Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

How YOU can Write a Short Short Story

February 17, 2014

Benjamin Franklin says it all: “I have already made this paper too long, for which I must crave pardon, not having now time to make it shorter.” Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”

The most common question which pops up in various contests I’ve judged, is: “My story is longer than the guideline’s length. May I submit it all?”

No! Writing short requires a much-needed skill. Revise so your story is written succinctly.

Below is advice on writing a short story of 100 words. It can be applied to all stories.

My favorite tidbit is this: “Think of the story in terms of a question and answer.”

Your answer will become the plot of your story. But brainstorm lots of options! If it’s too easy, your option may be too convenient.

http://www.rdasia.com/how-to-write-story-100-words

Writing Prompt:
1. Take a story you’ve written and tighten it. Can you cut out 100 words? More? Once you challenge yourself, the process can be fun and addicting!
2. Read your story aloud. Where have you “told” information? Can you show it with an action verb instead?
3. Choose a poem you’ve created and do the process of #1 and #2. Is the end result more vivid?

Cutting out vague words sharpens your writing and respects the reader to make conclusions. Use this new technique with all of your writing!

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Teens Get Published Now!

December 10, 2013

One Teen Story is a literary magazine for young adult readers of every age. Each issue will feature one amazing short story about the teen experience.

Contest submission will be accepted from May 1st to June 30th, 2014.

One Teen Story will consider original, unpublished fiction written by teens ages 14 – 19. We are interested in great fiction of any genre — literary, fantasy, sci-fi, love stories and horror. What’s in a great short story? Interesting characters, a unique voice, and of course, a beginning, middle and end.

The winning story will be published in the May 2014 issue
. Contest winners will receive $500, 25 copies of the magazine featuring their work, and a 28″ X 20″ poster of the cover featuring their story. The winner will also have an opportunity to edit his/her story for publication with a One Teen Story editor.

*To enter, you must be between the ages of 15 and 19 as of May 31, 2013.

Short stories should be between 1500 – 4000 words and be the writer’s own original, unpublished work.

Previously published stories and stories forthcoming at other publications cannot be considered.

No entry form or fee is required.

Only one submission per person.

One Teen Story reserves the right to publish the story in the form we choose. A parent must sign a consent form for One Teen Story to publish the names of the winner and honorable mentions on our website.

You must submit through our online Submission Manager.

Questions? Visit oneteenstory.com for more information.

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YARN
is an award-winning literary journal that publishes outstanding original short fiction, poetry and essays for Young Adult readers, written by writers you know and love, as well as fresh new voices . . . including teens!

YARN is of particular interest to and for young adult readers, 14 years and up. We have no restrictions for authors (fogies over the age of 18 write YA too) and no genre restrictions. (if you’ve got a story set in 2060, bring it on!) We only ask that the writing you submit be original and publishable, with some literary merit. (In other words, if you’ve written a slasher thriller with lots of smooching and slaying, we recommend sending it to Hollywood and not to us.) Send us only your very best.

Submit online to the email address appropriate to your genre. For information on how to do this, visit yareview.net/

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And finally, for your holiday entertainment, this video promoting books and bookstores by Arthur A. Levine, an editor at Scholastic:

Poetry and Essay Contests for Kids

September 7, 2013

Who can enter?
Students in grades K-12 in the United States and Canada

Why should a student enter?
Thousands in cash and prizes awarded to students and teachers in each contest.

Student awards

Top Ten winners in each grade division (K-3; 4-6; 7-9; 10-12 for poetry, 3-6; 7-9; 10-12 for essay) will receive a $25 check, special recognition in the book, and a free copy of the anthology that is created from the contest.

Teacher awards
Teachers with 5 or more students who returned proofsheets for publication will receive a free copy of the anthology that includes their student writers.

Three poetry contests a year with the following deadlines.
Spring contest: entries must be postmarked by April 10, 2014.
Summer contest: entries must be postmarked by August 19, 2014.
Fall contest: entries must be postmarked by December 5, 2013.

Poetry rules:
1. Poems must be the original work of the student
2. Poems can be on any appropriate topic (no pro-violence, drugs, etc)
3. Poems must be in English
4. Poems must not be over 21 lines of text

Three essay contests a year with the following deadlines.
Spring contest: entries must be postmarked by February 18, 2014
Summer contest: entries must be postmarked by July 15, 2014
Fall contest: entries must be postmarked by October 15, 2013

Essay Rules:
1. Students must be in school (public, private or home school) in the United States or Canada.
2. Students can enter on their own or have a parent or teacher make their entry.
3. All entries must be in English and be the original work of the student.
4. Students can be in grades 3-12 for the essay contest.
5. Students can write on any appropriate subject (No pro-violence, pro drugs, etc)
6. Essays must not be over 250 words (or 300 total words counting articles such as “a, an, the, etc”).
7. Essays must be non-fiction (no short stories or essays written as if you are a historical figure.)

POETRY CONTEST
Winners share thousands in cash and prizes. In addition to the winning entries, other entries of high merit are accepted to be published in our hard-bound anthology. With the publication being regionally based, students are competing against their peers in both age and location. Within the guidelines of accepting less than 50% of the poems and essays that are entered in each contest, the contest is selective so that it is an honor to be accepted, yet not so exclusive that it is discouraging to enter. Unlike many other organizations who sponsor writing contests, there is no entry fee and no required purchase in order to become published. We take pride in the fact that our staff is comprised of teachers, professors and writers. We have three poetry contests a year.

DEADLINES:
Fall: April 10, 2014
August 19, 2014
December 5, 2013

AWARDS Students: For each contest deadline, the top ten entries in each grade division (K-3; 4-6; 7-9; 10-12 for poetry) will receive a $25 check, special recognition in the book, and a free copy of the anthology that is created from the contest.

Teachers: Teachers with 5 or more students who give permission for publication will receive a free copy of the anthology that includes their student writers. Teachers also can qualify to apply for one of 50 $250 grants we award each year.

ESSAY CONTEST Winners share thousands in cash and prizes. In addition to the winning entries, other entries of high merit are accepted to be published in our hard-bound anthology. With the publication being regionally based, students are competing against their peers in both age and location. Within the guidelines of accepting less than 50% of the poems and essays that are entered in each contest, the contest is selective so that it is an honor to be accepted, yet not so exclusive that it is discouraging to enter. Unlike many other organizations who sponsor writing contests, there is no entry fee and no required purchase in order to become published. We take pride in the fact that our staff is comprised of teachers, professors and writers. We have three essay contests a year.

DEADLINES:
Fall: February 18, 2014
July 15, 2014
October 15, 2013


AWARDS
Students: For each contest deadline, the top ten entries in each grade division (3-6; 7-9; 10-12 for essay) will receive a $25 check, special recognition in the book, and a free copy of the anthology that is created from the contest.

Teachers: Teachers with 5 or more students who give permission for publication will receive a free copy of the anthology that includes their student writers. Teachers also can qualify to apply for one of fifty $250 grants we award each year.

ESSAY CONTEST Winners share thousands in cash and prizes. In addition to the winning entries, other entries of high merit are accepted to be published in our hard-bound anthology. With the publication being regionally based, students are competing against their peers in both age and location. Within the guidelines of accepting less than 50% of the poems and essays that are entered in each contest, the contest is selective so that it is an honor to be accepted, yet not so exclusive that it is discouraging to enter. Unlike many other organizations who sponsor writing contests, there is no entry fee and no required purchase in order to become published. We take pride in the fact that our staff is comprised of teachers, professors and writers. We have three essay contests a year.

DEADLINES:
Fall: February 18, 2014
July 15, 2014
October 15, 2013

AWARDS Students: For each contest deadline, the top ten entries in each grade division (3-6; 7-9; 10-12 for essay) will receive a $25 check, special recognition in the book, and a free copy of the anthology that is created from the contest.

Teachers: Teachers with 5 or more students who give permission for publication will receive a free copy of the anthology that includes their student writers. Teachers also can qualify to apply for one of fifty $250 grants we award each year.

For more information visit Creative Communication’s website:
http://www.poeticpower.com/contest.php

Nature Poetry Contest for Kids and Adults

July 12, 2013

Here’s a fabulous poetry contest for EVERYONE! Write a poem that captures a special connection you’ve experienced (or want to experience) with nature. The Muir Heritage Land Trust contest is open to Youth (5 – 12), Teens (13 – 17) and Adults (18 & up)

Entries due September 1, 2013
Submit to MHLT’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/muirheritagelandtrust

Not on Facebook? Email poetry to: angela@muirheritagelandtrust.org

For more information:

http://www.muirheritagelandtrust.org/assets/pdfs/poetrycontest/MHLT_PoetryGraphic.pdf

Neighbors

April 30, 2013

When Zoie took me out for a walk the other day, I stopped at the curb in shock.  There, in our neighbor’s front lawn, hung a FOR SALE sign. 

No. 

It couldn’t be. 

How could they do this to our perfect little cul-de-sac?

Another neighbor and my friend, Hilde, joined us outside with her dog.  We all stared sadly at the sign.  It was as though our canine friends understood our grief.  Admittedly it wasn’t so much about losing this particular couple – after all, we hardly knew them.

But.

We’ve had a past.

Before these people lived here, a family whose kids’ police record rivaled Al Capone’s dwelled in our hood.  Okay.  So maybe I’ve exaggerated slightly.  But one kid burglarized neighbors’ homes and his parents were so belligerent and inebriated their fights were legendary – as were the holes they punched in their walls.

No, we stared at this calm, quiet house and we worried. 

Who will move here? 

“Maybe if we see motorcycles and teenagers we could all stage a noisy fight,” I said.

By this time another neighbor, Tom, had joined our worry club. 

“But they might be happy to think they’ll fit right in,” said Tom.

He’s got a point. 

“I’ll pray,” I said.

“I’ll hope,” said Tom.

“I’ll move,” muttered Hilde. 

Writing Prompts

  1. Write about a neighbor you had, good or bad.  What made this neighbor memorable? 
  2. In the writing project you are working on now, who are your character’s neighbors?  How well does your character know them?  Write a scene where they are forced to face a conflict together. 
  3. Write a scene where they are in conflict with one another. 
  4. Write a poem about neighbors. 

This Dog Shows Character!

March 12, 2013
Who did this?  The answer is obvious by the reaction of the characters involved.  
 
http://www.maniacworld.com/which-is-the-guilty-dog.html
 
Writing Prompt:
1.  Using a character’s facial expression, action, thoughts and/or dialogue, show guilt or innocence in a story or poem.
2.  Choose a character you know in your life.  Show this person or animal’s character through action, details, and/or dialogue in a personal narrative. 
3.  Write a poem showing character.  Author Jane Yolen defines poetry as “compressed emotion.”  Take out any words that aren’t absolutely necessary.

New Literary Journal Publishes Poetry, Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

December 18, 2012

Catamaran Literary Reader is a new quarterly literary and visual arts magazine. Inaugural issue was published on October 17th 2012. Catamaran features fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art. Based in the new Tannery Arts and Digital Media Center Studios, in Santa Cruz, CA., their mission is to capture the vibrant creative spirit of California in writing and art from around the world. Themes include environmentalism, personal freedom, innovation, and artistic spirit. Seek to present diverse national voices around themes such as these that have a special resonance with their region.

Catamaran Literary Reader (ISSN 2168-7226) is published in October, January,April, and July by Catamaran Literary Reader Inc., a California Nonprofit Corporation with 501C-3 fiscal sponsorship from Chicago Quarterly Review.

 Submissions

Catamaran Literary Reader accepts fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art. Themes  especially interested in include diversity, environmentalism, artistic spirit, personal freedom, and innovation. Any setting is fine, but the California is of particular interest.  

Catamaran Literary Reader

1050 River St., Studio 113
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

http://catamaranliteraryreader.com/contact/

Anthology Call for Submissions

December 6, 2012

Are you the mother of a child with special needs?

 Deadline:  April 22, 2013

Nonfiction. Up to 6,000 words or 6 poems.

Submissions must address one of the themes listed below:

  • Challenges: Sometimes it sucks.
  • Purpose: I learned my own power; I get “it.”
  • Providence: Why was I chosen?
  • Pure Joy: Their joy is my joy!
  • Joy?: It’s the simple things.

For more information, visit:

http://www.literarymama.com/blog/archives/2012/11/call-for-submissions-anthology-2.html

The Sun Magazine

December 5, 2012

The Sun

I picked up a copy of this magazine and didn’t put it down until I had finished the entire copy.  Have you read it?  Short stories, essays, interviews, poetry and letters all written with depth, humor, and insight.  They don’t want opinion pieces or academia.  The best thing is they purchase one-time rights, which means you can sell them something you may have sold before. 

One section is devoted to Readers Write, which asks “readers to address subjects on which they’re the only authorities.  Topics are intentionally broad in order to give room for expression.” 

 Upcoming Topics

Breaking the Rules       January 1      Deadline             

Bullies                                    February 1            

In The Dark                        March 1                                        

Honesty                                April 1                                              

Trying Again                     May 1                                                 

Writing Prompts: 

  1. Choose one of the topics above and write a personal experience piece on this theme. 
  2. Choose one of the topics above and write a short story.
  3. Choose one of the topics and write a poem. 

www.thesunmagazine.org

 

 

August 17, 2012

This morning was a sleep-in day.  Hallelujah!  While dozing past our usual bounce-out-of-bed time, we heard a clunk from above. 

“What was that?” asked my husband.

Later, when we stood outside our car ready to run errands, a Pacific Gas and Electric worker approached us from his truck parked in front of our house. 

“A problem?” I asked.

“You had a meter leak.  I fixed it,” he said. 

I thanked him.  He nodded. 

“It was small,” he added, before hopping into his truck and driving away through the neighborhood. 

My husband said, “Wow.  I worked over there in the yard just yesterday and I never smelled a gas leak at all.”

“Bob,” I reminded him.  “You couldn’t smell a fire if it raged next door.  How could you smell gas?” 

“Maybe,” he admitted. 

“Face it,” I said.  “Your sniffer is off.”

“Humph,” he said in mock dismay.

As we pulled out of our driveway, we noticed the PG&E worker stopping at another house. 

“I think they’re being very careful after the accident,” said Bob, referring to the horrendous gas explosion in San Bruno last fall, which caused many deaths  and destroyed a complete neighborhood. 

“They SHOULD be,” I said.

Unfortunately, it took a high cost to become preventive now. 

Writing Prompts:

1.  Rewrite your history. What if . . . is a game we all play in life and in writing.  What if a turn of events DIDN’T happen?  What if a turn of events DID?  In world history, there is always a WHAT IF.  Which WHAT IF do you WISH had occurred?  What WHAT IF do you wish hadn’t?  Write scenes as though they had and hadn’t occurred. 

2.  Show a preventive scene in your writing project that foreshadows an upcoming disaster.  It doesn’t have to be a physical disaster – – it can be an emotional one.  (Example: a break-up could be foreshadowed by a small rude or annoying behavior, or a tell-tale sign of infidelity)

3.  Write the climatic scene of the break-up or the disaster in your book or story. 

4.  Write a poem of an image or scene in your life you would have liked to have had preventive knowledge. 

 *****

Poets and Writers Contest

http://www.pw.org/about-us/california_writers_exchange_award