Important Announcement

Important Update Regarding the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition

As part of our dedication to the integrity of all WD competitions, we at Writer’s Digest take a serious approach to the adherence to our contest rules and guidelines. In line with our commitment to ensure fairness to all participants, we always make every effort, to the best of our ability, to verify the eligibility of all winning entrants and entries before making our rankings official.

After the announcement of the grand-prize winner of our 79th annual competition, it was brought to our attention that the winning entry (Michael Palmer’s “Night,” from the Memoir/Personal Essay category) had been previously published in two online literary journals under two different titles. This is in violation of the official rules, which stipulate that all entries (with the exception of those in the Magazine Feature Article category) be previously unpublished at the time of submission. Unfortunately, no record of prior publication had turned up in our diligent efforts to confirm eligibility, nor had the prior publications been disclosed to the WD staff. Once this was brought to light, however, there was no question that the grand-prize-winning piece should not have been eligible to compete. Therefore, we have been faced with the unpleasant task of disqualifying the previously announced grand-prize winner. We apologize for any confusion caused by this unfortunate matter.

Click here for information on our new grand-prize winner, and a complete updated winners list.

All of us at WD sincerely appreciate the support and confidence of all entrants in our writing competitions, and we will remain vigilantly committed to all participating writers in ensuring entries continue to be evaluated in strict accordance with the rules and guidelines set forth. If you have questions regarding any of our competitions at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us at

The Writer’s Digest Editorial Staff

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