OWL Writing Contest Rules

 

Join us for another exciting year of award-winning writing. OWL members may enter as many of the adult categories for a flat fee of only $15! NON-members may pay $45 to include membership and contest entry.

You must be an OWL member to enter the contest. You are most welcome to join and submit your entry fee at the same time

 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: August 1, 2020.

 

What You Get for Your Contest Entry Fee

  1. You may enter as many categories as you like for that tiny $15 fee, making it much more affordable than others that charge you per category or include an expensive three-figure conference!

  2. You get motivation to WRITE.

  3. The categories and themes give you some guidance, so you’re not staring clueless at a blank screen.

  4. You can use your entries in other contests or submit for publication afterwards.

  5. Since we are a regional group and not a national one, your odds of winning something are incredible!

  6. Winning any prize, even an honorable mention Is brag-worthy and gives you a credit to add to your portfolio.

 

How to Submit Your Contest Entry Fee:

Use our handy PayPal button on the contest page or mail $15.00 (fee for members) or $45.00 submission fee (for those becoming members and entering contests) to: OWL .c/o Russel Gayer, 20053 Pug Gayer Rd., Fayetteville, AR, 72703. This address is ONLY for the entry/membership.

 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: August 1, 2020

 

​Submit Entries via Email to: OWL.Contests@gmail.com. The only exceptions to online submissions are that books, of course, must be shipped to the Contest Facilitator and John Crawford only accepts the Crawford Poetry Prize entries typed and sent via mail.

SNAILMAIL or Deliver at OWL Your Crawford Poetry Prize &/or Best Book Award Entries

 

  • For Crawford Prize, send TWO copies of the poem with a separate cover page with all author information as detailed below. For Best Book: Submit ONE copy of your book published in 2019 for the Best Book category along with a separate cover page containing all author information as detailed below.

  • By preference, bring (or send with a friend) to the April OWL conference. Failing that, mail to Ronda Del Boccio 3455 State Highway H, Lampe, MO, 65681

 

Submission Guidelines

 

  • Submit all entries except Best Book and Crawford Prize via email to OWL.contests@gmail.com

  • N THE EMAIL BODY you must include the author’s name, pseudonym if applicable, address, email address, and phone number.

  • The attached file must have NO author identification.

  • Use standard submission format and rules. (Times New Roman 12-point, double-spaced, 1” margins).

  • Nothing identifying the author may appear on the submission itself (except best book, which has the author’s name printed in it, of course).

  • Only one entry per category

  • No gratuitous or graphic violence or sex. Let’s keep it clean

  • You may not enter the same manuscript in more than one category.

  • All entries must be UNPUBLISHED and the original work of the writer. (If your entry has appeared in a blog, website, or other electronic outlet, it IS considered published and cannot be entered in any OWL contest.)

 

Contest Dates

 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: August 1, 2020.

 

We announce winners on Friday evening of the September OWL conference. For those winners not present, certificates and checks will be sent along with a friend or mailed.

 

The Rest of the Fine Print

 

  • You must be an OWL member to enter the contest. You may pay $45, which includes your OWL membership and contest fee, in order to participate. Your membership includes two information-packed conferences per year plus other benefits.

  • Contest Chair is not responsible for misdirected or lost in mail entries. 

  • No manuscripts will be returned, and all will be destroyed after judging is final. Those entering Best Book Award may have it returned if sufficient postage is sent with the entry. Otherwise, they will be donated.

  • Qualified judges will conduct blind judging. Judges and sponsors, if OWL members, may not enter the category they judge or sponsor, but may enter other categories.

  • If we receive three or fewer entries in a category, those will still be judged and awarded prizes

  • First Place winners may not enter that manuscript in any subsequent OWL writing contest.

 

Questions?

Questions? Email OWL.contests@gmail.com.

 

Gratitude and Appreciation

A sincere thanks to our generous sponsors and judges!

2020 Writing Contest (for adults) Categories

 

 

Prizes: Unless otherwise indicated, prizes are as follows:

Prizes: First Place $50 – Second Place $30 – Third Place $20

 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: August 1, 2020

 

Categories

 

POETRY

 

P1 - Haiku

Set a vivid scene

While making me feel something

In five-seven-five

Prizes: $25 First Place - $15 Second Place - $10 Third Place

Sponsor: Jan Morrill Vanek 

 

P2 - Crawford Poetry Prize

Subject: Mountains

Length: Limit 40 lines. 

$100 First Prize - $50 Second Prize - $25 Third Place - 3 Honorable Mentions $10 each

Sponsor: John W. “Doc” Crawford

 

NONFICTION

 

N1 - Magazine article

Any nonfiction article that is targeted for a specific magazine may be entered. The targeted magazine must be listed on the manuscript. List source for any quotes. This is not an essay category.

WORD LIMIT: 1,200 words

Sponsor: Anonymous

 

N2 – Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

In Memory of Black & Kiddo. Draw the judge into reliving that experience with you.

WORD LIMIT:3,000 words.  

Sponsor: Brenda Black 

 

SHORT STORY

 

S1 - Paranormal Short Story (FICTION): Ghost stories, cryptid hunts, UFO sightings and the like are all welcome in this category.

WORD LIMIT: 2,500 words

Sponsor: Ronda Del Boccio

 

S2 - Humorous Short Story

Go ahead! Make me laugh.

WORD LIMIT: 3,500 words. 

Sponsor: Russell Gayer 

 

S3 - Historical Romance

Tell a historical romance story.

WORD LIMIT: 2500

Sponsor Parris Afton Bond

 

S4 - Flash Fiction

Tell a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end in precisely 100 words.

WORD LIMIT: EXACTLY 100 words.

Sponsor: Jan Wayne Fields

 

S5 - Western Short Story

Write a Western short story with a beginning, middle, and end. Must beset in America before 1900.

WORD LIMIT 3,000 words

Sponsor: Duke Pennell

 

S6 – Inspirational Story

Write an inspirational story (fiction or creative nonfiction). It can be contemporary or historical.

WORD LIMIT: 2,500 words

Sponsor: Diane Yates

 

S7 – SHORT-STORY – WESTERN ROMANCE

Love with spurs and ten-gallon hats is in bloom in this heartfelt, rootin’-tootin’ category. Keep it PG, no erotica, please. Limit 3,000 words.  

Sponsor: Bud Hanks

 

S8 – SHORT-STORY – O. Henry Style Story.

Write a story that concludes with a “wow I didn’t see that coming” ending. Limit: 1,200 words. 

Sponsor: Bud Hanks

 

 

S9 – WILSHIRE SHORT STORY

Any genre, limit of 3,000 words

$100 First Prize - $60 Second Prize - $40 Third Prize

Sponsor: Dr. Gil Wilshire – in memory of his parents, Professor Bruce and Donna Wilshire 

 

BOOK

 

B1 – Best First Page of a Book in Progress

Share the first page of your WIP (work in progress) and be sure to pull us into your story. You can start near the top of the page. Be sure to give the book title.

WORD LIMIT: 1 page

Sponsors: The Prose Sisters

 

B2 – Best Unpublished Book Manuscript

Show that you can write a good book worth reading from beginning to end. Include: the first 10 pages, the last 10 pages, and the best 10 pages, PLUS an annotated table of contents describing what happens in each chapter. The professionalism of the presentations is important, so be certain to follow standard manuscript formatting guidelines (TNR 12 pt. font, double-spaced, 1” margins, numbered pages)

Sponsor: Robert Lawrence

 

B3 – Best Published Book of 2019

Hardback or paperback published in 2018.  No electronic books.

$100 First Place only.

Sponsor: Veda Boyd-Jones

 

 

Categories with sponsors and judges list

(NOTE: This list is not for broad distribution.)

 

POETRY

 

P1 - Haiku

Set a vivid scene

While making me feel something

In five-seven-five

Prizes: $25 First Place - $15 Second Place - $10 Third Place

Sponsor: Jan Morrill Vanek 

Judge: Jan Morrill Vanek

 

P2 - Crawford Poetry Prize

Subject: Mountains

Length: Limit 40 lines. 

$100 First Prize - $50 Second Prize - $25 Third Place - 3 Honorable Mentions $10 each

Sponsor: John W. “Doc” Crawford

Judge: John W. “Doc.” Crawford

 

NONFICTION

 

N1 - Magazine article

Any nonfiction article that is targeted for a specific magazine may be entered. The targeted magazine must be listed on the manuscript. List source for any quotes. This is not an essay category.

WORD LIMIT: 1,200 words

Sponsor: Anonymous

 

N2 – Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

In Memory of Black & Kiddo. Draw the judge into reliving that experience with you.

WORD LIMIT:3,000 words.  

Sponsor: Brenda Black 

Judge: Brenda Black

 

SHORT STORY

 

S1 - Paranormal Short Story (FICTION): Ghost stories, cryptid hunts, UFO sightings and the like are all welcome in this category.

WORD LIMIT: 2,500 words

Sponsor: Ronda Del Boccio

Judge: TBD

 

S2 - Humorous Short Story

Go ahead! Make me laugh.

WORD LIMIT: 3,500 words. 

Sponsor: Russell Gayer 

Judge: Russell Gayer

 

S3 - Historical Romance

Tell a historical romance story.

WORD LIMIT: 2500

Sponsor Parris Afton Bond

Judge: Parris Afton BOnd

 

S4 - Flash Fiction

Tell a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end in precisely 100 words.

WORD LIMIT: EXACTLY 100 words.

Sponsor: Jan Wayne Fields

Judge: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

S5 - Western Short Story

Write a Western short story with a beginning, middle, and end. Must beset in America before 1900.

WORD LIMIT 3,000 words

Sponsor: Duke Pennell

Judge: Duke Pennell

 

S6 – Inspirational Story

Write an inspirational story (fiction or creative nonfiction). It can be contemporary or historical.

WORD LIMIT: 2,500 words

Sponsor: Diane Yates

Judge: Diane Yates

 

S7 – SHORT-STORY – WESTERN ROMANCE

Love with spurs and ten-gallon hats is in bloom in this heartfelt, rootin’-tootin’ category. Keep it PG, no erotica, please. Limit 3,000 words.  

Sponsor: Bud Hanks

 

S8 – SHORT-STORY – O. Henry Style Story.

Write a story that concludes with a “wow I didn’t see that coming” ending. Limit: 1,200 words. 

Sponsor: Bud Hanks

 

 

S9 – WILSHIRE SHORT STORY

Any genre, limit of 3,000 words

$100 First Prize - $60 Second Prize - $40 Third Prize

Sponsor: Dr. Gil Wilshire – in memory of his parents, Professor Bruce and Donna Wilshire 

 

BOOK

 

B1 – Best First Page of a Book in Progress

Share the first page of your WIP (work in progress) and be sure to pull us into your story. You can start near the top of the page. Be sure to give the book title.

WORD LIMIT: 1 page

Sponsors: The Prose Sisters

Judges: The Prose Sisters

 

B2 – Best Unpublished Book Manuscript

Show that you can write a good book worth reading from beginning to end. Include: the first 10 pages, the last 10 pages, and the best 10 pages, PLUS an annotated table of contents describing what happens in each chapter. The professionalism of the presentations is important, so be certain to follow standard manuscript formatting guidelines (TNR 12 pt. font, double-spaced, 1” margins, numbered pages)

Sponsor: Robert Lawrence

Judge: Robert Lawrence

 

B3 – Best Published Book of 2019

Hardback or paperback published in 2018.  No electronic books.

$100 First Place only.

Sponsor: Veda Boyd-Jones

Judge: Veda Boyd-Jones

 

Youth Writing Contest Rules

Deadline December 15, 2019

 

Win gift card prizes in the Ozarks Writers League Writing Contest.

1st $50 -- 2nd $30 -- 3rd $20

 

Fictional short story.  Any genre. Any topic. Limit 2,000 words.

Sponsor: Robert Laurence

 

Poetry. Any form. 26-line limit.

Sponsor: Anonymous

 

Youth Writing Contest Rules

You must be in grades 7 - 12 at the time you submit your entry. There is no entry fee.

Mail TWO copies of EACH entry in a large flat envelope postmarked by December 15, 2019 to:

 

April Brock, Contest Chair

1625 G St NW

Miami, Ok 74354

 

Only one entry per category. All entries must be UNPUBLISHED and the original work of the writer. (If your entry has appeared in a blog, website, or other electronic outlet, it IS considered published and cannot be entered.)

 

Entries may be typed or hand-written. Double-space entries for fiction and single-spaced for poetry. Use black ink on 8 ½” x 11” white paper.

Attach a 3”x5” index card with a paperclip to the top copy of each category entry with the number and name of the category, title of your entry, and your name, address, phone, email, current grade, and school attending or home-schooled.

DO NOT put your name on any part of the entry. Staple multiple pages together.

Winners will be announced in February. Good luck to all who enter!

Congratulations to the 2019 OWL Writing Contest Winners!

 

OWL Youth Writing Contest

OWL Writing Contest

Francis Mathews, 1st Place, Short Story
 

2019 Writing contest winners

 

Presidents Award

Brenda Clem Black for Black and Kiddo

 

Haiku

1st Place - Annie Lisenby for Puerto Rico

2nd Place - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Pernicious

3rd Place - April Brock for Worth It

Honorable Mention - Ronda Del Boccio for Torment

 

Romance

1st Place - April Brock for Love Conquers Fear

2nd Place - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Dearly Beloved

3rd Place - Karen Williamson for Gypsy

 

O. Henry Style

1st Place - Larry Wood for Blacklist

2nd Place - Joy Keeney for Desperate Call

3rd Place - Rhonda Harvey for Blind Fate

 

Humorous Short Story

1st Place - Sasha Ball-Rives for Harebrained Christmas

2nd Place - Larry Wood for Bowled Over

3rd Place - Annie Lisenby for Wasps!

 

Wilshire Short Story

1st Place - Billie Holladay Skelley for One-Two-Three

2nd Place - Sasha Ball-Rives for Riding the Waves

3rd Place - Annie Lisenby for The Listener

 

Crawford Poetry Prize

1st Place - Jennifer Johnson Conner for Wild Ozark Song

2nd Place - Bonnie Tesh for Belle Starr and Richey Mansion

3rd Place - Ronda Del Boccio for Branson's Haunted Railway

1st Honorable Mention - Billie Holladay Skelley for Honoring the Plant Doctor

2nd Honorable Mention - Diana West for Ozark Spook Light

3rd Honorable Mention - Larry Wood for Triolet at Carver National Park

 

Paranormal/Fantasy Fiction

1st Place - Joy Keeney for Hartsville Asylum

2nd Place - Jessica Carrick for Shadowland

3rd Place - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Day of Atonement

Honorable Mention - Jennifer Johnson Connor for Final Flight

 

Unpublished Manuscript

1st Place - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for What the Heart Wants

2nd Place - Annie Lisenby for Contributing Members

3rd Place - Larry Wood for Wild in His Sorrow

 

WIP First Page

1st Place - Ronda Del Boccio for Hypnotic Deception

2nd Place - Rhonda Harvey for Liquid Silver

3rd Place - Billie Holladay Skelley for Manumission

1st Honorable Mention - Gary R. Hoffman for Highway 50

2nd Honrable Mention Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Last Dance with Annie

 

Underdog Short Story

1st Place - Larry Wood for A Grave Situation

2nd Place - Gary R. Hoffman for Saul and Mordecai

3rd Place - Joy Keeney for Struggles of the Heart

Honorable Mention - Sasha Ball-Rives for Why We Don't Tell

 

Western Romance

1st Place - Billie Holladay Skelley for A Ruse for Romance

2nd Place - Rhonda Harvey for Between Sisters

3rd Place - April Brock for Bradford's Mare

Honorable Mention - Annie Lisenby for Falling Hard and Running Wild

 

Memoir/Creative Nonfiction

1st Place - Gary R. Hoffman for Traveling Picture Show

2nd Place - Bonnie Tesh for The Wino Goose

3rd Place - Larry Wood for Decoration Day

Honorable Mention - Jennifer Johnson Conner for The Soul of Wild Places

 

Best Book Award

1st Place - Brenda Clem Black for Black and Kiddo

2nd Place - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for A Stone for the Journey

3rd Place - Ronda Del Boccio for The All Died Smiling

Honorable Mention - Larry Wood for Show-Me Atrocities

2018 Youth Contest Winners

Short Story:

Francis Mathews, 1st Place, "Our Time"

Daniel Miller, 2nd Place, "Many Fateful Encounters"

Ciarra Reed, 3rd Place, "The Sun and the Moon"

Hannah Carter, Honorable Mention, "Curiosities Demise"

Courtney Scobee, Honorable Mention, "The Four Seasons Find Destiny"

 

Poetry:

Lily Martin, 1st Place, "Curtains on the Sun"

Cristina Hernandez, 2nd Place, "It's Just a Game"

Kylah Burkleo, 3rd Place, "Dreams"

Trenton Bryant, Honorable Mention, "The Jacket"

Kaylah Goodman, Honorable Mention, "Winter Days"

Penelope Duran, Honorable Mention, "Louder than Words"

Ciarra Reed, 3rd Place, Short Story
Lily Martin, 1st Place, Poetry
Other Poetry winners: Cristina Hernandez, 2nd Place; Kayla Goodman and Trenton Bryant, Honorable Mentions; and Kylah Burkleo, 3rd Place, with Language Arts teacher Marilyn Yung.

© 2015 by Ozarks Writers League

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