Writing Contest Opportunities

SouthWest Writers stays active in the writing community by sponsoring contests and events that support, encourage, and reward writers of all experience levels.

The 2024 SouthWest Writers Annual Writing Contest is in the planning stages. This year’s contest will run from June 1–July 8. Detailed information will be added to the website soon.

Winners of the 2023 SouthWest Writers Writing Contest were announced at the SWW annual membership meeting on October 14, 2023. These winners are listed on the 2023 Contest Winners page of our website and in the November 2023 Sage Newsletter. Winning entries are highlighted in SWW’s contest anthology Woven Pathways.

In 2022, our Annual Writing Contest received 248 entries across 15 categories. Opening Chapter, UNpublished Book received the most entries followed by the categories of Free Verse Poetry and Nonfiction Memoir. Winners are listed in the November 2022 Sage, on the 2022 Contest Winners page of our website, and in the contest anthology A Diversity of Expression.

The 2021 Writing Contest presented 45 winners with 58 awards across the competition’s 20 categories. Winners are listed in the November 2021 Sage (as well as on this page on our website) and are included in SWW’s contest anthology Ramblings & Reflections: Winning Words of SouthWest Writers’ 2021 Contest.

The 2020 Annual Writing Contest offered writers the chance to enter their short works in 22 categories of prose and poetry. Winners are listed here as well as in the October 2020 issue of SouthWest Sage. Most winning entries are included in SWW’s contest anthology Seeing the World in 20/20.

After a five-year break from sponsoring an annual writing competition, SWW returned with the 2019 Prose & Poetry Contest. The competition was held in tandem with the 2019 writing conference jointly sponsored by SouthWest Writers (SWW) and Military Writers Society of America (MWSA). The contest gave the opportunity for members of both organizations, and the public, to compete in eight categories of nonfiction, seven of fiction, and the single category of poetry. MWSA holds an annual published book contest, which was open to SWW members in 2019. Winners were published in SouthWest Writers Award-Winning Short Stories and Poetry. (Go to this page for the list of winners of the 2019 Prose & Poetry Contest.)

Our long-running Annual International Writing Contest was held for 10 years from 2004 to 2014. In 2015, the SWW board of directors voted not to continue the contest. Please read the note of explanation from past SWW President Rob Spiegel. Click here for our previous annual winners.

Our Bimonthly Writing Contest ran from 2010-2015 (with a break in 2014). Click here for our previous bimonthly winners.


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