International fiction Writing Contests

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The contest is open to all original, unpublished work by English-language writers. First Place winning entries in prior SWW contests may not be resubmitted for judging in 2014. A First, Second, and Third Place winner will be judged in each of the 10 categories. Prizes: $300 First Place. $200 Second Place. $150 Third Place.

Entries will be accepted only on-line between February 1, 2014 until May 15, 2014. There is no limit on: (1) the number of categories you enter, and (2) the number of entries you submit in each category.


All prose submissions must follow standard manuscript format: 12-point Times Roman (or Times New Roman) font, double-spaced with paragraph indent and one-inch margins. Submissions not in this format will be disqualified. Only file formats , , and can be accepted.

All entries are judged anonymously. Your name or other identifying marks MUST NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript.


NOVELS: For each of the following categories, upload AS ONE DOCUMENT a , or file containing the first 20 pages of the manuscript + a single-spaced synopsis of no more than two pages.

  1. Mainstream/Literary Novel
  2. Mystery/Suspense/Thriller/Adventure Novel
  3. Juvenile/Young Adult
  4. Women’s Fiction

SHORT STORY: For each of the following categories upload a , or file containing the double-spaced manuscript, maximum 6, 000 words. No minimum length.

  1. Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
  2. Mainstream/Literary

NONFICTION: Rules vary by category:

  1. Creative Nonfiction/Memoir – Upload AS ONE DOCUMENT a , or file containing the first 20 pages of the manuscript + a single-spaced (two-page maximum) synopsis.
  2. Essay – Upload a or file containing the double-spaced manuscript (2, 500-word maximum).

OTHER: Rules vary by category:

  1. Children’s Picture Book (FICTION or NONFICTION): Upload a , or file containing the entire manuscript (500-word maximum) without illustrations.
  2. Poetry: Upload a , or file(s) containing one poem up to three pages or three Haiku on one page.

Definition of ‘unpublished’

The submitted work must not be available to the public for sale. This includes, but is not limited to, the following venues: eBooks (nook, Kindle, iBooks), Traditional Publishing (HarperCollins, etc.), or Print-on-Demand (Amazon or other distributors with an ISBN assigned).

Critique Service

All entrants may request a critique by a professional writer, agent, or editor who is unaffiliated with the contest judging. The fee for this critique service is contained in the following table.

Entry Fees

Entry Fee for All Entries Except Poetry

Entered Members of SouthWest Writers All Other Entrants
No later than Contest Only Contest & Critique
May 1 $20 $45 $30 $55
May 15 $25 $50 $35 $60

Entry Fee for Poetry

$10 $40

Prizes and Notifications

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