Popular Fiction Awards

Deadline: September 15. 2015

If you write short stories, don’t miss your chance to compete in the Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards. There’s sure to be a category created just for you, Romance, Thriller, Crime, Horror, Science-Fiction, and Young Adult. Choose your favorite genre(s) and enter your best in 4,000 words or less.

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You can edit or manage your entry HERE

Prizes
One Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • An announcement of the winner on the cover of Writer’s Digest (subscriber issues only)
  • $2,500 in cash
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!
  • An interview with the author in Writer’s Digest’s May/June issue
  • $100 off a purchase at www.writersdigestshop.com
  • A copy of the 2016 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market

One First Prize winner in each category will receive:

  • An announcement of the winner in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest
  • $500 in cash
  • $100 off a purchase at www.writersdigestshop.com
  • A copy of the 2016 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market

Honorable Mentions will:

  • Have their stories promoted on writersdigest.com
  • A copy of the 2016 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market

Categories

  • Crime: Crime fiction is a genre of fiction that focuses on the dramatization of crimes, the detective work and procedures in solving said crimes, and the criminal motivations behind them. Mystery and detective fiction may also fit into this genre.
  • Horror: Horror fiction is a genre which intends, and/or has the capacity, to frighten, scare or startle readers. This genre may induce feelings of creepiness, horror and terror, and is generally unsettling for the audience. Horror can be supernatural or non-supernatural.
  • Romance: Romance fiction can encompass and draw themes, ideas and premises from other genres and can vary widely in setting, dialogue, characters, etc. Generally, however, romance fiction should include a love story involving two individuals struggling to make their relationship work and an emotionally satisfying ending.
  • Science Fiction: Science Fiction (and Fantasy) are genres that explore imaginative content, primarily related to science. This can include a variety of elements, often involving futuristic settings, science and technology, as well as space travel, time travel, extraterrestrial life, and parallel universes. Fantasy fiction often crosses over with this category, touching on similar elements such as world building and magical creatures, but it generally does not include the scientific themes.
  • Thriller: Thriller fiction is a genre of fiction that uses suspense and tension to dramatically affect the reader. A thriller can provide surprise, anxiety, terror, anticipation, etc., in order to provide a rush of emotions and excitement that progress a story. It should generally be based around the strength of the villain and the protagonist, as well as their struggle against each other. This category might encompass several other genres, including horror, science fiction, and crime.
  • Young Adult: Young Adult fiction is generally fiction meant for readers age 12-18.

How to Enter

  • 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 60 days of the competition final deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  • 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. Any piece posted online, anywhere other than a personal blog, is considered published.
  • 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. All 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.
  • BE SURE OF YOUR WORD COUNT! Entries exceeding the word 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.
  • Mailed entries that are more than one page in length must be stapled.
  • Due to SEC restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, or North Korea.
  • For more information visit our Preparing Your Entry Page or our FAQ page.
  • Click here for a printable entry form. It is to be used for entries submitted via regular mail.


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