Red Heart :: Black Heart Writing Contest

You heard it here first: For the first time in 2009, Writer’s Digest is hosting a Valentine’s Day writing contest. We’re calling it the Red Heart :: Black Heart writing contest, and you can enter for free. Soon we’ll have an official page with all the details, but here’s the early scoop.

Basic idea
Do you feel like you have a red heart at this time of year, or a black heart? We want your poems, essays, and letters about love and heartbreak—your highest moments and your lowest. And we promise we won’t tell you how to feel about this very controversial holiday of the year. Just choose the most appropriate category of submission:

  1. Love Poem
  2. Black-Hearted Love Poem
  3. Love Letter
  4. Rejection Letter (and we don’t mean the editor/agent kind)
  5. Essay on Love at First Sight
  6. Essay on Love Lost

Winners and Prizes
The Writer’s Digest staff will choose the best entries from each of the six categories, and post them on the forum no later than February 10, 2009. The entry with the most votes on the forum by February 12, 2009, at 5 p.m., determines the contest winner.

The winner will receive a $250 shopping spree to the Writer’s Digest Store. Plus Writer’s Digest Publisher Jane Friedman will send the winner a Whitman’s Sampler with a personal, red-heart note of congratulations. The best entry in each category will receive a free 1-year subscription to and 50% off any course from WritersOnlineWorkshops.

Red Heart :: Black Heart Compilation
The Writer’s Digest staff will select the best entries from this contest for a Red Heart-Black Heart compilation, available for free as a download at

Length guidelines
1 poem, up to 30 lines
1 letter, up to 750 words
1 essay, up to 750 words

Deadline: February 6, 2009

How to submit your work
No fee to enter. All work must be original and the author must own all rights to the work. Click here to send your work via e-mail (no attachments!); be sure to include the full text in the body of the e-mail—no attachments! Only one entry per e-mail message, please. Entries beyond the word count or with attachments will be disregarded. We’re sorry, but we can’t confirm receipt of submissions.

The fine print
Writer’s Digest retains one-time nonexclusive publication rights to the best entries, to be published in a Writer’s Digest compilation. All rights remain with the author. All decisions of the editors are final.

Photo credit: carbonnyc

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