Sunday, July 14, 2013

Upcoming Writing Competitions

It seems like everywhere I turn I have the good luck to run into someone who wants to be a writer.  I love that.  I love chatting and exchanging ideas; I love the wild, mad-scientist look they get in their eyes and the smile they get on their face as they talk about their ideas, projects, and dreams.  At some point, though, the look on their face changes.  "I would love to write," they say sadly, "I just don't __________."  Sometimes the rest of the sentence is "have the time."  Other times it's, "have the confidence."  Still other times it's, "know what to do."  I've been there.  I empathize.  But, the simple fact is that unless you TAKE the time, unless you write THROUGH your fears, and unless RESEARCH how to get your works out there, writing will always be just something you would love to do.  It will never be something that you love doing.  I find that contests are a great way to achieve these goals.  They create a finite deadline, which is more tangible and therefore more achievable then the ambiguous "someday."  This creates motivation.  They often provide a topic or genre, which may add inspiration.  They have very specific directions, which can eliminate the fear of not knowing what to do, and experience will breed greater confidence.  It is important to be aware, though, that there are scams. I do not suggest, as a beginning writer, that you send your work anywhere that calls for a "reading fee."  Do not send your book to a place where you will be required or even highly encouraged to buy an "anthology" comprised of all of the entries.  This is often referred to as a "vanity press" or a "vanity scheme" and will not give you credibility with potential publishers or agents as the selection process is incredibly lax to increase profits.  Finally, be very cautious as to what rights to your story you are granting the contest promoters.  Because I have had so very many people ask me about writing opportunities, I have compiled a short list of writing competitions that I recommend and often in which I am participating.

First - Wartooth Arena.  This event largely takes place at  You write a short story, any topic, and post it on Kindle Direct Publishing for a price of $0.99.  You then post a link on Wartooth's Wall.  You follow up with a bio, a video, and more, and are judged on your story and on how many likes you get.  While you are there, I sure would appreciate it if you would "like" the post on their wall that tags "Amanda Rotach Huntley" and links to a story called "In the Halls of the Nosmo King."  But more than that, try to take my head, if you dare!

Second, I recommend  This is a great site where you sign up to participate in a weekly writing challenge.  You are given prompts and a short suspense in which to create a short story.  Stories are voted on by visitors to the blog, and winners get to participate in the biannual challenges for great prizes.  You also get some great exposure.

Third is the contest that I am currently running.  This is the Dark Carnival Fiction Competition, in conjunction with the annual Dark Carnival Film Festival in Columbus, Indiana.  The deadline, July 31st, is rapidly approaching.  All that I ask is that is be a speculative fiction piece of less than 5000 words.  Email your entry to  Top 15 entries get a prize and a publishing contract with royalties.  We don't have 15 entries yet, so get workin'.  I will send feedback on entries received!

Finally is the That Book Place Authors Fair Story Contest.  The deadline is November 30th and is open to persons from all over the world writing in multiple genres.  The rules are as follows, as taken from the website:  

The competition is open to all, 18 years old or over, regardless of nationality or country of residence.
​Entries must be:
- in English
- double-spaced
- 12 Point Font
- Times New Roman
- No more then 5,000 words for Fiction
- No more then 100 pages for original screenplay
Include a cover-page with your Name, Title of Story, Address and email.
Entries to the genre categories must be entirely your own work and never previously published, online or offline, in any format.
Entries to the Previously Published category must be entirely your own work and must have all rights back to the author.
Entries to the Original Screenplay category must be entirely your own work and never previously published, online or offline, in any format.
​Please submit your story as an attachment in your email. Do not paste it in the body of the email.
Your Submission must show no name or address, just the title of the story. Entries are numbered automatically and cross-referenced with your cover-page. After the anonymous reading and selections, your name and details will be retrieved if your entry has been chosen.
​Worldwide copyright on your entry remains with you the author. By entering you grant permission, to include it in an Anthology if it is placed as a finalist. Winners in each category will receive royalties off the sale of the book. Winners and Finalists will be able to purchase copies for their own use, signings and giveaways, at 55% off the retail cost.
​By submitting an entry you agree to accept these rules in full.

So, make today the someday you are going to start writing.  If you'd like to "talk shop," please send me a line! 

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