Writing Contests

Meadowlark Press has writing contests. We are accepting entries for the 2021 Kansas Authors Club Literary Contests today through June 15, 2021

Dates: April 1st through June 15th

Theme: Writing Through Difficulties


Youth Writing Contests

Four Age Divisions: Grades 3-4; Grades 5-6; Grades 7-8; Grades 9-12.


Four Categories (any subject):

#1 Poetry (to 40 lines; any form, including rhymed verse, free verse, haiku, classical form, song lyric)

#2 Fiction (to 800 words; short story, chapter of a novel, drama)

#3 Nonfiction (to 800 words; essay, research paper, factual narrative or drama based on real events and people)

#4 Collaborative Category (see guidelines below).


Official Rules—categories #1-3:

1. Contest open to all youth, grades 3-12, residing in Kansas and to student members of the Kansas Authors Club (KAC) regardless of residence. There is no charge for entering the Youth Writing Contest.

2. All entries must be the youth’s original work and unpublished.

3. No manuscript may be entered in more than one category.

4. Only one author per submission (no co-authors allowed – except as outlined below in specific collaborative category).

5. A contestant may submit up to two entries per category. The contestant will be required to submit the following:

Contestant’s name

Home address, including zip code (Please do NOT use school address.)

Parent’s home and/or cell phone number, including area code

Parent’s e-mail address. No school e-mails, please.

Grade level of the contestant as of April 1, 2021

Title of the entry

Optional – teacher or school contact (for notification, if requested)


6. Entries will be accepted April 1 to June 15, 2021, via the online submission tool, The direct link is kansasauthorsclub.submittable.com or use the “submit” button at kansasauthors.org

7. By entering contest, youth writers and their parents give KAC permission to use their names and submissions in print form.


Rules for Collaborative Writing Competition (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry):

  1. Work may be a collaboration by multiple youth, including writing and illustration. (Submit no more than 10 pages if the collaboration is a longer piece).

  2. Format of document should follow instructions for entering prose and poetry contest, as above.

  3. Names of all collaborators and contact information will be entered in the online form.

  4. Pieces must be of original work, by the collaborators.


GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR ENTERING

  1. Written Entries: Prepare your document as you normally would for print submission. One of the following file formats is preferred: doc, docx, rtf.

  2. Use a standard font (such as Times New Roman), 12-point size.

  3. Prose documents should be double spaced with standard margins.

  4. Your name should NOT appear anywhere on the document.


  1. Once your file is ready to submit, go to kansasauthorsclub.submittable.com

  2. Scroll down to view all open contest categories. (They will not appear until the contest open date.) Within category of entry, select submit button.

  3. Complete required information. (Name, address, etc.)

  4. Select file and upload for submission.


PRIZES: Medals and certificates for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each age division and each category. Certificates for Honorable Mentions (awarded at discretion of the judges). Publication in book format of entries winning 1st, 2nd, 3rd places, and Honorable Mentions, with each winner receiving a copy of the book. (KAC retains the right to edit the published entries, but the entries themselves will remain the property of the individual authors).


Prizes will be awarded at the 2021 KAC Convention in October, details to be found on the website: kansasauthors.org. Awards will be mailed if the winner is not present. Those being recognized will be contacted in advance with details.


Note: In addition to the awards of first, second, third place and honorable mentions an overall “Writer of the Year” (aka the Bajaj Award) will be selected. This award is based on a points system that includes total number of entries submitted to the contest and the number of prizes awarded as a percentage of total entries per category. The contest manager will determine these winners, utilizing the three contest managers (adult prose, adult poetry, and youth) in the event of a tie or if consideration by a committee is deemed necessary.


Contact for Contest Questions:

Jolene Haas


Adult Writing Contests

Theme contest pays $50, $25 and $15, with two unpaid honorable mentions. All other categories will be awarded three places: $25, $15, and $10, with two unpaid honorable mentions. Awards for Poet of the Year and Prose Writer of the Year will be selected by the contest chairs.


Categories Note: There will be a variation in categories from year to year based on quantity of entries and input from judges and club members.


PROSE CATEGORIES

  1. Theme Contest: Writing Through Difficulties (fiction or nonfiction) - Limit 1,500 words. May be written in any genre so long as it relates to the conference theme. Demonstrates creativity in the form of new viewpoints, fresh writing techniques and captivating content.

  2. Humor (fiction or nonfiction) - Limit 1,000 words. A story that produces amusement or laughter using any number of established or invented literary devices, styles and tones.

  3. Memoir or Inspirational (nonfiction) - Limit 1,500 words. A story based on personal experience that tells of a significant experience in one's life. The piece evokes a special time, place and memory, and is told in literary rather than merely chronological fashion. The piece should demonstrate an intellectual, spiritual or emotional turning point.

  4. Flash Fiction - Limit 500 words. A complete story in a much-abbreviated form, often told in vivid scenes. Usually involves three or fewer characters engaging in inner or outward conflict. Some aspects remain unspoken or imply a larger story. The ability to show, rather than merely tell, is one of the form's literary qualities.

  5. Stories Written for Young Readers - Designate intended reader age at top right of manuscript as follows: preschool, early reader (5 to 7), middle grades (8-12), YA (14-19) (entry may be fiction or nonfiction) - Limit 1,000 words. All genres, styles and storytelling techniques are allowed.

  6. Short Story (fiction) - Limit 1,500 words. An invented narrative shorter than a novel but with a fully developed theme, usually including only a few characters involved in the plot. All genres are allowed.

  7. Playwriting (fiction or non-fiction) – A total of four pages for Act 1, Scene 1 and additional information (can be single-spaced). Script must include title and descriptions of cast, scenes, time/era, settings, curtain rise, dialogue, actions, stage directions and more. See details on format under Guidelines for Entering online. (Category sponsored by Roy Beckemeyer)

  8. First Chapter of a Book (fiction or nonfiction) Limit 2,000 words. Must be from an unpublished work, e.g., a manuscript or work-in-progress. Author may include a separate 500-word book synopsis. (Category sponsored by Mike and Monica Graves, D2.)


POETRY CATEGORIES (limit poems to one page)

  1. Theme Contest: The theme is Writing Through Difficulties. Any written poem that utilizes and expands this theme may enter. Classical and Japanese poems have specific forms, free verse and narrative poetry have a 40-line limit. Whimsy is limited to 20 lines. Please note the contest guidelines prohibit the same entry being entered in multiple categories.

  2. Classical Poetry: Classic forms include the sonnet, blank verse, and the sestina.

  3. Free Verse: Poems without a set rhyme or rhythm requirement. 40-line limit.

  4. Narrative Poetry: Poems that tell a story. 40-line limit.

  5. Whimsy: Light, humorous poetry, including limericks, shaped poems, and nonsense poems. 20-line limit.

  6. Japanese Poetry: Japanese forms include haiku, tanka and renga.

  7. Performance Poetry: Video entries for the spoken word poetry should be no longer than 3 minutes, performed by the writer, with no more than one minute of singing (or one-third of the total entry time). Accepted forms include but are not limited to Spoken Word, Cowboy Poetry, Song Lyrics (the exception to the 1-minute singing rule), and Other. Submissions by video need to be filmed in landscape format and uploaded to the Submittable website in video format. Acceptable formats include MPV, AVI, 3GP, WEBM, MKV, MOV, MPG, FLV, WMV, M4V.

  8. New Poets: A category for poets who are beginning to write poetry. Entries are limited to poets who have not previously won a top-three place in the KAC State Poetry Contest. All forms accepted; 40-line limit.


GUIDELINES FOR ENTERING (Please read and follow all instructions prior to submitting your entries to the contest. Entries that do not follow guidelines may be disqualified from the contest.)

  1. This contest is open to non-member writers residing in Kansas and to all current members of the Kansas Authors Club, regardless of residence.

  2. All entries must be original and not published in print or electronically in any format including web-based or individual blogs, websites or other electronic means, or publicly broadcast in any media before the 2021 State Convention.

  3. Entries that have won first, second, or third place in previous KAC State contests are not eligible to be entered again. District awards or Honorable Mentions in State Contests may be entered.

  4. Each entrant may enter up to five entries per category. An entry may not be entered in multiple categories.

  5. FEES: $5.00 per entry for KAC members. $8.00 per entry for non-members.

  6. Judges will not be members of KAC. Prizes will be awarded only if judges find entries of sufficient merit. Judges decisions are final. No correspondence will be entered into concerning manuscripts.

  7. Entries will be accepted April 1 to June 15, 2021, via the online submission tool, Submittable. The direct link is kansasauthorsclub.submittable.com. If you do not have access to a computer with internet, check with your district president for assistance or contact the contest manager.


INSTRUCTIONS FOR ENTERING

  1. Prepare your document as you normally would for print submission. Submittable accepts the following file formats; doc, docx, pdf, rtf, wpf, odt, wpd.

  2. Use a standard font (such as Times New Roman), 12 point size.

  3. Prose documents should be double spaced with standard margins.

  4. Your name, address, and other identifying information should NOT appear anywhere on the document.


  1. Once your file is ready to submit, go to kansasauthorsclub.submittable.com

  2. Scroll down to view all open contest categories. (They will not appear until the contest open date.) Within category of entry, select submit button.

  3. Complete required information. (Name, address, etc.)

  4. Select file and upload for submission.

  5. Select fee category (member or non-member)

  6. Provide payment details.

  7. Save as a draft or submit.



Contacts for Contest Questions:


Poetry Contest Manager Prose Contest Manager

Linzi GarciaKerry Moyer

303-547-6763 620-481-7321


Note: In addition to the awards of first, second, third place and honorable mentions within each prose and poetry category, an overall “Prose Writer of the Year” and “Poetry Writer of the Year” will be selected. This award is based on a points system assigned by placings. The contest managers will determine these winners, utilizing the three contest managers (adult prose, adult poetry, and youth) in the event of a tie or if consideration by a committee is deemed necessary.


Note: All prizes will be awarded to members and non-members at the annual KAC Convention in October. Prizes for winners who are unable to attend the convention will be delivered via district presidents or other KAC representatives and mailed when necessary.


For a list of the 2021 KAC Contest winners, check kansasauthors.org after the convention.


More information can be found on The Kansas Authors Club website.

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