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 Issue #148

Writers' Newsletter

July 2015  



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Short story contest winners and new issue of magazine

This month, has announced the winner and special commendations of its Eleventh International Short Story Contest, as well as releasing issue 27 of firstwriter.magazine: Summer 2015. 

Clay Iles of Eastbourne, United Kingdom, was announced as the winner of the competition with his short story "The Tea Strainer", and wins £200.

The story will also be published in a future issue of firstwriter.magazine, and the winner will also receive a voucher worth £24 / $36 – as will all ten Special Commendations:

  • Annest Gwilym, United Kingdom, "Restoration";
  • Ute Carson, United States, "Bedrock";
  • Loreena Russomanno, Canada, "Instinct";
  • Vicky Woodcraft, United Kingdom, "Ghosts of Gone Girls";
  • Andrew Campbell-Kearsey, United Kingdom, "A Minute For Mink";
  • Clive La Pensee, United Kingdom, "Love through an Onion";
  • Bruce Graham, United States, "All Over But The Lease";
  • Alex Swinburn, United Kingdom, "Usurpers";
  • Anna McKann, United Kingdom, "My Friend Dee";
  • Sharon Boyle, United Kingdom, "The Real Deal Faker".

The Twelfth International Short Story Contest is currently accepting submissions of fiction in English up to 3,000 words, from writers anywhere in the world. Submit online at

firstwriter.magazine Issue 27: Summer 2015

firstwriter.magazine Issue 27: Summer 2015The 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 poem from our Thirteenth International Poetry Competition, but also all ten Special Commendations. To view the magazine click here. To enter your work in our Fourteenth International Poetry Competition click here.

All those whose work has been included in issue 27 have now been notified, so if you submitted work for issue 27 and have not received notification of inclusion then, regrettably, on this occasion your submission was not successful. Please do feel free to try again, however, through

Now accepting submissions of poetry and short fiction for Issue 29

With the release of issue 27 we have now begun accepting submissions for issue 29. We are open to submissions of fiction up to 3,000 words and poems up to 30 lines. Submissions are accepted from anywhere in the world (as long as they are in English), and can be submitted online for free at


International Copyright Registration 
Register your copyright online for instant copyright protection in more than 160 different countries worldwide. Click here for more information.


2015 Hot Prospects Contest

Looking to sign your first book contract, switch from a small press to a large publisher or simply explore another genre of romantic fiction? Turn up the heat on your writing career with the Hot Prospects Contest.


The grand prize winner of the contest will have their entire Romance manuscript (400 pages, Courier, 12pt, Double spaced) reviewed by two professional editors at Novel Needs

Entre fee

  • Valley of the Sun RW Members: $25
  • Non-Chapter Members: $30


Postmark Deadline: September 1, 2015
E-Submit Deadline: September 1, 2015


The Hot Prospects Contest is open to any Romance work uncontracted and unpublished at the time of entry.

Categories / judges

Trained judges for preliminary round, Editors for final round.

Single Title Contemporary

Romantic novels released as individual titles, not usually part of a series. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.

  • Senior Editor – Leanne Morgena, The Wild Rose Press
  • Associate Editor – Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks, Inc.

Romantic Suspense

A suspense/mystery/thriller plot is integrated within a romantic novel. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.

  • Editor – Amy Stapp, Tor/Forge
  • Editorial Director - Angela James, Carina Press

Historical / Regency

Romantic novels set in a time period prior to 1945. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.

  • Assistant Editor – Kristine Swartz, Berkley Publishing
  • Senior Editor - Jess Verdi, Crimson Romance


Futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal elements are integrated within the love story. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.

  • Associate Editor – Eileen Rothschild, St. Martin’s Press
  • Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant – Dana Hopkins, Harlequin

Those entries that do not final will be returned approximately October 30, 2015, to help those who plan to enter RWA’s Golden Heart.

Entry contents

  • Synopsis: Your synopsis should be between 3-5 pages.
  • Manuscript: Up to 25 pages of your manuscript.

For more information visit:  

For the details of over 120 other writing competitions, click here




VerbalArt call for submissions

The new issue of Phenomenal Literature has been released and its details are available on the website at Submissions are now sought for anything on poets and poetry for the next issue of VerbalArt: A Global Journal Devoted to Poets and Poetry. The submission guidelines can be found at The last date of submission is July 31, 2015 and the next issue will come out by September 30, 2015. 

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


Final call for poets – competition closes July 31

Wadars, the animal rescue and rehoming charity based in Ferring, West Sussex, has set a challenge to established and aspiring poets.

Words for Wadars invites competitors to submit their poems on the subject of animals – whether pets or wildlife. A panel of judges will select the best poems in two categories, adults and younger poets, for inclusion in an anthology to be published later this year. The outright winner in each category will receive a free copy of the anthology plus a cash prize. The runners-up will also win a free copy plus a gift voucher.

The deadline for entries is July 31, 2015, and the anthology will be launched later in the year at an event to which all the published poets will be invited.
Judges for Words for Wadars are Melody Bridges, artistic director of the Worthing arts festival WOW; local vet Tracy Rhodes and West Sussex author Patrick J. Stoner. (Editors please note: judges’ bios and contact details follow at the end of the release).

Words for Wadars is generously sponsored by The Local Pet Shop in Sea Lane, Rustington. All profits from the competition and subsequent sale of the anthology will go towards supporting Wadars in this valuable work.

Wadars, a registered charity, was established in 1969. Its main objectives are the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife and the rescue and rehoming of domestic animals. Every year Wadars rehomes more than 500 cats, dogs and other companion animals, and rescues and releases more than 2,000 wild creatures back to their natural environment.

For more details please visit Entry forms are available on the website and will also be available at all Wadars events.  


Script your own Hollywood classic

Calling all screen writers, movie lovers and accomplished pen smiths!

A brand new competition is searching for the UK's most inventive and creative writers to take on Hollywood and come up with an alternate ending to a movie classic for a chance to win £2,000.

If you ever thought you could do a Scorsese, Lucas or Spielberg better, then this competition – sponsored by – is for you. Whether it’s getting ET home, Bogart and Bergman at the airport, that twist in Sixth Sense, it is the ending that can truly make a movie and this is your chance to give it a rewrite. All The Alties needs is for you put pen to paper and submit 750 words, either as prose or scripted dialogue. Visit for full details.

There are five categories to enter: best comedy or rom-com; best action or adventure; best fantasy; sci-fi or horror; best family or animation; and best drama or thriller.

Entries will be judged by jury panel of three acclaimed industry experts: Manchester Metropolitan University's senior Lecturer of Film Studies Andy Moor, Film and Theatre Critic Kevin Bourke and script writer Martin Paul Roche.

They will award the winning entry with the £2,000 prize fund to be invested as the winner desires – be it a cutting edge home cinema, an adventure to fire your creative juices or a pilgrimage to the heart of film, Hollywood, it's completely up to you. We just want to reward your fun and creativity handsomely. Two runners-up will receive £250 and we will be awarding two further entries from each category a box set to the value of £30.
They will award the winning entry with a £2,000 cash prize to be invested as the winner desires – be it a film equipment, experiences to fire your creative juices or a trip to movie-making heaven. Two runners-up will receive £250 and we will be awarding ten further entries from each category a box set to the value of £30.

Entrants can get hints and tips from the judges, plus full details of how to enter, at

Judge Kevin Bourke believes everyone has got an alternate ending tucked away waiting to be unleashed. He says: “Every film has twists and turns right up to the end, that’s why we love them so much. Imagining a different twist than the one you see on screen is something everyone has done in the cinema.

“It’s best to start with a film you really love and characters you know inside out – that will make it easier to imagine how else their story might have played out.

“After that, it really is limitless, these people are under your control and you can come up with a finale more explosive than anything Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese or Orson Welles could imagine!”

Ian Cowley, managing director of, comments: “We are massive movie fans and love the idea of challenging writers to imagine ‘what if…?’ with their favourite films from over the years.

“It’s the ultimate director’s cut – to re-do a classic movie the way they’ve always wanted to see it.”

Closing date for entries is September 5, 2015. 


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