WEN Contest Guidelines

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Six Categories ! Easy to Enter ! Cash Prizes

2016 Guidelines, Rules, and Entry Form

Writers-Editors Network International Writing Competition
fomerly CNW/FFWA Florida State Writing Competition

Click here to download a two-page pdf file for easier printing. (right-click to save to your desktop)

Frequently Asked Questions page. Check it out.

Enter by postal mail or email -- email entry instructions

Who Can Enter
The contest is open to all writers. You do not have to be a member of Writers-Editors Network. However, members do save up to 50% on entry fees. (Membership information)

Entries must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2016. Update: Because March 15 is a Sunday, we will accept mailed entries with a postmark of March 16, 2016 - this will not appear everywhere, as it is a last-minute change.

Divisions & Categories
Nonfiction Division:
(A) Previously Published Article/Essay/Column/Nonfiction Book Chapter 
(B) Unpublished or self-published Article/Essay/Column/Nonfiction Book Chapter

Fiction Division: (C) Unpublished or self-published Short Story
(D) Unpublished or self-published Novel Chapter

Children's Literature Division: (E) Unpublished or self-published Short Story/Nonfiction Article/Book Chapter/Poem (judged together as one category)

Poetry Division: (F) Unpublished or self-published Free Verse/Traditional (judged together as one category)

Awards & Prizes
First Place in each Category - $100 plus certificate
Second Place in each Category - $75 plus certificate
Third Place in each Category - $50 plus certificate
Honorable Mention certificates will be awarded in each category as warranted

Winner Notification
Winners' certificates/awards will be mailed no later than May 31, 2016.

Winners List will be posted here on writers-editors.com around May 31, 2016.   (See Winners for recent years.

Entry Fees
Entry fee of $5 (active or new Writers-Editors Network members) or $10 (non-members) must accompany each fiction/nonfiction entry under 3,000 words

Entry fee of $10 (members) or $20 (non-members) must accompany each entry of 3,000 words to 5,000 words.

Entry fee of $3 (members) or $5 (non-members) must accompany each poem entered.

You can send check, money order, or submit your entry fee(s) via PayPal.

General Guidelines
Entries must be unpublished (except for Nonfiction/Previously Published Article/Essay/Book Chapter category), with the exception of self-published material, which may be entered in all unpublished categories.

Previously Published Article/Column/Nonfiction Book Chapter category entries may be submitted in double-spaced manuscript format or copies of published material if writer's name is unrecognizable.

Only one book chapter per entry and do NOT submit the complete book for adult or children's chapter book categories. You may submit more than one chapter from a book, but each chapter must be a separate entry.

Length: Maximum length 5,000 words; plus, children's literature entries must adhere to typical type, age, and length guidelines in order to be judged favorably.

Enter as many manuscripts in as many categories as you wish. Entry fee and a separate Official Entry Form must accompany  each entry (and each poem); photocopies of the entry form are acceptable. Send only one copy of each entry.

Entries not conforming to contest rules will be disqualified; entry fees will not be returned. Entries beyond the 5,000-word limit will be judged only on the first 5,000 words submitted.

Use paper clips only.  Do not staple manuscript pages, entry forms or checks.

Author's name must NOT appear on any entry.

Indicate Division and Category of each entry on upper right corner of first page of manuscript.

Submit text only in a readable font, such as Times Roman or Arial.

Other Information
Acknowledgment of receipt of manuscripts will be made only if you enclose a self-addressed postcard (with adequate postage). Manuscripts CANNOT be returned; therefore, legible photocopies or computer printouts are suggested for submission.

For list of winners, send self-addressed, stamped #10 (business size 4"x9") envelope marked "winners" on the outside.  Winners list will be mailed by May 31, plus will be posted on www.writers-editors.com. (One envelope only; not one per category.)

We have not published an anthology of winners in 25+ years; should we decide to do so again, authors will be contacted for permission, and all remaining rights will remain with the authors.

Winners' names will be posted on our Winner Lists page.

Specific Division/Category Guidelines
Nonfiction Division

  • Previously Published must show name of magazine, newspaper or website in which it was published.
  • Essay/Column can be opinion, personal experience, nostalgia, think-piece, or humor.

Fiction Division

  • For Short Story, indicate whether Literary, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Western on first page.
  • Indicate book title plus chapter title or # on each Fiction/Novel Chapter entry and entry form (multiple chapter entries require a separate entry form and separate entry fee for each chapter).

Children's Literature Division

  • Indicate the age group of your readers and the word count on first page of entry.
  • Also on the first page, specify the category of children's literature: Poem, Short Story, Novel Chapter, Article, Nonfiction Book Chapter.
  • Do not include art, illustrations, or bound copies of a book. Entries cannot be returned.

Poetry Division

  • Include the poem's line count and whether Free Verse or Traditional on the manuscript page.
  • For traditional metered and syllabic poems, specify the form, such as Sonnet, Villanelle, Sestina, or Renga.
  • Each entry must be a single poem, not a book of verse.

Judging Criteria
Presentation (format, follows rules, neatness, spelling, punctuation, grammar, print quality).

Suitability (correct category, correct age group and appropriate length if children's division).

Tightness, clarity, structure, strength of lead/beginning, transitions, impact, satisfactory close.

Profuse profanity, put-downs, and vulgarities will not be likely to move your entry to the top of the judges' list.

A book chapter needs to stand alone with elements of good writing included. Either the first or the last chapter will usually represent the whole book the best..

Nonfiction: Logic; use of quotes, statistics and anecdotes; order; provocative idea; lead and close.

Fiction: Characterization, conflict, dialogue, plotting, beginning, ending, figures of speech.

Children's Literature: Age-appropriateness is especially important. (Judge's note: Many children's entries are not age-appropriate. They have language, situations, or characters that most children would neither relate to nor understand.

Poetry: Fresh concept, cadence or rhythmic beat, sound echoes, any other device (such as figurative language) that appeals to  the imagination or engages the reader's senses; and for traditional verse, adherence to form. (Judge's note: Poems that exceed a page seldom improve with length.)

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To Submit Entry via Email

1. Prepare each entry in a separate file.

2. Title the manuscript (entry) but do not include your name on any page. (Don't worry. We'll match your title and first line with your entry form.) (Give a Book Chapter entry both a book title and a chapter title or nnumber.)

3. Save each entry file as a doc, docx, rtf, txt, or pdf file.

4. Email your entry or entries (again, each in a separate file) to ContestEntry@writers-editors.com as attachment(s). Multiple entries may be sent separately or in a single email with multiple attachments.

5. Put "Contest entry attached" or "3 (e.g.) contest entries attached" (without the quote marks) in the subject line.

6. Fill out a separate entry form (or use this doc file) for each entry and send as an attachment to ContestEntry@writers-editors.com. (Save the rtf form or doc form to your computer or device, key in the requested info, then re-save it and email it.) (Note: If you want only a printable entry form to mail in with your entry (not email), go to this page.)

7. Send in your entry fee(s) for the emailed entry or entries in any of the following ways:

a. Use this PayPal button to pay via credit card or PayPal (on the PayPal form, read "donation" as "entry fee"). If the credit card or PayPal account is in a name different from the entry, explain in an email to dana@writers-editors.com:


b. Use your PayPal account to send your entry fee(s) to writers-editors.com as explained below.

c. Mail a check or money order to cover your entry fee(s). Enclose the entry form from our printed Guidelines or print out a separate form for each entry. Address, etc. is on the form.

When we have matched up your emailed entry with its entry form and its entry fee, we will email you so you know your entry or entries have been entered correctly.


OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM - 2016 Writers-Editors International Writing Competition - postmark deadline 3/16/2016

A separate form must accompany each entry (and each poem); click for a printer-friendly Entry Form (or you can use this one).

1. Author's  name ________________________________________________
Note how you want your name on Winners List/Certificate if different from above:


2. Author's mailing address ________________________________________


3. Author's phone number (______) ________________

4. Author's E-mail: _______________________________________

5. TITLE of entry _________________________________________________

6. FIRST LINE of entry ____________________________________________

7. Circle Division/Category of this entry:

 A-Nonfiction/Previously Published     B-Nonfiction/Unpublished or Self-published

 C-Fiction/Short Story       D-Fiction/Novel Chapter

 E-Children's/ Short Story / Nonfiction Article / Book Chapter / Poem (circle one of these four)

 F-Poetry/ Free Verse / Traditional (circle one of these two)

8. ENTRY FEE (check one and enclose):

Membership number if entering as a current CNW/FFWA member (see your Press ID card/tag if not sure): ____________

/  /   $3, I am a current Writers-Editors Network member or am joining at this time (dues also enclosed), and entry is one poem

/  /   $5, I am not a member and am not joining at this time, and entry is one poem

/  /   $5, I am a current Writers-Editors Network member or am joining at this time (dues also enclosed), and entry is under 3,000 words

/  /   $10, I am not a member and am not joining at this time and entry is under 3,000 words

/  /   $10, I am a current Writers-Editors Network member (or membership dues enclosed) and entry is between 3,000 words and 5,000 words

/  /   $20, I am not a member and am not joining at this time and entry is between 3,000 and 5,000 words

/ /  I have enclosed membership dues of $ ______ (see Membership page for choices here).

Make entry fee check or money order payable to: CNW Publishing. One check may be written to cover multiple entries if all are  mailed in same package (but enclose separate entry forms for each entry). (US $ only)

You may charge your entry fee(s) to: VISA,  MasterCard, Amex, Discover (only if in USA or Canada). Charge will appear on your credit card statement as "CNW Publishing." Your credit card receipt will  be emailed to you by Square, our credit card processor) If outside USA and Canada, please send via PayPal (see below)..

Card # ___________________________________________

exp. _______ Security (CVV) code: ________   Total amount charged: ________

credit card signature ________________________________

 You can submit your entry fees via PayPal to writers.editors@gmail.com (a verified PayPal user since 2000) - Be sure to note with your payment the title(s) and/or first line of your entry or entries. Then mail your entry or entries via postal mail along with entry form(s) - We will email you confirmation when we have received and matched up your entry fees and entries.

9. SEND entry form(s), with fee(s) attached, to: Writers-Editors Contest, PO Box A, North Stratford NH 03590. Postmark deadline for 2016 competition is March 16, 2016.

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