Newsletter: 13/6/21: Figments for the First of Summer, More Contests and Another Fair

Hi everyone,

First, happy Summer Solstice. Rather appropriate, is it not, that the Sun has peaked out of the clouds today. But yikes for those living South of us and suffering flood, hail and vandals/looters. I saw a report though that the North Saskatchewan is also rising, even if only by a bit. Let us hope the waters recede quickly and the majority of the damage and loss of life has already occurred.

I would chastise those who live on flood plains, but as you might know we are living on a lake bed. I figure casting stones is a bad idea.

Please take a moment and think about those living to our South.

I have several new contests and several new prompts, plus an announcement I am forwarding from our fearless previous leader.

Get Inspired with Writing Prompts

First, I apologize. Somehow I convinced myself that I did write a newsletter for you last week. It appears I did not. So today, I offer eleven Figment prompts (the last ones as it turns out); we received an extra one last Saturday.

I leave the Figments to speak for themselves. Remember though to reflect on how these prompts might help you in your stories, poems, nonfiction and craft.

This now leaves a gap in our writing prompts segment of our newsletter. To this end I added to our Summer Events Survey a section about where our next batch of prompts should come from. Complete the survey and vote for or suggest your favourite.

If you need more prompts to inspire you, please refer to our Wiki and Diigo Prompts pages. There are hundreds of them out there.


You probably heard a lot of advice about creating and maintaining a schedule for your writing. The established professional writer whose job is writing likely has no problem with this advice. The rest of us live in the less idealized, real world, where jobs, family, friends and other activities get in our way. Sometimes a schedule is not a practical option. And Chuck Sambuchino agrees with you. Read his article on writing rules for the majority of us.

Kerri Majors, who offered several of the prompts above, asks whether writing is a job or a hobby. What is a job anyway? Read her article and learn what she and her husband think.


We have a lot of new writing competitions this week; several of which are due in a week. Sorry, I announce them when I get them.

Here is the list.

Standing Competitions

  • The Your Story Competition is offered every other month by Writer’s Digest. Writer’s Digest provides a short, open-ended prompt. You submit a short story based on that prompt. The winner is published in an upcoming issue of Writer’s Digest. Competition 51: Write a short story, of 750 words or fewer, that begins with the following line of dialogue: “Heads, we get married; tails, we break up.” Deadline: July 15, 2013.
  • The Writing Competition is another open-ended contest. You can enter anytime, and your (non-transferrable) entry is judged during the period in which you submitted and paid. Money and publication on the winner’s page are the prizes. Submissions of 500 years are short-listed to the top 20 before judging. First Judging: August 28.

Contests Around the Corner

  • The Screenplay Replay Contest offers to adapt and publish your full-length screenplay (in any genre) as a novel, written by a ghostwriter in consultation with you. Worth $25,000. Other prizes offered at various levels. Early Deadline: June 30, 2013. Early Fee: $50. Standard Deadline: September 30, 2013. Standard Fee: $75.
  • The Drue Heinz Literature Prize is offered annually by the University of Pittsburgh Press for the best collection of short stories. The winner receives $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press. No mention of a fee is made. Deadline: June 30.
  • The Bellevue Literary Review Prizes — the Vilcek Prize for Poetry, Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, and Burns Archive Prize for Nonfiction — are offered annually for the best short story or poem related to health, healing, illness, the mind and body. The winner receives $1,000 and publication in the Bellevue Literary Review. Deadline: July 1.
  • The Arizona Authors’ Association Annual National Literary Contest and Book Awards offers multiple awards in various categories. Top prizes of $100, as well as other amounts, are available. Deadline: July 1.
  • The 1st Annual In Shadows Writing Competition for Unpublished Writers is hosted by Brynna Curry along with authors Lily Harlem, Alvania Scarborough, Lucy Felthouse, and Natasha Blackthorne for the best manuscript (initial submission is first five pages). The winner receives a full in-depth manuscript critique. Second and third place receive a full critique of the first 15 pages of their manuscript. Entry is free. Deadline: July 1.
  • The House of Design Inaugural Website Giveaway Contest offers a chance to win a custom author’s website tailored to your taste, personality, work and style, plus tools and training to manage your website. Make that first impression professional and lasting. Just enter and answer two questions in three sentences each. Early Deadline: July 15. Early Fee $10. Standard Deadline: August 15. Standard Fee $15.
  • The RATTLE Poetry Prize is offered annually for the best previously unpublished poem. Grand prize receives $5,000 and publication in RATTLE. Deadline: July 15.
  • The Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Short Story Competition for best 4000-word-or-less short story in science fiction, thriller, crime, horror, romance and young adult categories has a top prize of $2,500, a trip to the 2013 Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City and much more. Entry fee is $20. Early Deadline: September 16. Standard Deadline: October 15.
  • The 14th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition for best short story of 1500 words or less has a $3,000 prize (and more). No categories are listed. Entry fee is $20. Early Deadline: November 15.

These competitions are fairly standard, offering money, publication or both for your poems, collection of poems, fiction, collection of fiction, non-fiction, collection of non-fiction, and novels, novellas and other written forms, in most genres. But I would like to mention the In Shadows and House of Design competitions which represent a growing trend in writing contests: exposure or critiques and advice over money as a prize. I think we’ll see a lot more of these kinds of competitions. Which do you find more valuable?

Visit our Diigo Competition page for annotated and tagged links to more writing competitions. With Summer being the busiest writing and publishing season, you know there are a lot of competitions out there. Enter some and enjoy.

Festivals and Fairs: Don’t Hibernate, Words in the Park and LitFest

CL, our illustrious leader for 39 years before she offered the job to me, e-mailed me with an announcement from the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and Strathcona Country Library. Strathcona County is holding a Words in the Park Book Sale and Fair on Saturday, October 19. Words in the Park is an opportunity to sell and promote your work and to network with readers and with other authors. This year it is occurring alongside LitFest, an Edmonton-based international literary festival featuring author readings and workshops for writers. The deadline for table booking at Word in the Park is September 20, but tables disappear fast. Both Words in the Park and LitFest are open to the public, meaning you will get exposure as well as networking. And, who knows, you might find a book or writer who grabs your attention.

This September, the Don’t Hibernate Fair in the Tofield Hall hosts clubs and teams offered over Autumn, Winter and Spring. This is the Write Group’s recruiting day.

And that is it from me this week. I hope you have a great weekend. Enjoy and keep writing,


Att: Jun 10-21, 2013 Figments