Founded in 1887, The Writer is one of the nation’s oldest magazines about the craft of writing. As someone interested in the world of books, authors and writing, you will find plenty of useful material in every issue. Stories about star writers such as Aaron Sorkin and Elizabeth Strout, and craft stories written by leaders in the field such as Roy Peter Clark are the heart and soul of our work. We also have an ear tuned to emerging voices such as Taiye Selasi and Vaddey Ratner. Our how-to stories and profiles are informative, instructive, motivational and necessary to writers of all levels.

We encourage you to submit to the following contests in order to help hone your craft, gain inspiration and perhaps even win a prize. Please see each contest description for individual guidelines and deadlines. And visit The Writer for additional information and resources.

Ends on March 1, 2019$25.00 - 70.00
$25.00 - 70.00

Write a 2,000-word essay about any aspect of the writing life. Any topic is fair game, so long as it pertains to some aspect of writing.


Deadline: March 1st, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST

Grand prize: $1,000 and publication in our magazine. However, every essay we receive will be considered for paid publication in The Writer.

Word count: 2,000 words or less



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Please read our submission guidelines below in full before you submit.


The submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. eastern time on March 1st, 2019. Please note that the deadline is eastern time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, we recommend using an online time zone converter, such as thetimezoneconverter.com. Every year, we receive emails from writers who waited until the last minute to enter and experienced a technical glitch or another emergency. To be safe, we recommend submitting well before the final deadline to account for any problems. If you experience a technical problem or glitch, we recommend contacting Submittable directly at support@submittable.com. If you experience a non-technical problem or you have a question, contact customerservice@madavor.com and we will do our very best to help you. 


• The entry fee is $25 (including processing fees). All entries MUST be submitted through Submittable to be considered. We cannot accept mailed or emailed submissions. 


• We encourage you to submit multiple essays – for a discounted entry fee of $15. All entries must be submitted on the same transaction in order to get the discounted rate. The first submission will be $25 and each additional submission (up to 5 per transaction) will be $15.

You may choose to add on a critique of one of your essays for an additional $25. Our critiques are roughly 200 words and aim to show both your essay's best strengths in addition to what might need improvement. If you submit more than one essay, our judging panel will critique the piece that we felt was the strongest overall. Again, if you submit more than one essay and you add-on a critique fee, we will only critique one essay. You will receive your critique in an email via Submittable once we close the contest and announce the winners. It takes a great deal of time to read all entries and craft our critiques, so please have patience with us as we work through our entries.

• While we enjoy good writing in all forms, our magazine is strictly about writing and publishing, as either a career, a passion, a craft, or a lifestyle. No matter how strong an essay may be, if it does not somehow tie into some aspect of writing, we most likely will not be able to find a place for it in our magazine. For examples of the types of essays we accept, look to essays we've published in our magazine and on writermag.com.



• You may enter simultaneously submitted work. However, if one of your pieces is accepted for publication anywhere else, please withdraw your entry on Submittable and email us at tweditorial@madavor.com immediately so we know your story is no longer under consideration. We are not able to give refunds for contest entries that were accepted for publication elsewhere, so consider your options carefully before entering simultaneously submitted work.


• This is an essay (nonfiction) contest. Do not submit short stories, poetry, or other works of fiction. Do not submit any work over 2,000 words or it will be disqualified.


We prefer Word documents, but we do accept some other file types (such as PDFs). Please do give your piece a title and make sure that title matches the name you enter in the Submittable "title" form. (Your title will not be included in the maximum word count). For multiple submissions, simply enter one of your essays' titles in the Submittable form.



Please remove your name, bio and any contact info from the file that you submit – including title page, header, and footer. This is a blind contest and your confidentiality is essential. Once we close the contest and determine our winners, Submittable will allow us to contact you via your account information. There is no need whatsoever to include your personal information in your document. Including personal identifying information in your entry may cause your essay to be disqualified.

• A blind reading of all entries will be conducted by the editorial staff of The Writer.

• $1,000 and publication in The Writer will be awarded to the winner.


• Close friends and colleagues (current & former) of The Writer staff and Madavor Media are not eligible to compete.


• All submissions must be submitted and paid for via our online submission form manager. Again, we will not accept mail or email submissions. 

• We prefer Word documents, but we do accept some other file types (such as PDFs).


• All submissions must be previously unpublished. A work that has previously appeared on a blog or website is considered previously published and is thus ineligible for our competition.

• Entry fees are non-refundable.

• International (non-US) writers are welcome to submit.

• Must be 18 years or older to enter.

Every other week, find out what we have going on at The Writer. From the newest issue to articles we have in the works, updates about new articles on our website to current events in the industry, we give you all of the info you need. It's also where you'll find announcements about all of our writing contests--including details before the contest launches. 

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The Writer