You'll find full details at respectively http://poetrycontests.exactpages.com (you will need to scroll halfway down the page for the Tom Howard Contest) and http://shortstorycontest.0catch.com
An exclusive site for the Tom Howard Poetry Contest is http://tomhowardpoetry.bravepages.com
Alternative sites are http://writeway.exactpages.com (for both Poetry and Prose contests) and http://www.winningwriters.com (you will need to click the contest of your choice on the left of the home page).
Judging for the 2009 Tom Howard Short Story, Essay & Prose Contest is proceeding smoothly. Writers who made the Preliminary Short List have been notified. If you did not receive this email, I'm sorry to say that your entry was not short-listed. Because of the large number of entries, many fine stories were excluded simply because they had small faults. Here are some of them:
1. The title was ordinary, commonplace, well-used.
2. The opening paragraph did not grab the reader's interest straight away.
3. The dialogue and and/or descriptions were dull. They lacked sparkle.
4. An otherwise outstanding entry fell by the wayside because of a poor conclusion. Many entrants seemed to be writing a story with 5,000 words firmly in mind. When they came close to this length, they simply stopped writing, almost in mid-sentence as it were!
If you feel that your entry had one or more of these faults, by all means revise your work and submit it again!
Results will be announced on September 15, 2009, as anticipated.
Just a reminder that all subjects and genres are welcome: comic and humorous stories and essays, mystery, science fiction, romance and other genres. Even newspaper and magazine articles and interviews. And even one-act plays. The only restriction is that entries must not exceed 5,000 words. However, one ingenious competitor got around this rule by breaking his 8,000 word short story into TWO parts. There's nothing in the rules to prevent you doing this, but you will need to remember that each part will be judged separately and will need to stand on its own.
Needless to say, the judges are human beings, not robots. We all have our likes and dislikes so it's a good idea to take a look at some of the entries that have won prizes in previous contests.
"Watching Time", our latest anthology of winning prose, has once again almost completely sold out (unless you want to pay ridiculous prices of $75 or more. And would you believe some keen collector just paid $149 for a copy offered by a marketplace seller! Plus postage!). The good news is that Amazon has obtained stock. So once again Amazon has this book on sale for only $12.95. Please click this link:
WATCHING TIME: Anthology of Prizewinning Essays & Short Stories
Another piece of good news concerns the reprinting of "Mr Christian and the Bag Lady", an earlier collection of Tom Howard Prose winners. This particular anthology has been out of print for years. But here it is, now offered at Amazon:
Mr Christian and the Bag Lady: An Anthology of Prize-Winning Stories
Finally, and also at Amazon, is a new, expanded edition of my "Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS". The book has been completely revised, re-written and re-set. Despite all this, and an additional 20 pages of helpful text, the price has been lowered to only $12.50 officially, but Amazon at present have the book on sale for only $11.25!
Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS: How To Join the Winners' Circle for Prose and Poetry Awards, NEW EXPANDED EDITION