Writing Competitions Frequently Asked Questions

WD’s writing competitions recognizes writing excellence on a global scale. See below for frequently asked questions.

Click on the links below to go directly to that section of the page, or scroll the page to browse them all.

ANNUAL WRITING COMPETITION, SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK AWARDS, POPULAR FICTION AWARDS, POETRY AWARDS, SHORT SHORT STORY COMPETITION

SELF-PUBLISHED EBOOK AWARDS


I am having troubles logging in?
Be sure that you are attempting to log in to the correct place. The general log in in the top right corner of the Writer’s Digest website is NOT the log in area for competition entries. To access a competition’s sign-up/log-in page, follow either the ENTER NOW link (if this is your first visit this year) or MANAGE YOUR ENTRY link (if you have already entered this year). Log-ins are unique to the specific competition and only apply to the current year. WDSHOP log-ins, Writer’s Digest Community log-ins, Forum log-ins are not the same as Competition log-ins.

Are there any restrictions regarding content, language, subject matter etc.
We do not have any restrictions or preferences.

Is it okay to have illustration or pictures?
Please submit text only (unless the entry is being submitted into the Self Published Book or eBook Awards).

What category does my entry fall into?
Some of the competitions offer various category options, here are a few category options for you to consider. Select the category from the list of options in your competition (if offered) that best represents your entry. If the judge feels that another category is more appropriate, we will switch the category for you, on your behalf. (Entries in the WD Short Short Competition need not select a genre/category.) Please visit the Preparing Your Entry page for category descriptions.

What are the word count requirements for each competition/category?
Please refer to the Preparing Your Entry page for specific competition details. If a competition has word count requirements, the word count (or line count, or page count, as specified) must be listed on entry form & entries over the maximum amount will be disqualified.

    • Do not count your contact information or entry title in the word/line count. Word count includes all text, no matter the length of the word. Do not count blank lines or stanzas in line count for poetry.
    • For story entries, this refers to all words making up the story (no matter the number of letters in the word). Do not count the title or contact information in the word count.
    • For poetry entries: count the lines containing text. Do not count blank lines between stanzas & do not count the title or contact information.
    • For stage play/movie script entries: Please provide the number of pages submitted instead of the word count.

What are your formatting requirements – any other tips?
To best present your work, we suggest that you select a font that is easy to read; 12-point type size is preferred but not mandatory. We have no requirements as to the number of words per page. It is preferred that an entry be formatted to or printed on 8.5 x 11 white paper, single sided, 1 inch margins. We prefer any standard-formatting styles (although non-conforming entries will not be disqualified). Scripts (TV or movie) and poems may be either double-or single-spaced; all other documents must be double-spaced (these are only suggestions & not mandatory). Not applicable to books being entered into the Self Published Book Awards.

Are pen names allowed?
You may enter under a pen name. Write your pen name on all forms etc. so there are no mistakes on credits. Please be advised that we only need your real name if you are chosen as a winner (in order to issue prizes).

What if I wanted to submit only part of my story into the competition (to stay within the maximum number of words)?
If you submit a portion of a larger work or novel, please understand that it will be judged as a complete story, not part of another work; it needs to read as a complete story in and of itself. Not applicable to books being entered into the Self Published Book Awards.

Can the same title be entered in multiple categories, if the competition offers a choice?
Yes, we have no restrictions as to how many times you can enter a piece within a competition.

What if I would like to edit the entry that I have already submitted?
Edits should be done prior to entering. Once an entry has been submitted, we do not accept edits, replacements or exchanges. If you wish to re-enter an edited piece, it is certainly acceptable & common practice. These entries are considered new entries. You may wish to slightly alter the entry titles in these cases, so that you are able to identify them-should you be selected as a winner.

What if I am not a U.S. resident?
WD writing competitions are open to U.S. and non-U.S. residents; however, due to U.S. Government restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, North Korea, or Sudan.

How do I submit my entry fees?
All entry fees are due in U.S. Dollars. Entry fees can be paid by credit card/debit card (MC, V, AMEX & DISC) or by check drawn on a US bank, in US funds (this includes cashier’s checks & money orders). Checks should then be mailed along with entries (by the competition deadline at the time of entry) to the address is listed on the entry form (online or mailed in). We do not accept PayPal. Checks should be made out to: F+W Media, Inc. & may take up to 60 days to be processed after the final deadline has passed.

Is there an age limit for entrants?
All contest entrants must be aged 18 years or older or over the age of majority in the jurisdiction in which they reside.

When will winners be notified?
Please refer to the Judging & Notifications page for details. Entrants not selected as winners will not be notified at this time; non-winners will be emailed a competition status update in the weeks following the winner notification date. If you enter multiple times, please excuse duplicate emails as you may receive an email for each individual entry.

How will I know if you received my mailed in entry?
We are not able to confirm individual deliveries. For proof of delivery, we suggest that you track your package with your shipper. Mailed in entries can take up to 60 days (after the entry deadline) to be processed.

Once the competition is over, will you return my entry?
Entries are not returned; please keep a copy for your records. Non-winning entries are destroyed, with the exception of entries submitted into the Self Published Book Awards– as these books are donated.



SELF-PUBLISHED EBOOK AWARDS

I am having troubles logging in?
Be sure that you are attempting to log in to the correct place. The general log in in the top right corner of the Writer’s Digest website is NOT the log in area for competition entries. To access a competition’s sign-up/log-in page, follow either the ENTER NOW link (if this is your first visit this year) or MANAGE YOUR ENTRY link (if you have already entered this year). Log-ins are unique to the specific competition and only apply to the current year. WDSHOP log-ins, Writer’s Digest Community log-ins, Forum log-ins are not the same as Competition log-ins.

Are there any restrictions regarding content, language, subject matter etc.
We do not have any restrictions or preferences.

What if I would like to edit the entry that I have already submitted?
Edits should be done prior to entering. Once an entry has been submitted, we do not accept edits, replacements or exchanges. If you wish to re-enter an edited piece, it is certainly acceptable & common practice. These entries are considered new entries. You may wish to slightly alter the entry titles in these cases, so that you are able to identify them-should you be selected as a winner.

Can the same title be entered in multiple categories, if the competition offers a choice?
Yes, we have no restrictions as to how many times you can enter a piece within a competition.

Are pen names allowed?
You may enter under a pen name. Write your pen name on all forms etc. so there are no mistakes on credits. Please be advised that we only need your real name if you are chosen as a winner (in order to issue prizes).

What category does my entry fall into?
Select the category that best represents your book. If the judge feels that another category is more appropriate, we will switch the category for you, on your behalf. Please visit the Preparing Your Entry page for category descriptions.

What is an e-book?
An e-book is a book-length publication in digital form. It is readable on computers and other electronic devices. An e-book may also be available as a printed/bound book. However ONLY the e-book form is accepted in this particular competition.

What does “e-book format” mean?
This is the format that your e-book has been published in, because word-processing files don’t work on e-reading devices. Publishers typically submit e-book versions of a title that they publish to major e-book channels like Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, etc. Check with your publisher if you have questions regarding e-book publication.

What eBook formats are accepted (if not able to gift a copy of the book)?
Acceptable file types include: .epub, .mobi, .ipa (Apple), .azw (Kindle)

How do I know what file type my e-book is?
The file name will include the extension at the end of the file name; for example- “mybooktitle.epub” would be an .epub file & “mybooktitle.mobi” would be a .mobi file. You can right-click on the file and select “Properties” or “Get Info.” This will allow you to view the file type. Additional information can be found by asking your publisher or researching “eBook file extension types” online.

Should the cover be part of the e-book?
Yes, please include your cover as a part of your submission. Please make sure the cover and text are in the same file.

How do I gift a copy of my e-book?
Amazon allows you to gift a copy of your e-book, which will allow us to get it to judges more easily. This option is offered for e-books available on Amazon. Please click here for the complete set of specific gifting instructions. If you are using Amazon, we suggest that you use an account ending in .com (ex: amazon.com)

I have purchased the gift copy of my book but cannot find the email containing the GIFT CLAIM CODE from Amazon?
Please click here for a PDF containing the easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

How do I enter & provide the gift claim code for my entry after I have the Gift Claim Code from Amazon?
Please click here for a PDF containing the easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

How do I add the gift claim code to my draft (not yet submitted) copy of my entry form?
Please click here for a PDF containing the easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

What if there is a problem with my e-book or you do not receive the gift or file?
Due to time constraints, we are not able to track/confirm individual deliveries of e-books on a one by one basis. Please follow delivery instructions as provided. Although we appreciate the consideration, there is no need to email our office after sending a gift copy unless instructed. We will send an email to all entrants with missing files/books at times, before the judging wraps up, to make arrangements.

What if my e-book has multiple authors?
No problem, just be sure to include all author’s name’s on the entry form. The email address submitted on the entry form should be the main contact for all competition related messages.

Can I replace an edited version of my e-book after I submit the entry?
Once a book has been submitted, the judges will have access to start reading it; replacements & substitutes will not be allowed. You may submit a new edition of a qualifying entry; however it would be considered as a new entry and would not replace the existing entry.

What if I am not a U.S. resident?
WD writing competitions are open to U.S. and non-U.S. residents; however, due to to U.S. Government restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, North Korea, or Sudan..

How do I submit my entry fees?
All entry fees are due in U.S. Dollars. Entry fees can be paid by credit card/debit card (MC, V, AMEX & DISC) or by check drawn on a US bank, in US funds (this includes cashier’s checks & money orders). We do not accept Paypal. Checks should then be mailed along with entries (by the competition deadline at the time of entry) to the address is listed on the entry form (online or mailed in). Checks should be made out to: F+W Media, Inc. & may take up to 60 days to be processed after the final deadline has passed.

Is there an age limit for entrants?
All contest entrants must be aged 18 years or older or over the age of majority in the jurisdiction in which they reside.

When will winners be notified?
Please refer to the Judging & Notification page for details. Entrants not selected as winners will not be notified at this time; non-winners will be emailed a competition status update in the weeks following the winner notification date. If you enter multiple times, please excuse duplicate emails as you may receive an email for each separate entry.

Once the competition is over, will you return my entry?
Entries are not returned.


ANNUAL WRITING COMPETITION
SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK AWARDS
POPULAR FICTION AWARDS
SELF-PUBLISHED EBOOK AWARDS
POETRY AWARDS
SHORT SHORT STORY COMPETITION