Walrus Publishing, Inc.

February Writing Contests

Domestic Writing Contests

Twelve Months with the Walrus

Walrus Publishing’s mission is to work with talented St. Louis writers to develop their manuscripts for publication for distribution to a local and national audience.  As part of this mission, we are launching a year-long writing contest focused on you, the St. Louis writer.

We are looking for short stories about Saint Louis from Saint Louis writers; a story set here, a story about here, a history of here–anything you can think of as long as Saint Louis is part of the story.  The story can be of any genre – romance, horror, suspense, mystery, thriller, GLBTQA, humor, whatever (with the exception of erotic or pornographic).  This is your city.  This is our city.  Let’s tell its story together!

Go to http://www.walruspublishing.com/for-writers/twelve-months-walrus-writing-contest/ for more information.


Erma Bombeck Writing Competition

Entry fee: $15;

Prize $500 + workshop;

Deadline: 7:30 a.m. EST on February 14, 2012.

Capture the essence of Erma’s writing and you could win $500! Erma Bombeck graduated from the University of Dayton in 1949, lived with her husband and family in Centerville, Ohio, and inspired people worldwide with the columns and books about life’s trials and tribulations. Her memory lives on in the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition hosted every two years by the Washington-Centerville Public Library and the University of Dayton’s Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. Entry Fee: $15.00 U.S. Prizes: $500 and the first place winners also receive free admission ($375 value) to the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

Winners & Prizes:  4 first place winners will be selected: Humor – Global (Regional & International); Humor – Local (Montgomery County/Dayton, Ohio area); Human Interest – Global (Regional & International); Human Interest – Local (Montgomery County/Dayton, Ohio area).

$500 cash prize to winners in all four categories. •First place winners also receive free admission ($375 value) to the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop hosted by the University of Dayton from April 19 through April 21.

Winning essays will be published on Washington-Centerville Public Library’s website and in a local newspaper.

Judges will also select several essays for Honorable Mention. Writers of essays selected for Honorable Mention will receive a competition certificate.

Decisions of the judges are final.

Winners will be announced in late March. For additional information go to: http://www.wclibrary.info/erma/


  • All ages may enter (all entries are judged together).
  • Entries are accepted from anywhere in the world.
  • Previous contest winners are encouraged to enter.
  • Registration to the University of Dayton’s Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop is NOT required to enter the writing competition; the workshop is, in fact, full and closed.
  • Washington-Centerville Public Library employees, board members, contest judges and their families are not eligible.


  • $15 entry fee.
  • Entry must be written in English.
  • Limit one entry (total, not per category) per person.
  • Personal essay must be 450 words or less (entries of more than 450 words will be disqualified).
  • Essay must be previously unpublished or published only once prior to January 3, 2012. Essays appearing in a blog (once) may be submitted to this contest.
  • Essay must be written by one person; no writing teams, ghostwriters or writing partnerships.
  • Payment and entry must be submitted online using the official online entry form. PayPal link will be visible when the contest opens.
  • Hard copy entries will not be accepted and will not be returned if submitted.
  • All submissions are final! Corrections to and replacements for submitted essays will not be allowed.
  • By submitting your entry, you guarantee the work was written by you and expresses your original ideas.
  • Washington-Centerville Public Library reserves the non-exclusive right to publish the winning entries.

How to Enter

Choose one category for entry:   (a) Humor   or  (b) Human Interest Write a personal essay of 450 words or less following the judging criteria. A personal essay “deals lightly, often humorously, with personal experiences, opinions, and prejudices, stressing especially the unusual or novel in attitude and having to do with the various aspects of everyday life.” ˜Phillip Lopate, The Art of the Personal Essay.

After paying the entry fee, you will be directed to the official online entry form where you will be asked to enter your demographic information and essay. The PayPal link will be visible on the website.


4th Annual Christian Short Story & Poetry Contest

For contest information please visit the contest website.

ACM is an apologetics ministry, but one that encourages as many ‘methods’ as possible to defend the faith. The arts and literature are one area where the secular community used to reign supreme. However, this is changing, and ACM aims to facilitate that change. This writing contest is part of that strategy.

The Athanatos Christian Ministries (ACM) Christian Writing Contest is an outgrowth of ACM’s desire to develop a genre of fiction that might be called ‘literary apologetics.’ Apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith. Literary apologetics would be the use of fiction and story to communicate the Gospel and the world view associated with it. In this way, many readers might receive the Christian message and consider it whereas they might distrust it if presented propositionally.

For more information email ACM’s executive assistant, Debbie Thompson, at debbie@athanatosministries.org or call ACM’s Executive Director Anthony Horvath at 202-280-7971.


Free Verse Poetry Contest

Organized by FanStory.com

Fee:  Contests are free to writers

Prize:  $100 cash-1st Place; $25 member dollars-2nd Place; $10 member dollars-3rd place.

Deadline: Monday, February 20, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Write a free verse poem. This is a method of writing poetry, which does not essentially follow any structure or style. There is no fixed meter and no structure regarding rhyme and lines in each stanza. Examples of Free Verse can be found in the writing of Walt Whitman.

“Song of Myself” an excerpt from the poem by Walt Whitman

  • I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
  • And what I assume you shall assume,
  • For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
  • I loaf and invite my soul,
  • I lean and loaf at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

One entry per person. New entries only. Free verse poetry only.

The winners will be selected by the FanStory.com Contest Committee. A winner will be announced approximately one to two weeks after the deadline passes. The decision is final. A Gift Card Is A Prize Option.  The winner takes away a $100 cash prize. Second place will win twenty-five member dollars. Third place ten member dollars. This contest is open to all members. Past contest winners can join the contest.

One entry per person. New entries to the site only. If you already posted a work on FanStory.com that work is not eligible for a contest.  . Members with reservations can use the link provided in their contest profile. Cash prizes delivered by PayPal. Winners also have the option to choose a Visa Gift Card (US residents only) or Amazon Gift Card (where available). For more into and to submit, go to www.fanstory.com/contestdetails.jsp?id=5023


New South Writing Contest: Georgia State University, Journal of Arts & Literature

2012 New South Writing Contest

Fee: $15;

Prizes:  $1,000-1st place; $250-2nd place.

Deadline: Midnight on March 5, 2012.

Contest Guidelines:

The 2012 New South Writing Contest will be held from December 1, 2011 through March 5, 2012. (Entries must be received or postmarked by midnight on March 5, 2012).   Each year, New South awards $1,000 to a first place winner, and $250 to a second place winner in the genres of poetry and prose. The 2012 New South Writing Contest will be be judged by Tom Hunley in the genre of poetry and Joshua Harmon in the genre of prose.

Whether it is submitted on line or via the mail, each entry must include: 1) A reading fee of fifteen dollars ($15). Entry fee includes a copy of the Summer 2012 issue, which will contain the winning entries. 2) The submitter’s contact info, including telephone number, email, and mailing address, preferably contained within a formal cover letter. To enter: Visit Tell it slant for online submissions. Payment accepted via PayPal. OR Paper manuscripts will also be accepted for the contest only. Manuscripts will not be returned, so please do not send your only copy. Send your manuscript, along with a check or money order for $15 made payable to Georgia State University, to: New South, Campus Box 1894, Georgia State University, MSC 8R0322 Unit 8, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3083

FURTHER GUIDELINES FOR POETRY: Submit up to three (3) poems per document.

FURTHER GUIDELINES FOR PROSE: Non-fiction is welcomed and encouraged. Submit one (1) short story or non-fiction piece per $15 Reading Fee. Please limit your submissions to 9,000 words. While we take the greatest care in handling your entries, we assume no responsibility for lost manuscripts. Only unpublished work will be considered. Simultaneous submissions will be considered with notification. All rights revert to author after publication. Current students, staff, and faculty at Georgia State University are not eligible.

New South publishes quality literary art promoting the work of emerging and established writers. New South holds no subject biases. The staff will select the best work regardless of style or genre. The final round of judging will be anonymous (the names will be removed from the manuscripts before the final judges see the entries). Judges from outside the staff will pick the winners from finalists selected by the New South staff. For questions only, (no submissions, please) go to: newsouth@gsu.edu.


2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

Fee:  No Entry Fee

Prize:  2 grand prizes of a publication contract with Penguin with a $15,000 advance

Deadline:  February 5, 2012

Hurry, hurry, and submit now!

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award brings together talented writers, reviewers, and publishing experts to find and develop new voices in fiction. The 2012 international contest will award two grand prizes: one for General Fiction and one for Young Adult Fiction. Each winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $15,000 advance.

Manuscript submissions are now being accepted through February 5, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time), or when 5,000 entries have been received in each category, whichever is earlier. Go to www.createspace.com/abna to register and submit your manuscript following the instructions on the entry form.

Crafting Your Pitch

Start this year’s contest off strong by creating an unforgettable first impression with your pitch. Want to know what pitches worked in the past? Check out pitches from previous years’ General Fiction and Young Adult Fiction winners. For additional information: www.amazon.com/abna.


100 Words or Fewer Writing Contest

Fee:  $15.00

Prize: Original Work:  $400-1st place; two $50-2nd places; New Contest: $500-1st place; $100-2nd place; one story to receive $150-1st place, $50-2nd place.

Deadline: February 18, 2012

Here are the two fiction contests for Contest Five – “Original” & “New Contest

Original: 100 words or fewer, on any subject whatsoever (excluding lewd).

New Contest: Stories will revolve around either (a) “The Old Man” or (b) “Home.” The amount we have for prizes each time is $800.00. Because prizes decrease as we add contests, we have decided to return from the three contests offered last time to two. Looking below, you will find the math. The current distribution may lure more entrants into the fun!

Original: Categories for stories are “Eating” or Uncommon Character. Your story must relate to one or the other, but the connection can be loose. Awards: First Prizes of $400 each; two second prizes of $50 each. Entry fee: $15. A checkmark evaluation is $10 additional and a critique $35 more. But three entries garner a free critique. See the website for winning stories, checkmark evaluations, and critiques

New Contest:  First Prize–$500. Second Prize–$100.New:  Subjects are “The Old Man” and “Home.” From the pool of these stories, one story will receive a First Prize of $150. One story will receive a Second Prize of $50. (Prizes add up to $800.00) Selection of the four winning stories will be made by our Final Judge, Erica Bauermeister. We are anxious to see results of both Original and New!

NOTE: All contests require the 100 words limitation. All stories must meet requirements set forth in Official Guidelines. All contests are open for multiple entries by anyone.  For guidelines and additional info: www.100wordsorfewerwritingcontest.com.


Wag’s Review Third Annual Winter Writing Contest for Fiction, Poetry and Essays

Fee: $20 per piece;

Prizes: $1,000 1st place and guaranteed publication, $500 2nd place; and $100 third place. All pieces are considered for publication.

Deadline: Feb. 29, 2012;

Wag’s Revue holds two contests annually, the Winter Writers Contest from December through February and the Summer Writers Contest from June through August. The contests are open to all three genres and are judged by the editors. The next open period will begin March 1, 2012.  Open reading periods are held from March through May and from September through November. The editors are excited to announce that beginning with Issue 11, the magazine compensates $100 per piece (poem or group of poems, essay, or short story).

Currently, Wag’s Revue is only accepting submissions for its third Winter Writers Contest. We have recently switched over to Submishmash. To get to the link to Submishmash, see www.wagsrevue.com. There you’ll find all guidelines and can upload your submission. Many thanks to those who submitted to our Summer Writers Contest. It was our most successful yet. Its winners will be announced with the release of Issue 11 in late February. If you submitted during the open period this Fall, the editors are still reading those submissions as well and you will hear from us in the coming months. If you submitted your work using our old submissions manager, never fear, we’re still reading work on that old system and you will receive notification via email. If you are at all concerned about your submission, please email the editors at meditors@wagsrevue.com.


The Ledge Fiction Awards

Fee: $12.00.

Prizes:  $1,000;  2nd prize: $250 and 3rd prize: $100. All prize winners will be published in The Ledge Magazine.

Deadline: 02-28-2012

All stories must be previously unpublished and not exceed 7,500 words. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable but we must be notified if your story is accepted elsewhere for publication. For additional information, guidelines and how to submit, go to: http://www.theledgemagazine.com/annualcontests.html.


4 comments for “February Writing Contests

  1. March 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Hello, Walrus Publishing!

    Thank you very much for posting information on my Contest Number Nine!

    I’d love it if you post information on my
    Contest Number Ten. I submitted all the information and could not get verified. Any suggestions?

    Thank you again!
    Idore Anschell
    One Hundred Words or Fewer Writing Contest

  2. January 31, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks for posting these contests!

    • lisamiller
      January 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      There are a lot of them. What do you think about the Walrus one? Or, which one do you like/might try?