Writing Contests, Festivals and Awards for Writers

Here’s NAIWE’s list of contests and festivals that offer a chance for you to have your  work reviewed and evaluated by qualified and skilled professionals and you also have a chance to win recognition and prizes. The list is in order by deadline dates
and will be updated and more events added as information becomes available.  If you have an event you would like to see added please let us know. editor@naiwe.com

This list is in month order by deadline entry dates.

Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition

We’re looking for short fiction stories! Think you can write a winning story in less than 1,500 words? Enter the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition for your chance to win $3,000 in cash, get published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference! The winning entries will be on display in the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection.
Entry Deadline: Jan. 16, 2015

Discovery/Boston Review 2015 Poetry Contest
The Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prizes

The Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prizes are presented by the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center and Boston Review. Many winners of this contest have gone on to distinguished careers as poets. The “Discovery” Poetry Contest is designed to attract large audiences to poets who have not yet published a full-length book. Four winners are awarded a reading at 92Y, publication in Boston Review and $500 each. The preliminary judges for the 2015 contest are Timothy Donnelly and Camille Rankine. The final judges are Peter Gizzi, Atsuro Riley and Susan Stewart. The deadline for receipt of manuscripts is 5 pm on Entry Deadline: Fri, Jan 23, 2015 Contests Continued

Writer’s Conferences in August


MC900435237Berkshire Writing Workshop invites published and aspiring adult writers to join in our annual summer gathering from August 4 to August 8, 2014. The program features five days of intensive writing workshops with a focus on creating new work. Under the guidance of a dedicated instructor, writers should expect one of the most productive writing weeks of their lives.
Date: Aug 4-8
Location: Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, MA

Catamaran Writing Conference at Pebble Beach
At Catamaran Literary Reader, our artistic themes tap into the rich literary history and beautiful setting of the California Central Coast.  We invite you to transform your own creative work in the scenic location of Pebble Beach, a major source of inspiration for writers from John Steinbeck to Robinson Jeffers.
Date: August 13-17
Location: Pebble Beach, CA
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Writer’s Conferences in July

MC900435237Alabama Writer’s Conclave 
The Alabama Writers’ Conclave was organized in 1923 and has been in continuing existence since. Through the years, the Conclave has moved its conferences around the state to provide writers everywhere better access to its resources.
The Conclave is today one of the oldest continuing writers’ organization in the United States. Writers, aspiring writers and supporters of the writing arts may join. Sharing information, developing ideas, honing skills, and receiving practical advice are hallmarks of the annual meeting.
Date: July 11-13
Location: University of South Alabama, Fairhope Campus at Fairhope, Alabama.

Annual Writing in Place Conference
Hub City will host the 14th annual Writing in Place conference on the campus of Wofford College July 11-13, 2014. This year’s conference will feature a keynote address by South Carolina novelist Michel Stone, lots of new workshops, happy hour at the Hub City Bookshop, faculty readings, and more! Registration is now open.

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Crowdfunding: An Introduction, Part Two

What are the steps toward crowdfunding? 

Here is Part One of this article.

A solid plan will make your crowd funding campaign a reality. At this point you might be wondering how crowdfunding works and how to get started with a campaign. Here’s a quick breakdown of the basic steps to initiate a crowdfunding campaign:

  • Choose a crowdfunding platform. There are several crowdfunding platforms available, each varying somewhat, appealing to different audiences and offering different services. Prospective campaigners should research which platform would be the best fit for their project.
  • Create a campaign. A crowdfunding campaign is a way for project creators to tell their audience who they are and what makes their project important. Campaigners can use photos, upload a video, provide a summary and devise reward levels to entice supporters. Reward levels should be cost effective, but offer a value and/or something unique and individual to those pledging support.
  • Develop a marketing plan. People won’t simply find a project and financially pledge towards it unless the project is enticing and has momentum. It’s the job of the campaign creator to build that initial buzz, so it’s important to have a solid marketing plan in place before the launch of a campaign.
  • Promote and ask for support. Campaigners must reach out to their network and ask for support and help in spreading the word about the campaign. The more traffic the creator is able to drive to the campaign, the more momentum it will build.  Shareability amongst supporters will increase if the campaign is exciting and the story compelling. How well the campaigner markets his or her story will very often be the great determining factor of success.
  • Use the funds raised to bring your project to life. The campaigner will receive the funds and use them to make their project a reality.

Why Pubslush? 

Another question you might have:  “What makes Pubslush different than other crowdfunding platforms?Here are a few key differences:

  • Pubslush fosters a vibrant community of writers, readers, publishers and industry professionals and focuses on books and literary projects.
  • A flexible funding model allows authors to reach for the stars with their overall funding goal, but allows them to keep the funds they raise as long as they reach their minimum funding goal.
  • Personalized service that provides hands-on campaign support.
  • Authors have accessibility to their own reader database and supporter analytics that provides authors with relevant campaign information detailing demographics and contact information.
  • Buy Now feature that continues to drive traffic to the sales of the book post-campaign and inclusivity to the Pubslush community indefinitely.
  • Lowest platform fee in the industry at 4%.
  • The Cause, which allows authors to participate in social good by giving back to worldwide literacy initiatives.

What’s next?

If you think crowdfunding is right for you, stop by Pubslush to learn more. Our team is always available to answer any and all questions you may have. We know publishing a book is a long and sometimes confusing process, which is why we’re always here to help.

Pubslush: Crowdfunding for writers.Justine Schofield is the development director of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform for the literary world that provides a way to raise funds and tangibly pre-market books and literary-based projects. A graduate of Emerson College in Boston, she is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University. Justine has become a prominent voice in the publishing industry and an advocate for educating authors and publishers about crowdfunding. She has contributed to IBPA’s Independent magazine, Self-Publishers Monthly, Book Marketing Magazine, Business Banter and many more online publications. She has spoken on panel discussions about crowdfunding for authors and continues to foster the growth and development of crowdfunding within the publishing process. She tweets for @pubslush. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Crowdfunding: An Introduction, Part One

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding harnesses the power of community.Crowdfunding is a rapidly growing industry that caters to entrepreneurs and business-savvy creatives and gives them the power to fund and market their projects in the pre-production phase. Conducting a crowdfunding campaign requires time and effort, but can help to secure a more successful product launch.

How does crowdfunding help authors?

Crowdfunding for authors is quickly gaining traction as an essential step in the publishing process. Crowdfunding is conducive to the publishing process and offers an array of benefits aside from simply raising funds. Crowdfunding can help authors to:

  • Collect pre-orders.  Reward-based crowdfunding allows authors to create tiered reward levels as a way to thank and entice their supporters. The most obvious reward an author can offer to their supporters is their book, so crowdfunding essentially provides a platform to facilitate a pre-order campaign to a wide audience of readers.
  • Employ a marketing campaign before publication. The marketing efforts for a book must begin well before publication, but it’s very difficult to talk about a product that hasn’t been produced yet. A crowdfunding campaign provides a landing page to drive traffic and connect with readers in the pre-publication phase.
  • Build an author brand. Since a crowdfunding campaign must offer a range of reward levels, authors are forced to think about what other services or items of value they can offer their supporters. Realistically, in order for an author to make a living writing, they need to incorporate other services into their branding, such as speaking, coaching, etc. Creating reward levels can help authors build their brand by determining what else they have to offer their audience.
  • Network expansion and platform building. A crowdfunding campaign encapsulates the author in a way that isn’t possible through traditional channels. Authors can connect with their audience on a personal level, tell their story and include links to their website and social media. The personalization of a crowdfunding campaign is part of its appeal and is often how authors gain support from readers outside of their network.
  • Engage with readers. A crowdfunding campaign allows the creator to engage with supporters.  Access to an evolving database of readers can be very useful and provide authors with valuable insight, as well as a foundation for future promotional efforts.

In Part Two of this article, you’ll learn about steps toward crowdfunding, as well as a bit about Pubslush, a crowdfunding service for writers.

Pubslush: Crowdfunding for writers.

Justine Schofield is the development director of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform for the literary world that provides a way to raise funds and tangibly pre-market books and literary-based projects. A graduate of Emerson College in Boston, she is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University. Justine has become a prominent voice in the publishing industry and an advocate for educating authors and publishers about crowdfunding. She has contributed to IBPA’s Independent magazine, Self-Publishers Monthly, Book Marketing Magazine, Business Banter and many more online publications. She has spoken on panel discussions about crowdfunding for authors and continues to foster the growth and development of crowdfunding within the publishing process. She tweets for @pubslush. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Writer’s Conferences in June

MC900435237The Algonkian Novel Workshops
“From the Heart, but Smart Premise, Platform and Execution in Today’s Tough Novel
Market” Unique Craft-and-Market Novel Workshops and Events For Planners,Beginners, and Veterans.
Location: Algonkian Park is located 30 miles from Washington, D.C.

Aspen Summer Words Writing Retreat and Literary Festival
Aspen Summer Words is the Rocky Mountain getaway to the literary world. Morning workshops are an intimate place to develop your craft, with a winning combination of inspiration, instruction, and community. We offer workshops in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, memoir, or novel editing, taught by some of the most renowned writers in the field. In the afternoon, time is set aside to work and rework your writing, or to participate in public discussions on craft and publishing with our award-winning faculty. Evenings are reserved for readings and revelry!
Location: Aspen, CO
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Writer’s Conferences in May

MC900435237Colorado Christian Writers Conference
Welcome from CCWC’s Director, Marlene Bagnull, Litt.D. Her 18th year directing, will again feature a faculty of 60 professional authors, editors, agents, and publicists. Choose from 20 Wednesday early bird workshops, 8 continuing sessions, plus 42 workshops or 4 hands-on clinics! ALSO – 4 (yes, FOUR) one-on-one 15-minute appointments with the faculty of your choice for those who attend the entire conference. BONUS fifth appointment for the first 75 registrants.
Date: May 13-16
Location: YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park

Malice Domestic 27
Established in 1989, Malice Domestic is an annual Fan Convention in metropolitan Washington, D.C. area that salutes the traditional mystery, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie.  Malice Domestic Ltd., a nonprofit corporation (501)(C)(3) with tax-exempt status, was incorporated in 1992 and is governed by an all-volunteer board of directors. The logo and name are trademarked.
Date: May 1-3
Location: Hyatt Regency, Bethesda MD
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Writer’s Conferences in April

MC900435237Arkansas Literary Festival
Prestigious award-winners, big names, writers for television shows, journalists, and artists are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions at the eleventh annual Arkansas Literary Festival, April 24-27, 2014. The Central Arkansas Library System & Main Library campus and many other Little Rock venues are the sites for a stimulating mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops, presentations, opportunities to meet authors, book sales, and book signings. Most events are free and open to the public.
Date: April 24-27
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

Alabama Book Festival
The ninth annual Alabama Book Festival will be in historic downtown Montgomery at Old Alabama Town on Saturday, April 19, 2014, with approximately 50 authors and more than 40 vendors and exhibitors. This free public event is the state’s premier book festival, with some 5,000 people from around the state and the southeast converging in the capital to meet with and hear from their favorite authors and scholars. A  children’s activity area is sure to make this a day of fun for the entire family. The 2014 Festival will continue the tradition of promoting reading and  literacy to Alabamians of all ages and backgrounds while helping to continue celebrating the Year of Alabama Parks.
Date: April 19
Location: Montgomery, AL

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Writer’s Conferences in March

MC900435237Agnes Scott College Writers’ Festival  44th Annual Writers’ Festival
Building on a long tradition of inviting distinguished writers to campus to read their works, teach, and talk with students, the Writers’ Festival began in the spring of 1972 with May Sarton as the headliner. A statewide writing contest for colleges and universities in poetry and fiction was the centerpiece of the event: the finalists’ works were published in the festival magazine, and the visiting writers selected the prizewinners in each genre. Readings and workshops with the visiting writers rounded out the program, which was open to the public as well as to the campus community.
March 24-27
Decatur, GA

Big Sur Writing Workshops
1.  You may land a publishing deal with co-sponsor the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.  See previous publishing deals HERE!
2.  Small-group and one-on-one feedback from our esteemed faculty.  We’ve been doing this for 17 years, and our track record speaks for itself: read countless testimonials from satisfied alumni HERE.
3.  Work with the greatest YA and children’s writing faculty around.  Yep, the industry’s best agents, editors, and authors.
Dates: March 6-8
Location: Big Sur Lodge in the lovely Pfeiffer State Park 

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Writer’s Conferences in February

MC900435237The Santa Barbara Author-Mental Novel Workshop
creates an intimate and professional environment that combines private meetings with
small-group workshops, thus enabling aspiring authors to wisely approach the writing and
publication of their novel.
At the Santa Barbara event, aspiring authors will; 1) work one-on-one with top authors and savvy market professionals; 2) acquire the market skills and advanced story and narrative technique they must know to become published; 3) learn the necessary inside mechanics of the publishing business; and 4) leave the workshop with a detailed plan to work towards publication of their novel.e]
Dates: February  26-March 1
Location:  Villa Rosa Inn

San Francisco Writers Conference
Four days of 60+ sessions with major presenters, agents and editors; a glorious opening gala; evening Open Mic, poetry happenings, and pitch sessions… plus an SFWC writer’s bag, 2 keynote luncheons and 2 breakfasts are included
Dates: February 12-15
Location: Mark Hopkins Hotel
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