31 Writing Contests in September 2017 – No entry fees

Writers in Oxford CompetitionRestrictions: Oxfordshire writers aged 18-30.  Genre: Fiction, nonfiction. “Submissions are invited of a piece of writing ‘Inspired by Oxford.’ The work can be fiction or non-fiction, up to 500 words in length, and can have been previously published.” Prize: Two prizes of £350 and three prizes of £100. Deadline: September 1, 2017.PEN Prison Writing ContestRestrictions: Anyone incarcerated in a federal, state, or county prison in the year before the September 1 deadline is eligible to enter. Genres: Poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction. Prize: $200 top prize per category. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Cheshire Prize for LiteratureRestrictions: The writer must have been born, live or have lived, study or have studied, work or have worked, in Cheshire, UK. Genre: Original and previously unpublished children’s story or poem. Prize: £2,000. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Helen Schaible Shakespearean/Petrarchan Sonnet ContestGenre: Poetry. Prize: $50, 2nd Prize $35, 3rd Prize $15, three Honorable Mentions, three Special Recognitions. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

On The Premises Short Story Contest. “For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which the idea of community (or some kind of community) plays an important role.” Prize: Winners receive between US$60 and US$220, and publication. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art WritingGenre: Scholarly essay. All work submitted must have been written or published within the last year. Prize: $3,000. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Concis Pith of Prose and Poem ContestGenre: Poems, prose poems, visual poems, flash fiction, micro-essays or what-have-you. Prize: First prize $250 and publication. Deadline: September 3, 2017.

Pitch America  is a pitch contest created by Laura Pohl to focus on submissions and books produced by Latino voices. This contest will feature the first 500 words and the 35-word pitch of completed and polished manuscripts written by Latinos. Please keep it in mind that this exclusively for Latino writers. Prize: Chance at representation. Deadline: September 3, 2017

Young Lions Fiction AwardRestrictions: Open to US citizens 35 years of age or younger. Genre: Novel or a collection of short stories published between January 2017 and December 2017. Submissions by publisher only. Authors may not submit their own work. Prize: $10,000.00. Deadline: September 8, 2017.

Solid Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to high school students. Genre: Essay (See site for topics.) Minimum number of words is 600 and maximum is 800. Prize: Scholarship of $1000. Deadline: September 8, 2017.

Michael Marks Awards for Poetry PamphletsRestrictions: Poetry poetry pamphlet must be published in the UK between 1st July 2016 and 31st July 2017. Genre: Poetry. Prize:  £5,000. Deadline: September 13, 2017.

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political WritingGenre: Book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on contemporary Canadian political life. Book must be published in Canada. Prize: CAN$25,000.00. Deadline: Books published between July 5 and September 12 must be received by September 13, 2017.

VCU Cabell First Novelist AwardGenre: First novel published January–June 2017. No self-published books. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: September 14, 2017.

PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer FellowshipRestrictions: Candidates must have published one or more novels for children or young adults that have been warmly received by literary critics, but have not generated sufficient income to support the author. Genre: Book-length children’s or young-adult fiction. Prize: $5000. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

Cha International Poetry PrizeGenre: Poetry. Each poem must be a translation (loosely defined) of a text (loosely defined) from/about Hong Kong or China, written originally in English or Chinese, into a poem that is about contemporary Hong Kong. Prize: First Prize US$1501; Second Prize US$800; Third Prize US$400 and five Commended Prizes, each US$100.  Deadline: September 15, 2017.

The PEN/Heim Translation FundGenre: Book-length works of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and drama in translation. Beginning in 2017, under the administering of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, PEN will also offer the PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature. From the pool of annual submissions, judges for the PEN/Heim Translation Fund will select one project of narrative prose that has been translated into English from the Italian to receive this award, which will come with a $5,000 prize. Prize: $2000 – $4000. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

Outlook Springs Creative Nonfiction PrizeGenre: Creative nonfiction between 1,500 and 8,000 words. Prize: $500. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

Past Loves Day Story ContestGenre: Short personal essay. “Nearly everyone has memories of a former sweetheart. Write your true story of an earlier love, in no more than 700 words. Tell us about someone whose memory brings a smile or a tear.” Prize: $100 top prize. Deadline: September 17, 2017.Good Read Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 19 or older at time of entry. Genre: Personal essay. What was the happiest moment of your life? Prize: $3,000. Deadline: September 18, 2017.2017 Inspiring the World Journalism CompetitionGenre: Journalistic article on an inspiring theme. (See site for list of themes and examples.) Word count: 500 to 1,000 words. Prize:  $5,000. Deadline: September 18, 2017.

Kathy Fish Fellowship for Emerging WritersRestrictions: All writers previously unpublished in SmokeLong Quarterly and who do not have a published chapbook or book-length work in any genre (or are not under contract for such) are eligible to apply. Genre: Flash fiction (1000 words max). Prize: $500. Deadline: September 20, 2017. (The contest is free up until Sept 20, but requires fee after that date.)

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers ProgramRestrictions: Publishers recommend writers making a strong literary debut. Authors cannot submit their own work to the program; self-published writers and titles published via print-on-demand or available only as NOOK books are also ineligible for submission. Genres: Literary fiction, short story collections and literary non-fiction, such as travel essays, memoirs, or other non-fiction with a strong narrative will be considered. Books should be intended for an adult or a young adult audience. Prize: $35,000 to six writers. Deadline: September 21, 2017.

Sunday Times EFG Short Story AwardRestrictions: The award is open to any novelist or short story writer from around the world who is published in the UK. Genre: Short story. Prize: £30,000.Deadline: September 28, 2017.

Writers Online Picture Book PrizeGenre: Unagented and unpublished picture book up to 800 words. (No illustrations.) Prize: £200 and critique. Deadline: September 29, 2017.

Lilith Magazine Fiction CompetitionGenre: Story of interest to Jewish women. Prize: $250.  Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Lee & Low Books New Voices Award is sponsored by Lee &Low Publishers. Restrictions: The contest is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a children’s picture book published. Genre: Children’s books – fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Prize: $1,000 and publication. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Iowa Short Fiction and John Simmons Short Fiction AwardsGenre: Short story collection. The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages. Prize: Publication by the University of Iowa Press, royalties. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest is held four times a year. Restrictions: The Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment of at least six cents per word, and at least 5,000 copies, or 5,000 hits. Genre: Short stories or novelettes of science fiction or fantasy. Prizes: $1,000, $750, $500, Annual Grand Prize: $5,000.  Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction ContestGenre: Short fiction. Prize: $100. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Solution Loans Short Story ContestRestrictions: Open to UK residents 18 years and up. Genre: Short fiction on theme of “Coins.” Prize: £200 and publication on the Solution Loans website. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Salisbury Story PrizeGenre: Short fiction (500 words) on theme of “City of Stories. Open to ages 4 and up. Prize: £50 for children to be spent at Waterstones. Free online course for adults. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Reblogged from Published to Death

The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About

A very worthwhile read…

David Gaughran

On Monday, I found out that some bug hit a German e-book site causing the reactivation of long-dead listings, including one of mine, putting myself and some other authors in breach of KDP Select’s exclusivity rule.

Amazon pounced into action and cancelled my Countdown deal which was scheduled for this week, screwing up a carefully planned promotion. And despite pledging to resolve the matter and restore the promo, Amazon has not done so.

I’m going to go through what happened in detail so you can be sure that I acted correctly at all points – because there is a lot of shadiness going on at the moment – but feel free to skim some of the details if you wish.

Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible had never been in Select, so I decided to throw them in for one term as an experiment at the start of July…

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Stones on the Desert Floor

I have died a dozen times, maybe more. Truth be told, I have lost count; or perhaps more accurately, I have lost interest in counting.

I died in Phoenix, AZ in 1987. My body was never found. Local newspapers posted a short public notice on page seven a few days after my disappearance. It ran on a Tuesday. It dropped from print by Friday.

A few years later I died in Jackson, MS. I had been working midnight shift at a warehouse assembling wrenches into kits packaged for a Father’s Day promotion for Sears. When I stopped showing up for work, inquiries were made. I don’t make friends though, so there really wasn’t anyone to ask. My landlord knew nothing. After a few days a new person from the temp agency who hired me sent a new worker to fill my spot at the warehouse. I imagine that was the last time I was thought about in Jackson.

This story gets repeated over and over: Reno, Monterrey, Yuba CIty.

The act of killing myself is hard wired. My neuroses keeps me away from people. I’ve learned to live a solitary life. In the arena of mental warfare I am my own worst enemy. I stand alone, girded by invisible walls fortified with paranoia.

I work at night. I sleep during the day. I’m not some teen-aged fantasy of a real life vampire. I am the mundane phenomenon of depression and anxiety left unchecked. My skin does not sparkle, it’s merely pale from preferring the shadows. I don’t rise at night to consume the sanguine blood of my victims, instead I eat from convenience stores at odd hours, at different times. I do this so I do not encounter the same people at the same time. That leads to acquaintances, and relationships. I am not interested in that paradigm. Not any longer.

I died in Baltimore, Poughkeepsie, Wilkes-Barre, and Coeur d’Alene too.

The warehouse work I seek through temp agencies is simple. As long as you can pass a drug test and you don’t have active warrants, you can get a job. Warehouse work involves placing different objects into baskets making consumer products to be sold in boutiques. I’ve made lotion baskets, dried goods baskets, candy baskets and hermetically colored condom baskets. I once made a dried fish, preserved eel and wasabi dried pea basket for something called the Shogatsu. I’m an expert on cobbling things together. It’s the process I use I recreate myself after I die.

I died in St. Louis, Salt Lake City and Oakland.

As I insinuated, my deaths are not corporeal in nature; they are psychic. The seed of anxiety deposits in my thinking. It is nourished by the frenetic energy of my troubled cognition. The seed takes root and grows until the trunk and branches erode my lucidity. The only thing that has ever stopped the mental pain is to leave, simply walk away from whatever life I have. Each time I do, my psychical template descends into a malaise from which I cannot escape. So I die, and move on down the road to the next town.

That’s why now, as the vulture’s beak, strong with practice, pulls the remaining sinews from my skull I am surprised at my sadness. It’s an emotion I thought lost, but looking down upon my deteriorating body I find myself, unexpectedly, wanting to live. I have died so many times in the minds of others, I thought naught what it would feel like when I actually did depart from this plane.

I don’t like it.

I find myself pining to try again in life, to find a reason not to die away. I am struck by the irony of my seeking death as an escape, only to suddenly want to escape from the death I have so long sought.

I don’t remember anything from when the semi hit me. I had walked along the side of US Route 95. I was headed North, away from the heat and insular culture of the City of Yuma. I had enjoyed the sound of passing traffic, the white noise present during my northward trek out of Yuma. The truck had drifted a few feet to the right onto the shoulder without the driver’s knowledge. The moment of impact registered as a bright, white light.

Then nothing.

Nothing until I realized the yawn of morning and the presence of sunlight sufficient to see myself lying on the hardpan dirt of the Sonoran Desert. There I lay. My legs contorted unnaturally. My face immersed in the Earth. My backpack resting a good distance away seemingly unmolested. My body, just far enough away from traffic to lie unseen among the sage and stones, lay crumpled and still.

Time takes on a different role after death. It is no longer linear. The view I see of myself from wherever it is I am, is constant. I can see today, yesterday and tomorrow. Today I see the vulture, harvesting the final nutrients beneath my tattered clothing. The protuberance of a humerus bone clutching onto its radius counterpart with a weathered ligament poked through my clothing. My sun soaked skull revealed my occipital bone through scattered, matted blond hair. Blond hair tinged with dried blood.

I find myself in a perpetual orbit above the body I knew as mine. A body that had been given the chance to live a life, but whose mind never allowed it function.

I have truly died. I am now departed from myself, watching my body slowly become part of the lonely Sonoran Desert. My broken phalanges, now but small stones on the desert floor, lay scattered without intention or purpose akin to the lives I used to live.

Looking down now, I recognize my future is extinguished. Yet here I am, still awash in the memories of the lives I lived. To what end have I come? I have become what I sought in life, to die and be released from life. And now, in a place absence of pain and anxiety, I mourn myself, my fettered existence.

Death, I realize, is not the answer; it is a premature conclusion without recourse, without remedy.

In life, I used death like a Tarot card placed in front of me time and time again. The Tarot card, depicting a skeleton with an arm raised toward the seeker, is not about death; it is about change. I see now my life repeatedly sought change, not death. I hungered change, a change I was unable to affect with my aberrant mental faculty.

I see that now. I see that now, as plainly as I see my body quartered among the sage and boulders.

 

Josh Jones is a writer currently living in Columbus, OH. He is co-founder of The Writer’s Consortium, a non-profit project forming co-housing relationships for active writers. Josh’s day job is installing permaculture gardens for sustainable households and businesses which takes him all over the United States. When work allows, he’s off long distance hiking having trod most of the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. Josh is a novelist of literary fiction exploring realistic characters with societal obstacles to overcome. He is also a ghost writer for a wide array of topics.

Fame and fortune have yet to catch up with Josh, so you can easily contact him at the following links.
Author networking site: https://introvertpress.wordpress.com/

Source: Stones on the Desert Floor

Something All New Authors Should Read

I’m not the type of person to tell people what to do or what they should read.

Two weeks ago, I had come across a blog post by an author I follow had posted relating to new authors.  I thought there were plenty of valid points all new authors should know when they are starting out in the industry.

The author I am talking about is Kristy Bromberg.  She is a New York Times Best Selling author of 13 novels.  She is a contemporary romance author who knows what it is like to have to market herself.  She is an indie author and knows the business very well.  I had asked her permission to post her blog post for our group.  I hope everyone reads the post and takes away from it all of the points I did.

Thank you to Kristy for letting me share your blog post.

We can’t do this alone.  We need to help each other if we are going to become successful.  Kristy’s blog post…..

It’s tough love time. Seriously. You need to get organized and realize it takes so much more than a great book to make it these days. If you’re confused on what to do, please feel free to keep reading.
The market is inundated with books right now. It’s not just affecting you as a new author trying to break through in this chaotic world, but it’s also affecting us ‘oldies’ who have been doing it for the last five – eight years.
I’m not posting this from a stance of ‘holier than thou’ but rather a ‘tough love’ one. I recently offered my Facebook page up to 180 new authors. I would do a party and give them each a post to showcase their release to my readers. A small hand that might not do anything but was worth helping them get some extra visibility. Like I said, this world is tough now and every little bit helps.
In the course of gathering their information, I realized that a majority of them didn’t know the following (please note: I am saying some, not all):
They didn’t know what I mean by ‘write me a post’ for Facebook
They didn’t know what I meant when I asked for their ‘links’
Some emailed me upwards of ten times asking ‘is this what you mean’ or ‘what what is xyz’
I don’t mind answering questions for new authors. I never do. But there comes a fine line between asking questions and the you being too lazy to figure it out yourself. As a new author, when a blog or fellow author or a reader offers to give you help, you need to be professional. I can’t stress this enough. This is a business. You may be the most talented author in the world, but if you don’t have a business sense and approach it as such, you are going to miss A LOT of opportunities. You need to come with your best foot forward on the first try because we (us, as authors and our books) are all a dime a dozen these days. If you don’t have your shit together, a blogger might not want to wait for you to get it together and will move on to the next author waiting in line. Because believe me, there is a line.
Another thing (and this may just be a personal pet peeve): You are new, so that means you are in the stage of building relationships. And believe me, your relationship with other authors and bloggers is just as crucial to your success as your relationship with readers… so please, email me yourself. If you’re trying to create those relationships, don’t have your ‘PA’ make the initial/introductory email. To many, that says you think you’re too important to reach out and make the connections yourself. It tells the recipient that you just want ‘something’ (i.e. posting your links) from them for free. They want to get to know you, not your PA. You are the creator of your product and therefore your best sales tool.  I’m not saying once there is initial contact, your PA can’t intervene, but for the introduction, being personable, being you, is what is going to get the best response from me or another blog/author. I get that we’re all busy and you might have a PA to help you market your first book . . . That’s perfectly okay and understandable, but remember, this is about building long-term relationships. And if you don’t take the time to talk with the author/blogger, their relationship is being built with your PA, not with  you. So when your PA moves on to the next author or becomes an author themselves (which often happens), their loyalty and relationship is with the PA, since you didn’t invest the time…so guess who they move on with? Yep, your PA.
So I’ve said all that and you’re nodding your head agreeing that you don’t know some of these things, but you’re new, so how do you learn? Here’s a few pointers and suggestions:
-Act like this is a business. First and foremost. Be professional at all times.
-Study those authors you like or want to be like. Stalk their social media. See how they construct posts. Notice how often the author you are following posts.
-Notice their teasers are not pirated pictures with text slapped on them (because the last thing you want is to be sued by a photographer).
-Notice their interaction with their readers.
-Learn how to shorten links. This sounds somewhat silly, but no one likes seeing a three line URL link. The short links are more professional. And if the blogger/author wants to add their own affiliate links, they can do so whether the links are long or short (See Bitly. Owly. Smarturl, etc. to shorten links).
-When you reach out to blogs or authors, you make sure you know their name, and don’t just cut and paste the same damn form letter 100 times without changing a thing. You act like you care to know them even if you really don’t. I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve gotten from new authors in this promotion I’m doing, where they have called me Katy, Kathy, Karen, and Kristen. . . I get it, I use my initial K. so it can happen. Personally, I’m not offended by it, but if you’re emailing a blogger to read an ARC (i.e. an advanced copy) and don’t know their name when their name is part of their blog title, I assure you they won’t give you the time of day. Research the blog beforehand and make sure you personalize your correspondence instead of using ‘Hey babe’ or “Hey chick!’
-Create relationships with other up and coming authors and/or bloggers. Band together and cross promote with them. Make them your tribe because they are the ones who are going to help push and promote you long term.
–YOU put the leg work in and don’t expect an email asking an author/blogger you’ve never communicated with before to post the links for you. We’re asked daily to do that. Besides, it’s going to take a lot more than another author/blogger posting your book to find success.
-This is YOUR DREAM. You are the one who is going to make it for yourself. Not someone else.
-Communication is key. Think before you hit send. Make sure your emails and messages are well thought out so that you don’t have to send ten more to explain each subsequent one. Just like you, we are all crazy busy…and so trying to piece together ten emails and what you mean from one to the next is not always our priority. A blog gets a hundred emails a day asking about reviews and ARCS. They like all the information in one place. Not ten emails. Believe me, they favor authors who make their lives easier, not harder.
-No one owes you anything. Just like no one owes me anything. I don’t care if you’ve been doing this ten years, ten months, or ten days – no one owes us anything. Not a sale. Not a page read. Not a review. Is that what you’re striving for? Of course. But at the end of the day, no one owes it to you. Regardless if you are a new or an ‘old’ author, entitlement in any form is ugly and a major turn off.
-A simple THANK YOU goes a long way. Sure you’re busting your butt and are tired as hell, but when someone helps you, a simple thank you is appreciated. It’s sad that they are so few and far between these days that it gets noticed when you give one, but it does. It truly does.
-Treat readers with respect. Treat bloggers with respect. Treat reviews –both good and bad – with respect. Treat other authors with respect. I can’t stress this enough.
-If you don’t succeed, try again. Lame? Yes. But I’ve failed a hundred times doing this writing thing. You need to learn from your mistakes. Move on. Better yourself and your writing with the knowledge you gain.
-Mistakes happen. I’ve published a book with errors in it before. We all have. To err is human and you will NEVER catch all the mistakes… but heed this warning: It is not your editor’s fault. It is not your proofer’s fault. It is not your beta’s fault. There is nothing uglier than an author going on social media blaming others for something wrong with their book. Remember what I said before – be professional at all times.
-Don’t ask other authors about lists (i.e. NYT, USA Today, etc) . I get emails all the time from new authors who have yet to publish their first book, asking me how many sales they need to hit the lists. So . . . if you’re publishing to hit a list, then your writing for the wrong reasons. Yes, it’s easy for me to say when I have hit the lists . . . but they were never even a thought when I first published Driven. I would have laughed at anyone who had even mentioned the possibility because it wasn’t even on my radar. So please, don’t publish to hit a list. Publish because you love to write, you love what you’ve written, and you want others to fall in love with it as well.
Is this the holy grail of what to do? Hell, no. Do I know everything? Absolutely not. I’m still learning every day. I’m still listening to my tribe and learning from them. I’m still putting the time in to watch trends, adjust, change, and reinvent. That’s how this industry works – but I know it is not a measure of my success. Have my last books been as successful as the Driven Trilogy? No. And they probably never will be. The times have changed. The market has more choices for readers. The competition is more abundant. But that doesn’t mean you stop trying. If this is your dream, you learn every day, with every chat you have, with every post you read, with every new thing you write.
I’m far from perfect. I struggled at the beginning and still do in some aspects right along with you. I knew no one when I started, but I knew how to hustle and work hard and studied other authors. I didn’t copy them but rather took in the things they did and reinvented them to work for me. And yes, a little luck meeting opportunity at the perfect time helped as well.
So read this, take what you want from it, or completely ignore it and forge your own path… but after trying to organize this party for new authors, I realized how many people were struggling with knowing what to do or where to go after typing THE END.
So congrats, your book has been written. The easy part is over. Now the hard part begins.
I wish you luck!
K.
(aka Kristy. It’s Kristy. Not Karen. or Kathy. or Kristen. )
And if you’d like to meet some of these new authors and find a new book to read, make sure to head over to my Facebook page this Friday, July 21st starting at 9 am EST to check them out. A new book/author will be posted every 10 minutes throughout the day.

Amazon Has A Fake Book Problem

THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO READ IF YOU UTILIZE AMAZON.

David Gaughran

Fake books – powered by clickfarms – are gatecrashing Amazon’s charts. And despite being aware of the issue for well over a year, Amazon has failed to resolve it.

If you look at the Kindle Store Best Seller charts right now, and click over to Free Books, you will see that the Top 20 currently has five suspicious-looking titles.

None of them have reviews. All were published in the last week. They have no Also Boughts – meaning they have had very few sales. Each of these titles are around 2,500 pages long, seem to have duplicated content, and are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.

What is going on here?

For over fifteen months now, scammers have been raiding the Kindle Unlimited pot using a well-worn trick. They usually pilfer the content first of all – often by stealing an author’s original work and running it through a synonymizer – and…

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