Newsletter: 13/10/19: Mid-October Newsletter: New prompts, contests and meeting

Hi everyone,

October is a month of transformations, where Summer gives way to Autumn and Autumn gives way to Winter, where Thanksgiving gives way to Halloween, vibrant green gives way to warm colours, and falling leaves give way to falling snow. The atmosphere of the world alters. A tension and desperation settle in the ground and air. Shadows take on strange properties, almost as if they become aware.

A couple of days ago, I was struck by the instantaneous transformation of my backyard garden into a Halloween scene. The nets we used to hold up our vines took on a sagging and eerie feel. The pitchforks, used to dig up potatoes and loosen dirt, suddenly were much more intimidating. The scarecrows turned into watchful shades waiting for the setting sky. Even garden sheds, raised boxes and fence trellises took on malicious tones. I was amazed at the completeness of the change, how easily innocent items can become so menacing and how the remnants of Fall cleaning turned into the elements of a haunted yard. Yet nothing really had changed. It was just the light, the wind, and the dip in air pressure that transformed the yard.

Writing Prompt

As a prompt for this October, describe a transformation worthy of the season. It can be part of a story, a descriptive essay, a poem or any form or genre of writing you wish. Build suspense and bring your masterpiece to our November 6 meeting.

Next Meeting: November

Our next Write Group meeting is November 6, 2013. As usual, we meet at 7:00 pm in the Council Chamber of the Tofield Town Office (in the Tofield Library building). I look forward to seeing you there and listening to your transformation stories and poems.

Writing Competitions

There are a lot of writing contests with imminent deadlines, most being October 30 to November 1. Check out our Competition page on our Wiki.

The following contests are about to expire.

  • The 99fiction Short Horror Competition offers a prize for the most Liked, truly gripping short horror story written in 299 words or less. A picture or two may be included. The horror story with the largest number of Likes on 99fiction.net will win the an Amazon or Flipkart voucher valued at $25. Entry fee: free, but must be a member of 99fiction up to November 1. Deadline: October 30.
  • The Patricia Bibby First Book Award offers $1000 and publication for 50–84 pages of original poetry in English. Open to all poets writing in English who have not committed to publishing collections of poetry of 36 poems or more in editions of over 400 copies. Entry fee: $30. Deadline: October 31.
  • 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. Entry fee: $75. Deadline: October 31.
  • The DIAGRAM Essay Contest offers $1000 and publication in DIAGRAM for a nonfiction essay of up to 10,000 words. The essays can be experimental or formal. Entry fee: $17. Deadline: October 31.
  • The Tiger’s Eye Poetry Chapbook Contest offers $100 and 25 copies of your 20-25-page chapbook of poetry. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: October 31.
  • The Writer’s Digest 8th Annual Poetry Awards offers $1000, publication and a copy of the 2014 Poet’s Market for any poem up to 32 lines. Other prizes also offered. Entry fee: $15 for first poem, $10 for each additional poem. Deadline: November 1.
  • The Brick Road Poetry Book Contest is offered annually for the best previously unpublished book of poetry. The winner receives $1,000, book publication, 25 copies of his or her book and possible publishing contracts. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: November 1.
  • The Tennessee Williams One-Act Play Contest is an annual contest for a previously unpublished and unproduced play. Prize is $1,500, staged reading and production of the play, publication in Bayou and VIP passes to plays for two years. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: November 1.
  • 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: $20. Early Deadline: November 15.

More contests are listed in our Wiki and our Diigo.

Call for Submissions

One last item I would like to share. I just received an e-mail with yet another short deadline attached to it. This is not a contest, but a call for articles on any fiction writing-related topic, from craft to publishing to marketing to promotion. Perhaps you might be interested in writing something.

Deadline: October 31.

Call for Submissions: 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market articles

The Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market is currently accepting pitches for articles to appear in its 2015 edition.

For nearly 34 years, NSSWM has provided fiction writers with solid, accurate, and useful information on how to improve their craft, get their work published, and market and promote their writing.

We are currently accepting pitches on any fiction writing-related topic, but I will especially consider:

Craft & Technique

  • A “Back to Basics” approach for perennial writing craft topics, including plot/structure, character, scene, dialogue, description, and point of view.
  • Fresh approaches to story-building techniques, including character arcs, structure, and outlining.
  • A breakdown of what makes a short story exceptional (anatomy of a successful short story).

Getting Published

  • “Breaking In” interviews from authors are always compelling.
  • Proposal, query, and submission how-tos

Marketing and Promotion

  • Blogging and social media guides

Please submit pitches by October 31, 2013. Include the scope/topic of your proposed article, estimated word count, and bios for any potential interviewees.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you!

Submit pitches via e-mail to rachel.randall@fwmedia.com with the subject line: 2015 NSSWM Pitch.

Rachel Randall, Editor


And that’s it from me. I hope you have a great week and find inspiration to keep writing.

Yours writing,