2018 Writing Contest

Sleuths, Soothsayers, or Searchers for Truth—The END is NEAR
Margaret Smith-Braniff

Life is full of mystery. Deep within us all is that desire to know those inner secrets and hidden places in the lives of others and within ourselves.  Wyoming Writers, Inc. wants you to share your exploration of what you have discovered about those recesses of the mind and spirit in the 2018 writing contest. Hovering just over your shoulder is the March 15, 2018 deadline.

This call for contest entries should prompt you to put finishing touches on pieces waiting to be read or discover an inner truth–that mystical understanding—in your new works. Let the magic of your imagination tell an old truth to a new mind in children’s literature. Capture an image and frame it in verse. (By the way, these pieces need not be mysteries of the noir—just a written revelation of your search for truth and beauty.) There are 6 categories this year: Fiction, Nonfiction, Children and Young Adult Literature, Flash Fiction, Free Verse Poetry, and Traditional Verse Poetry. New to this year’s contest is Flash Fiction—a complete tale in 800 words or (if succinct) fewer. The Wyoming Writers’ judges await your finest fiction, nonfiction, and verse.

The contest rules are outlined below.  All writers—regardless of whether you are a member of WWI or not—may submit entries. There is a $15 entry fee per entry, payable to Wyoming Writers, Inc. If entrants would like to join this organization for writers, they may pay an additional $20 for a one-year membership (a regular membership is $35). A student membership is still only $10.

Writers need to submit their entries to the contest coordinator Tom Spence, P.O. Box 98, Buffalo, WY 82834. No entries may be considered if not postmarked by March 15, 2018. Please make sure the entries follow the specifications provided in the contest rules. Judges will receive entries without identifying information; their decisions will be final. Judges’ bios will be provided in the April newsletter after the entry deadline. 

Winners will be awarded cash prizes (outlined on the website) and asked to read winning pieces at the open mic of the state conference. This year’s conference happens the first full weekend in June (June 1-3, 2018) in beautiful Dubois, Wyoming. See details for the whole conference on the Wyoming Writers’ website as well: www.wyowriters.org/conference/

These dates are just around the corner so get busy writing about your mysteries of life.


       Eligibility:  All writers at any level.  Fee per entry: $15.  Deadline March 15, 2018

  1. Categories:
    1. Adult Fiction (3000 word limit; short fiction, novel segments, scripts with treatments; maximum of 3 entries; one fee per 3000 word entry.)
    2. Flash Fiction: (800 word limit; maximum 3 stories per entry; maximum of three entries; one fee per entry.)
    3. Fiction for Children and Young Adults (3000 word limit; maximum 3 entries; one fee per 3000 word entry.)
    4. Non-fiction (memoir, opinion/essay, creative non-fiction, historical monograph; 3000 word limit; maximum 3 entries; one fee per 3000 word entry.)
    5. (One poetry “entry” may consist of a maximum of 5 distinct poems, 1 poem per page; 40 lines maximum per poem.  One fee per entry in either category; one entry per category.)
      1. Traditional poetry (i. e., formal, regular meter, rhymed, etc.)
      2. Free verse
  • Do not comingle what you may consider “traditional” or “free verse” in your entries.

Fees:  $15 per entry. Non-members welcome! Add $20 to any entry fee for an introductory one year membership to Wyoming Writers, Inc.                     


  1. Awards/Prizes:
    1. First Place (all categories) $50
    2. Second Place (all categories) $30
    3. Third Place (all categories) $20
    4. Wyoming Writers, Inc. retains the right not to award all prizes.
    5. The number of Honorable mentions, if any, are at the judges’ discretion.
    6. Winners certificates and prize money will be awarded at the Wyoming Writers, Inc. Annual Conference on June 1,2,3,   Winners unable to attend will be mailed award payments and certificates following the Conference.
    7. Winners will receive a citation (Author, title, category) in WYO-Writer Newsletter and on the Wyoming Writers, Inc. website. Winners may be asked to submit an optional excerpt, bio, or other material for publication.
  1. Guidelines:
    1. Original, unpublished work, author’s sole and exclusive property.
    2. Submission to our contest must not violate any copyright, trademark, privacy or publication right.
    3. No simultaneous submissions with other contests.
    4. Entrant retains all rights except for award announcements.
  1. Format:
    1. Submit work on 8.5 X 11 inch white paper. No hand written entries.
    2. Use standard (e.g. Arial, Courier, Times New Roman) 12 point font, double spaced.
    3. For fiction and non-fiction begin title and text half-way down the first page.
    4. One inch margin minimum.
    5. Poetry: one poem, one page; may use various spacing.
    6. No fancy fonts; no colors.
  1. Rules and restrictions:
    1. Submission of work to contest confers permission to Wyoming Writers, Inc. to publish winning title and author’s name in website and newsletter.
    2. Contestants may submit in multiple categories.
    3. All checks/ money orders payable in U. S. currency to Wyoming Writers, Inc.
  1. Refunds:

No refunds for disqualified, late, or withdrawn entries.

  1. How to Enter:
    1. Submit a single copy of each entry; do not staple; use only paper clips if necessary.
    2. Place title and page number in the header on each manuscript page.
    3. Author’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript to be judged.
    4. Author’s name, address, phone number, and email address must appear on each entry’s cover sheet along with category, work’s title, word count. Cover sheet for poetry may contain up to 5 titles.
    5. Attach check made payable to “Wyoming Writers, Inc.”
    6. Mail entries to: Wyoming Writers, Inc.—2018 Contest, c/o Tom Spence, Box 98, Buffalo, WY 82834.
    7. No entries will be returned.
  1. Judging:
    1. Judges will receive materials without identifying information.
    2. All judges’ decisions are final.
  1. Notification and Public Announcement:
    1. Winners only will be notified by email or telephone.
    2. Winners may be asked for biographical material to accompany announcement of awards.
    3. Winners will be announced at the annual Wyoming Writers, Inc. conference on June 1,2,3, 2018 in Dubois, Wyoming.
    4. First place winning authors will have an opportunity to read a 300 word excerpt, or a first place poem, during the Conference.
  2. All submissions must be postmarked by March 15, 2018. Winners will be notified by early May, 2018.

Any questions, please contact the contest chair at contest@wyowriters.org.