The Tom Howard Poetry Contest for Verse In All Styles and Genres, plus The Tom Howard Short Story, Essay & Prose Contest are now open for entries. For the new Prose Contest, the prize pool is $5,550 (including a First Prize of $3,000). Entry fees remain pegged at $15 for each short story or essay up to 5,000 words in length.
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
An alternative site for both contests: http://www.winningwriters.com (you will need to click the contest of your choice at the top right or top left).
Judging for the 2010 Tom Howard Short Story, Essay & Prose Contest is proceeding smoothly. Winners will b e announced on schedule on September 15, 2010.
However, a large number of otherwise excellent entries did not make the Final Short List because they had small faults. Here are some of them:
1. The title was ordinary, commonplace, well-used. Take a look at the titles of the stories published in our anthologies of previous Winning and Highly Commended entries: WATCHING TIME: Anthology of Prizewinning Essays & Short Stories and also Mr Christian and the Bag Lady: An Anthology of Prize-Winning Stories and also Keep Watching the Skies! An Anthology of Prize-Winning Short Stories. Even the title stories themselves sound mighty intriguing.
I'd also recommend my own books, such as Micaela Morris in Jo's Heaven and Other Stories or A Mountain of Many Treasures: Prose Pieces by John Howard Reid. Just to take the other titles in "Many Treasures", for example, we have "Of Easy Yokes and Light Burdens", "Mind Candy", "Two Positives, One Negative", " Goodbye, Sweet Revenge", "Settling Accounts", "Wharf Idler", "For Love or Honey", "What Price Entertainment?", "Bad Medicine". "Going Down", "Below Cost", "Bunny Money", "Section Queue" and "My Friend, My Enemy". If you click on the above links, you'll find more information at Amazon. My books are also available in Kindle editions at these locations: Micaela Morris in Jo's Heaven and also A Mountain of Many Treasures
2. The opening paragraph did not grab the reader's interest straight away. This is very important. Your title and your opening paragraph are the first words the judges see. It's vital to make a good impression right from the start.
3. The dialogue 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!
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.
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
This book is also available in a Kindle edition. Please use this link: Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS
And to answer another question, the anthologies of winning Tom Howard stories such as "Watching Time" will NOT be available in Kindle editions, because of copyright restrictions.
Poets! Now is a good time to submit entries to the Tom Howard Contest for Verse In All Styles and Genres. It stands to reason that the judges will have more time to consider your poems when entries average only ten a day!
With all my very best wishes for your future success!