"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

17 More Writing Contests

 Many of these contests are about to begin accepting submission. Please click each one for more specific details.

  1. Sitcom Writing Contest, write a 22 minutes sitcom episode with the winner receiving a prize of $10,000 if the script is the sole winner (or shared if more than single winner) and another $5,000 if the script is used on sitcom independent production studios. Due July 1, 2022.
  2. Screenplay Writing Contest, write a screenplay / teleplay about drama comedy on today's political environment and a culture difference between individuals involved in the story limited to a maximum of 5,000 words. This is jointly sponsored by Teen America Foundation and Los Angeles-based motion picture production. Due March 31st, 2023.
  3. Poetry Writing Contest, Springfield Film Festival and Springfield Art Institute have united their prize budgets to offer a writing competition for all levels and all ages to submit their own original poetry about Climate Change for a two round contests. Due June 30th, 2023.
  4. Satirist Comedy Writing Contest, looking for the next George Carlin, the man referred to as, "a major force in comedy since 1960s and there will be no substitute for his insight, nor his tireless and hilarious attacks on the enfranchised. Due August 30th, 2023.
  5. Love Story Writing Contest, is a contest for romance novelists and new writers who want to try writing about the magic of love and the everlasting love between a couple and their journey into deepest emotional bond that can be experienced. Due June 1st, 2023.
  6. Romantic Poetry Writing Contest, by Franklin Arts Institute Grant offering new writers an opportunity to earn a cash prize for writing romantic poetry. All work submitted must be original work by the contestant and all contestants are expected to be. Due February 1st, 2023.
  7. Ocean Dream Cruise Liner Writing Contest, sponsored by Fairview is looking for the best ocean dream poem that captured the mood of cruise passengers on the seas and the nostalgic emotional creativity that is brought to one's heart at the deep ocean at night making hearts speak of love and romance, desperation and agony, or dreams. Due December 21st, 2022.
  8. Short Story Writing Contest, by grant offered through Georgetown English Literature Institute and Winchester Creative Writing School together uniting to promote short story competition that is both ambitious and exciting for new writers. Due May 31st, 2023.
  9. Amazon Novel Contest, a novel writing contest for original, unpublished or self-published, fictional, English language manuscripts of any genre that is not offensive, pornography, publicity, indecent proposals, technical manuals or guides. Only accepting the first 10,000 entries.
  10. Dayton National Story Award Contest, is aimed at providing a competition that would result in constructive and, we hope, inspiring short stories by writers of all levels, but particularly new writers joining the profession for the first time.  Due January 30th, 2023.
  11. Halloween Poetry Writing Contest, is a writing competition organized each year by Salem Writing Arts Foundation with the intention to create out of the ordinary poetry and allow the development of dark poetry as a means of communicating arts. Due January 31st, 2023.
  12. Writers Village Writing Contest, offers a national contest for a work of fiction without a pre-defined theme and all styles are welcome. Genre-based fiction would be crime, mystery, science fiction, political, suspense, horror, or historical and all levels. Due May 30th, 2023.
  13. Emerald City Writing Competitions Contest, a writing award contest with the famous writer Scott Moore as the panelist judge for the best new original fiction about American history that is both enticing fiction and based on an even in American history. Due June 15th, 2023.
  14. Centerville Leaf eBooks Writing Contest, is once again presenting its annual creative writing contests and this year the theme/genre is best original work of fiction in mystery or drama that is presented and distributed in eBook format in North America. Due June 1st, 2023.
  15. Winchester Commonwealth Short Story Prize Writing Contest, sponsors an annual $10,000 award for its short story writing competition to introduce new writers and new artistic work into the industry and is open to everyone in U.S. and a few others. Due May 21st, 2023.
  16. Madison Poetry Writing Contest, is open to all U.S. and international poets of all levels who may consider themselves hopeless romantics, dreamers, visionaries, idealists, or just normal people gazing into art of expression, poetically. Due February 1st, 2023.
  17. Alexandra Manchester Fiction Writing Contest, is a joint sponsorship with publishing houses and Clinton Literary Awards Foundationthat offering a semi-annual writing competition for debut fiction, fiction, nonfiction, and young author. Due January 31st, 2023.

Monday, June 20, 2022

15 Submission Opportunities for June and July

1) Chicken Soup for the Soul - Crazy, eccentric, wacky, lovable, fun families

The deadline for submissions is June 20, 2022.

We all have them! Those eccentric, goofy, wacky, lovable, and oh so fun family members—the ones we tell all the stories about. They could be a parent or grandparent, an in-law, a brother or sister, an aunt, uncle or cousin. Or grown children. Share your true stories and poems about those family members. With love and appreciation, please. No mean- spirited stories wanted. And don’t worry. You can put a pen name on your story if necessary.

Here are some suggested topics, but we know you will have many more ideas:

• Faux pas, misunderstandings, gaffes of all kinds
• Eccentric to a fault
• Family feuds
• Family traditions that need to end… now!
• Weddings, funerals, and other family events
• Birthdays and gift-giving
• Meeting the family
• Silly family fun
• Childhood hijinks
• Holiday hysterics
• Kooky compulsions and obsessions
• Estate issues – that’s mine and you can’t have it!
• Moving back in with your parents
• Having your children move back in
• Vacationing together
• Marriage! Need we say more?
• Blended families
• Outlandish, amusing and annoying habits


2) BLUE MOUNTAIN ARTS POETRY CONTEST https://www.sps.com/contest-3
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 30, 2022. Prizes $350, $200, and $100. Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better. We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 30, 2022. For purposes of these contests, unpublished writers are defined as those who have never earned over $500 by their writing skills in any single year, whether from a salary, freelance work, editing, royalties, or sale of stories or books. Stories must be between 1,000 and 10,000 words in length. Stories from any country are fine, although they must be written in English. First prize $200. Runners-up $100. Any appropriate nonfiction topic is eligible.  Stories must be true, not semi-fictional accounts.  So-called "creative nonfiction"  will not be considered.

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 30, 2022. Writers entering categories A through D cannot have a book published (either traditionally published or self-published) or accepted for publication in the category they enter. However, authors can have a book published or accepted for publication in a category other than the one they wish to enter. Submitters must have a 70% physical presence in Utah AND be a legal Utah resident for one year prior to submission and at time of submission. First prize (Categories A-D): $1,000. Second prize (Categories A-D): $500. First prize (Categories E-G): $300. Second prize (Categories E-G): $150. 

5) THE LINDISFARNE PRIZE https://www.ljrossauthor.com/philanthropy/lindisfarne-prize/NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 30, 2022. The Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction is a literary prize which recognises outstanding writing in the genre of crime or thriller fiction, sponsored by the author L J Ross through her publishing imprint, Dark Skies Publishing, in association with the Newcastle Noir Crime Writing Festival and Newcastle Libraries. It is open to all writers who are from, or whose work celebrates the North East of England, and who have not previously had their submission published in any form (though they might have had other stories published before). To be considered, entrants must submit a short story of no more than 10,000 words or the first two chapters and a synopsis of their work in progress. The winning entry will be awarded a prize of £2500 to support the completion of their work and funding towards a year’s membership of both the Society of Authors (SoA) and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), and smaller financial awards to shortlisted candidates. 


NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 1, 2022. The annual prize of £1,000 goes to the best unpublished short story of the year. The winning entry is also published in Prospect magazine and the RSL Review. Must be in English and between 2,000 and 4,000 words. Must be resident of the UK, Ireland, or the Commonwealth.



NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 1, 2022. Contest will award US$1750 in cash for each of the two prizes for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (3,000 words max). The two prizes are for Caribbean Americans and Caribbeans. 

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 1, 2022. We want you to tell us why you love your favourite book, poem or play. Your response can be in the form of a piece of text of up to 750 words, or through a video of no more than four minutes. Entrants should explain what they love about their chosen read, highlighting key areas of interest, and why they think others should try it. Age groups: 13-16 years, 17-19 years, 20+ years. Winner for each age group receives £300; the runner-up in each age group receives £100. 

9) Chicken Soup for the Soul -  Dogs - The deadline date for submissions is JULY 31, 2022.

Our dog books are so popular that we do a new one every other year. Our canine friends make us smile every day with their crazy antics, their loving companionship, and their amazing intuition. Here is another chance for you to share your story about the member of your family who just happens to walk on four feet… your dog! We want your true funny stories, your heartwarming stories, and your mindboggling stories about all the simply amazing things that your dog does. What have you learned from your dog? How does your dog improve your life? What crazy things does your dog do? Has your dog ever done anything heroic? How does your dog warm your heart and make you smile? We want to hear all about the absurd antics, funny habits and insightful behavior of your dog. Stories can be serious or humorous. Please do not submit a story about your dog if we have already published that story. We will not republish it.


10) Chicken Soup for the Soul - Cats - The deadline date for submissions is JULY 31, 2022.

Our cat books are so popular that we do a new one every other year. Our feline friends make us smile every day with their crazy antics, their loving companionship, and their amazing intuition. Here is another chance for you to share your story about the member of your family who just happens to walk on four feet… your cat! We want your true funny stories, your heartwarming stories, and your mindboggling stories about all the simply amazing things that your cat does. What have you learned from your cat? How does your cat improve your life? What crazy things does your cat do? Has your cat ever done anything heroic? How does your cat warm your heart and make you smile? We want to hear all about the absurd antics, funny habits and insightful behavior of your cat. Please do not submit a story about your cat if we have already published that story. We will not republish it.


11) RED HEN PRESS ANN PETRY AWARD https://redhen.org/ann-petry-award/

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 31, 2022. The award is open to all Black writers. Award $3,000, publication by Red Hen Press, The opening chapter or story of the awarded manuscript will be published in the Peauzxdunque Review. Four-week residency at The Community Library's Ernest and Mary Hemingway House in Ketchum, Idaho. 


12) BIOPAGE MINI ESSAY WRITING CONTEST https://www.biopage.com/contest

Deadline July 31, 2022. Biopage is hosting a writing contest to remind people the benefits of writing. Each story (or once chapter of your stories) is limited to 5,000 characters or roughly 1,000 words. We are still in this COVID-19 pandemic. You as a writer should write down this once in a life experience of fighting the deadly virus. Tell your stories in words and pictures: pantry inventories, window views, workout routines, neighbors helping neighbors, homeschooling activities... Or more dramatic: fighting the virus yourself, sick family member at home or hospital, treating patients as a healthcare provider, dealing with pain losing a friend. You can win $300, and five runners-up can win $100 each. (Requires signing up for a free account at Biopage.)


13) Chicken Soup for the Soul - How stepping outside my comfort zone changed me. The deadline for submissions is JULY 31, 2022.We all have a tendency to get in a rut. We start to say no to new things, and that can only lead to a narrower and narrower life. When we try new things, we end up feeling energized and pleased with ourselves. There is tremendous power in saying “yes” to new things, new places, and new experiences. It makes you feel more dynamic, younger, and more of a participant in the world. You’re not distancing yourself from change any more. Get ready to step outside your comfort zone! Tell us your own stories about stepping outside your comfort zone and how that changed your life. We know you’ll think of many more topics, but here are some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:

• Meeting new people
• Wearing different kinds of clothing
• Traveling to new places
• Trying a new sport or activity
• Eating a food you didn’t think you would like
• Doing something that you were afraid of
• Convincing a friend or family member to do something that made them step outside their own comfort zone
• Advice on how to get yourself to step outside your comfort zone
• How doing something new made you feel
• What new things/places/foods/activities you are planning for the future
• What it was like to stay stuck in a rut and not try new things
• Epiphanies and prompts – what caused you to try new things
• Switching careers
• Trying a new volunteer activity
• Watching television channels you never saw before
• Going to a different kind of movie
• Picking up a different kind of book
• Shopping at a different grocery store
• Trying new things on your computer or phone and on the Internet
• Trying new technology/appliances
• How trying new things affected your marriage/your relationship with your children or other family members
• Trying a new church or other place of worship/joining a new congregation
• Overcoming agoraphobia or other fears


14) Chicken Soup for the Soul - The advice that changed my life The deadline for submissions is JULY 31, 2022. Have you ever read a Chicken Soup for the Soul story that had a wonderful piece of advice in it that made a difference in your life? Have you ever watched a movie or read an article that really had an impact on you that you haven’t been able to forget? Do you have a friend or family member who gave you some advice that you didn’t necessarily want to hear but really needed to hear that stuck with you and directed you to make positive changes in your life? We are looking for stories that contain a great piece of advice that you were given or advice that you gave to someone else. Whether the advice is about a little thing that improve your everyday life, or major epiphanies that can change a life completely, we want to hear about them and how they made a difference.

Here are some topics we can suggest but there are many more that we know you can think of:

• Career choices or changes
• Personal relationships – family or friends
• Parenting
• School
• Travel
• Moving to a new place
• Buying or selling your house
• Setting priorities
• Health and fitness
• Finances
• Taking chances
• Co-dependence and tough love
• Following your passion
• Taking risks
• Trying new things
• Simplifying your life
• Using gratitude
• Forgiving someone… or yourself


15) Chicken Soup for the Soul -The power of positive thinking The deadline for submission is JULY 31, 2022. We know that using the power of positive thinking helps you to achieve your goals and lead a happy, purposeful, and productive life. Almost anything is possible if you think you can. You can dream big, overcome challenges, create the best life possible for yourself, and turn adversity into opportunity. How did you “think positive” and how did it change your life? Tell us your success story about using the power of positive thinking!

Here are some suggested topics but we know you can think of many more:

· How attitude has made a difference for you
· Have you used the fake it till you make it strategy?
· The unexpected benefits of challenges
· Putting things in perspective
· Turning negative thoughts into positive thoughts
· Counting your blessings
· Using humor to improve your life
· Silver linings that you have discovered
· Appreciating the simple pleasures
· What changes you made to create the best possible life for yourself and for your family
· How gratitude helped you achieve your goals
· How you used the power of forgiveness

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Father's Day Reading Gifts

Father's Day is this Sunday in the United States. Still struggling to find a great gift for Dad? Does he enjoy reading? There are quite a few new and old reads, in a variety of genres, sure to appeal to most of the men in your life. Here are some books you might consider:

The funny and talented Chip Gaines is well known to millions of people as a TV star, renovation expert, bestselling author, husband to Joanna, and father of five in Waco, Texas. But long before the world took notice, Chip was a serial entrepreneur who was always ready for the next challenge, even if it didn’t quite work out as planned. Whether it was buying a neighborhood laundromat or talking a bank into a loan for some equipment to start a lawn-mowing service, Chip always knew that the most important thing was to take that first step.
Now a #1 New York Times bestselling book, Capital Gaines offers readers a ringside seat as Chip relives some of his craziest antics and the lessons learned along the way. His mentors taught him to never give up and his family showed him what it meant to always have a positive attitude despite your circumstances. Throw in a natural daredevil personality and a willingness to do (or eat!) just about anything, and you have the life and daily activity of Chip Gaines.
Capital Gaines is the perfect book for anyone looking to succeed not only in business but more importantly in life.

I really enjoyed this one. I have not read his previous book Magnolia Story, but something about this one just spoke to me when I saw it on the shelf. I highly recommend this read to ANYONE - not just fans of the show. If you enjoy this one, he also has a book called No Pain, No Gaines: The Good Stuff Doesn't Come Easy. His wife also has several cooking and decorating publications available.

David Galloway can’t die.

How many lifetimes can God expect one man to live? Over a century old, David Galloway isolates himself from the mortal humans who die or desert him by making a quiet life as a used bookstore owner in Northern Michigan. But then he spots a news article about a man who, like him, should be dead.

Daredevil celebrity Zachary Wilson walked away unscathed from what should have been a deadly fall. David tracks the man down, needing answers. Soon David discovers a close-knit group of individuals as old as he is who offer the sort of kinship and community he hasn’t experienced for decades—but at what cost?

David finds himself keeping secrets other than his own. . .protecting more than himself alone. He’ll have to decide what’s worth the most to him—security or community. When crimes come to light that are older than any mortal, he fears the pressure is more than he can stand. What does God require of him, and is David strong enough to see it through?

While the idea of immortality is not a uniquely original concept, I have never seen it explored in Christian fiction like this. Very interesting and enjoyable with thought provoking and moving moments. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

This fast-paced, high-energy collection of short works features today's most popular writers and illustrators writing about what it means to be a guy. 

Contributors include Chris Crutcher, Stephen King, Matt Groening, Daniel Pinkwater, Neil Gaiman, and many more. Includes an all-new foreword by Jon Scieszka and an excerpt from Knucklehead.

If you don't feel one of these choices is right for your father, check out some of these others:

Parolee and Pirates

7 Father's Day Reads

Serious Series

Summer Suspense

What are you buying for your Dad? Do you have any recommendations for gifts?

Friday, June 10, 2022

National Flag Day and "The Star Spangled Banner"

In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th to commemorate the adoption of the flag of the United States of America on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. This is also the day the United States Army celebrates its birthday.

On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key penned a poem which was later set to music and in 1931 became America's national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner." The poem originally titled, "The Defence of Fort M'Henry," was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the war of 1812. The sight of those "broad stripes and bright stars" inspired thousands. If you've never heard the story before, try the video below. 

Have you ever heard this story before? Do you know the words to this poem/song? Can you think of any other piece of writing that has influenced thousands?

Sunday, June 5, 2022

National Audiobook Month

June is National Audiobook Month, when hundreds of retailers encourage people to give listening to books a try. These businesses run various promotions and discounts to get more listeners interested in the format.

The Audiobook Publishers Association has spearheaded audiobook month for a number of years. Audible, Kobo audiobooks, Google Play Books, Storytel, Scribd, Audiobooks.com, and dozens of others offer audiobooks. 

Did you know you could access complete audiobooks for FREE on YouTube?

To learn more about the history of this celebration, AUDIOBOOK APPRECIATION MONTH -June 2022 - National Today

Have you tried an audiobook? Which are your favorites? When do you listen to them?

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

IWSG: Struggle to the End

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive. Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

MY ANSWER - Many people refer to this experience as writer's block. They lose momentum, stamina, drive, or they flat out can't decide where to go next, or what to do with the story. When this happens, I recommend exercise, read a book, watch a good movie, listen to great music, travel – anything that gets me away from the work and relaxed. Then I can return with a fresh mind and renewed energy. If I'm still stuck after a break, then I need to reevaluate my story plan. I start most projects as a pantser, but once I get my initial thoughts, emotions, or scenes down I go back and plot the whole story out. 

How about you? What is your process like? What do you do when you struggle to write to the end?