Writing Contests for Summer (and Beyond!): A Writing Coach’s Picks

IF THE EIGHT OF WANDS WERE YOUR WRITING COACH, she would tell you to FLY your stories and poems and essays and novels out into the publishing ethers. While, of course, we need to develop our writing to the best of our ability, sometimes, it behooves us to send our work into the world and see what results.

A couple of years ago, in a post encouraging you to submit, submit, submit, I wrote this:

Swiftness, change, opportunity, messages on the wind. Tarot’s Eight of Wands speaks to all of these. It’s a communicative card. It can signal the sudden appearance of new connections, information, or direction.

If you got the Eight of Wands in a tarot reading, the turbaned, hoop-earringed Gypsy turning your cards might say, “Favorable circumstances are flying toward you! Avail yourself of them, and positive changes are likely to occur.”

I’m not (currently) wearing a turban—or even my hoop earrings—but accept this message as if I were. Because, with this post, the Eight of Wands is delivering a quiverful of opportunities: It’s time to send your writing soaring out on the winds of literary chance!

I still agree with that idea. And to facilitate your ability to act on this advice, I’ve put together a list of summer (and beyond!) literary contests for you. Good luck!

Summer 2020 (and beyond!): Writing contests and resources

Deadlines between now and July 15: Poets & Writers has compiled listings of 57 writing contests with upcoming deadlines. Browse P&W’s Grants & Awards database by genre, deadline, and entry fee to find the best contests for your work.

Deadline August 15: South of the South contest: Florida-based writers, Wordier Than Thou is seeking fiction, non-fiction and poetry from you about the state of Florida. There is no limit to what you can write about—from Florida’s natural beauty to the seedier side of Mickey to wacky news headlines. As long as it’s about the Sunshine State, they want to read it.

Varied deadlines: Like Poets & Writers, The Write Life keeps their list of literary contests updated on the regular. Currently, they’re showcasing 37 free writing contests, including opportunities for those who write genre fiction, short fiction, and nonfiction. Take a look now, and bookmark the site for future reference.

Varied deadlines: FORBES has an article that lists some interesting writing contests for high school-age writers. You have to maneuver past the advertisement on the site, but the offerings make it worthwhile. If you’re encouraging a  young writer, check out my recent post 10 Tip Writing Coaching Tips and Resources for Teen and Preteen Writers.

Various 2020 deadlines: Okay, novelists, here’s a list just for you! The Novel Factory created a directory of novel-writing competitions for 2020. Got a draft? Might be a great way to get your big ol’ story read!

Writing coach

Need help with your book? I’m available for book coaching and manuscript review! And check out Should I Hire a Writing Coach” in THE WRITER magazine.

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The writerly image of the Eight of Wands is from the PRAIRIE TAROT, created and published by artist Robin Ator.

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