Ploughshares Emerging Writer's Contest 2015

Ploughshares literary magazine was established in 1971 and is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious magazines in the United States. Its writers have frequently been recognised by The Pushcart Prize and selected for The Best American Short Stories.

Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest 2015 is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry who have yet to publish or self-publish a book. The winning story, essay and poems from the 2015 contest will be published in the Winter 2015-16 issue of Ploughshares, and each writer will receive $1000.

The contest is open to fiction and nonfiction pieces up to 6000 words; poetry entries must be between 3 and 5 pages.

The winners of the 2014 Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest can be read in full online: Tomiko M. Breland’s Rosalee Carrasco (fiction); Eliese Colette Goldbach’s In the Memory of the Living (nonfiction) and Rosalie Moffett’s Three Poems.

Entries for the Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest open on Sunday 1 March and close on Friday 15 May 2015.

For full entry details visit the Ploughshares website. Writers are also encouraged to subscribe to the magazine’s email newsletter for advice and exercises from the Ploughshares blog to help in the writing process.

For more competitions, see our latest Opportunities for Writers post.

 

Stephen King's Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully in Ten Minutes
We came across the following article by Stephen King a little while ago. We believe it was originally published in a 1986 edition of The Writer magazine and republished in the 1988 edition of The Writer’s Handbook. We reproduce it here for educational purposes; copyright remains with Mr King.

I. The First Introduction

THAT’S RIGHT. I know it sounds like an ad for some sleazy writers’ school, but I really am going to tell you everything you need to pursue a successful and financially rewarding career writing fiction, and I really am going to do it in ten minutes, which is exactly how long it took me to learn. It will actually take you twenty minutes or so to read this essay, however, because I have to tell you a story, and then I have to write a second introduction. But these, I argue, should not count in the ten minutes.

II. The Story, or, How Stephen King Learned to Write

When I was a sophomore in high school, I did a sophomoric thing which got me in a pot of fairly hot water, as sophomoric didoes often do. I wrote and published a small satiric newspaper called The Village Vomit. In this little paper I lampooned a number of teachers at Lisbon (Maine) High School, where I was under instruction. These were not very gentle lampoons; they ranged from the scatological to the downright cruel.

Eventually, a copy of this little newspaper found its way into the hands of a faculty member, and since I had been unwise enough to put my name on it (a fault, some critics argue, of which I have still not been entirely cured), I was brought into the office. The sophisticated satirist had by that time reverted to what he really was: a fourteen-year-old kid who was shaking in his boots and wondering if he was going to get a suspension … what we called “a three-day vacation” in those dim days of 1964.

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Competitions for Writers in March and April 2015

Competitions from around the world for both established and emerging writers.

Please check the relevant websites for all terms and conditions and be aware that entry fees are payable in many cases. 

Bath Flash Fiction Award
is a rolling competition. Each award ends when 1000 entries are received. Judging takes place soon afterwards, with a top prize of £1000. Maximum story length is 300 words and entrants can be from anywhere in the world.

Enizagam Literary Awards in Poetry and Fiction
will award two prizes of US$1000 and publication. Poets should submit poems totalling no more than 10 pages; short stories may be up to 4000 words. Entries close 1 March.

Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition
awards a prize of US$1000 with a total of 20 entrants to be published in a contest issue of Atlanta Review. Entries close 1 March.

CBC Creative Nonfiction Competition
is open to all Canadian residents. The competition is for original, unpublished work of creative nonfiction between 1200 and 1500 words and carries a grand prize of CA$6000. Entries close 1 March.

Gordon Burn Prize
is open to fiction books that challenges perceived notions of genre and make people think again about just what it is that we are reading and non-fiction book that explore in innovative and exciting ways topics that reflect Gordon Burn’s interests such as social history, sport, true crime, music, celebrity and art. The winning writer will receive a cheque for £5000 and be offered the opportunity to undertake a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn’s cottage in the Borders. The deadline is 2 March.

Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers
is open to Canadian writers aged under 35. Candidates should submit 5 – 10 pages (up to 2500 words) of previously unpublished fiction. First prize is CA$5000 and there is no entry fee. Entries close 2 March.

Molly Keane Creative Writing Award
is inviting entries from Irish writers with a previously of unpublished short story to a maximum of 2000 words. There is no entry fee, no age limit and no restriction on the subject matter. Entries close 6 March.

Fresher Writing Prize
aims to offer a platform for new writers, giving them the opportunity to be published and have their work read by major industry figures. There are various categories to enter (short story, poetry, scriptwriting and creative non-fiction), and the prizes on offer are aimed at helping new writers to launch their careers. Closes 8 March.

Room Creative Nonfiction Contest
is open to until 8 March. Room is Canada’s oldest literary journal by and about women. The winner receives CA$500 and publication.

Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction
is offered each year by Colorado State University’s Center for Literary Publishing. The winner receives a US$2000 honorarium and the story is published in the fall/winter issue of Colorado Review. There are no theme restrictions, but stories must be under 50 pages. Entries close 14 March. Continue Reading…

Richard Flanagan's Writing Shack

“There are no distractions; in the end all that stands between me and writing the book I wish to write is my own mediocrity and complete lack of talent.”

Bruny Island is located off the south-east coast of Tasmania, which itself is an island off the south-east coast of mainland Australia. It’s home to around 600 people, an iconic lighthouse, an oyster farm, an endangered species of Pardalote birds and, for at least part of the year, one internationally bestselling author.

In this video produced by Joel Tozer, Richard Flanagan, winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, shares the role the isolation of this location plays in his writing process.

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Publication Opportunities for Writers in March and April 2015

Over 70 publication opportunities for both established and emerging writers.

Please check the relevant websites for all terms and conditions. 

Dark River Review
is a national undergraduate literary magazine sponsored by the Department of Languages and Literature at Alabama State University. It is accepting submissions for its Spring 2015 issue. Currently enrolled undergraduate students are invited to submit poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, academic essays, and visual art. Closes 1 March.

Fjords
is an arts and literary review for the 21st century reader. It features new art and literature alongside translations and reviews. Fjords is open to general submissions as well for a special Women’s Edition edited by Joanna Demkiewicz and Kaylen Ralph. The deadline for the later is 1 March.

Puerto del Sol
now in its 47th year of publication, is the journal of the English Department at New Mexico State University. It welcomes submissions of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, translations, artwork and criticism, as well as any interesting combinations thereof. Puerto del Sol’s reading period closes on 1 March.

Black Warrior Review
publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners alongside up-and-coming writers. Stories and poems appearing in Black Warrior Review have been reprinted in the Pushcart Prize series, Best American Short Stories, Best American Poetry, New Stories from the South, and other anthologies. Submissions close 1 March.

Quotable
is a quarterly print and online publication. Submissions are now open for its 17th issue on the theme ’Atmosphere’. The editors are seeking flash fiction (up to 1000 words), short fiction (up to 3000 words), and creative non-fiction (up to 3000 words), as well as poetry and art. Closes 1 March.

Paper and Ink Zine
is seeking submissions for a forthcoming issue on the theme ‘Shitty Jobs’. It accepts short stories, poetry, flash fiction, memoirs and more up to 1500 words Submissions close 1 March.

Glass Mountain
is seeking previously unpublished fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry from undergraduates at any college or university. Submissions for the Spring 2015 Issue close on 6 March.

Glastonbury Festival
is seeking poets, wordsmiths, lyricists, spoken word artists, raconteurs, story tellers, stand-up poets and slam champs to perform on its poetry stage. Applications close 6 March.

Stockholm Review of Literature
is an online publication that seeks to publish superlative literary fiction, poetry, essays and art, and undertakes to promote the writers and artists that produce it. Submissions received by 8 March will be considered for its seventh issue. Continue Reading…

 The Art of Writerly Procrastination, or How I Write My Books While Appearing to Do Nothing
Paddy O’Reilly is an Australian writer of fiction, non-fiction and screenplay. Her latest novel, The Wonders, is published in the United States this week by Washington Square Press. Here she shares an insight into her writing process.

Allow me to introduce you to one of the ways I spend my writing time – observing chickens. My two chooks are called Toni and Guy. I named them after a hairdressing firm in honour of their excellent plumage.

When I’m writing, I often find it necessary to spend time with Toni and Guy. I feed them from my hand and listen to their snuffly nose breathing as they peck at the seeds. I watch as they travel the morning yard, inspecting the grass for bugs that have landed in the night and not yet made their escape. The girls accompany me as I pass through the garden pulling weeds; or tickling a male flower’s stamen with a feather from Toni and Guy’s coop then transferring the collected pollen to the pistil of a female flower; or nipping the laterals off a plant; or harvesting tomatoes and zucchini and peppers into the basin I carry around each morning in summer.

As I pick my way through my garden tasks, they meander in my wake, tilting their heads to see better because their vision is alien to mine. Chickens can see ultraviolet light. They have better motion-sensing ability than me – they know a crow is in the sky well before I have any idea. When I want to see something close up, I lower my head and look with both eyes. When the girls want the same thing, they often tilt their head sideways to focus the fovea of a single eye, which we humans cannot do. But at night their vision falters. I have to make sure they are protected from predators who can clearly see their sleeping bodies in the dark.

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The Digital Writers' Festival Starts on 11 February

The Digital Writers’ Festival has just announced its full program for 2015. Starting on Wednesday 11 February and running for 12 days, the festival offers over 30 events and features 60 artists.

All events will be live streamed via digitalwritersfestival.com and be available to writers anywhere in the world, provided they have access to the internet. The majority events are free.

Some highlights of the program include:

Earlywords: “What Do I Look For in a First Chapter?” (free)
Explore the art of capturing an audience by gaining a deeper understanding of the critical functions of a first chapter. Gain insight into what professionals seek from your manuscript, as well as common failings, and learn techniques in the art of the hook – from bludgeoning the reader with murder and mayhem, to more subtle and nuanced ways authors create intrigue.
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ABC Open: From Page to National Stage – Writing for the National Broadcaster (free)
From memoir-style writing in the non-fiction project ‘500 Words’, to opinion pieces on current affairs for Open Drum, ABC Open invites writers to share their personal experiences on themes as diverse as racism, mental health, secret fears and relationships. Each month new writing themes are published to challenge and inspire.
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Publishing on the Feed: Social Media as a Publishing Platform (free)
Is a status update part of a real-time memoir? Is a tweet really just a form of free verse? When it comes to getting a work of microfiction into the world, is distributing it on a social network the best way to receive immediate feedback and place it before the readers that matter most? Could your Facebook Newsfeed function as an algorithmically-generated literary journal?
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Writers’ Night School: Screenwriting for the YouTube Generation (paid)
From Lena Denham to The Bondi Hipsters, tomorrow’s “Creative Geniuses” and “Voices of their Generation” will be discovered through their fully sick web series. Learning the fundamentals of online storytelling is a great way to kickstart your filmmaking career by giving you the tools to create a web series that works. This is classical storytelling refaaahshioned for the YouTube generation. Character. Concept. Plot. Audience. These aren’t just random words, they’re the building blocks of great stories.
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