Narrative Magazine Winter 2015 #Story #Contest

Winter 2015 Story Contest Promo
Source: Narrative Magazine

Narrative Magazine has released the information for their Winter 2015 Story Contest. Grand prize is $2500, and your $22 entry fee will grant you three months of access to Narrative Backstage.

We’re looking for short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction.

The contest is open to previously unpublished fiction and non-fiction pieces no longer than 15,000 words, and with the March 31, 2015 deadline, there’s plenty of time to write or spruce up a substantial work to meet the established submission guidelines.

As always, we are looking for works with a strong narrative drive, with characters we can respond to as human beings, and with effects of language, situation, and insight that are intense and total. We look for works that have the ambition of enlarging our view of ourselves and the world.

Any of the stories submitted are also contenders for the $4000 Narrative Prize and Story of the Week. The story will be judged by the magazine’s editors, and winners will be announced April 30, 2015.

Narrative winners and finalists have gone on to win the Pushcart Prize, the Whiting Writers’ Award, and the Atlantic prize, and have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and others. View all the recent awards won by Narrative authors.

Find their submission link here:
Winter 2015 Story Contest | Narrative Magazine.


15th Annual Short Short #StoryCompetition from Writer’s Digest

Writer’s Digest is holding a Short Short Fiction Competition, without listing their genre or non-genre requirements, for pieces under 1,500 words. Winners up to the 25th place will be compensated financially, but first place can take home $3,000, national exposure from Writer’s Digest magazine, and paid travel for the Writer’s Digest Conference. All entrants will be given the opportunity to attend a webinar hosted by award-winning author Jacob Appel.

The deadline is December 15, and authors can register and pay online or offline. Entry fee is $25 per manuscript. Winning manuscripts are scheduled to publish in May 2015, with early orders being shipped in June. Stories will appear in the July/August edition of the magazine. All winners up to 10th place will be published in the magazine and receive copies of the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition Collection, 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market, and the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents.

Follow the link below to enter and see winners’ spoils in detail. Good luck!

Short Short Story Competition |

Just one contest not enough for you? Check out more writing contests from Writer’s Digest!

#NaNo Update | Into the House We Go

So, I managed to write a little bit this morning on Midnight Ladies, and I got Julia’s family into the house they will be living in when she’s approached by her lady. Julia’s mother, Kathy, has a history with the man who’s renting the house to them, and her dad is quick to stop any unnecessary nastiness from Hale Moriarty–the landlord. He even zeroes in on Julia because she looks so much like her mother.

But Hale is not the worst this family will face [Ooh, crap! I don’t think I’ve given them a surname yet!].

Now, I’ve established the home’s location as old, old as dirt, a home that was constructed before any other people were there and which was consumed by the nearest city as it expanded its borders. It’s only been owned by the rich and eccentric; so it has all the modern flare within its ancient walls. Recently, it fell into ill-repair and Hale doesn’t want to fix it himself. How did he come into ownership of the place?

Hm, guess we’ll have to tune in next week… Same story time, same story channel.

Words Written Today: 977

#NaNo Update | Continuing on with Third Story

So, this is my first stretch of writing in Midnight Ladies that doesn’t count toward a word count. It’s kind of nice, just to write, for writing’s sake. 🙂

Anyway, I started the third story–Julia’s story, which is taking on a great pace so far, and it feels like real writing. I don’t know how else to describe it, except to say that it feels like I’m writing words that sound like they belong in a book. Constructing Julia’s world, her parents, siblings, and the strife of moving into a new house, the stresses of small-town living and small-world connections, has happened quite easily today. It feels real (there’s that word again).

Meeting these characters–especially Julia’s mother, Kathy–so far has been interesting; and I have to admit that I love the feeling of having to pull myself away from a story. It makes it that much easier to go back the next day. Or, in my case, the next week–unless I can find some time in the next couple days…

Hopefully there will be more Midnight Ladies to update about sooner rather than later.

Written Words Today: 3,036

Authors Publish | 5 Ways to Get Out of a #Writing Rut


First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS! If you’ve made it this far, way to go! Sticking it out and getting 10,000 or 100,000 words down on paper is awesome, and you should be congratulated!

Second, and most hopefully, this message isn’t reaching you too late. Maybe it might have been better suited for the middle of November rather than the last day, but for those of you November Novelists who do this all the time maybe its time for a change.

Do you feel like you’re in a writing funk?

Emily Harstone from Authors Publish tells us five great ways to get out of a writing rut. Now, I know we just spent a month of writing where the goal was to put words to page every day; however, changing up how you put those words to the page may chase away the ghosts of writer’s block and finicky muses.

Read the entire article by clicking the link below, and enjoy an excerpt about the frustrating experience of the writing rut.

» 5 Ways to Get out of a Writing Rut.

Slump, funk, and rut are all names I have heard used more than once to describe that feeling writers get of being stuck. The details differ depending on the author, however many describe it as not writing anything new. Instead they are rehashing the same topic over and over again. Or, even if they are capable of writing something new, they don’t want to, they don’t feel any joy when they think of writing. It is different than writers block because most writers still write during this period, they just don’t enjoy writing, and they don’t like the work they produce.

Writer’s Digest | Reflecting on NaNoWriMo and Adapting #WritingStyles

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For “There Are No Rules”, Cris Freese seeks out the opinions of fellow NaNoWriMo participants to explore how this daily writing challenge (1,667 words per day to finish 50K words in 30 days) can upend or enhance a writer’s regular writing style.

Personally, November is the only time I write daily throughout the year. I also don’t consider myself an author; I am a writer of necessity–I simply cannot help myself for the ideas I get from my muse. Normally, throughout the rest of the year, when I get an idea, I’ll sprint it out and leave it for editing later. November, though, is when I really get to explore a larger piece and spend 30 days swimming and luxuriating in it.

Having those 30 days, knowing they’re coming every year, it is a time I look forward to. I plan ideas out in the months ahead, think about names and general plot directions so that I can just sit down November 1-30 and write. It’s delicious.

So, getting inside the heads of regular NaNo participants and writers who write regularly, it’s interesting to see how the new NaNo “grind” can alter established writing routines.

Read the entire article by clicking the link below, and enjoy an introductory excerpt from the article.

Daily Writing Routine: How You Must Adapt to NaNoWriMo |

National Novel Writing Month isn’t just a test of your writing prowess. In many ways, it’s more of a test of your determination, will power, and ability to hold yourself accountable. Are you going to stick to your 50,000 word goal? What are your daily goals? How do you handle potentially falling behind?

Most importantly, NaNoWriMo will teach you how to adapt as a writer. For the most part, your daily (weekly?) routines of writing will get thrown out the window during this month. You’ll have to learn how to accept bad writing and edit later. For some (myself included), that’s tough to do. The thought that there could potentially be bad writing in what I’m working on is cringe-worthy.

Writer’s Digest | How to Approach the First Chapter of Your #Novel

NaNoWriMo Banner 11.1.14As we are swiftly approaching the end of National Novel Writing Month, I know that for some authors their next step is going back to the beginning. After giving your manuscript some time and space, you’ll want to go back to the beginning and start your editing process.

Jeff Gerke, writing a guest post for Brian A. Klems at “The Writer’s Dig”, sums up quite nicely 4 approaches to beginning your novel. Though, he’s speaking to the art as starting from scratch, I think these points could be spun, without much effort, as a guide to beginning your editing process with the first chapter–it is your foundation, after all!

Read the entire article by clicking the link below, and enjoy an introductory excerpt from the article.

4 Approaches for the First Chapter of Your Novel |

There are four primary approaches for beginning a successful novel. Probably more, including some highly experimental ones, but these are the classic main four. Run your story idea through the filter of each of these and see if one of them feels right for your book.

Writer’s Digest | 10 #Fiction-Writing Tips

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Hot off the presses (well, maybe lukewarm by now), the 2015 Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market is in its 34th year and still bringing writers great advice in terms of finding publishers, agents, and venues toward getting your work published.

They also offer brand new essays each year that help writers hone the art of crafting solid fiction. Featured by Rachel Scheller at the “There Are No Rules” blog, here are 10 fiction-writing tips collected and published by the good people at Writer’s Digest.

Read the entire article by clicking the link below, and enjoy an excerpt explaining a little more about NSSWM.

Fiction-Writing Tips from Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market |

NSSWM features articles on fiction craft, getting published, and marketing and promotion, as well as more than 400 pages of listings for novel and short story writers, including literary agents, book publishers, magazines, and contests that are interested in your work. This year’s edition also features access to an exclusive webinar from best-selling author Cheryl St.John, on exploring emotional high points in fiction.

Writer’s Digest | Prepare to Write Your #Nonfiction Book in a Month

NaNoWriMo Banner 11.1.14

Want to take part in NaNoWriMo, but fiction just isn’t your bag? Never fear (not that you delightful pragmatists would), you, too, can take part in the month-end deadline of writing a full-length non-fiction work. From Brian A. Klems“The Writer’s Dig”, published author Nina Amir gives us an 8-point list on the best ways to prepare for writing your entire non-fiction work in just one month!

Read the entire article by clicking the link below, and enjoy an excerpt about how it doesn’t have to be a book that you write, but any length of non-fiction work would do in the “Write Non-fiction in November Challenge (WNFIN).” [Especially considering the amount of research you’d likely need! It’s time consuming to do all that reading.]

8 Ways to Prepare to Write Your Nonfiction Book in a Month |

During National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo) you can start and finish the draft of your nonfiction book in a month. Just take the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge (WNFIN). No need to even restrict your self to a full-length book; you can finish the final draft of a short book, an article, an essay, a series of blog posts, or your manifesto. As long as you embrace the goal of completing a work of nonfiction, this event is for you.

Writer’s Digest | 4 Ways to Write a Killer #PlotTwist

NaNoWriMo Banner 11.1.14

From Rachel Scheller at the Writer’s Digest blog, “There Are No Rules”, we are presented with four steps from author Steven James as advice on how to write killer plot twists. The plot twist is probably one of my favorite story elements, and I always appreciate a good one. Sounds like I need to pick up or go see Gone Girl because that is the example used here, and the comments after the article confirm the choice.

Not only do you get a description for each of the methods toward writing an effective plot twist, but you’re also presented with questions you can ask yourself while you’re writing toward that effective plot twist. It’s definitely worth the read.

Read the entire article by clicking the link below, and enjoy an excerpt about the importance of successful plot twists.

4 Ways to Write a Killer Plot Twist |

And here’s the thing: As implausible as some of the occurrences in Gone Girl are, they’re also set up in such a way that I embraced each of them, one right after the other. They felt organic. They felt natural. They didn’t feel forced.

How do we do that when writing fiction? How do we write plot twists and turns into our stories without seeming overly obvious? How do we surprise readers without coming completely out of left field?