Literary Contests


 1. AWARDS made only if contest fee of $20 enabling one to enter all contests unless otherwise instructed. (OUT-OF-STATE entrants are limited to Ten (10) contests), check or money order made payable to Arkansas Writers’ Conference and mailed on or before APRIL 20, 2019 to Ellen Withers, 1815 Columbia Drive, Conway, AR 72034 Must Include Contest Registration Form & entry fee.  Conference registration does not include this entry fee. 

  2. DEADLINE for postmarking manuscripts is April 20, 2019Entries destroyed two weeks after conference. AWC not responsible for manuscripts lost, delayed in mail, or received too late for judging.  Do not send SASE. No manuscript returned. No winners’ list mailed but will be posted on the website,

  3.  Only ONE typed, unpublished manuscript can be entered in an individual contest. Double-space prose, single-space poetry. Use only 12-point font. Standard manuscript form as stated by  listed below. Meet all contest specifications including word, line, and page limit.  NO MANUSCRIPT MAY BE ENTERED IN MORE THAN ONE CONTEST.

  4.  No one may enter contest for which he/she is sponsor, chairman, or judge.  2018 AWC first place contest winners may not enter a contest this year if it is identical.  If contestants do not adhere to all rules, entries will be disqualified.

  5.  PUT CONTEST NUMBER AND NAME OF AWARD in upper left corner of each entry.  Do not put your name on any manuscript.   Do not staple.  Use paper clips. Attach a cover sheet to each entry with: (1) Number and name of contest; (2) Title of entry; (3) First line of entry; (4) Your name, phone number, and mailing address.


Formatting for Contests

1. Use a simple type style like Times Roman or Courier, 12 point preferred, on a letter quality printer.  DO NOT use fancy type faces or script styles.  The goal is to make the manuscript look professional and pleasant to read.

2.  Use white copy paper, 20 pound or better, 8-1/2 x 11 inches. NO onion skin, lined or colored stock.

3.  Follow contest rules for identification of manuscripts.  Name and address are usually not to appear on judges’ copy.  

4.  Double space all prose manuscripts.  Poetry may be single-spaced.  DO NOT justify right-hand margins.  Allow 1 to 1-1/2 inch margins all around.

5.  Drop down about half-way on the first page then center your title.  DO Not put your name below the title, unless the contest rules call for it.

6.  Start your text below the title indenting each paragraph 5 spaces.  DO NOT add extra space between paragraphs. 

7. Contests can vary on header requirements, but usually require the name of the contest to be placed in the upper left corner and the page number and word count should be placed in the upper right corner.  Check the rules for any specific instructions on this issue. The text should begin 3 or 4 spaces below this header.

8. Type on one side of paper only.  Paper clip the finished pages together - do not staple unless instructed to do so - and do not put the manuscript in a folder.







Enclosed is my $20 contest registration fee. I understand this allows me to enter as many contests as I choose (see contest list for restrictions).  This contest fee does not include the conference registration fee. Complete address is needed for the mailing of award monies and certificates.




Address: __________________________________________________________________


City: _____________________________________ State _______ Zip Code: ___________


Phone: ___________________ Email: __________________________________________


Mail this form by April 20th with check or money order payable to NLAPW/AWC to:        Ellen Withers, 1815 Columbia Drive, Conway, AR 72034



 Literary Contests

 Contests 1-5  CONFERENCE ATTENDEES and/or ARKANSAS RESIDENTS.  Cash Awards Vary.

1. Carl J Iannacone Memorial Award ($100/$60/$40) Comic Short Story. Subject:  Fishing Trips Without A Catch.  1500 words max. Chair: Brenda Iannacone

2.  WOW! Press Award. ($50/$30/$20) Ode to ________, Arkansas. Subject: A Memorial Poem to your hometown. Free Verse, 40 lines.  In honor of Peggy Vining. Chair: Janis F. Kearney  Judge: Sara Gipson

3. Mistletoe Award. ($50/$30/$20) Short Story. Subject:  Funny story about Pet Behavior.  1500 words max.  Chair: Brenda Iannacone

4. Youth Prose, Subject: Action/Adventure.  ($25/$15/$10) 2000 words. Must include a historical building and a hero.  Open only to Arkansas residents age 10-17. Contest fee and conference registration fee for youth is freeChair: Sara Gipson

5.  Dilemma Award. ($25/15/$10)  Short Story About How to Handle Bullying.  1200 word max. Chair: Brenda Iannacone

Contests  OPEN TO ALL. Cash Awards for contests 6-19 Cash Awards vary.

6.  WOW! Press Award. ($50/$30/$20) The Place I Call Home. Subject: A Memorial to your hometown. 500 wd. max. Chair: Janis F. Kearney

7. The Erdel Family Memorial Award. ($50/$30/$20) Comedy Short Story.  A group of villians go on a team-building retreat.  2500 words max. Make your story so funny I laugh out loud! Chair: Ellen Withers.

8. TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH  ($25/$15/$10) Creative Non-Fiction, Any Subject. Tell about a true incident but make it entertaining. 1500 word limit. Chair: Kim Vernon/Gary Rodgers

9.  Del Garrett’s Gimme The Creeps. ($25/15/$10) Horror Short Story (no slashers) about a Haunted  house.  1000-1500 words max.  Indicate in upper left corner of title page if you want the story published in upcoming anthology.  No extra payment but you will receive a free copy of the book if accepted.  Chair: Del Garrett

10. Lucille R. Longstreth Memorial Award. ($25/$15/$10) Rhymed Poem, Subject: “Rhyming Poetry”, 24 line limit. Chair: Barbara Longstreth Mulkey

11. David Goodgame Memorial Award ($50/$30/$20). THE SOUNDS I REMEMBER. Poetry. Any style.  36 line limit. Chair: Rita Goodgame

12. Fiction Who-Dunnit Award. ($50/$30/$20). Short Mystery Story. The Case of a Crime Scene but NO Victim’s Body. 1500 words. Chair: Brenda Iannacone

13. AR Pioneer Branch NLAPW Prose Award.($50/$30/$20) Humorous short story about USPS mail delivery during Christmas holidays. 1200 words Chair:  Brenda Iannacone

14. AR Pioneer Branch NLAPW Poetry Award.($50/$30/$20) Free Verse. Any subject. 24 line limitChair: Brenda Iannacone

15. White County Creative Writers Award (($25/$15/$10) Five Word Prose: Fiction or Non-Fiction. Any Subject. Must use these words- Siren, green, rough, smoky and grumpy. 1500 words Chair: WCCW

16. LaViness Award for Living Mystery, ($25/$15/$10) Mystery Short Story: Any subject. Not a murder mystery, No deaths allowed.  2500 words max. Chair: Renee LaViness

17. Memories Inspired by Scott Plantation Settlement Award. ($25/$15/$10)  Memoir. Featuring a train depot or blacksmith.  8 page limit.  Chair: Sara Gipson

18. FANTASTIC APPARATUS ($25/$15/$10) Subject: Fantasy Short Story Protagonist gains access to an extraordinary machine. 2500 word limit.  Chair: Carol Hodges. For a brief critique, request on 1st page of story.

19. Penpoint Writers Group Contest. ($25/$15/$10) Scary Short Story Fiction Any Genre, Subject: Open Genre.  No sex or violence.  Must include 1. An abandoned lake house; 2. inclement weather, and 3. a mysterious light. 1500-2000 words.   Chair: Penpoint Writers Group



20. Henry & Betty Heidelberger Memorial Prose Award. ($25/$15/$10) Subject: Carrying on the Family Farm, 1200 word. Chair: Brenda Iannacone

21. Dorothy Truex Memorial Prose Award. ($25/$15/$10) Romance Short Story. A high-school aged boy works up the courage to ask his long-time crush to the Homecomimg Dance. 2000 words. Chair: Ellen Withers

22. Peggy Vining Memorial Essay Award. ($25/$15/$10) Subject: Favorite Style of Poetry.  750 word max. Chair: Pioneer Branch NLAPW

23.  Jim Barton Memorial Poetry Award. ($25/$15/$10) Haiku; Subject: Nature and/or Mother Nature. Length as required by traditional Haiku form.  Chair: Ellen Wither  Judge: Sara Gipson

24. Dusty Richards Memorial Prose Award. ($25/$15/$10) Western Short Story A long-standing feud erupts during a funeral or wedding. 2500 words.  Chair: Ellen Withers



AWC Director: Brenda Iannacone


Phone: (501) 833-2756