The Basic Rules
Please review carefully. Noncomplying entries will be disqualified without refund.
- Plots, characters and worlds must be original to the writer unless characters are real people.
- Winning entries from prior SAWG contests are not eligible. Prior non-winners are welcome.
- Entries previously published or self-published in any medium except for brief samples on authors’ social media or web sites are not eligible.
- Entries accepted for publication elsewhere before the contest closes must be withdrawn.
- Entries that do not conform to all submission requirements will be disqualified.
- Entry fees are not refundable.
- Unlike other contests, entrants retain all rights. SAWG publishes only an author’s name and the work’s title. A piece that wins does not count as being published.
- The Guild will retain a copy of each winning entry in case a claim of plagiarism be levied.
- Submissions will be accepted 9/1/22 through 1/31/23 with discounted entry fees until 12/15/22
- Book-length fiction
- Short story
- Nonfiction/Memoir (either length)
The Format Requirements
- Book-length: 500-word-maximum synopsis followed by the first 5,000 words starting on a fresh page.
- Short: maximum 12,000 words.
- Poetry: no size limits.
- File type must be .doc, .docx or .pdf.
- Font must be Times New Roman 12-point or Courier 12-point.
- Author’s name or identifying information must not appear anywhere on the submission.
- All text must be double-spaced and must have one-inch margins all around.
- Pages must be numbered in the footer section of the page.
- Entry category and title must appear as a header on every page, including the first page.
The Entry Fees
9/1/22 – 12/15/22
Poetry – $10 per entry
Short – $20 per entry
Book Length – $30 per entry
$10 more each 12/16/22 – 1/31/23
Every prize includes one year’s SAWG membership ($35 value), link to the writer’s web site on SAWG’s web pages, and a virtual ‘winner’ sticker to display as s/he wants to.
A writer may receive only one prize per category.
1st place = $100
2nd – $50
3rd – $25
The Number of Entries
A writer may submit two entries per category, eight total entries per person.
How The Judging is Done
There are two rounds of blind judging.
- The first round is done by screened, selected and trained SAWG volunteers.
- Each entry will be assessed by at least three judges who are familiar with that genre.
- Volunteer judges will have no contest entries in the genres they judge.
- Five entries in each category with the highest initial scores will advance to the final round.
- The final judges are successful professional writers or university-level writing instructors who specialize in the entries’ genres. None are SAWG members.
- Winners will be notified by email, announced at the SAWG meeting following the final judging, and invited to read at a meeting. Their names and websites will be posted on the SAWG website and Facebook page.
- All contestants may, if they wish, receive all score sheets for their work, including judges’ comments and advice, via email after the winners are announced.
- All finalists may correspond with their final judges if they wish to.
Submitting and Paying