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
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!
You get motivation to WRITE.
The categories and themes give you some guidance, so you’re not staring clueless at a blank screen.
You can use your entries in other contests or submit for publication afterwards.
Since we are a regional group and not a national one, your odds of winning something are incredible!
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.
· 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. For ebooks, send a gift email book from the place it was published to firstname.lastname@example.org
· Mail poems and paper books to Ronda Del Boccio 3455 State Highway H, Lampe, MO, 65681
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
Submit all entries except Best Book and Crawford Prize via email to OWL.email@example.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.)
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? Email OWL.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
P1 - Haiku
Set a vivid scene
While making me feel something
Prizes: $25 First Place - $15 Second Place - $10 Third Place
Sponsor: Jan Morrill Vanek
P2 - Crawford Poetry Prize
Length: Limit 40 lines.
$100 First Prize - $50 Second Prize - $25 Third Place - 3 Honorable Mentions $10 each
Sponsor: John W. “Doc” Crawford
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
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
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
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 2019-2020
Hardback or paperback or E-Book published in 2019 - 2020.
$100 First Place only.
Sponsor: Veda Boyd-Jones
$30.00 Membership + $15.00 Contest entry
Congratulations to the 2019 OWL Writing Contest Winners!
OWL Youth Writing Contest
OWL Writing Contest
2019 Writing contest winners
Brenda Clem Black for Black and Kiddo
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
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
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
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
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
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
2019 Youth Contest Winners
1st Place- “The Piano” by Addysen Garrett, Skyline High School, Urbana, MO
2nd Place- “The Words of a Writer” by Savannah Barnett, Skyline High School, Urbana, MO
3rd Place- “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Ella Dougherty, Skyline High School, Urbana, MO
1st Place- “Evelyn and the Imp” by Harmony Ortman, Gainesville High School, Gainesville, MO
2nd Place- “The House that Creams” by Destiny Holt, Skyline High School, Urbana, MO
3rd Place- “Satisfaction” by Angelina Curtis, Skyline High School, Urbana, MO
Thanks to contest coordinator April Brock.