Tag Archives: english

2018 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition 

Minotaur Books (Macmillan) and Mystery Writers of America are sponsoring the First Crime Novel Competition. This contest is open to writer’s age 18 and older, who has never been published or under contract to be published with a novel. The submitted manuscript must involve murder or another serious crime or crimes at the heart of the story. The winner will be offered a standard form author’s agreement and a $10,000 advance against future royalties. Submissions must be received by 11:59pm EST on January 12, 2018. For complete rules, go here.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA fiction

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2018 Poetry Contest

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I don’t know about you, but I love contests where there is a monetary prize. After all, writers have to eat, yunno? So looky here!

The New York Encounter is sponsoring its second annual poetry contest to celebrate the theme of its 2018 event, An ‘Impossible’ Unity. The Encounter’s poetry contest invites all poets writing in English to submit up to 3 poems (maximum 40 lines each), related in some way to the theme. Their guest judge the award-winning poet, Dana Gioia.

Cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100 will be awarded to first, second and third place poems. Deadline for submissions is November 7, 2017. For complete details, go here.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

The Sunday Times Short Story Award

The Sunday Time Logo

The Sunday Times is sponsoring an international award worth £30,000 to the winner. It’s open to any story of up to 6,000 words written in English. Stories need to have been either previously unpublished or only published after December 31, 2015. Five authors shortlisted for the award will each receive £1,000. The prize is administered by the Society of Authors.

To be eligible, the author must simply have a record of prior publication in creative writing in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

The deadline for entries is 6pm (GMT) on Thursday, 29 September 2016.

Make sure you read the entire instructions and terms and conditions (available as a download) before you submit your entry form! Go here for all the details.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Critique Partners

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If you’re a writer, I can’t stress enough the importance of finding critique partners/beta readers. That’s right, I spoke in plural terms. Each partner might uncover different aspects of your story, such as weaknesses in your character, plot holes, typos, stilted dialogue, pacing and much more. No matter how perfect you think your story is, someone will find an error. And it’s better to find as many errors as possible before you start submitting to agents or publishers, and most importantly BEFORE you self publish!

So where do you find these partners? I found most of mine on Twitter hashtags during writing contests. Someone almost always puts a call out to swap stories for critique. Many times, you gain a permanent partner. There are private writing groups on Facebook that you can join, or places like CPseek. Absolute Write Forums, Write On Con events, local writing groups, and even English departments at your local college and university. Also following blogs of agented writers (such as Brenda Drake or Authoress for starts), can help you find opportunities for free critiques. I’ve found that the writing community is extremely supportive of one another, and among them is a wealth of knowledge!

Things to look for in a partner:

  1. They not only praise but offer the needed critique. If a partner does nothing but praise over your work, they don’t offer you any room to improve.
  2. They offer suggestions. Okay, this doesn’t mean they tell you exactly how to fix something, but at least tell you why something doesn’t work for them. This way, you know what direction to go.
  3. Similar tastes. If you write for middle grade, you may want to find someone who does the same because you both understand ‘voice’ for that genre. Or maybe you write strictly fantasy and want someone who writes the same. But remember, finding someone who writes exactly the same genre and category isn’t completely necessary, as long as they have a passion for the types of stories you write. (But it does help.)
  4. Can meet your dead line. That’s if you have a dead line. If you do, be clear up front and state the time frame. (Ex: You hope to polish your manuscript before entering an upcoming contest.)

There might be other things you desire in a critique partner, but this list is just a starting foundation. For ideas on the worst critique partners, read Chuck Sambuchino’s The Top 10 Worst Types of Critique Partners

As always, good luck and happy writing!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA Fiction