creativity, body positivity, querying agents, and more.  MORE >>

     
  HOW TO ROCK IN A DIFFERENT GENRE

Writers are told to specialize, which makes sense. Producing quality work in one genre consistently builds a brand, so readers know what to expect. It’s easier to sell our work, whether we are pitching to agents and editors or self-publishing. The journey becomes more challenging if we want to create something different from what readers anticipate. However, it’s possible to write amazing books and screenplays in a variety of genres. Stretching our creative muscles this way also helps us craft more engaging work in our main genres. Pinar Tarhan chats with eight accomplished multi-genre authors—Lucy V. Hay, Daniella Levy, Fiona Leitch, Carmen Radtke, Julie Clark, Karien van Ditzhuijzen, Helen Black, and Leigh Camacho Rourks—about how they pull it off, from the initial inspiration to write different genres to pitching and promotion.  MORE >>

     
  GETTING PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES' MODERN LOVE COLUMN: INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTIE TATE

To be published in The New York Times is a dream of many writers. For Christie Tate, it became a reality. She soon found out that writing success is not all literary agents and accolades! Kelly Eden interviews Christie Tate about her experience being published in Modern Love, hate mail, her new book, and advice for emerging writers. MORE >>

     
  WELTER: SEEKING POETRY, FICTION, CNF, AND ART

It’s soon to be April, which means National Poetry Month is around the corner. Welter’s respected profile of championing beautiful writing and visual art in both print and online has been going strong for 57 years! WOW interviews Betsy Boyd, Editor-in-Chief and a professor and class advisor to the University of Baltimore MFA students who produce the journal, and Micaela Walley, Poetry Editor, about what they’s seeking in submissions. MORE >>

     
  WRITING IN DEEP POINT OF VIEW: AN INTERVIEW WITH LISA HALL-WILSON

Deep POV is a way of writing your story, where readers are inside the characters’ minds and can feel the emotions through their thoughts and reactions in real time. Frustrated with the information available in writing craft books on writing deep POV, Lisa Hall-Wilson spent years learning as much as she could about this technique. Her book, Method Acting for Writers, was the result of her teaching deep POV online for the past few years. Michelle Cornish interviews Lisa about how writers can use deep POV in their own writing. MORE >>

     
     
  SUMMER 2022 FLASH FICTION WINNERS

The results are in! After careful deliberation our honorable guest judge, literary agent Amy Elizabeth Bishop with DG&B Literary Agency, has made her final decisions. Read the winning stories of the 750 words or less Summer 2022 Flash Fiction Competition. MORE >>

     
  Q1 2023 CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS

Check out the results of our latest essay contest! Read the winning essays of the 1,000 words or less Q1 2023 Essay Competition. MORE >>

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On Submission with Brooke Warner, Publisher of She Writes Press
How to Appropriately Write Race and Ethnicity in Fiction
On Submission with Sarah Elaine Hawkinson, Editor of Sasee Magazine
Every Protagonist is a Superhero
Facebook and Amazon Ads for Authors: Interview with Matthew J. Holmes
On Submission with Off Topic Publishing
Tips for Blending Real Life into Fiction
Sophie Poldermans Shares How to Create Momentum on a Book Topic
Award-winning flash fiction teacher Kathy Fish
The One-Two Punch Story Opening
From Journalist to Novelist
Worldbuild Like an Anthropologist
On Submission with Lisa Duff of Rivercliff Books and Media
I Will Protect You by Danica Davidson
I Will Protect You by Danica Davidson
Isolated Vocals - Writing Dialogue, Speeches, and Audio Scripts
On Writing and Community: JC Peterson, Author of the YA Novel, Being Mary Bennet
3 Ways to Become a Better Podcast Guest
We Can Make It Through This: Chelsey Clammer on Her Third Essay Collection, Human Heartbeat Detected
Never Too Late: Helena Rho Talks About Her Memoir American Seoul
On Submission with Red Hen Press Deputy Director Tobi Harper
Teacher, Author, Poet Ruth Moose
On Submission with Under the Sun literary magazine
Danger Around the Corner: A Discussion with True Crime Author Leslie Rule
On Submission with Healthline Media and Bezzy Editor Elinor Hills
Sometimes Love is Funny: Author Denise Williams Chats About Romance Writing, Creativity and Body Positivity
How to Rock in a Different Genre
On Submission with Welter: Editors Betsy Boyd and Micaela Walley
On Submission with Welter: Editors Betsy Boyd and Micaela Walley
25 Years of Journaling for the Health of It: Chatting with Mari L. McCarthy, founder of CreateWriteNow
Creating Choice: What I Learned from Conversations with Bestselling Authors and Working Writers
Writing in Deep POV with Lisa Hall-Wilson
Interview with Christy O'Callaghan, managing editor of Barzakh Magazine
The Book Bible by Susan Shapiro
A Bold Voice, a First Draft Manuscript in One Month, and the Inspiration to SLAY: An Interview with Brittney Morris
Craft from Inside a Literary Journal with Emily Everett of The Common
KB Carle, editor with Fractured Lit, a paying flash fiction market
Jo Varnish, CNF Editor of X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine
 
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