Rules & Regulations

The Categories:

You may enter as many manuscripts as you like in each of the following categories:

  • Memoirs/Personal Essay, Magazine Feature Article and Children’s/Young Adult Fiction: 2,000 words maximum.
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story and Genre Short Story: 4,000 words maximum.
  • Inspirational Writing: 2,500 words maximum.
  • Rhyming Poem and Non-rhyming Poem: 32 lines maximum.
  • Stage Play Script or Television/Movie Script: Send the first 15 pages (the title page does not count toward the page limit) in standard script format, plus a one-page synopsis. Complete scripts are not eligible. Scripts—original or written for any series in production on or after January 1, 2015—are eligible; adaptations will not be accepted.

Preparing Your Entry:

  1. Enter online or submit your entry via regular mail. Offline entries must be accompanied by an Entry Form, and the required entry fee (credit card information, check or money order made payable to F+W media, Inc.). If you are entering more than one manuscript, you may mail all entries in the same envelope and write one check for the total entry fee; however, each manuscript must have its category indicated in the upper left-hand corner. You may enter online even if you are paying with a check. All checks will be cashed within 30 days of the competition final deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  2. Your entry must be original, in English, unpublished* and unproduced, not accepted by any other publisher or producer at the time of submission.Writer’s Digest retains one-time nonexclusive publication rights to the Grand Prize and First Place winning entries in each category to be published in a Writer’s Digest publication.* Entries in the Magazine Feature Article category may be previously published.  Any piece posted online, anywhere other than a personal blog, is considered published.
  3. If you are submitting your entry via regular mail (NOT using the online entry form), the entry must be typed on one side of 8-1/2 x 11 or A4 white paper. Scripts and poems may be either double-or single-spaced; all other manuscripts must be double-spaced. Your name, address, phone number and competition category must appear in the upper left-hand corner of the first page —otherwise your entry is disqualified. Entries submitted online do not need name, address, phone number and competition category in the upper left-hand corner of the first page since that information is collected on the form.
  4. BE SURE OF YOUR WORD COUNT! Entries exceeding the word or page limits will be disqualified. Type the exact word count(counting every single word, except the title and contact information) at the top of the manuscript.
  5. Mailed entries that are more than one page in length must be stapled.
  6. Due to SEC restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, or North Korea.