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.
Please read our submission guidelines below in full before you submit.
Deadline: January 1, 2018 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
Not the writing contest for you? Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear when we launch a new one.
• The submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. eastern time on January 1, 2018. Please note that the deadline is eastern standard 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, especially since our staff is out of the office on weekends and over the holidays. If you do experience a technical problem, contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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 story, our judging panel will critique the story that we felt was the strongest overall. Again, if you submit more than one story and you add-on a critique fee, we will only critique one story. 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.
• 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.
• 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 story entry may cause your story 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 April 2018 issue 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.
• Entry fees are non-refundable.
• International (non-US) writers are welcome to submit.
• Must be 18 years or older to enter.