The $5,550 Tom Howard Poetry Contest for Verse In All Styles and Genres, plus The $5,550 Tom Howard Short Story, Essay & Prose Contest are now open for entries.
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 be announced on schedule on September 15, 2010. When I look through the Short List of possible winning entries, I notice that 90% of them have arresting or striking titles that instantly enable me to recall the story. I not only remember the story itself but also why I found it so appealing. The other 10%, however, have titles that don't mean anything to me at all. I'm forced to refresh my memory by actually reading the story for the fourth or fifth time. This not only puts me in a bad humor but also induces me to come down hard on any faults that I might find. The chances are strong that this entry will be dropped from the short list.
1. Please do your best to ensure your title is appealing, forceful, yet relevant. 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 A Packet of Dreams or 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.
One of the advantages my own books hold is that they are also available in Kindle editions at these locations: Micaela Morris in Jo's Heaven and also A Mountain of Many Treasures and also A Packet of Dreams . On the other hand, the anthologies of previous winning Tom Howard Contest entries will, alas, NEVER be available at Kindle because of copyright restrictions.
2. Your opening paragraph is also important. After all, 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. Once again, I recommend taking a look at the first paragraphs of any of the stories mentioned above.
3. Brighten up your dialogue and/or descriptive passages.
All subjects and genres are welcome for both our Prose and Poetry Contests. For the Prose Contest, for example, you may submit 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.
Amazon have reduced the price of the 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
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 or twelve a day! Don't wait until the average reaches fifty or sixty!
This Contest is one of the very, very few poetry contests that impose NO RESTRICTIONS ON THE LENGTH OF YOUR POEMS. And you may also submit as many entries as you like!
Here's a link to a book of poetry that will not only inspire you but delight you: A Salute To Spanish Poetry: 100 Masterpieces from Spain & Latin America rendered into English verse and it's also available in Amazon's Kindle store: A Salute to Spanish Poetry 100 Masterpieces from Spain and Latin America rendered into English verse
With all my very best wishes for your future success!