Sunday, December 20, 2009

Contests for short and ultra-short stories and poems

The Binnacle ultra-short
The University of Maine’s Literary and Arts magazine, the Binnacle,  accepts submissions from all over the world and sponsors an annual contest that everybody should enter: the Binnacle’s ultra-short competition. There’s no fee and your piece doesn’t have to be long at all. The maximum length for prose or poetry is 150 words (sixteen lines max for poems).
Submit via email to ummbinnacle@maine.edu
Please include the work in the body of the email message.
Winning entries will be published and will win a minimum award of $50. Please submit no more than two works total, prose and/or poetry.
Deadline: February 15
Complete rules here: http://www.umm.maine.edu/ultra-short-competition.html
As a literary journal, The Binnacle accepts submissions, too. Check out the Binnacle here.

The Writer’s Union of Canada Postcard Story Competition
The Writers’ Union of Canada runs three good contests each year:
The Short Prose Competition, deadline Nov 3
The Writing for Children Competition, deadline April 24
And the Postcard Story Competition, deadline February 14

The Writing for Children contest is probably the best, because the Writers' Union presents the winning manuscripts and all the runners-up to three children's book publishers.  Really there's no better way to get your manuscript under an editor's nose.  But the funnest contest is certainly the Postcard competition.  The challenge is to write a story in just 250 words. You can use humour, poetry, dialogue… anything goes! 

For a wonderful example of a winning entry, check out "The Invasion of the Snotty Badgers" by Karin Weber – it will only take you a minute to read it – here.

Prize: $500 and the winning entry will be published in postcard format.
Deadline: February 14
Entry Fee: $5
Complete rules here: http://www.writersunion.ca/cn_postcard.asp
Links to all the Writer's Union contests here.

Note: For information about all the annual writing contests in Canada, order The Canadian Writers' Contest Calendar. Details here.
For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

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