NCW hosts three writing contests each year in Short Fiction, Personal Essay, and Poetry. Winners receive prize money and their winning entries are published in the annual Pooled Ink anthology.
Pooled Ink: Celebrating the 2013 NCW Contest Winners is now available!
Get your copy on Amazon.com or buy directly from our e-store: https://www.createspace.com/4509333
NOW OPEN: Short Fiction
DEADLINE: March 31, 2014
The short story can be in any genre or style and should have broad appeal. See below for word count and style guidelines. The final judge for this year's short fiction competition is Seth Brady Tucker.
Personal Essay/Creative Nonfiction
SUBMISSION PERIOD: April 1-June 30, 2014
The personal essay can be in any form or style, and should be evocative, thought-provoking, and sincere--and if it's humorous too, even better. See below for word count and style guidelines. Nonfiction writer and novelist Laura Pritchett is our final judge in this category.
SUBMISSION PERIOD: July 1-September 30, 2014
Poems can be in any style, up to 250 lines. Submit up to three poems per entry fee in this category (see submission formatting instructions below). The final judge for poetry is Lisa Zimmerman.
You do not need to be a member of NCW or in Colorado to enter the contests.
Each category will be awarded the following:
1st place: $1,000
2nd place: $250
3rd place: $100
Winners, Honorable Mentions, and Editor's Picks will be published in the annual winners' anthology, Pooled Ink: Celebrating the 2014 NCW Contest Winners (due out by December 10, 2014) and receive 1 free copy. The judges' decisions are final.
The editor may pick entries from all three categories that did not place in the top 3 or receive honorable mention according to the final judges for additional inclusion in the 2014 anthology, upon permission of the authors of such entries. Editor's picks will be contacted in October and will also receive a free copy of the anthology.
Notification of winners will be via an e-mail to all contestants and this website. Entrants will also receive an e-mail notification when this year's anthology is available. Entrants are not added to any "mailing lists" and we never sell or share your information.
No Hard Copies
Please do not send hard copies of your entries. Even if you mail in your payment, entries should still be e-mailed. Any hard copies received will not be returned.
All submissions must be your own original work. Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please let us know if your submission is accepted elsewhere, as this may affect our ability to publish it should it be selected as a winner. Likewise, you are responsible for notifying any other contests you may be entered in should your submission win in our contest. Submissions can be previously published, however, you must own the rights to republish in the event that your submission wins. All winning entries and honorable mentions will be published in the annual anthology. NCW does not retain any rights to your work once it has been published in the anthology.
Short Fiction and Essays
All entries must be in a 12-point standard serif font such as Times New Roman or similar. Short stories and essays should be double-spaced with pages numbered and sent in Microsoft Word compatible format (Word document preferred over PDFs). The title of the document should be the title of the story or essay. Do not put your name on the story or essay. Include your name, contact information, and title(s) in the body of your e-mail.
Poetry format is open. You may submit up to three poems per entry fee; however, poems are judged individually, so please send each poem as a separate document. All entries should be sent in Microsoft Word-compatible format and the name of each document should be the title of the poem. Do not put your name on the poems. Please do include your name, contact information, and title(s) of works in the body of your e-mail.
Short stories: 5,000 words
Personal essays: 5,000 words
Poems*: 250 lines each
*Entrants may submit up to 3 poems per entry fee in that category.
Purchase the previous years' anthologies (2011-2013) online at Amazon.com.
Email your entry:
1. Pay online.
2013 Short Fiction Winners
1st: “Man Camp” by Claire Boyles–Greeley, CO
2nd: “Simple Fractions” by Margarite Landry–Southborough, MA
3rd: “What the Tree Saw” by Jennifer Shepard–Eden Prairie, MN
HM: “Leaving Perdition” by Rebekah Shardy–Colorado Springs, CO
HM: “Evacuation” by Sonya Whitesell–Fort Collins, CO
HM: “Spirit of the Pike” by Jim Kroepfl–Grand Lake, CO
HM: “Tall Trees” by Nathan Ferguson–Denver, CO
2013 Personal Essay/Creative Nonfiction Winners
1st: "Deeps" by Annie Dawid–Westcliffe, CO
2nd: "Back to Nature Boy" by Vyvyan Brunst–Bellvue, CO
3rd: "Easy Journey to Other Planets" by Barry Maxwell–Austin, TX
HM: "Soyleyelim" by Delaney Nolan–Winston-Salem, NC
2013 Poetry Winners
1st: "Barking, Pt. Reyes" by Rafaella Del Bourgo ~ Berkeley, CA
2nd: "Alain" by Sara Blazevic ~ New York, NY
3rd: "Without Polish" by Sandra McGarry ~ Fort Collins, CO
HM: "U.S. Marine Aid Station at Landing Zone Baldy" by Robert Robeson ~ Lincoln, NE
HM: "Three Coyotes" by John Noland ~ Coos Bay, OR
HM: "Tell Me, Love" by Phil Ellsworth ~ Cedaredge, CO
2012 Short Fiction Winners
Judge: Antonya Nelson
1st Place: "Amalfi" by Karen Uhlmann ~ Chicago, IL
2nd Place: "Love and Happiness" by Virginia Pye ~ Richmond, VA
3rd Place: "A Thanksgiving Memory" by Tammi Schissler ~ Austin, TX
Honorable Mention: "Honeymoon" by Karen Uhlmann ~ Chicago, IL
2012 Personal Essay/Creative Nonfiction Winners
Judge: Kim Stafford
1st Place: "Prisoners of War" by Leila Levinson ~ Austin, TX
2nd Place: "The Quietest" by Maria Wheeler
3rd Place: "Zoe" by Judson Vail ~ Austin, TX
Honorable Mention: "Coconuts" by Brenda Watterson ~ Algonquin, IL
Honorable Mention: "The N: Word: A Prayer of Thanksgiving" by Dawn Downey ~ Kansas City, MO
Honorable Mention: "Sunday at Aunt Seri's" by Katherine Fuoco Fairchild ~ Pittsboro, NC
2012 Poetry Winners
Judges: Michael Bussmann and Matthew Sage
1st Place: "Crooked Heart Ranch" by Bob Brown ~ Fort Collins, CO
2nd Place: "In the Diner" by Sandra McGarry ~ Fort Collins, CO
3rd Place: "Oh, Bury Me, Please, on the Lone Prairie" by Janet Kamnikar ~ Fort Collins, CO
HM: "Opening Scene" by Diana Curran ~ Parker, CO
HM: "Star Fielder" by Janet Kamnikar ~ Fort Collins, CO
2011 Short Fiction Winners
Judged by Pam Houston
1st: "Clarice Johnson" by Michelle Auerbach - Boulder, CO
2nd: "Bonecrusher" by Sonya Whitesell - Fort Collins, CO
3rd: "Leaving Tomorrow" by Tammi Schissler - Austin, TX
HM: "Tulips" by Michelle Auerbach - Boulder, CO
HM: "In the Company of Doc Campilletti" by Robert Robeson - Lincoln, NE
2011 Personal Essay/Creative Nonfiction Winners
Judged by John Calderazzo
1st: "Mahlapane's Story" by Jerry Eckert - Vail, AZ
2nd: "Naamu" by Lynn Carlson - Cheyenne, WY
3rd: "Samaritans" by Alice Ollstein - Washington, DC
HM: "What Egypt Has" by Salma Warshanna - Ellicott City, MD
HM: "Second Chances" by Kathleen Donnelly - Johnstown, CO
HM: "Take No Chances" by Leonard Ewy - Fort Collins, CO
HM: "In Praise of Water" by Hudson Spivey - Missoula, MT
2011 Poetry Contest Winners
Judged by Chris Ransick
1st Place: "Diamondback" by Sally Clark - Fredericksburg, Texas
2nd Place: "Throwing Stones" by Sandra McGarry - Fort Collins, Colorado
3rd Place: "Poet Disappears in Japan" by Dixie J-Elder - Longmont, Colorado
HM: "The Team" by Janet Kamnikar - Fort Collins, Colorado
HM: "Hollow Heart" by Patricia Frolander - Sundance, Wyoming
HM: "Lost Cowboy" by W. A. Ewing - Loveland, Colorado
HM: "FAQ (On the Poet's Home Page)" by W. A. Ewing - Loveland, Colorado