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SWW’s 2024 Writing Contest Opens June 1

The annual SouthWest Writers (SWW) writing competition opens for submissions on June 1, 2024.

The contest is open to new and experienced writers. Contestants don’t have to be members of SWW or live in the Southwest to enter. Winners have the opportunity to publish their entries in this year’s contest anthology.

The 2024 competition offers five main contest categories divided into a total of twenty-five subcategories of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry as well as interior and cover art for the anthology. New this year are categories for Young Readers and Young Adult. Subcategories include opening pages of a novel or memoir (published or unpublished), essay/article, flash fiction, and short story.

All entries that meet the rules for submission will be judged by a panel of experienced writers and/or experts in the specific genre. First, second, and third monetary prizes will be awarded in each category that receives enough entries for judging.

For details about the categories and a complete list of rules, please see the Contest Page.

SouthWest Writers is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to helping both published and unpublished writers improve their craft and further their careers. In 2024, SWW will celebrate forty years dedicated to this goal.




2023 Call for Submissions: SWW Annual Writing Contest

SouthWest Writers’ annual writing competition is open for submissions.

The theme of this year’s contest is Woven Pathways. The SouthWest Writers members’ love of all things writing weaves us together into an inclusive, supportive community regardless of our culture or background. We would like entries and participants that reflect our inclusiveness.

The contest includes twenty writing categories and two art categories with cash prizes in all and the opportunity to be published. Winning entries will be included in the SouthWest Writers’ 2023 Anthology to be released in the fall of 2023. Winners will be announced at the same time the anthology becomes available.

All but one contest category focuses on unpublished writing with the hope of encouraging aspiring authors to participate. A contestant does not have to be a member of SouthWest Writers to enter.

Main Contest Categories:

  • Cover and Interior Artwork
  • Fiction Opening Pages of both published and unpublished works (3000 words or less)
  • Flash Fiction (1000 words or less)
  • Short Story (3000 words or less)
  • Nonfiction Memoir (General, Pets, or Travel; 3000 words or less)
  • Poetry Free Verse (Nature, Spiritual, or Relationships; 1500 words or less)
  • Limericks

Sub-categories within Unpublished Opening Pages and Short Story:

  • General Fiction
  • Mystery/Crime/Thrillers
  • Romance/Rom-Com
  • SciFi/Fantasy
  • Westerns
  • Humor (Short Story only)

Contest Submission Period: April 8 – May 20. Fees vary depending on submission date.

Go to the contest page for more details and to enter the contest.

Good luck!




2022 Call for Submissions: SWW Annual Writing Contest


SouthWest Writers’ annual writing competition is now open for submissions.

This year’s contest offers five main categories divided into a total of eighteen sub-categories:

  • 2 categories of Art/Photography
  • 6 Book Related categories
  • 4 categories of Poetry
  • 4 categories of Prose/Stories
  • 2 categories of Travel & Memoir

First-, second-, and third-place winners will be awarded cash prizes and a publication opportunity in our annual contest anthology.

All entries must be original, in English, and submitted online only. You do not have to be a member of SouthWest Writers to enter.

The contest accepts work previously published from 2019 to 2022, but submissions can not have won a previous SWW contest. It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure that a submission does not conflict with their agreements concerning rights with any other publishing entity.

Contest Submission Period: March 15 – May 15. Fees vary depending on entry type and submission date.

Go to the SWW contest page for more details and to enter the contest.

Good luck!




2021 Call for Submissions: SWW Annual Writing Contest


The SouthWest Writers 2021 Annual Writing Contest is open for submissions. The competition encourages first-time writers as well as seasoned professionals. You do not have to be a member of SouthWest Writers to enter.

First-, second-, and third-place winners will be awarded in twelve categories for fiction/nonfiction prose and eight categories for poetry.

Deadline: Midnight May 31, 2021 (Mountain Time).
Fee: $10 for each entry.
Submission: Online only.
Awards: First place, $50. Second place, $25. Third place, $10. Winners in each category have the option to be published in the next SWW contest anthology.

CONTEST RULES

  • Each entry must be an original work, in English, not published electronically or in print anywhere.
  • No limit on number of entries per person. The same piece can be entered in more than one category but will cost $10 for each entry/category.
  • All entries must be submitted electronically via the SWW website, using .doc or docx file format. NO mailed entries accepted.
  • Prose: Limited to 3,500 words.
  • Poetry: Limited to 250 lines.

Go to the SouthWest Writers contest page for more details and to enter the contest. Good luck!




Call for Submissions: 2019 Prose & Poetry Contest

SouthWest Writers is proud to announce a Call for Submissions to the 2019 Short Prose & Poetry Contest.

This competition encourages first-time writers as well as seasoned professionals. You do not have to be a member of SouthWest Writers to enter.

First-, second-, and third-place winners will be awarded in sixteen categories: 7 fiction, 8 nonfiction, and 1 poetry. All entries must be original, unpublished, and in English.

Deadline: Contest entries may be submitted through midnight April 30, 2019 (Mountain Time).
Entry fees: $10 for each entry submitted through April 1, 2019. $15 fee applies for each entry submitted April 2-April 30, 2019.
Submission: Online submissions only. Acceptable files: doc, docx, or pdf.

CONTEST RULES

Prose: Limited to 3,500 words. For nonfiction categories, footnotes are not part of the word limit. The body of the submission should be in 12 pt. Times New Roman, Ariel, or Courier, with the title in 14 pt. Submission should be double-spaced and have one-inch margins.

Poetry: Limited to 250 lines. The submission should be in Times New Roman, Ariel, or Courier. Font sizes can range from 12-18 pt. Spacing is at the author’s discretion. Poem form/style (freeform, haiku, etc.) must be included in the manuscript above the title.

Other:
A total of three entries allowed per author. The three-entry limit can be in one category or a combination of categories. First-place manuscripts from previous SWW Contests are ineligible.

Go to the SouthWest Writers contest page for more details and to enter the contest.




2016 Novel Conference Report by Conference Manager Joanne Bodin

Novel Conference Slider Sm 3

2016 Novel Conference Report

According to all the feedback received, the Novel Conference was a success on all counts.  All attendees who wished to pitch their novels to an editor or agent were able to do so, the speakers were both knowledgeable and entertaining and the proceeds exceeded the cost.

Novel Conference staff

Pictured right are Novel Conference Volunteers:  L-R:  Joanne Bodin, Dino Leyba, Jeanne Shannon, Ernie Leggett, Edith Greenly, Kimberly Mitchell, and Sam Moorman.

We couldn’t have put together such a great conference without the help of our wonderful SWW volunteers. A big thank you goes to the following people for their help and flexibility in putting this conference together.

Kathy Wagoner, Bobbi Adams, Melody Groves, Dennis Kastendiek, Ernie Leggett, Sam Moorman, Don Morgan, Rose Marie Kern, Don DeNoon, Dino Leyba, Kimberly Mitchell, Larry Greenly, Edith Greenly, Jeanne Shannon, and Rob Speigel.

A special thank you to Bookworks for setting up a table during the con-ference. Also to Jason’s Deli for providing the delicious box lunches. Thank you to Rob Spiegel for making cookies for our afternoon snack. Thank you to the Hilton Garden Inn Albuquerque Uptown for housing our keynote speakers and finally thank you to Chez Axel Restaurant for opening up exclusively to SWW on Friday evening.




SWW Presents: 2016 Novel Conference

ONE-DAY NOVEL CONFERENCE

Getting Your Novel Published:
Offering the Latest on What Publishers Seek

Saturday, May 14 • 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

New Life Presbyterian
Albuquerque, New Mexico


Novel Conference Slider Sm 3SouthWest Writers’ novel conference is 5 weeks away, but the deadline for early bird pricing ends in less than a week—on April 14. SWW members pay just $99 and nonmembers pay $119 during early registration. On April 15, the rates go up to $119 for members and $139 for non-members. Full-time students receive the discounted rate of $50 regardless of the deadline.

Plan to attend this all-day conference with speakers that include professional authors, agents, and editors. Registration includes conference presentations, a box lunch, refreshments, and the possibility of a 10-minute pitch session. To learn more, visit our Main Conference page, as well as these related pages:

Agenda
Conference Location
Registration
Speakers & Topics

If you’d like tips on how to prepare for the conference, read Chris Eboch’s article “Connecting at Writing Conferences.”




SouthWest Writers Contest and Conference Deadlines

SouthWest Writers has two important deadlines coming up at the end of this week.
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Bimonthly Contest

Your Most Unforgettable Character
♦ Essay up to 500 words

Deadline: July 31

Entry fee is $10. Multiple entries will be accepted with $10 payment for each. Prizes: $100 (1st place), $50 (2nd place), and $25 (3rd place). Winners and Honorable Mentions will be announced on the website before the start of the next bimonthly contest, and in the next month’s SWW Newsletter.

For contest rules and information about submitting online and by regular mail, go to our Bimonthly Contest page.


Memoir Conference

time-on-book8c1Our memoir conference is more than a month away (Saturday, September 12), but the deadline for early bird pricing ends on August 1st. SWW members pay just $99 and nonmembers pay $149 during early registration. On August 2nd, the member/nonmember rate goes up to $119/$169. Full-time students receive the discounted rate of $50 regardless of the deadline.

Plan to attend this all-day conference with speakers that include professional authors, agents, and editors. Registration includes conference presentations, a box lunch, refreshments, and the possibility of a 10-minute pitch session. To learn more, visit our Main Conference page, as well as these related pages:

Agenda
Conference Location
Registration
Speakers & Topics


Image “Pencil Holding Trophy” courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net




James McGrath Morris Getting Strong Reviews for “Eye on the Struggle”

by Bob Gassaway


Eye on the Struggle2Santa Fe writer James McGrath Morris, who will be the speaker for the March 7, 2015 meeting of SouthWest Writers, is garnering high praise for his new book Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press (HarperCollins, 2015).

Morris wrote in an email, “Early pre-publication reviews of the book have been unbelievably encouraging. It seems that folks do want to hear the story of Ethel Payne.”

Payne wrote for The Chicago Defender, which The New York Times calls “America’s premier black newspaper.” The Times’ book review adds, “She grew up in Chicago and longed to be a writer at a time when options were dismally few for black women. She had talent, a big personality and grit. She ultima­­tely became a star reporter for The Defender, and the pre-eminent black female reporter of the civil rights era.”

Morris said in an email to SouthWest Writers: “The book was just listed today by Kirkus as one of eleven ‘you must read.’ So things are rolling along.” In addition, NBC.com lists the Ethel Payne biography as one of “14 Books to Read this Black History Month.”

Here is a sampling of the reviews:

 

“Important and often absorbing new book … It’s a deep pleasure to meet Ethel Payne. ‘We are soul folks,’ she declared in 1967, ‘and I am writing for soul brothers’ consumption.’ Her own soul beams from this book…” ~ New York Times 

“In James McGrath Morris’s compelling biography Eye on the Struggle, this ‘first lady of the black press’ finally gets her due. Morris lovingly chronicles Payne’s dedication and her rise… For her, being a reporter was about ‘stretching the horizon of the heart.’ Never content simply to ‘live and let live,’ she sought always to engage, fight and make change.” ~ O Magazine

Eye on the Struggle is a fast-paced tour through the highlights of 20th-century African-American history, with Payne as witness.” ~ Boston Globe

“Morris’ well-paced narrative not only walks readers through the civil rights movement’s inner workings, but he lets us tag along with Payne on her 13 journeys to Africa and trips to China, Vietnam and elsewhere.” ~ Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Eye on the Struggle is the compelling biography of journalist, Ethel Payne, the ‘First Lady of the Black Press,’ a significant figure in the civil rights era. ~ NBC.com “14 Books to Read this Black History Month”

“At long last, this journalistic pioneer, who traveled and covered the world, not to mention sent shivers down the spine of our strongest presidents during press briefings, is getting her due in James McGrath Morris’ absorbing new biography Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press.” ~ Patrik Henry Bass, who assembled “Ten Standout Titles” for Essence Magazine

 

Morris’ presentation to SouthWest Writers on March 7 is titled “Using Storytelling Techniques to Breathe Life into Your Writing.” In his description of the upcoming presentation, Morris writes:

“You will leave this meeting with a dozen specific narrative writing techniques that you can use to invigorate and bring life to any genre of writing. Adapted from the best of fiction and nonfiction writing, these storytelling methods help build tension, make for compelling scenes, and get you closer to writing a page-turning book.”

Morris is a Santa Fe author who writes primarily biographies and narrative nonfiction.


Bob Gassaway2Bob Gassaway started writing news for radio and television and moved to newspapers and The Associated Press, including a stint as a war correspondent in Vietnam. After earning a Ph.D. in sociology, focusing on the symbolism of human communication, he taught journalism for 22 years at the University of New Mexico and the University of Missouri. He has also written for magazines and professional journals and has published a number of book chapters. He now writes murder mysteries.




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