Saturday 21 June 2014

North Colorado 2014 Writing Contests - DEADLINE: June 30, 2014

NCW hosts three writing contests each year in Short Fiction, Personal Essay, and Poetry. Winners receive prize money and their winning entries are published in the annual Pooled Ink anthology.
Pooled Ink: Celebrating the 2013 NCW Contest Winners is now available!

Get your copy on or buy directly from our e-store:

Contest Categories

NOW OPEN: Personal Essay/Creative Nonfiction

The personal essay can be in any form or style, and should be evocative, thought-provoking, and sincere--and if it's humorous too, even better. See below for word count and style guidelines. Nonfiction writer and novelist Laura Pritchett is our final judge in this category.

SUBMISSION PERIOD: July 1-September 30, 2014
Poems can be in any style, up to 250 lines. Submit up to three poems per entry fee in this category (see submission formatting instructions below). The final judge for poetry is Lisa Zimmerman.

CLOSED: Short Fiction
SUBMISSION PERIOD: January 1-March 31, 2014
The short story can be in any genre or style and should have broad appeal. See below for word count and style guidelines. The final judge for this year's short fiction competition is Seth Brady Tucker.

1st: "Revenants" by Lones Seiber ~ Morristown, TN
2nd: "Two Steps Back" by Lucinda Stein ~ Grand Junction, CO
3rd: "William" by Elena Stiehler ~ Rochester, NY
HM: "The Camp at Cutthroat Lake" by Tim Weed ~ Putney, VT
HM: "Out of the Nest" by S. Lawrence Paulson ~ Hyattsville, MD
HM: "Perishables" by Ashley Read ~ Fort Collins, CO
HM: "Big Book of Stains" by Kathleen Nelson ~ Santa Clara, CA
Submission Guidelines

Open Submissions
You do not need to be a member of NCW or in Colorado to enter the contests.

Each category will be awarded the following:
1st place: $1,000
2nd place: $250
3rd place: $100
Winners, Honorable Mentions, and Editor's Picks will be published in the annual winners' anthology, Pooled Ink: Celebrating the 2014 NCW Contest Winners (due out by December 10, 2014) and receive 1 free copy. The judges' decisions are final.

Editor's Picks
The editor may pick entries from all three categories that did not place in the top 3 or receive honorable mention according to the final judges for additional inclusion in the 2014 anthology, upon permission of the authors of such entries. Editor's picks will be contacted in October and will also receive a free copy of the anthology.

Notification of winners will be via an e-mail to all contestants and this website. Entrants will also receive an e-mail notification when this year's anthology is available. Entrants are not added to any "mailing lists" and we never sell or share your information.

Entry Fees
The entry fee for all contests is $20 per entry. Electronic submissions only. If you do not have a credit card or prefer to mail in your payment, please send an e-mail to Jennifer Top, Contest Coordinator. There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit. You may submit up to 3 poems per entry fee in the Poetry category.

NOTE: If your payment is sent under a name other than your own (for example, as a business entity with no apparent connection to you), please make a note in the PayPal instructions whose entry you are paying for, and/or please make a note in your submission email as to what name your payment will appear under.

No Hard Copies
Please do not send hard copies of your entries. Even if you mail in your payment, entries should still be e-mailed. Any hard copies received will not be returned.

All submissions must be your own original work. Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please let us know if your submission is accepted elsewhere, as this may affect our ability to publish it should it be selected as a winner. Likewise, you are responsible for notifying any other contests you may be entered in should your submission win in our contest. Submissions can be previously published, however, you must own the rights to republish in the event that your submission wins. All winning entries and honorable mentions will be published in the annual anthology. NCW does not retain any rights to your work once it has been published in the anthology.

Short Fiction and Essays
All entries must be in a 12-point standard serif font such as Times New Roman or similar. Short stories and essays should be double-spaced with pages numbered and sent in Microsoft Word compatible format (Word document preferred over PDFs). The title of the document should be the title of the story or essay. Do not put your name on the story or essay. Include your name, contact information, and title(s) in the body of your e-mail.

Poetry format is open. You may submit up to three poems per entry fee; however, poems are judged individually, so please send each poem as a separate document. All entries should be sent in Microsoft Word-compatible format and the name of each document should be the title of the poem. Do not put your name on the poems. Please do include your name, contact information, and title(s) of works in the body of your e-mail.

Word Limits
Short stories: 5,000 words
Personal essays: 5,000 words
Poems*: 250 lines each
*Entrants may submit up to 3 poems per entry fee in that category.

Pooled Ink
Purchase the previous years' anthologies (2011-2013) online at

Email your entry:
1. Pay online.
Select number of entries

2. Email your entry (attachment) to the Contest Coordinator at

If the payment button isn't working, please contact the Contest Coordinator.

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