$5,350 Prose Contest Questions & Answers
What types of prose are eligible?
All and any, including (but not restricted to) fiction, short stories, true accounts, essays, articles, interviews, memoirs, editorials, opinions, reviews, surveys, humor, mystery, romance, science fiction, horror, supernatural, theses, assignments, guides, how-to, travel, diaries, blogs, lists, translations (so long as the original work is out of copyright), and personal or imaginary experiences of every kind.
- The work must be your own (although work by two or more authors is acceptable).
- The entry must be written in English.
- It must not exceed 5,000 words.
- As winning entries will be published on the Winning Writers website, you must own online publication rights.
What about work that has been previously published or has won prizes in other contests?
All such work is acceptable, provided you own online publication rights. Work that has been entered in previous Tom Howard Contests is also acceptable, provided you did not win a CASH prize. However, if your work was commended or short-listed in previous contests, we recommend that you revise it before re-submitting. Many stories and essays will read with greater impact if they are shortened slightly. On the other hand, non-fiction generally benefits from additional detail.
Any limits on the number of entries?
Which is better, online submission or through postal mail?
Both methods are acceptable. However, online submission will sometimes disturb your entry's format. Entries are judged by their content, not their formatting, but if you feel the format is important, it is best to lodge by postal mail.
Do early entries have any advantage?
Yes. In this contest, the judges read entries as they come in, not all in a heap when the contest closes. So at this early stage, the judges have more time to read entries and consider their merits with the greatest possible care. Statistics show that one in every two entries lodged before December 31, are placed on the initial short list, that is they are selected for further consideration. This proportion drops to one in three for January and February, one in four for March. Of course, a far greater number of entries are lodged in these months, so the actual number of short-listed submissions does rise dramatically.
Will winning entries be published?
Yes, on the Winning Writers website. Printed anthologies have been published in the past, but all except the most recent, "WATCHING TIME", are now out of print. However, it is possible that you may be asked in the future for permission to publish your story in a similar anthology. Winners are entirely free to accept or decline such offers.
Are the judges partial to any particular types or subjects?
I would say that the tastes of the judges encompass just about every publishable format and subject. The anthology, "WATCHING TIME", provides an excellent illustration of the judges' ranges and tastes.
This year, the prize pool for this prose contest has been increased to $5,350 (including a First Prize of $2,000), while a slight increase in the entry fee to $15 will apply for each short story or essay up to 5,000 words in length.
You'll find full details at http://shortstorycontest.0catch.com
An alternative site (in which you will also find the full results for the last contest) is
WATCHING TIME, our latest short story and essay anthology, has finally been reprinted and is again on sale at Amazon. The price is $12.95, which is good value for a 207-page trade paperback. The 14 prize-winners include four Firsts, three Seconds, and two Thirds!
WATCHING TIME: Anthology of Prizewinning Essays & Short Stories
Whatever happens, keep on writing on. The more you write, the more you'll succeed!