Contests and awards of interest to writers, artists, illustrators, and publishers

2017 Submission Calendar for Glimmertrain

Glimmertrain pays well, but stories have to be excellent.

They have five submission categories from which to choose, including the standard category ($2 processing fee; payment for accepted pieces is $700), and four contests (1st-place prizes from $2,000 to $3,000 are made possible by reading fees). Contest vs. standard.

NOTE: contest deadlines are always followed by a one-week grace period.

Short Story Award for New Writers (1st place – $2,500):

Welcome in January/February, May/June, and September/October.
Open only to writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000. (Previous online publication is fine.) Most entries run from 1,000 to 5,000 words, but any length up to 12,000 is welcome.

Very Short Fiction (1st place – $2,000):

Welcome in March/April and July/August.
We invite any length stories from 300 to 3,000 words.

Fiction Open (1st place – $3,000):

Welcome in March/April and July/August.
Open to all subjects and themes. Most entries run from 3,000 to 6,000 words, but we invite stories from 3,000 to 20,000 words.

Family Matters (1st place – $2,500):

Welcome in November/December.
Calling for stories about families of all configurations. Most entries run from 1,000 to 5,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome.

Standard Category ($700):

Welcome in May and November.
Open to all. $2 processing fee. Maximum word count: 12,000. Any shorter length is welcome.


Formatting: We’re not fussy about that since when we read the story we can change the font style and size if we need to. Double spacing is nice, but not necessary.

Contact info and page count: including that information at the top of your story is entirely optional; word count is helpful, but not required.

Pen name: If you use one, you’re welcome to list both your legal name and pen name, but that is not required.

For more information, go to

The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos

Time for submissions for The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos! After a year or two hiatus, the popular short-story series will be back this year with a brand-new installment in both print and electronic formats. TKWC4 was featured on a news station as a must-read for the Thanksgiving holiday season, and we’re sure the new installment will be a success as well!

As in the previous anthologies, all the stories contained within must be about murder and mayhem happening at Thanksgiving, and must feature a typical Thanksgiving dish as a vital part of the story (i.e. turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie). Most importantly, it must be funny! This anthology is all about making people laugh while enjoying a great mystery short at the same time. The anthology will be edited by Untreed Reads Editor-in-Chief Jay Hartman. Continue reading

Ventura County Writers Club Short Story Contest

The Ventura County Writers Club is proud to announce the opening of their 17th annual short story contest. The fiction contest is open to all writers and winners receive cash prizes. Adult first place prize award is $500, second place is $250, and third place is $125. In the high school category, first place award is $100, second place is $75, and third place is $50. Winners are published in the club’s biennial anthology. The contest closes at midnight on November 15, 2016.

Entries must be family-friendly, original, and previously unpublished, not appearing in any newspaper, magazine, or book, whether or not the author received compensation. Authors may enter multiple stories. Entrants may receive only one cash prize. Entries are accepted through

Stories are limited to 2,500 words or less. The submission fee for each story submitted: $15 USD for adult VCWC members, $25 USD for adult non-members, and $10 for high school students. Winners will be notified in early January 2017. Award ceremony is January 10, 2017. Go to for more information or call Sheli Ellsworth at 805.499.3490.

Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize for Poets of Color

Submit 25- to 30-page manuscript, through regular mail. Entry fee: $15. Deadline December 31, 2016. Prizes: $350, publication by Northwestern University Press, 15 copies of the chapbook, and a featured reading. Northwestern University Poetry and Poetics Colloquium, Drinking Gourd Prize Chapbook Series, University Hall, Room 215, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois, 60208, ATTN. Susannah Young-ah Gottleib.