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 Issue #142

Writers' Newsletter

January 2015  



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Poetry competition winners and new magazine

This month, has announced the winner and special commendations of its Thirteenth International Poetry Competition, as well as releasing Issue 26 of firstwriter.magazine: Winter 2014/15.


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Diane Simkin, from Cornwall, United Kingdom, was announced as the winner of the competition with the poem "At the Land's End", and wins £200 (around $350).   

Diane writes mainly poetry with some articles and short stories. She has been widely published in magazines and anthologies and has won or been placed in many competitions, including twice winning the Morris Cup for poetry at the Cornish Gorseth. Her interests include walking, wildlife, reading, drawing and painting, photography and music. She lives in Cornwall, United Kingdom, with her husband, a professional musician.

Special Commendations were awarded to the following ten entries (in no particular order):

  • Jonnah McClintock, United States, "The Sound of Writers";
  • JoWonder, United Kingdom, "When I'm Asleep";
  • Liz Smith, United Kingdom, "Not enough";
  • Nicollette Foreman, United Kingdom, "Chilean Miners- The Trapped Hours";
  • Georgina Ansa, United Kingdom, "Forgotten Stellar Destinies";
  • Yvonne Wandera, United Kingdom, "Violette, Malbec and Tears";
  • Ute Carson, United States, "Time Past, Time Present";
  • Sue Barnard, United Kingdom, "Clean Thinking";
  • Annest Gwilym, United Kingdom, "Beach Pottery Mosaic";
  • David Chrzanowski, United Kingdom, "Stir of the Teaspoon".

All the winners will be published in a future issue of firstwriter.magazine, and receive vouchers worth £24 / $36.

firstwriter.magazine Issue 26: Winter 2014/15

firstwriter.magazineThe latest issue of firstwriter.magazine has also just been released, featuring quality fiction and poetry submitted from around the world, plus your first chance to see not just the winning story from our Tenth International Short Story Contest, but also all ten Special Commendations. To view the magazine click here. To enter your work in our Eleventh International Short Story Contest click here.

If you submitted work for issue 26 you can check to see if your work has been included by viewing the magazine online (click here). If your work has not been included then, unfortunately, on this occasion your submission has not been successful. We'd love to see more of your work, though, and are now accepting submissions for issue 28 of the magazine. We accept poems up to 30 lines and short stories up to 3,000 words. You can submit your work for consideration online at 



Call for Submissions – Destination: Mystery!

Darkhouse Books is seeking stories for “Destination: Mystery”: a collection of mystery and crime stories set in locations popular for vacations.

The editors are looking for stories residing on the cozy side and that highlight the attraction and appeal of the setting, but no puff-pieces. They prefer stories with locations where average people vacation, including sandy resorts along Lake Michigan; log cabin lodges in the Adirondacks; quaint, coastal towns on any coast; and legions of other places forever enshrined in generations of family photo albums. The locations should be recognisable, so stories should not be set prior to the mid-twentieth century.

The submission period is now open and will remain open till 11:59pm (PST), March 31, 2015.

Stories should be between 2,500 and 7,500 words long, though if it’s "truly knockout material", any length will be considered.

The anthology will contain between twelve and twenty stories, depending on the overall length. Authors will share equally fifty percent of royalties received.

Submissions are accepted in MS Word .doc and .docx files. Submissions must be in standard manuscript format.

Previously published work will be considered, provided the author has the power to grant the publisher the right to publish in ebook, audio, and print versions, and that it has not been available elsewhere more recently than January 1, 2014.

Submissions may be sent to submissions(AT)darkhousebooks(DOT)com. Please put "Submission-Destination-" in the subject line and add the name of your story. 

For more details about Darkhouse Books, click here.

For over 100 other publishers of crime fiction, click here


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Magazine calls for submissions

Gyroscope Review

Submissions are now being accepted for the first issue of Gyroscope Review. Gyroscope Review publishes fine contemporary poetry in a variety of forms and themes, and welcomes both new and established writers.

Gyroscope Review is published quarterly. The first issue will be available in Spring of 2015. No fee to submit.

Visit the submissions page for guidelines:  

Rapphannock Review

Rapphannock Review is seeking submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, both for its general issue and for a summer special on the theme of FLIGHT: Birds. Aeroplanes. Feathered wings and steel wings. Escape. Return. The sky, the air. Moving up, crashing down. Relief. Release. Cowardice, running away. Courage, diving in. Travelling, physically. Travelling, mentally. What it means to fly, literally or figuratively.

 Submissions are open until early mid-February, 2015, for both the general and theme issue. To submit, go to

Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal

Red Paint Hill is looking for reviews, poetry, and interviews.

Book Reviews: Seeking reviews of chapbooks and full length poetry books.

Poetry: Send 3–5 of your best poems. Red Paint Hill is seeking work that is vivid in imagery, reflection and idea.

Interviews: Send interviews with poets.

Essays: Send essays that are poetry related.

To read the full submissions guidelines and how to submit, go to: 

Apple Valley Review

Apple Valley Review is currently reading submissions of poetry, personal essays, and short fiction for the Spring 2015 issue (Vol. 10, No. 1).

All work must be original, previously unpublished, and in English. No simultaneous submissions.

Several pieces from the journal have later appeared as selections, finalists, and / or notable stories in Best American Essays, Best of the Net, Best of the Web, and storySouth Million Writers Award.

All published work is automatically considered for our annual editor's prize.

To submit, send 1–6 poems or 1–3 essays / short stories, all pasted into the body of a single e-mail message, to the editor: editor(AT)leahbrowning(DOT)net.

Submission deadline: March 15, 2015

The current issue, previous issues, subscription information, and complete submission guidelines are available online at

Little Patuxent Review

Little Patuxent Review is seeking nonfiction submissions for its upcoming un-themed issue. Reading period closes March 1.

Little Patuxent Review also welcomes poetry and fiction submissions for the same period.

Painted Cave

Painted Cave Literary Magazine is accepting submissions from community college students nationwide for its third issue, May 2015. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

Painted Cave is the online student-run, faculty-guided literary journal of Santa Barbara City College. The journal publishes the work of community college student writers in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Painted Cave reserves First North American Serial Rights. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, provided immediate notification is given of acceptance elsewhere.

Paste your submission in the body of the email to paintedcavesubmissions(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Also include a short biography and the community college attending.

In the subject line include the genre of the submission, title(s) and your name (e.g. Fiction, “Born Too Late,” Mary Mullins).

Flash Fiction: 1–3 pieces, no more than 750 words each.

Fiction: 1 piece, no more than 5,000 words.

Poetry: 3–5 poems, no more then 50 lines each.

Creative Nonfiction: 1 piece, no more than 5,000 words.

Flash Creative Nonfiction: 1–3 pieces, no more than 750 words each.

For more details, go to

For details of over 1,900 other magazines, click here



Current writing competitions

The Bridport Prize

With over £16,000 (that's well over $20,000) in prizes, The Bridport Prize is one of the biggest writing prizes in the English language.

The poetry and short story categories have a first prize of £5,000 (over $7,000) each, and the flash fiction and first novel awards carry £1,000 (about $1,500) each.

The 2015 competition is now open for entries and the judges have been announced: Roger McGough for poetry, Jane Rogers for short stories; David Gaffney for flash fiction; and Jane Feaver for the PC-A Novel Award.

For more details, or to enter online, go to

Wisconsin Romance Writers of America Fabulous Five Contest

For over twenty years, this contest has provided detailed critiques to all entrants and an opportunity for the top five in each category to get their work in front of key editors and agents in the publishing industry. This contest is available to unpublished and self-published writers.

Entry fees are $18 for WisRWA members and $25 for all other entrants.

All entries must be limited to the first 2,500 words of your manuscript and must be submitted electronically. For an entry form and complete details regarding rules and eligibility, go to:

Deadline for entries is 11:59 CST, March 1, 2015. Categories will be capped at thirty-five entries each, so enter early to beat the rush!

This is the lineup of categories and judges for 2015:

  • Erotica (New this year): Cheryl Yeko, Soulmate Publishing; Jessica Alvarez, Bookends, LLC

  • Historical: Laura Plude, Grand Central Publishing; Elizabeth Pomada, Larsen Pomada Literary Agents

  • Inspirational: Giselle Regus, Harlequin Love Inspired; Joyce Hart, Hartline Literary Agency

  • New Adult (New this year!): Nicole Fischer, Avon Romance; Patricia Nelson, Marshal Lyon Literary Agency

  • Paranormal/Fantasy/ Futuristic/Time Travel: Brenda Chin, Imajinn Books; Shira Hoffman, McIntosh & Otis, Inc.

  • Romantic Suspense: Madeleine Colavita, Grand Central Publishing; Lucienne Diver, The Knight Agency

  • Series Contemporary (Long/short): Cristina Brower, NAL/Penguin Random House; Saba Sulaiman, Talcott Notch Literary Services

  • Single Title: Mercedes Frenandez, Kensington Books; Courtney Miller-Callihan, Greenburger Associates

  • Women’s Fiction: Jennifer Herrington, Lyrical Press; Victoria Lowes, The Bent Agency

  • Young Adult: Alycia Tornetta, Entangled Publishing; Taylor Haggerty, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

17th Annual Golden Pen Awards

Have you got a story to tell or a poem to share with readers?

If so, why not send them to: The Golden Pen, Gurteen, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway before April 1, 2015?

First Prize- €100 plus Runner-up prizes.

€5 per entry and €3 for primary pupils (£4/£2 Sterling).

Open theme. 2,000 word limit for stories and 70 lines for poems.

Winning entries will be published in our festival magazine.

Please send personal details on a separate sheet. Winners will be notified by June 10, 2015.

EVENT Annual Nonfiction Contest

Writers are invited to submit manuscripts exploring the creative nonfiction form.

Deadline: April 15, 2015 (postmarked/online)

Entry Fee: $34.95 (includes 1 year of EVENT)

Multiple entries are allowed; however, each entry must be accompanied by a separate fee. No simultaneous submissions.

Maximum entry length is 5,000 words, typed, double-spaced.

Prizes: $1,500 in prize monies available, plus payment for publication! This year's judge is Andrew Westoll (

Go to for complete contest guidelines.

Ticket to Write

The Ticket to Write Beatles-themed Festival playwriting contest is now open for entries for the fourth year. We are currently exploring several venues and slots in Liverpool to perform the selected plays.

As usual, the plays can be about the people, stories inspired by songs and song-titles or any genuine connection with The Beatles.

The plays should be 40–45 minutes long and able to be performed by a maximum of four actors. More characters are allowed if it is practical to multi-role.

The winner gets a tasty £150 and it costs only £10 to enter. Entries must be in by April 7, 2015.

All plays will be assessed anonymously by a theatre professional and three will go forward to be performed. Professional judges and the audience vote will count towards the final result.

All entries will receive a considered written critique from the assessor, who will receive all of the £10 entry fee. A windfall has enabled us to fund the prize money.

Full details are under "How To Enter" on our website at

For the details of over 100 other current contests, click here


Crime and Publishment crime writing courses‏

To help all the budding crime writers out there, the Crime and Publishment writing course is set to return on March 6–8, 2015, and will take place at The Mill Forge near Gretna Green, in Scotland.

The line-up of speakers includes David Thomas (Tom Cain), RC Bridgestock, Caro Ramsay and David Headley, who is one of the United Kingdom's top agents.

Tutors will be demonstrating ways in which crime writers can:

  • Use Fact in Fiction

  • Grip Their Readers

  • Get the Procedural Details Right

  • Make that perfect Pitch

  • Harness The Power of Reviews

The full programme can be found at

If you'd like to book a place on Crime and Publishment 2015, or would like more information, contact Graham Smith on +44 (0) 1461 800344 or


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