Writing Competitions Judging and Notification

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Writer's Digest competitions recognizes writing excellence on a global scale. See below for judging and notification information.

ANNUAL WRITING COMPETITION

  • Every qualified entry will be read by the judges. Judges’ decisions are final. Judges reserve the right to re-categorize entries.
  • Entries must be submitted online (11:59 pm EST) by June 22, 2020; all mailed payments should deliver within 5 days of the final deadline. For proof of delivery, please track your package with your shipper – we are not able to confirm individual deliveries.
  • If the Grand Prize Winner accepts the Writer's Digest Conference portion of their prize they must agree to travel (flying round-trip from the same city) during the conference dates in 2021. The editors or agents who meet with the Grand Prize Winner are under no obligation to read, buy or represent the Grand Prize Winner’s work. This prize includes airfare, hotel and conference registration.
  • Winners must fill out and submit the appropriate tax forms in order to receive their cash awards. If the forms are not submitted within 60 days of the request date, cash awards may be forfeited.
  • The following are not permitted to enter the contest, neither under their legal names nor pen names: employees of Active Interest Media and their immediate family members; Writer’s Digest Books authors; Writer's Digest contributing editors and columnists; and Writer’s Digest instructors for online courses and live webinars. Grand Prize Winners from the previous three years are not eligible. Ineligible entries will be disqualified.
  • Top Award Winners will be notified by before October 18, 2020. The top 10 winners in each category will be listed in the November/December 2020 issue of Writer’s Digest. All winners’ names will be listed on www.writersdigest.com after the December issue is published. Prizes will be distributed by November 15, 2020.

SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK AWARDS

  • Every qualified entry will be read by the judges. Judges’ decisions are final. Judges reserve the right to re-categorize entries.
  • Entries must be submitted online (11:59 pm EST) or postmarked by June 1, 2020; all books must deliver within 5 days of the final deadline. Books cannot be returned. For proof of delivery, please track your package with your shipper – we are not able to confirm individual deliveries. Please note that it may take up to 60 days after the deadline for all entries to be opened and sent to the judges.
  • If the Grand Prize Winner accepts the Writer's Digest Conference portion of their prize they must agree to travel (flying round-trip from the same city) during the conference dates in 2021. This prize includes airfare, hotel and conference registration.
  • Winners must provide an appropriate tax form (W9 or W8BEN) in order to receive their cash awards. If the forms are not received within 60 days of the request date, cash awards may be forfeited.
  • The following are not permitted to enter the contest, neither under their legal names nor pen names: employees of Active Interest Media and their immediate family members; Writer’s Digest Books authors; Writer's Digest contributing editors and columnists; and Writer’s Digest instructors for online courses and live webinars. Grand Prize Winners from the previous three years are not eligible. Ineligible entries will be disqualified. Books that have previously won awards from Writer’s Digest are not eligible.
  • Top Award Winners will be notified before October 18, 2020. The top winners will be listed in the March/April 2021 issue of Writer’s Digest. All winners’ names will be listed on www.writersdigest.com after the March/April issue is published. Commentaries will be sent to entrants by December 11, 2020.

PERSONAL ESSAY AWARDS

  • Every qualified entry will be read by the judges. Judges’ decisions are final.
  • Entries must be submitted online (11:59 pm EST) by October 15, 2020.
  • If the Grand Prize Winner accepts the Writer's Digest Conference portion of their prize they must agree to travel (flying round-trip from the same city) during the conference dates in 2021. The editors or agents who meet with the Grand Prize Winner are under no obligation to read, buy or represent the Grand Prize Winner’s work. This prize includes airfare, hotel and conference registration.
  • Winners must fill out and submit the appropriate tax forms in order to receive their cash awards. If the forms are not submitted within 60 days of the request date, cash awards may be forfeited.
  • The following are not permitted to enter the contest, neither under their legal names nor pen names: employees of Active Interest Media and their immediate family members; Writer’s Digest Books authors; Writer's Digest contributing editors and columnists; and Writer’s Digest instructors for online courses and live webinars. Grand Prize Winners from the previous three years are not eligible. Ineligible entries will be disqualified.
  • Top Award Winners will be notified by December 31, 2020. Top winners in each category will be listed in the May/June 2021 issue of Writer’s Digest and at www.writersdigest.com after the May/June 2021 issue is published.

SELF-PUBLISHED E-BOOK AWARDS

  • Every qualified entry will be read by the judges. Judges’ decisions are final. Judges reserve the right to re-categorize entries.
  • Entries must be submitted online by October 12, 2020 (11:59 pm EST).
  • If the Grand Prize Winner accepts the Writer's Digest Conference portion of their prize they must agree to travel (flying round-trip from the same city) during the conference dates in 2021. This prize includes airfare, hotel and conference registration.
  • Winners must provide an appropriate tax form (W9 or W8BEN) in order to receive their cash awards. If the forms are not received within 60 days of the request date, cash awards may be forfeited.
  • The following are not permitted to enter the contest, neither under their legal names nor pen names: employees of Active Interest Media and their immediate family members; Writer’s Digest Books authors; Writer's Digest contributing editors and columnists; and Writer’s Digest instructors for online courses and live webinars. Grand Prize Winners from the previous three years are not eligible. Ineligible entries will be disqualified. Books that have previously won awards from Writer’s Digest are not eligible.
  • Top Award Winners will be notified by December 31, 2020. Top winners will be recognized in the May/June 2021 issue of Writer’s Digest and at www.writersdigest.com after the May/June 2021 issue is published. Commentaries will be sent to entrants by January 31, 2021.

POETRY AWARDS

  • Every qualified entry will be read by the judges. Judges’ decisions are final.
  • Entries must be submitted online (11:59 pm EST) by November 2, 2020; all mailed payments should deliver within 5 days of the final deadline. For proof of delivery, please track your package with your shipper – we are not able to confirm individual deliveries.
  • Winners must provide an appropriate tax form (W9 or W8BEN) in order to receive their cash awards. If the forms are not received within 60 days of the request date, cash awards may be forfeited.
  • The following are not permitted to enter the contest, neither under their legal names nor pen names: employees of Active Interest Media and their immediate family members; Writer’s Digest Books authors; Writer's Digest contributing editors and columnists; and Writer’s Digest instructors for online courses and live webinars. Grand Prize Winners from the previous three years are not eligible. Ineligible entries will be disqualified.
  • Top Award Winners will be notified by December 31, 2020 Top winners will be listed in the July/August 2021 issue of Writer’s Digest and at www.writersdigest.com after the July/August 2021 issue is published.

SHORT SHORT STORY COMPETITION

  • Every qualified entry will be read by the judges. Judges’ decisions are final.
  • Entries must be submitted online (11:59 pm EST) or by December 14, 2020; all mailed payments should deliver within 5 days of the final deadline. For proof of delivery, please track your package with your shipper – we are not able to confirm individual deliveries. Mailed in payments can take up to 60 days (after the entry deadline) to process.
  • If the First Place Winner accepts the Writer's Digest Conference portion of their prize they must agree to travel (flying round-trip from the same city) during the conference dates in 2021. This prize includes airfare, hotel and conference registration.
  • Winners must provide an appropriate tax form (W9 or W8BEN) in order to receive their cash awards. If the forms are not received within 60 days of the request date, cash awards may be forfeited.
  • The following are not permitted to enter the contest, neither under their legal names nor pen names: employees of Active Interest Media and their immediate family members; Writer’s Digest Books authors; Writer's Digest contributing editors and columnists; and Writer’s Digest instructors for online courses and live webinars. Grand Prize Winners from the previous three years are not eligible. Ineligible entries will be disqualified.
  • Top Award Winners will be notified by mail before February 28, 2021. Top 10 winners will be listed in the September/October 2021 issue of Writer’s Digest. All winners will be listed at www.writersdigest.com after the September/October 2021 issue is published.

ANNUAL WRITING COMPETITION
SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK AWARDS
PERSONAL ESSAY AWARDS
SELF-PUBLISHED EBOOK AWARDS
POETRY AWARDS
SHORT SHORT STORY COMPETITION