Tag: contests

Giveaway Contest: Week 3!

UPDATE: Congratulations to David Friedli, the winner of our Week 3 contest!

This week’s contest is open to everyone! Did you know we offer critiques of up to 10 pages of your manuscript? What would you be most interested in learning from a critique?

Submit your answer before June 16 by

  • commenting on this post,
  • sending a comment to W2I’s contact email (info.write2ignite@gmail.com), or

We’ll draw from the comments submitted and announce the winner for Week 3 on June 18! 

Reminder: Don’t forget to check the guidelines for the “Faith and Freedom” writing contest cosponsored by EA Books Publishing and W2I. That contest is open to both adults and students attending W2I on September 21–22. The deadline for submissions is August 20! Winners of the “Faith and Freedom” contest will be announced at the W2I conference on September 22. 

Smiling man writing on paper in a grassy field

Where to Submit Short Stories

Last week, we suggested three ways to celebrate Short Story Month. Maybe (we hope!) you’ve started writing your own short stories. Great! Now what? This week, we’d like to help you find places to submit short stories.


Whether you’re just starting to write short stories or have a cache of completed manuscripts, there’s a contest for you! The following list is only a sample of available contests. Follow the links to find more details and see whether one of these contests is a good fit. If not, try a quick online search to find other competitions.

  • Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction: The contest associated with this award was “established to encourage gifted emerging writers by bringing their work to a national readership.” The annual contest is open to published and unpublished writers who can submit “collections of short fiction.” The winner will receive $1,000, and the winning collection will be “published by the University of Georgia Press under a standard book contract.” Manuscripts may be submitted through 5:00 PM on May 31, 2018.
  • Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition: Up for a challenge? This contest, which awards prize money and publication, has an unusual twist: submitted stories must have “opening and closing lines . . . from a classic work of literature.” (Contest staff have already chosen the lines that writers must use.) Both winners and runners-up will receive awards. Submissions are accepted until 12:00 PM (PST) on June 4, 2018.
  • John Steinbeck Award for Fiction: Offered by Reed Magazine, this award is “for a work of fiction up to 5,000 words.” A prize of $1,000 will be given to the winner. Submissions are accepted from June 1 to November 1, 2018.
  • James Knudsen Prize for Fiction: Offered by Bayou Magazine, which publishes “exceptional, exciting work by both established and emerging writers,” this prize will be awarded for an “original, previously unpublished work of fiction, no longer than 7,500 words.” The winner will receive $1,000 and a year’s subscription to Bayou Magazine. Submissions are accepted from October 1, 2018, to January 1, 2019.

Interested in a contest but can’t submit your work by the contest’s deadline? Don’t give up yet! Some contests (like the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction) are held annually. Check the details about the contest you’re interested in, and use the extra time to finish polishing your manuscript and write new ones. You’ll be ready for next year!


Eager to publish your work? There are magazines online and in print that accept short stories. With some persistence, you may succeed. The magazines listed here are among those that accept short fiction.

  • One Story: Unusual in that it publishes only “one story at a time,” One Story publishes stories of 3,000 to 8,000 words. Specifically, the magazine seeks “stories that leave readers feeling satisfied and are strong enough to stand alone.” Submissions are open twice a year: from January 15 to May 31, and from September 1 to November 14.
  • NarrativeNarrative, a nonprofit organization, seeks to promote “reading across generations, in schools, and around the globe” by providing literature online, free of charge. There’s a small submission fee for unsolicited manuscripts. Each year, Narrative awards $4,000 for “the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, or work of literary nonfiction published by a new or emerging writer in Narrative.” Manuscripts are accepted “any time, year-round.”
  • Flash Fiction Online: Are you an author of very short stories? Flash Fiction Online, described here, accepts only those stories that have 500 to 1,000 words. This publication wants stories with “developed empathetic characters and discernible, resolved plots.” It accepts original, unpublished fiction and also publishes reprints, if you submit them in the proper category. Manuscripts are currently being accepted.

If you’ve written and polished short stories, don’t hide them away! With just a little research, you can find a competition or magazine that’s right for you.

Have some tips about competitions or magazines that accept short fiction? Share them in the comments!

Pitch Your Picture Book through a Twitter Party!

“For what event would you pack an ax, a vial of serum, and dog booties? Racing in the Iditarod! Find out what else mushers pack. #PBPitch #NF

“Jersey wishes she had spots like the other cows, so she knits herself a spotted sweater, and all the other cows want one too. #PBPitch #H

The above are just two of many pitches made to agents and editors during a past picture book Twitter party. If you have a Twitter account and a completed but unpublished picture book, join the fun of making your Twitter pitch! If you aren’t on Twitter, now’s the time to dive in and learn how to tweet so you can participate too!

Here are the rules:

  1. Be succinct. Twitter gives you only 140 characters to describe your story. You must include the hashtag #PBPitch so agents and editors can easily find your tweet.
  2. You may pitch each completed picture book twice: once before 2 p.m. and once after 2 p.m. (Your second tweet should be reworded slightly from the first.) The party lasts from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
  3. Likes and retweets should come only from agents and editors. That makes it easy for each author to see whether an agent or editor wants him or her to submit a manuscript for further consideration. So even if you want to show a fellow author some love for his or her picture book idea, don’t do it!
  4. You can include a genre hashtag if you have room. Here are some hashtags suggested by the PBPitch people: #F (for funny), #CD (for character driven), #NF (for nonfiction), #C (for concept), #L (for lyrical), #I (for interactive), and #FT (for fairy tale/folk tale).
  5. Illustrators can participate too! You must have a completed manuscript to go with the illustration you choose to share.

There are other pitch parties on Twitter, but this is the only one devoted to picture books. Participation is free and takes very little time, so what’ve you got to lose?

The next PBPitch party is scheduled for June 22, 2017, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST. You can learn more and read success stories at PBPitch.com. Good luck!

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