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2015 OWC Writing Contest

Writing in notebookThe deadline for the 2015 Oregon Writers Colony writing contest is June 22.

For 2015, we’ve added two new categories: Fiction First Chapters and Narrative Nonfiction First Chapters.

You may submit as many stories and first chapters as you wish.

2015 Fiction and Nonfiction Contests for Short Stories and First Chapters

The contest is open to members and nonmembers regardless of state or national residency.

Entries meeting the guidelines below will be accepted beginning May 1.

Last date for electronic submission or postmark is June 22, 2015.

Entry specifications:

  • Fiction, first chapter, up to 3500 words
  • Narrative nonfiction, first chapter, up to 3500 words
  • Short story, fiction, up to 2500 words
  • Short story, narrative nonfiction, up to 2500 words

We are not sponsoring a poetry contest in 2015

Awards in each category

1st place: The winner will receive $200, the honor of reading at Stumptown Lit on Oct. 25th, 2015, be featured in Colonygram, on the OWC website, our Facebook page, and the OWC promotional catalog/brochure which OWC will distribute at Stumptown Lit and Wordstock.

2nd place: The winner will receive $75, recognition at Stumptown Lit, and be featured in Colonygram, on the OWC website, our Facebook page, and the OWC promotional catalog/brochure which OWC will distribute at Stumptown Lit and Wordstock.

3rd place: The winner will receive a one year membership, new or renewal, in Oregon Writers Colony, recognition at Stumptown Lit, be featured in Colonygram, on the OWC website, our Facebook page, and the OWC promotional catalog/brochure which OWC will distribute at Stumptown Lit and Wordstock.

Honorable mentions: Certificate of Achievement, recognition at Stumptown Lit, listed in Colonygram, on the OWC website, our Facebook page, and the OWC promotional catalog/brochure which OWC will distribute at Stumptown Lit and Wordstock.

Fee per entry:

$20 per entry for OWC members

$25 per entry for nonmembers

Optional fee for constructive critiques from judging panel: add $10

Electronic submission: add $6 for handling and printing

Judging

All judges are published authors with editing experience.

Entries will be judged in two rounds.

All entires will be received, recorded and separated from the title page and identifying information and then sent to an OWC judging panel who will review all entries and select seven finalists in each category for review by our final judges.

The final judging will be completed by a different judge for each category.

You may submit multiple entries with one fee per entry. Only one entry can place in the top three, but other winning entries will be recognized as honorable mentions.

Here are the judges:

Submission instructions

Entries must be original and unpublished (self-published work is eligible for entry)

Word count not to exceed 2,500 for short stories or 3500 for first chapters.

Formatting: double-spaced, one-inch margins, Courier or Times New Roman, 12-point font

Title, word count, and category (short story fiction or nonfiction, first chapter fiction or nonfiction) on first page

NO author name anywhere on the manuscript

Multiple submissions allowed

One entry fee per submission

Fee per entry must be included with submission

Last date for electronic submission or postmark is June 22, 2015.

Entries not meeting contest rules will be disqualified.

Paper submission packet

Submit each entry separately. Each packet must include:

  • Four stapled copies of your entry. NO author name anywhere on the manuscript.
  • Business envelope, labeled for category of entry — “Fiction Short Story,” “Nonfiction Short Story,” “Fiction First Chapter,” or “Nonfiction First Chapter.” The envelope will contain:
    • Check for entry fee. You may include both entry fee and optional critique fee in the same check
    • Self-addressed and stamped postcard (sent back as your receipt for peace of mind)
  • Business envelope SASE if requesting critiques
  • 3×5 card (no odd-sized cards) with the following information:
    • Category of entry: “Fiction Short Story” or “Nonfiction Short Story” or “Fiction First Chapter” or “Nonfiction First Chapter”
    • Title of submission
    • Name, address, phone, email address*
    • OWC “member” or “nonmember”
    • Where you learned of the contest
    • “Critiques” if you’re including the optional critiques fee

Entrants will be receive the weekly OWC email newsletter. (You may unsubscribe at any time.)

Mail your entries to:

  • OWC Contest
  • P.O. Box 15200
  • Portland, OR, 97293-5200

Entries must be postmarked by June 22nd, 2015.

Electronic Submissions

Send each entry in a separate email.

In the email subject line write “2015 Writing Contest”

In the body of the email, include the following information:

  • The category of the entry: “Fiction Short Story” or “Nonfiction Short Story” or “Fiction First Chapter” or “Nonfiction First Chapter”
  • Title of submission
  • Name, address, phone, and email address
  • OWC “member” or “nonmember”
  • Where you learned of the contest
  • “Critiques”, if you’re including the optional critiques fee. (Critiques will be scanned and emailed to you.)

Attach your entry as a Word document (.doc). Your author name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.

OWC will print submissions upon receipt and will not reformat the text to meet contest requirements.

Entries not meeting the criteria will be disqualified.

Packet contents (with the exception of a self-addressed stamped postcard) and contest fees will not be returned or refunded.

Note on First Chapter Submissions

If you have a prologue, you need to choose between sending the prologue or your first chapter. If your first chapter is very short, you need to decide if you will combine your first and second chapter, while still remaining under 3500 words, for submission. If you combine your first and second chapter, both will be read as one chapter. Any work labeled “chapter 2″ will not be read.

If you have any questions regarding the contest, please contact the OWC Contest Director a href=”mailto:cclill@comcast.net”>Lill Ahrens

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