An Update from Andy Mayo, 2014 Contest Chairman
The SouthWest Writer’s Annual Writing Competition in 2014 continued a long tradition of offering a platform for authors worldwide to display their talents. By entering the contest, authors can get their work in front of professional literary agents and editors without having to write a query letter. This year, the contest’s 32nd, two literary agents requested contact information for four of our contestants in the Mainstream/Literary Novel and the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller/Adventure Novel categories.
In all, there were 432 entries in this year’s competition from 40 states and six foreign countries: 38% from New Mexico, 44% from the next 14 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, and Washington), 13% from 25 other states, 3% from Canada, and 2% from five other foreign countries.
The most popular category was Mystery/Suspense/Thriller/Adventure with 18% of the entries, followed by Mainstream/Literary Short Story with 14%, Poetry 13%, Children’s Picture Book 10%, Juvenile/Young Adult Novel 9%, Creative Nonfiction/Memoir 8%, SciFi/Fantasy/Horror 6%, Essay 6%, and Women’s Fiction with 4% of total entries.
Comments from some of those winning this year confirms SWW’s success in sponsoring the contest in order to encourage writers to keep writing:
“It’s such a confidence boost to win a prize in an inter-national contest and I feel really encouraged to persist with my writing and try to get it published. Please pass on my thanks to the judges and thank you for organizing the contest.”
“This means a great deal to me. Your organization’s support and encouragement of writers and their work is so appreciated, and I feel incredibly honored by this award.”
“I am thrilled to have been selected … As you all know, a fledgling writer works and slaves away over every word and to have this kind of recognition means everything to a sweaty-browed, wanna-be writer. It keeps me “killing my darlings,” and writing “down the bones.”
“Many thanks to the SouthWest Writers for making this opportunity possible. Also, please relay my appreciation to MacKenzie Fraser-Bub of the Trident Media Group for her critique comments and suggestions for my novel’s next steps.”
“A friend saw the announcement [on the website]. I was excited to see my name on the list. The news made for a fun day with friends on social media, especially my critique group.”
“I’ve entered other contests, and the critiques from SouthWest Writers were far more polished than those I’ve received in other contests. They felt as if they came from people in the know, which is why they’re so helpful.”