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2024 Call for Submissions: SWW Annual Writing Contest

The SouthWest Writers (SWW) annual writing competition is now open for submissions.

All writers, new and experienced, are welcome to enter the contest. Contestants don’t have to be members of SWW or live in the Southwest to participate. First-, second-, and third-place winners will be awarded monetary prizes and a publication opportunity in our annual contest anthology.

This year’s contest offers five main categories divided into a total of twenty-five subcategories of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry as well as interior and cover art for the anthology.

Fiction categories include:

  • Opening Pages of published and unpublished novels
  • Stories for Young Reader/Middle Grade and Young Adult
  • Short Stories and Flash Fiction

Nonfiction categories include:

  • Opening Pages of published and unpublished memoirs
  • Essays and Articles

Poetry categories include:

  • Free Verse
  • Haiku
  • Limericks

The Contest Submission Period is June 1 – July 7, 2024. Fees vary depending on submission date.

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

Good luck!

SWW Bimonthly Contest Call for Submissions

ID-10047735After taking a two-year break, SouthWest Writers is restarting its popular Bimonthly Writing Contest with a call for one-page poems on any subject. The entry fee is $10.00. Prizes for First, Second, and Third Place will be awarded for each bimonthly topic, along with Honorable Mentions. Winning entries could be published in a subsequent issue of SouthWest Sage at the editor’s discretion. Winners will be announced two weeks following the end of each submission window.

The Bimonthly Contest will accept submissions for the first contest topic beginning May 1, 2015. You may submit your entries online or by regular mail.

Topics and Submission Windows

May 1-31: A Poem (on any subject, one page maximum)
July 1-31: Your Most Unforgettable Character (essay, up to 500 words)
Sept 1-30: Blog Post (any subject, up to 400 words)
Nov 1-30: Love Poem (one page maximum, can include bad romance)

Entry Fees and Prizes

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 two weeks after each contest deadline and in the next month’s SWW newsletter.

Contest Rules

Unpublished submissions only. See Topics and Submission Windows for word length. Entries submitted outside the specified submission windows will not be accepted. Previous first-place Quarterly or Bimonthly Contest winning entries are not eligible to be entered in the current contest.

Manuscript Format

For poems, formatting is at the writer’s discretion. All other entries use standard manuscript format: 1 inch margins, Times New Roman or Courier 12 pt, double-spacing. Do not include identifying information on the manuscript.

How to Submit


Do not include identifying information on the manuscript. You do not need to send a cover sheet — the online form includes the necessary information. You may upload your entry formatted as .doc, .docx, or .rtf. Click here to submit your entry online and pay through PayPal.

Regular Mail:

Your entry must be postmarked by the last day of the submission window. Do not include identifying information on the manuscript, but do include a simple cover sheet with:

  • Bimonthly topic
  • Title of entry
  • Your name, address, email, phone number
  • Are you an SWW member? (Your answer does not affect your entry fee.)
  • Do you give SWW permission to publish your entry in the SWW newsletter? You retain all rights.

Send your cover sheet, entry, and payment of $10 for each entry to:

SouthWest Writers
Attn: Bimonthly Contest
3200 Carlisle Blvd NE, Suite 114
Albuquerque, NM 87110

Good Luck!

Image “Pencil Holding Trophy” courtesy of digitalart /

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