The Talking Writing Prize is an annual contest that celebrates the diversity online of original, personally driven writing.
The 2013 TW contests are now closed. Thanks for all your submissions! Winners will be announced in December 2013.
General Contest Guidelines
Since its debut in 2010, Talking Writing has showcased personal essays and other endangered forms of literary and journalistic writing.
TW editors believe strongly in building a community that promotes literary culture all over the Web—and the world. Previous issues have featured interviews with Jennifer Egan, Robert Olen Butler, Natalie Goldberg, and many others. TW also publishes fiction, poetry, and the work of visual artists and photographers.
All contest submissions are reviewed by top TW editors and considered for publication in the magazine.
Submit all entries at talkingwriting.submittable.com, selecting the correct category name for your entry. (For example: "Contest 2013: TW Prize for Creative Nonfiction.") The $15 fee for each entry offsets administrative costs and supports ongoing publication of TW.
Enter as many pieces as you like, although each entry requires a separate submission and contest fee. Simultaneous submissions are fine, too, as long as you notify us immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere. We'll consider unpublished works only, and all entries must be in English.
Include only the story title and page numbers on the first page and in the header. Author names, bios, and cover letters will not be seen by contest readers or judges until the winners have been selected.
The kind of writing I do is very dreamlike. The process I go through is similar to what happens when I dream. I have found in dreams that I can change the setting by simply looking down at my feet then looking up again.
—Amy Tan, Writers Dreaming
2013 Contest Information
Category 1: Flash Fiction
We welcome flash fiction on any theme. Submissions will be judged by Joanne Avallon, a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Norton Anthology of Microfiction and numerous other publications, including TW. Length: Submit no more than two stories of up to 1,000 words each.
Category 2: Creative Nonfiction About Family Life
We're looking for creative nonfiction that expands our understanding of family dynamics and the meaning of family. Submissions will be judged by Lorraine Berry, a longtime teacher of creative nonfiction and a freelance writer whose work has been widely published. She is an associate editor at TW. Length: Up to 3,000 words.
And the Award Goes To...
Each winner will receive a prize of $250, to be presented in December 2013.
The winning piece in each category will be published in the Winter 2014 issue of Talking Writing. Winners will be listed on the TW Contests page and in our online newsletter, Talking E-News.
We'll also promote winners on Twitter, Facebook, and other venues. TW currently logs 120,000-plus views annually from an audience of committed writers and readers.
TW Contest Winners for 2012
Talking Writing Prize for Fiction
Category: Short Story
Judge: David Cameron
Winner: David Meischen for Agua Dulce
Talking Writing Prize for Creative Nonfiction
Category: Nature Writing
Judge: Steven Lewis
Winner: John Gredler for Glistening Scar
By submitting a contest entry, you agree that if your piece is a prize winner or is selected for publication, Talking Writing will acquire First North American serial rights, the right to put it or portions of it on the TW website, and the one-time, non-exclusive right to include it in a Talking Writing anthology, should there ever be one. All other rights are retained by the author.
You also warrant that your piece is an original work, is solely owned by you, and has not been previously published.
The public-domain images here are from an 1887 Japanese woodcut by Kamekichi Tsunajima titled “Ryūkō eigo zukushi” or “A Fashionable Melange of English Words.” They appear via the Public Domain Review.