Popular Fiction Awards

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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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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 2017 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 2017 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market

Honorable Mentions will:

  • Have their stories promoted on writersdigest.com
  • A copy of the 2017 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market

Categories

  • Mystery/Crime: Mystery and crime fiction focus on the dramatization of crimes, the detective work and procedures in solving said crimes, and the criminal motivations behind them.
  • 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/Fantasy: Science fiction and fantasy are genres that take place beyond the boundaries of “real life.” In the case of science fiction, this often involves futuristic settings, science and technology, as well as space travel, time travel, extraterrestrial life, and parallel universes. Fantasy fiction touches on similar elements such as world building, magic and magical creatures, and generally does not include the scientific themes.
  • Thriller/Suspense: Suspense fiction uses the threat of personal jeopardy 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

  • All entries must be submitted online. During Checkout, entry fees can be paid by credit card/debit card (MC, V, AMEX & DISC) or by selecting the option to pay by ‘CHECK’. Checks are to be mailed (postmarked by the current entry deadline), and should be drawn on a US bank, in US funds (this includes cashier’s checks & money orders). 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. Authors retain all ownerships of their work. Upon submitting an entry, Author agrees to grant Writer’s Digest 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.
  • Entries are to be submitted as file uploads (.doc, .docx, .rtf, or .pdf). Please double space your story (preferred but not mandatory); we suggest an easy to read font style & 12 pt. font size, however this is also not mandatory. Submitter (author) information is collected on the submitter form; please do not include identifying information on the pages of the story.
  • 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.
  • Due to U.S. Government restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, North Korea, or Sudan.
  • For more information visit our Preparing Your Entry Page or our FAQ page.


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