$5,550 Prose Contest Questions & Answers
What types of prose are eligible?
All and any, including (but not restricted to) fiction, short stories, true accounts, essays, articles, interviews, memoirs, editorials, opinions, reviews, surveys, humor, mystery, romance, science fiction, horror, supernatural, theses, assignments, guides, how-to, travel, diaries, blogs, lists, translations (of your own works or those of other authors so long as the original is not copyright), and personal or imaginary experiences of every kind.
- With the exception of English translations of Public Domain material originally written in languages other than English, the work must be your own (although work by two or more authors is acceptable).
- All entries must be written in English.
- No single entry must exceed 5,000 words.
- As winning entries will be published on the Winning Writers website, you must own online publication rights.
What about work that has been previously published or has won prizes in other contests?
All such work is acceptable, provided you own online publication rights. Work that has been entered in previous Tom Howard Contests is also acceptable, provided you did not win a CASH prize. However, if your work was commended or short-listed in previous contests, we recommend that you revise it before re-submitting. Many stories and essays will read with greater impact if they are shortened slightly. On the other hand, non-fiction generally benefits from additional detail.
Any limits on the number of entries?
Which is better, online submission or through postal mail?
Both methods are acceptable. However, online submission will sometimes disturb your entry's format. Entries are judged by their content, not their formatting, but if you feel the format is important, it is best to lodge by postal mail.
Do early entries have any advantage?
Yes. In this contest, the judges read entries as they come in, not all in a heap when the contest closes. So at this early stage, the judges have more time to read entries and consider their merits with the greatest possible care. Statistics show that one in every two entries lodged before December 31, are placed on the initial short list, that is they are selected for further consideration. This proportion drops to one in three for January and February, one in four for March. Of course, a far greater number of entries are lodged in these months, so the actual number of short-listed submissions does rise dramatically.
Will winning entries be published?
Yes, on the Winning Writers website. Printed anthologies have been published in the past. Some are out of print but Watching Time, Mr Christian and the Bag Lady and Keep Watching the Skies are now AGAIN AVAILABLE! See below for live Amazon links.
Are the judges partial to any particular types or subjects?
I would say that the tastes of the judges encompass just about every publishable format and subject. The anthology, "WATCHING TIME" and the other anthologies mentioned above provide excellent guides to the judges' ranges and tastes.
To repeat, the Annual $5,550 Tom Howard Short Story, Essay and Prose Contest Is Open! The Margaret Reid Poetry Contest will re-open on November 15!
Unlike many other contests we impose no limit on the number of entries you may submit.
And as far as our Contests are concerned, "Is it possible for one person to win more than one cash prize in a particular Contest?" the answer again is most definitely YES.
When I was submitting entries for contests for the express purpose of writing my guidebook, Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS: How To Join the Winners' Circle for Prose and Poetry Awards, I always lodged multiple entries, if possible. I was amazed when a little essay I dashed off in an hour won First Prize, rather than submissions I'd sweated over for weeks on end!
You'll find full details for the Prose Contest at http://shortstorycontest.0catch.com
An alternative site (click on the contest at the left or right of the screen) is http://www.winningwriters.com
All subjects and genres are permissible, although there are two fields the judges would really like to encourage: Humorous and comic stories and essays are very much appreciated; and we would also like to see more genre entries such as mystery and detective stories, science fiction, romance, etc.
When I was researching my Write Ways book, one thing I always did before entering a contest was to read past winning entries. Not only did these entries give me an idea of the genres and subjects the judges appreciated, but also the material they obviously were NOT looking for.
So here again, this time with their live Amazon links, are WATCHING TIME and Mr Christian and the Bag Lady and Keep Watching the Skies!
Because of copyright restrictions, these books unfortunately will not be available in electronic editions. But happily there is an e-book for Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS