Posts Categorized: Submissions

Contests Off the Beaten Path

Last week, I received an email from the Missouri Review about their 5th Annual Audio Competition, which welcomes audio submissions in poetry, fiction and audio documentary. It was a welcome reminder that literature exists not just on the page, but also somewhere else—in sound, and in memory. Then, this morning, I got a notification from Geist, the fabulous Canadian quarterly, about this year’s Annual Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest. For this year, their eighth, Geist editors are requesting that each entrant hand-make a postcard, then write a story inspired by it, finally submitting both elements together.

Inspiring stuff!

Missouri Review and Geist’s original, multimedia approaches to the literary contest got me thinking about how contest call-outs can serve as encouragement for writers to work outside their comfort zone. Would you ever hand-make your own postcard prompt, if no one suggested it? Would you think of recording a short story, weaving it together with music? We writers are solitary beasts. Contests—especially themed ones—offer us lonely folks both an opportunity to expand our repertoire and a way to connect with wider communities.

In fact, there are contests out there specifically for writers who identify with particular groups. The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Short Fiction Contest is open for work with LGBT content about—what else?—saints and sinners. If you’re a lady writer, you’re in luck: WOW! Women On Writing is sponsoring a Flash Fiction Contest this fall; there’s another flash fiction contest, Feminist Flash 2011, is open to any genre of work, 200 words or less, with a feminist theme; and the organization A Woman’s Write is holding two contests, one for previously unpublished novel manuscripts and one in creative nonfiction.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds more writing contests out there, each with a slightly different slant. If you have a favorite themed contest, feel free to share it with us!

Fact, or Fiction?

See how you fare on our fiction contest quiz:

1. I’ve sent fiction to Indiana Review for regular submissions, but am still eligible to enter the fiction contest.

FACT! IR is currently accepting submissions for the 2011 Fiction Prize judged by novelist Kevin Brockmeier.

2. I have until October 15th to enter.

FACT: There are still 10 days to prime those stories and get them in!

3. The entry fee is a ridiculously good deal.

FACT:  It’s only $15 dollars to enter, and includes a subscription!

4. If I win, I get $1000 and will appear in the journal.

FACT:  Not only will you get an issue, it will have your name on it!

5. IR makes it easy for me to submit.

FACT:  see our contest guidelines here for more information.

6. Indiana Review has spiffy AGEs ready to read your work–one is waiting, as we speak, here, in the office, sporting a Shakespeare tie!

FACT: you will have to trust me on this one.

7. IR wants you.

your FICTION. send some!

 

Fiction Contests Here, There, and Everywhere

Here at IR, the deadline for submissions to our 2011 Fiction Prize is fast approaching! Enter your short story before October 15 for a chance to win a whopping $1,000.

Indiana Review isn’t the only prize around, of course. Autumn, ’tis the season for contests. If you’re a fiction writer who’s hungry for more competition, here’s a taste of some of the other options out there, sorted by date.

Here’s to a little healthy competition! May the best stories always win.

An Excerpt from Jackson Blair’s “Glacier”

 

I booked my train ticket on a Tuesday.  That Thursday, as Hannah and I descended my porch, the neighborhood bungalows neatly arrayed in the low sun, she abruptly called things off, citing my uncertainty as grounds for ending the relationship.  We were on our way to meet friends and, stumbling towards some kind of dignity, I continued on without her.  My first thought was to cancel my Glacier trip.  Recalling my purpose–and the non-refundable train tickets–those thoughts were swiftly dismissed.  I simply had more to think about on my trip than I expected.  Or less, as the case might be.  I felt knocked outside of my own story, a step behind whatever events I’d been projecting before me. […]

From “Glacier” by Jackson Blair, Indiana Review 33.1
Photo by Marshall Wilson via National Geographic
Have a story to tell?  Send us your literary nonfiction today!

Why you should care about fonts

Back in May, Karyna McGlynn posted fantastic submission tips over at the Gulf Coast blog. Lately, I’ve thought about how typefaces can unconsciously influence—and maybe even ruin—the reception of your submission by a magazine’s editors.

As Karyna says, classic serif is the way to go. We wrote about this in 2007, although I’d add that the fonts do vary between genres. Generally, I see 12-point Times New Roman for prose. However, that’s not as effective in poetry; poets lean toward Garamond or Perpetua. Courier New is too bulky. Arial and other sans serif tend to look less professional, less polished. This doesn’t mean I or any other editor will automatically reject a submission on the basis of its font choice (except, perhaps, if the font were Curlz MT), but presentation does matter, in print or online. Often design works unconsciously, subtly; you usually don’t notice it when you navigate a seamless website. You definitely notice it when the navigation is clunky and user-resistant. I don’t notice a font if it looks fine on the page—I notice when it doesn’t.

Don’t agonize too much over your font, but do put some thought into it. You want your work to be the primary focus, not your affection for Comic Sans MS.