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Welcome to the Writers Connect! Newsletter

Welcome to the Writers Connect! newsletter.

Writing is a human experience. It’s about connection with everyone and everything around us.

We understand you’re busy. So the newsletter usually has just four or five main items of content. A brief but satisfying read.

In this issue:

  • Write Here, Right Now: What’s Happening in Writing
  • Word of the Day. An unusual word to keep your writing fresh
  • Interesting Fact
  • Writing Inspiration

Write Here, Right Now: What’s Happening in Writing

In this issue, we explore writing competitions that close during August and September 2020.

For competition closing dates, bear in mind these relate to the time zone where the competition originates, so check the relevant site.


Comp 1: Sydney Hammond Short Story Writing Competition 2020

The organisers, Hawkeye Books, are looking for ‘jolly good tales’ that are positive, that show growth, are light-hearted, heart-warming and gut-wrenchingly beautiful. They may be sad but they want evolution to shine through.

About: In this competition, the organisers are looking for storytelling ability and adherence to the competition theme, as well as the correct use of spelling and grammar and conforming to the competition guidelines. Multiple entries permitted

Open to: Appears to be open (check with organisers)

Word count: Up to 1,000

Theme: ‘If only…’

Closes: 1 August 2020

Entry fee: $10 (Australian)

Prizes: First = $250AU Hawkeye Gift Voucher + anthology front cover design based on winner’s story. Shortlisted (2nd – 4th) = names published. Top 40 stories published in anthology.

Information and entry here: https://hawkeyebooks.com.au/writing-competitions/sydney-hammond-memorial-short-story-writing-competition-2020/



Comp 2: Yale Drama Series Prize for Emerging Playwrights

Here’s a competition for emerging playwrights. Take advantage, as I don’t see many competitions open to playwrights. Besides, it’s an amazing prize, along with the kudos of the play being staged.

About: Submissions must be original, unpublished, full-length plays

Open to: Worldwide submissions. Plays must be written in English

Length: Must be 65 pages minimum

Theme: Not stated; only that translations, musicals and children’s plays not accepted

Closes: 15 August 2020

Entry fee: Free

Prizes: Winner awarded the David Charles Horn Prize of $10,000, publication of manuscript by Yale University Press and a staged reading at Lincoln Center’s Claire Tow Theater

Details here: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/yale-drama-series-submissions



Comp 3: Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

Organised by ‘Winning Writers’ for a published or unpublished work.

About: To see previous winners, see here https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/contest-archives/tom-howard-margaret-reid-poetry-contest-2019

Open to: No restriction on age of author. Authors from all countries eligible except Syria, Iran, North Korea and Crimea (due to US government restrictions)

Length: 250 lines maximum per poem

Theme: See under ‘Prize’ below

Closes: 30 September 2020

Entry fee: $15 (US) per poem

Prize: First – Tom Howard Prize = $3,000 (US) for a poem in any style or genre. Margaret Reid Prize – $3,000 (US) for a rhyming poem or in a traditional style. Top two winners also receive two-year gift certificates of $100 value. Honourable Mentions = 10 awards of $200 each (any style). Top 12 entries = published online

Details here: https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/tom-howard-margaret-reid-poetry-contest



Comp 4: Book Pipeline: Adaptation Competition

Here’s a great opportunity for authors of any genre to submit their published work for a chance at a significant prize.

About: Published books, graphic novels, short stories, or plays for film and television adaptation. No genre restrictions

Open to: International, 18+

Word Count: Not stated

Theme: Open

Closes: 15 August 2020

Entry fee: $60 (US)

Prize: Winner = $10,000 (US) + film/TV industry circulation + project development. Two runners-up = $2,000 ($1,000 each). Plus every entrant receives general feedback on their submission, specifically on its adaptation potential after final judging

Details here: https://bookpipeline.com/shop/adaptation-contest (Note: I found this page a little confusing as there are two competitions and the T&C here relate to the unpublished competition. Make sure you follow the guidelines for the published work)



Comp 5: Teens of Tomorrow Short Story Content

A wonderful opportunity for young writers to showcase their work and get published.

About: Future-focused YA fiction, any genre

Open to: International 14+

Word Count: 2,000 to 5,000

Theme: Reflecting socio-political issues faced by young people now and into the future

Closes: 31 August 2020

Entry fee: £4

Prize: First = £200. 2nd = £100. 3rd = £50. Top ten tales to be published in anthology

Details here: http://contest.oddvoiceout.com/



Word of the Day


I know the word ‘vilify’ but I’d never heard of ‘vilipend’. It means to treat with contempt, or to express a low opinion of, the same meaning as ‘vilify’. Although vilipend entered the English language in the 15th century, according to Merriam Webster, it ‘fell into relative obscurity by the 20th century’ – hence why it’s not in common use. It is however listed in the Macquarie Dictionary.



Humorous quote

‘The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary’ (James Nicoll, Canadian freelance game and speculative fiction reviewer).



Get Inspired

I’m proud to mention author Helen Brown in this newsletter. We both attended journalism school in New Zealand when we were just out of school and although I didn’t get to know her very well, I caught up with her and another journalism colleague in Melbourne a couple of years ago.

Helen’s nine-year-old son Sam was hit and killed by a car in 1983. Soon after that, her family adopted a kitten and she wrote her best-selling book Cleo about a small black cat who helped mend a family’s broken hearts.

In Cleo: How an Uppity Cat Helped Heal a Family, Helen says, ‘Guilt isn’t in cat vocabulary. They never suffer remorse for eating too much, sleeping too long or hogging the warmest cushion in the house … They don’t waste energy counting the number of calories they’ve consumed or the hours they’ve frittered away sunbathing … Cats don’t beat themselves up about not working hard enough. They don’t get up and go, they sit down and stay. For them, lethargy is an art form. From their vantage points on top of fences and window ledges, they see the treadmills of human obligations for what they are – a meaningless waste of nap time.’ Thank you, Helen, for bringing us back to what really matters, and for your contributions to the writing world.

Keep well, keep safe, keep writing 🙂

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