Friday, September 9, 2011

Writer's Digest Writing Competitions (and a definition of 'published')

Old Man by the Sea
Image courtesy: elbyincal

Do you have any short stories of 4000 words or less kicking around? (And a twenty dollar bill to spare?) If so, there are several writing contests being hosted by Writer’s Digest with deadlines ranging from September 15 through October 31 depending on the genre. Click here for details. You will also find info on a Short Short Story Competition (1500 words or less) with a deadline of November 15.

I’m going to enter in the science fiction/fantasy contest with a story set 40 years in the future. George Lander, widower, is facing brain surgery. Afraid of losing the memories of his beloved wife, he makes an appointment at Memory, Inc., part of the emerging “brain back-up” industry.

I was going to post the first page of the story, but then a little worm of worry caught me. According to the official rules, you can only enter works that are not previously published or produced. Would posting an excerpt on this blog qualify as publishing? Hmmm.

Luckily I found this website called promptings with the answer. Posting any written work online (including blogs) is considered publishing because it is available to the public. Deleting the blog does not 'unpublish' the work either. However, you can post your work on sites protected by a password and not be considered published. This allows writers to post things on forums for feedback before they are ready to publish. Interesting.

Oh well. The good news is that I and all my fellow bloggers are published! Whoo-hoo. The bad news is that I can't share the first page of A Pain-Free Life.

Have you entered these kinds of short story competitions before?


  1. I used to enter competitions years ago, before the internet boom. Things have changed a lot.

    Interesting info about published online work.

    Have a great weekend.

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