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Writing Competitions – June 2016

Why enter writing competitions?

writing-competitions-june-2016

It’s one thing to write, and another entirely different proposition getting others to actually read what you have written.

Here is a list of writing competitions with deadlines in June 2016.

Find one or more that fits with your style and submit your work!  You never know what might happen…


Dream Cruise Liner Writing Contest http://writersviews.com/writing-contests-cruiseliner-poem.php June 1, 2016 Submit your ocean inspired poem ideally capturing a heart’s moment before it is lost, or feeling one’s heart at the deep ocean at night making hearts speak of love and romance, desperation and agony, or dreams or more. Send in your poem, 50 lines or less, any style or mood as long as it is typed. Your creative writing can be either fiction or non-fiction although multiple poetry are not recommended.

Annual Writing Competition http://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions June 1, 2016 Writer’s Digest’s oldest and most popular competition, the Annual Writing Competition, is accepting entries. Enter our 85th annual competition for a chance to win cash and prizes.

Driftless Unsolicited Novella Contest http://www.writermag.com/contests/driftless-unsolicited-novella-contest-2/ June 1, 2016 The 2016 Driftless Unsolicited Novella contest seeks 20,000-40,000 word novellas, with a strong preference for submissions from authors of color, LGBTQ+ writers, and women. Two winning novellas will receive a $250.00 cash prize, a publication contract, and royalties for the novella with Brain Mill Press. The cash prize is not an advance against royalties. Royalties commence with the internationally distributed release.

Boulevard Emerging Poets Contest http://www.boulevardmagazine.org/poetry-contest/ June 1, 2016 We are happy to announce the results of the 2015 Poetry Contest for Emerging Poets. We received many excellent entries this year, and our contest judge, Edward Nobles, selected Richard Lloyd-Jones. His winning group of three poems will appear in the Spring 2016 issue. PMB 325, 6614 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights, MO 63117

Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund http://www.aefdc.com/matsui-writing-competition/ June 1, 2016 The Robert T. Matsui Annual Writing Competition was established by AEF in 2005 to honor the late Congressman Robert T. Matsui and his many accomplishments. Through this writing competition, AEF seeks to encourage legal scholarship on issues of importance to the Asian Pacific American community.

Sunderland Short Story Award http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/shortstoryaward/ June 1, 2016 “Submit stories of up to 2,500 words by adults or 1,500 words by children (11 to 16).
The shortlisted entries in the adult category will be read by literary agent Susan Yearwood and publisher Unthank Books (work may be considered for their anthology). The children’s winning entries will be published in the local Waterstones.”

International Short Story Contest “A Sea of Words” 2016 http://intercompetition.com/index.php/writing/ad/a-sea-of-words-2016,586 June 2, 2016 This contest is addressed to young people aged between 18 and 30 years old from any of the 44 Euro-Mediterranean countries.

Young Norfolk Poetry Competition 2016 http://www.writerscentrenorwich.org.uk/ June 2, 2016 They’re looking for writers aged 14-18 to submit lyrics or poems. The best entries will be celebrated at an awards ceremony held at the Writers’ Centre Norwich in July.

Words with JAM Competitions http://jdsmith.moonfruit.com/the-big-five-competition/4591904791 June 6, 2016 For the Big Five Competition, the winner will receive a year’s mentoring from Triskele Books – from manuscript to publication – worth over £5000.

The Brighton Prize http://www.brightonprize.com/ June 10, 2016 The Brighton Prize was founded to find brilliant short story writers. We offer cash prizes for new short and flash fiction.

2016 theme: Making Meaning of Ocean Pollution http://www.fromthebowseat.org/contest.php June 13, 2016 We invite middle and high school students from around the world to participate in the 2016 Ocean Awareness Student Contest! The theme is Making Meaning out of Ocean Pollution, and it challenges you to research, explore, interpret, and say something meaningful about the connections between human activities and the health of our oceans.

Short Stories, Novelettes, and Novellas 2015 & 2016 https://chantireviews.com/services#!/Winter-Short-Stories-Novelettes-&-Novellas-Chanticleer-Book-Reviews/p/43093848/category=5193080 June 15, 2016 We are now accepting submissions for Winter/Holiday Reads

THE BITTER OLEANDER PRESS LIBRARY OF POETRY AWARD 2016 http://www.bitteroleander.com/contest.html June 15, 2016 “An award of $1000 plus book publication of the winning manuscript is open to anyone writing in the English language. It is not open to employees or relatives of The Bitter Oleander Press.
Translations are not eligible for this award.
You may send your entry through the US Postal Service, but do not send it certified with a return-request receipt. Include a stamped self-addressed postcard for receipt notification purposes.” “4983 Tall Oaks Drive
Fayetteville, New York 13066-9776
USA”

Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize http://www.ruminatemagazine.com/submit/contests/poetry-prize/ June 15, 2016 “The submission deadline for the prize is June 15th.
The entry fee is $20 (includes a copy of the Spring 2017 Issue, international entries will receive a complimentary PDF copy). All submissions must be previously unpublished work.
You may submit up to two poems per entry, no longer than 40 lines each.
$1500 and publication in the Spring 2017 Issue will be awarded to the winner. $200 and publication in the Spring 2017 Issue will be awarded to the second place winner.”

New Writer Competition 2016 http://erewashwriterscompetition.weebly.com/2016-ewg-new-writer-competition.html June 30, 2016 “There is no theme, you can write anything you like. There is no minimum word count, the maximum is 3,000 words. You can enter as many times as you wish but only one entry per entrant can win a prize. Every entry must be accompanied by the appropriate payment.
” EWG NEW WRITER Competition, Parklands Connexion, Stanhope Street, Long Eaton, NG10 4QN.

The Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize http://pulpliterature.com/contests/the-hummingbird-flash-fiction-prize/ June 15, 2016 Got something short, sharp and snappy to tell? Wow us with your most economical and brilliant storytelling. This contest is for short fiction under 1000 words. Want feedback on your story? Get a professional critique from one of the Pulp Literature editors for only $15 more.

Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Competition http://www.canterburyfestival.co.uk/festival-friends/events/poet-of-the-year-2016.aspx June 17, 2016 “Poems can be on any subject and up to 60 lines long. It costs £5 each to enter.
A long list of approximately 40 poems will be published in an anthology.”

Summer Solstice 2016 Theme http://www.wildwords.org/wild-words-writing-competition/ June 21, 2016 The piece can be fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry, in any genre. The prompt line can be present in your work, or, it can just act as a jumping off point for your ideas. If you wish, you can change the quote into the third person.
Barns Wood, Lower Barns Rd, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 4DS, UK

2016 First/Second Poetry Book http://www.omnidawn.com/contest/poetry-contests.htm June 30, 2016 This contest is open to writers who have either never published a full-length book of poetry, or who have published only one full-length book of poetry, so that the winning book would become a poet’s first or second published full-length book of poetry. Writers who have published two or more full-length books of poetry are NOT eligible. (Chapbooks do not count and non-poetry books do not count.) The manuscript page limit is 120 pages. “1632 Elm Avenue
Richmond, CA 94805-1614”

North Street Book Prize https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/north-street-book-prize June 30, 2016 Your self-published book can win up to $1,500 plus expert marketing services
May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize http://www.bauhanpublishing.com/may-sarton-prize/poetry-contest-guidelines/ June 30, 2016 The 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize is now open for submissions! “P.O. Box 117
Peterborough, NH 03458”

Battered Moons Poetry Competition http://batteredmoons.com/ June 30, 2016 Prizes: £700, £200, £100. Four commendations of £25 each. The winning poems and four commendations will be published in the Battered Moons pamphlet.

The Henshaw Competition http://henshawpress.co.uk/ June 30, 2016 Prizes: £100, £50, £25. The winners will also be published on the Henshawpress website and optionally in their next anthology.

Bath Flash Fiction Award http://bathflashfictionaward.com/ June 12, 2016 Bath Flash Fiction Award is an international rolling flash fiction competition. Each award runs for 4 months. Judging takes place quickly with a top prize of £1000, £300 second, and £100 third. At the close of each competition, the next competition begins. Our last winner was announced within two weeks of the Award closing, and running three Awards per year means our total annual prize fund is £4200.

Two Sylvias Press 2016 Chapbook Prize http://twosylviaspress.com/chapbook-prize.html June 15, 2016 January Gill O’Neil (author of the award-winning poetry book, Misery Islands). Winner receives $400, his/her book published as both a print & eBook, 20 copies of the perfect-bound print book, and an amethyst depression glass trophy (circa 1930). All entries considered for possible publication. Deadline: June 15, 2016.

2016 GFT Press Chapbook Contest http://www.gftpress.com/chapbooks June 30, 2016 What we are looking for: We want clean, coherent, well-written, creative, cohesive manuscripts that strike hard and are relentless. We want to feel what you felt when you were crafting your work. If you choose to submit work that is grisly and biting, it must have a grace and beauty to it. If you submit work that is beautiful, make sure that it is not simply beautiful for beauty’s sake alone. Show us that you respect your work and that you understand your craft.

CROOK’S CORNER BOOK PRIZE http://crookscornerbookprize.com/?page_id=12 June 15, 2016 The submitted book must be the author’s first published novel for adult readers, published in the United States between January 1, 2015 and June 15, 2016. “313 Country Club Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514”

2016 Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize http://backbonepress.org/contests/ June 1, 2016 The Lucille Clifton Annual Poetry Contest, held each spring, honors the prolific work of poet great Lucille Clifton. Widely celebrated for her unpretentious and unapologetic poems, Clifton’s unique free verse was free of punctuation, taut, and always recognizably her. When submitting think: humanness, struggle, adversity, resilience. “PO Box 51483
Durham, NC 27717-1483”

Salamander 2016 Fiction Prize http://salamandermag.org/contests/ June 1, 2016 “All entries will be considered for publication. All entries will be considered anonymously.
Send no more than one story per entry. Each story must not exceed 30 double-spaced pages in 12 point font. Multiple entries are acceptable, provided that a separate reading fee is included with each entry.” “8 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108”

Writers Crushing Doubt Writing Contest http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-2016/ June 1, 2016 This latest writing contest is all about crushing doubt! In April I will be launching my new online course for writers, Writers Crushing Doubt, you can already view the introduction page here. This contest has been created to celebrate the launch of the new course, so check it out. (Tip: reading the introduction page will help, as it has subtle clues for writing your entry that will help you win this writing contest.) – See more at: http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-2016/#sthash.SuCbOgSv.dpuf

2016 TIFERET Writing Contest http://tiferetjournal.com/2016-writing-contest/ June 1, 2016 We will be accepting submissions for the 2016 TIFERET Writing Contest from January 1, 2016 – June 1, 2016.

Segora short story competition 2016 http://www.poetryproseandplays.com/ June 15, 2016 “First prize: £300 Second prize: £50 Third prize: £30
Entry fee: £6 for single entry or 8€, £11 for 2 or 15€ and £15 for 3 entries or 20€.
Judge: Amanda Hodgkinson”

SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition http://www.spmpublications.com/competitions/ June 30, 2016 The second international SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition is now accepting entries. Poets may submit a collection of 20 pages of poems for the chance to win a publishing contract and cash prize. The winning collections will be published by SPM Publications – an imprint of Sentinel Writing & Publishing Company. “Sentinel Global Communications Ltd
Unit 136
113-115 George Lane
London
E18 1AB”

Flash 500 Competition http://www.flash500.com/index_files/flashfiction.html June 30, 2016 When it comes to prizes, it often seems as though flash fiction is the poor relation of writing competitions. This, however, is a flash fiction competition where the prize money truly reflects the skill required to encapsulate an entire story in just 500 words.
Wells Festival of Literature Writing Competition http://www.wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk/competitionrules.php June 30, 2016 This year there are three prizes for the winners, £500, £200, £100, in all three categories plus the Hilly Cansdale local poetry prize of £100 and the Wyvern local short story prize, also £100. Entries are open to anyone throughout the world. Tregantle, Milton Lane, Wells, Somerset. BA5 2QT

THE MOTH SHORT STORY PRIZE 2016 http://www.themothmagazine.com/a1-page.asp?ID=3055&page=9 June 30, 2016 The Prize is for a single unpublished story of no more than 6,000 words. The competition is open to anyone, and you can enter as many stories as you like.
The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2016 http://www.thelondonmagazine.org/the-london-magazine-poetry-prize-information/ June 30, 2016 This international contest from the UK’s oldest literary journal, The London Magazine, is for poems of up to 40 lines on any theme. “11 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5EL”

South Bank Poetry Competition http://southbankpoetry.co.uk/poetry-competition/ June 15, 2016 South Bank Poetry’s poetry competition is for London poems. It opens on January 1st 2016 and closes June 15th 2016. (Postal entries postmarked that day from the UK or abroad will be accepted ) 450 3179 South Bank Poetry, 40 Ledbury House, East Dulwich, London SE22 8AN

Creative Future Literary Awards http://www.cfliteraryawards.org.uk/how-to-apply/rules/ June 13, 2016 The Creative Future Literary Awards is a national literary competition and high profile awards ceremony which celebrates talented writers who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, health or social circumstance. Prizes are awarded for both poetry and short fiction. There is no entry fee. Winners are selected by a panel of industry experts. Prizes include £1000 of cash prizes & professional writing development support. PLEASE NOTE that all entries must respond to this year’s theme ‘A Sea Change’. “Community Base,
113 Queens Rd, Brighton, BN1 3XG”

Words with Jam Big Five Competition http://jdsmith.moonfruit.com/the-big-five-competition/4591904791 June 30, 2016 This one from Words with Jam and Triskele Books is for completed and unpublished novels of up to 100,000 words.

Women’s Poetry Competition 2016 https://mslexia.co.uk/competition/poetry-competition/ June 13, 2016 With springtime comes the launch of our our annual Women’s Poetry Competition! PO Box 656, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 1PZ

Women’s Pamphlet Competition 2016 https://mslexia.co.uk/competition/pamphlet-competition/ June 13, 2016 Separate from our competition for single poems, our annual pamphlet competition accepts completed collections that are 20-24 pages long, and include 18-20 poems. The rest is up to the writer! PO Box 656, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 1PZ

Words Magazine Short Story Competition http://www.tyjustwrite.com/blog/writingcompetitions/ June 30, 2016 All entries should be sent via email only and should be a maximum length of 2,000 words.

Poetry Space Competition 2016 http://www.poetryspace.co.uk/poetry-space-competition/ June 30, 2016 Myra Schneider will be judging entries for Poetry Space Annual International Poetry Competition 2016 – our seventh year. Closing date will be June 30th 2016. 21 Davis Close Barrs Court Bristol BS30 7BU

Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2016 http://www.coffeehousepoetry.org/prizes June 21, 2016 Entry implies acceptance of all rules; failure to comply with all rules results in disqualification; submissions accepted by post or e-mail from poets of any nationality, from any country, aged over 18 years; no poet may win more than one prize; judges’ decision is final; no correspondence will be entered into. 263–267 Old Brompton Road, London SW5

Havant Poetry Competition 2016 http://www.poetrycan.co.uk/comp-news/1122-havant2016.html June 17, 2016 Havant Literary Festival‘s annual poetry competition has kicked off once again, applications to enter have officially opened both online and in a printed version.
ISFHWE Excellence-in-Writing Competition http://isfhwe.com/competition.php June 15, 2016 “Open to members & non members
Enter by 15 June 2016; early bird discount to 15 March 2016; members log in to get a discount.” PO Box 152987, Cape Coral, FL 33915

2016 Autumn House Nonfiction Contest http://www.autumnhouse.org/contest-submissions/nonfiction/ June 30, 2016 For the 2016 contest, the preliminary judges are members of the Autumn House staff and Heather Cazad, and the final judge is Michael Martone. The winner will be awarded publication of a full-length manuscript and $2,500. The postmark deadline for entries is June 30, 2016. “PO Box 60100 Pittsburgh, PA 15211”

The Montana Book Festival http://www.montanabookfestival.org/contest/ June 1, 2016 The Montana Book Festival seeks to celebrate poetry, fiction and nonfiction by regional emerging writers. One winner in each genre will receive $200 and their writing will be published on our website. “c/o Missoula Cultural Council 327 E. Broadway Missoula, Montana 59802”

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/ June 30, 2016 Each entry must consist of a single sentence but you may submit as many entries as you wish. (One fellow once submitted over 3,000 entries.) Sentences may be of any length but we strongly recommend that entries not go beyond 50 or 60 words. Entries must be “original” (as it were) and previously unpublished. “Department of English San Jose State University San Jose, CA 95192-0090”

V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize http://rsliterature.org/award/v-s-pritchett-memorial-prize/ June 20, 2016 The Royal Society of Literature is delighted to announce the eighteenth V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize. There is a prize of £1,000, and the winning entry will be published in Prospect online and in the RSL Review. In addition to this, there will be an opportunity to appear at an RSL event with established short story writers in autumn 2016. “Somerset House, Strand
London, WC2R 1LA”

Manny Writing Contest http://www.midwestwriters.org/writing-contests/ June 18, 2016 The Manny Awards have become a tradition at Midwest Writers Workshop. The contest offers cash awards and is designed to recognize works in progress in four categories: short fiction, novel, poetry and nonfiction. 2106 N. Colson Drive, Muncie, IN 47304

Drue Heinz Literature Prize http://www.upress.pitt.edu/renderHtmlPage.aspx?srcHtml=htmlSourceFiles/drueheinz.htm June 30, 2016 The University of Pittsburgh Press announces the 2017 Drue Heinz Literature Prize for a collection of short fiction. The prize carries a cash award of $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract. “University of Pittsburgh Press 7500 Thomas Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15260”

Short Story Competition 2016 http://finchleyliteraryfestival.blogspot.com/p/short-story-competition.html June 25, 2016 Greenacre Writers and Finchley Literary Festival are launching the festival with a short story competition. The winning entries will win cash prizes and will be published on this blog and Greenacre Writers. Trinity Church Centre, Nether Street, London N12 7NN

Travel Writing Contest http://www.pw.org/writing_contests/travel_writing_contest June 1, 2016 A prize of $1,000 and publication in Nowhere Magazine is given twice yearly for a short story or essay that “possesses a powerful sense of place.” Porter Fox will judge. Unpublished and published pieces that have not already been chosen as a contest winner are eligible. Using the online submission system, submit a story or essay of 800 to 5,000 words with a $20 entry fee by June 1. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines. 1582 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213

Thomas A. Wilhelmus Nonfiction Award http://www.pw.org/writing_contests/thomas_a_wilhelmus_nonfiction_award June 1, 2016 A prize of $2,000 and publication in Southern Indiana Review is given annually for a work of creative nonfiction. Michael Martone will judge. Submit an essay of up to 35 pages with a $20 entry fee ($5 for each additional entry) by June 1. All entries are considered for publication. Call, e-mail, or visit the website for complete guidelines. 8600 University Boulevard, Evansville, IN 47712

Prizes in Letters http://www.pw.org/writing_contests/prizes_letters June 15, 2016 Three prizes of $10,000 each are given annually to U.S. writers for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) published in the United States during the current year. For books published between January 1 and June 14, submit four copies of the book, an author bio and photograph, and a $50 entry fee by June 15. The deadline for books published during the second half of the year is October 1. Send an SASE or visit the website for the required entry form and complete guidelines. 709 Pulitzer Hall, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman http://carolinawrenpress.org/submissions/contests June 15, 2016 The Bakwin Award honors full-length prose work (novel, short story collection, or memoir) by an author who is a woman. The winner will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the winning book will be published by Carolina Wren Press. Read the full guidelines and submit electronically here. We look forward to reading your submissions! 120 Morris Street, Durham, NC 27701

2016 Curt Johnson Prose Awards http://decembermag.org/2016-curt-johnson-prose-awards/ June 15, 2016 We are pleased to announce Anthony Marra (Fiction) and Eula Biss (Nonfiction) will judge our 2016 Curt Johnson Prose Awards. $1,500 and publication in our Fall/Winter 2016 issue for First Place (fiction and nonfiction); $500 and publication in our Fall/Winter 2016 issue for honorable mention (fiction and nonfiction). P.O. Box 16130, St. Louis, MO 63105

How to write and use a press release to promote your book and your business

how to write and use a press releaseAlmost every one of the clients who goes through our Best-Seller Program asks for assistance with writing and using press releases to promote their book and their business.

So, I’ve written this post not only for them but also for anyone who is seeking assistance with this most important topic.

Sending press releases to alert the media to your newsworthy event is essential, however as Inc Magazine commented,

“An easy way to ruin your relationship with the news media is to send a bad press release.”

…but as PT Barnum, of Barnum and Bailey Circus fame, once said…

“Without promotion, something terrible happens…  nothing!”

So, how do you write a good press release?

I could write for pages and pages on this topic, but here is a checklist that will help:

  • At the top, make sure you put when it is to be released, for example FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  • Come up with a headline that ‘hooks’.  Think about the audience who will read this article, your headline needs to grab their attention immediately and make them want to read more.  (here is an excellent article about writing catchy headlines and first paragraphs)
  • Many journalists and editors do not skim past the first paragraph when deciding whether or not to use a release so make sure that all-important paragraph has enough hook and ooooomph to get their attention
  • Having been a journalist myself, I know it’s actually quite common for the press release to be used almost exactly as is – so write your press release with this in mind
  • DO NOT use ‘marketing language’ – in other words, this is a TOTALLY FACTUAL piece, not hype and not opinion – just stick to the facts!
  • Use at least one or two quotes from someone connected to the story to provide context, insight and heart
  • Include biographical information on your and/or your business including how long you have been doing this, your mission and/or vision statement, where you are based, any awards or recognition you have received
  • Contact information – At the end VERY CLEARLY state your name, company (if relevant), your position (eg Author of the Best-Selling Book, “name of book”), address, email, website and cell phone number.  The reason the cell phone is important is that major publications will often not run a story unless they can confirm in person (in this case, on the phone) the contents of the release
  • Include a link to your EPK (electronic press kit) if you have one (http://leighstjohn.com/epk-electronic-press-kit/)
  • Double and triple check your grammar and spelling!
  • Format your press release to be double-spaced and preferably one-page (two at the very most!)

OK, so now you’ve written your press release, what do you do with it?

How do you use a press release?

Know Your Audience – the fastest way to get blacklisted is to blast your press release to outlets whose readers have nothing in common with you or the subject of your release.  Make sure you target appropriate media outlets.

Set Up a Google Alert – create a Google alert for your name, your book’s name (https://www.google.com/alerts) so you can keep track of who is mentioning you and creating articles based on your release.

Syndicate Your Release – once your press release is published, make sure you get it as much visibility as possible by cross-promoting the release and any articles in which you are mentioned on your own social media channels.

Add to Your EPK – mention in your EPK that you were covered by XYZ Publication and provide a link to that article, thereby giving you additional credibility.

Consider Timing – when you send a release is important.  If you are doing a book signing and speaking event to raise money for charity, you want that release to go out anywhere from 3-10 days before the event.  Other events such as you becoming a best-seller are obviously sent after the event, but as close as possible to the actual date it occurred.

Don’t be shy!

Reporters rely on press releases to give them the stories they need to fill their publications – so make yourself visible!  Just ensure that you follow the suggestions above.

If you have any questions about creating a press release for your book and becoming a best-seller, feel free to reach out!

I look forward to hearing from you…

Writing competitions for January 2015

writing-handThe time during Christmas and New Year is VERY busy for a lot of people, although for some it’s also a chance to reflect and to actually spend time writing… If you want to have a focus for your writing, here is a list of competitions that have closing dates during January (and including the day before and the day after). If you need any help with your submissions, please reach out!

The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry

http://www.ut.edu/TampaReview/TRDetail.aspx?id=12172

12/31/2014

Winning manuscripts are issued in both hardback and paperback editions & authors receive royalties on sales in addition to the cash award. Each entrant will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to Tampa Review (mailed to any U.S. address; mailing outside U.S. can be arranged with a supplementary postage fee).

Flash 500 Humour Verse Competition

http://www.flash500.com/index_files/humourverse.html

12/31/2014

Welcome to our Humour Verse Competition! Now in its fourth year. There is a scarcity of humour verse competitions with worthwhile prize money, even though there are huge numbers of people who like to write and read funny poems. So we at Flash 500 are rather proud of this one, which has grown into a must-enter competition for writers of humour verse.

Labello 3rd International Short Story

http://www.labellopress.com/gem-street—competition.html

12/31/2014

These are the types of stories we look forward to reading during our exciting new competition Gem Street: Beyond the Axis. Shorter, leaner and vibrant works containing 5,000 words or less are welcome from new and previously published writers. Open to all genres except Children’s, YA or Poetry.

Writers’ Village International Short Fiction Award Winter 2014

http://www.writers-village.org/competition-rules.php

12/31/2014

Any genre or theme with maximum word count of 3,000 words. Entry fee is £15 and first prize is £1000, second prize £500 and third prize £250. Everyone will receive feedback and closing date is 31

Labello 3rd International Short Story

http://www.nawg.co.uk/competitions/open-competitions/labello-3rd-international-short-story-competition/

12/31/2014

These are the types of stories we look forward to reading during our exciting new competition Gem Street: Beyond the Axis. Shorter, leaner and vibrant works containing 5,000 words or less are welcome from new and previously published writers.

INTERNATIONAL POETRY & PROSE COMPETITION 2014

http://saveaswriters.co.uk/onewebmedia/Int_Poetry_Prose_Comp_2014.pdf

12/31/2014

Poems are welcome on any subject Maximum 50 lines
Short stories may have any theme Maximum 3000 words

Hidden Prize for Prose

http://hiddenclearingbooks.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/call-for-submissions-hidden-prize-for-prose-2014/

12/31/2014

Hidden Clearing Books (est. 2013) is hosting a free writing contest called Hidden Prize for Prose to recognize a talented author of an unpublished book-length manuscript. The author receives a cash prize of $250, along with publication of his or her manuscript and 25 book copies.

Local Poem Competition 2015

http://www.unitedpress.co.uk/free-poetry-competitions/

12/31/2014

The best poem will win £1,000 cash and you can send up to three entries, which must be no more than 25 lines (each blank line counts as one line) and 160 words each.

2015 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

http://www.press53.com/Award_for_Short_Fiction.html

12/31/2014

The author of the winning manuscript will receive a cash advance of $1,000, publication of the manuscript in October 2015 under a standard Press 53 book contract, and 10 copies of the completed book with an option to purchase unlimited copies at a discount for as long as the book is in print. The prize also includes travel expenses to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for a book launch party and reading on Friday, October 16, 2015, and attendance as our special guest to the Press 53/Prime Number Magazine Gathering of Writers on Saturday, October 17, 2015.

The Poetry Box Halloween Poetry Annual Award 2014

http://www.thepoetrybox.co.uk/

12/31/2014

To celebrate the continuing and remarkable success of the UK-based Romantic, Gothic, Fantasy, Surreal and Satire-Themed Poetry Monthly Magazine – ‘The Poetry Box Dark & Horror Poetry Magazine’ – edited, compiled and published by the Founder of ‘The Poetry Box Studio’ based in West Sussex (on the West Sussex/Hampshire border, England) – LK Barley Robinson (LLAM) – ‘The Poetry Box Halloween Poetry Annual Award 2014’ is a unique and increasingly popular international poetry competition in these unusual poetry genres and in addition to the Prizes awarded, the Winners and Finalists Entries, the Judge’s Special Commendation Award Entries and Highly-Commended Entries, will all be published on a Special ‘Winners & Finalists’ page on The Poetry Box website – and in addition – will also be published in the 2015 Editions of ‘The Poetry Box Dark & Horror Poetry Magazine’ – Publication Format: Printed & Posted, A4-Sized, Illustrated and Comb-bound Monthly Poetry Publication (Publication Date: 30th of each month).

Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize 2014

http://www.themothmagazine.com/a1-page.asp?ID=2762&page=15

12/31/2014

The name of the author must not appear on the same page as the poem. It’s not a requirement, but we strongly advise you to purchase a copy of The Moth. You can write on any subject and there is no line limit. Entries must be in English, typed, with each entry on a new sheet. Entries will not be returned, so make sure you keep a copy. No corrections can be made after receipt, or fees refunded.

The 2015 Mississippi Review Prize

http://www.usm.edu/mississippi-review/contest.html

1/1/2015

Our annual contest awards prizes of $1,000 in fiction and poetry. Winners and finalists will make up next winter’s print issue of the national literary magazine Mississippi Review. Contest is open to all writers in English except current or former students or employees of The University of Southern Mississippi.

The Henshaw December Short Story Competition

http://henshawpress.co.uk/

1/12/2015

Our aim is to encourage as wide a range of writing as possible and competitions will all be open for any subject and any style.
The competitions are non profit making for us, any profits are given to ‘Save the Children’.

Colorado Prize for Poetry

http://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/colorado-prize-for-poetry/

1/14/2015

The Colorado Prize for Poetry is an international literary contest started in 1995. Since the contest began, over 5,000 book-length poetry manuscripts have been entered. Each year’s prizewinner receives a $2,000 honorarium and publication of his or her book by the Center for Literary Publishing.

H. E. Francis Short Story Competition

http://www.hefranciscompetition.com/

1/15/2015

A prize of $2,000 is given annually for a short story. Submit a story of up to 5,000 words with a $20 entry fee between December 15 and January 15, 2015. If submitting by mail, include two copies of the story. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Mash Stories Flash Fiction Competition

http://mashstories.com/competition/

1/15/2015

Any style / genre, but stories must be based on 3 random objects so see website for current details – winners published on the website

The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers

http://www.ellenmeloy.com/application-guidelines.html

1/15/2015

Created in 2005 to revere the vision of American nature writer Ellen Meloy, The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers awards an annual cash prize of $3,000 to a writer of creative non-fiction whose work emulates the spirit and loves expressed in Ellen Meloy’s writing and her devotion to a “deep map of place.” Ellen’s own “map of place” was the desert country. The Award only accepts creative non-fiction. Fiction or poetry is not accepted.

Raynes Poetry Prize

http://jewishcurrents.org/poetry-prize

1/15/2015

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Jewish Currents is given annually for a single poem on the theme of “World to Come.” The work of the winning poet and 36 finalists will also be published in an anthology by Blue Thread Press in the summer of 2015. L. S. Asekoff will judge. Submit up to three poems with an $18 entry fee, which includes a subscription to Jewish Currents, by January 15, 2015. All entries are considered for publication.

K. Margaret Grossman Fiction Award

1/15/2015

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Literal Latté is given annually for a short story. Submit a story of up to 8,000 words with a $10 entry fee ($15 for two stories) by January 15, 2015. All entries are considered for publication.

William Matthews Poetry Prize

http://www.ashevillepoetryreview.com/

1/15/2015

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Asheville Poetry Review is given annually for a single poem. The winner is also invited to read at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina. Garrett Hongo will judge. Submit up to three poems of any length with a $20 entry fee by January 15, 2015. All entries are considered for publication.

Magma Poetry Competition

http://magmapoetry.com/competition/

1/19/2015

Magma’s Poetry Competition has two contests, one for short poems of up to 10 lines, and one for poems of 11 to 50 lines. Poems of 11 to 50 lines will be judged by Jo Shapcott for the Judge’s Prize. Poems of up to 10 lines will be entered for the Editors’ Prize and, reflecting Magma’s unique rotating editorship, will be judged by a panel of Magma editors.

Torriano Poetry Competition 2015

1/30/2015

Torriano Poetry Competition 2015 adjudicated by Martyn Crucefix. We accept unpublished poems of up to 40 lines. First Prize £250. 00, Second Prize £150. 00, Third Prize £75.00. Cheques payable to the Torriano Support Fund. Winning poets will be offered featured readings at the adjudication celebration on 12th April, 2015. Name, address, e.mail, phone number and poem titles on separate sheet. No entry form required. £3 one poem, £5 for two, £10 for five.

SPM PUBLICATIONS POETRY BOOK COMPETITION

http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/publications/competition/poetrybook.html

1/31/2015

The 1st annual international SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition invites entrants to submit a collection of 20 pages of poems for the chance to win publication by SPM Publications – an imprint of Sentinel Writing & Publishing Company Limited.

Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2015 Short Story Award

http://bwgwritersroundtable.com/

1/31/2015

We are now accepting submissions of short fiction or memoir (2000 words or fewer) once again on the theme “Food Stories” for our 2015 Short Story Award

Kent & Sussex Poetry Society OPEN POETRY COMPETITION

1/31/2015

The competition is open to anyone aged 16 and over. Poems should be in English, unpublished, not accepted for publication, and must be your original work.Each poem must be typed on a separate sheet of A4 paper. All poems are judged anonymously and should not bear your name, nor any other form of identification. On a separate sheet of A4 paper you should give a: your name and address, b: a list of poems submitted, and c: where you heard about the competition.

2015 National Short Story Competition

http://www.nottinghamwritersclub.org.uk/national-competition.php

1/31/2015

As our first National Short Story Competition proved popular, (see comments) – we’ve decided to run another. The entry details are the same but the theme is different. This time it’s water which can take any form from the smallest drop to a huge ocean, from arctic ice to a long, hot bath, from something you drink to something you sail on, swim in, stand under, etc.

James White Award Short Story Competition

http://www.jameswhiteaward.com/

1/31/2015

The James White Award is an annual short story competition open to non-professional writers with the winner chosen by a panel of judges made up of professional authors and editors. Stories entered into the competition must be original and previously unpublished. Entry is free.

Prole Laureate 2015

http://www.prolebooks.co.uk/page6.html

1/31/2015

This annual contest from Prole Books is for poems in any style that epitomise the editorial values of their poetry and prose magazine Prole. These values are summed up with the following words: engaging, accessible, entertaining and challenging. Quality, they say, is all. They don’t say anything about a line limit so you can if you wish really let yourself go and submit something long enough to test the judge’s endurance. But don’t blame me if she hunts you down with a sawn-off shotgun. The judge in question is Helen Ivory.

Helen Short Story Contest

https://helenliterarymagazine.submittable.com/submit/34291

2/1/2015

We seek pieces that feature a distinct flavor and sentiment of Vegas culture, greater Southern Nevada and the Southwestern US. Stories do not have to be distinctly set in Vegas to be considered. We are looking for well-written fiction in all genres.

Plymouth Writers Group – Open Fiction Writing 2014/15

http://www.nawg.co.uk/competitions/open-competitions/plymouth-writers-group-open-fiction-writing-2014/

2/1/2015

Plymouth Writers Group relocated to the Plymouth Arts Centre in Looe Street, Plymouth in March 2014, and have launched their latest Open Fiction Short Story Competition.

The Homestart Bridgwater Short Story Competition

http://www.homestart-bridgwater.org.uk/short-story-prize-2015

2/1/2015

You are invited to enter our 2015 competition by sending your stories, gaining the chance to win one of the prizes kindly donated by our sponsors – and helping a worthwhile charity.

PLYMOUTH WRITERS GROUP OPEN WRITING COMPETITION 2014/15

2/1/2015

The Plymouth Writers Group relocated to the Plymouth Arts Centre in Looe Street, Plymouth in March 2014. This competition reinforces their intention to be one of the most effective writing groups in Plymouth and the South West.

The Keats-Shelley Prize 2015

http://www.keats-shelley.co.uk/keats-shelley-prize

2/1/2015

The Keats-Shelley Prize is an annual competition for essays and poems on Romantic themes. Inaugurated in 1998, the Prize encourages writers to respond creatively to the work of the Romantics.

The Money’s in the List

$By Joel Friedlander

As authors have flocked to the internet and social media to meet readers, get market insight, create communities of interest and, perhaps, build a robust web asset of their own, many have run into a problem. How will all this activity translate into the income necessary to continue to do all the marketing and branding?

 

After all, most of us aren’t involved in social media, blogging, or other online activities just to change the world, to tell as many people as possible our stories, or to improve people’s lives. These are all noble aims, and many of us hope to accomplish some of them, but there’s that one inconvenient truth: we all need to make a living somehow.

 

There’s a “missing link” in the fan-finding, Facebook-liking, and blog-posting process that so many authors are filling up their time with, and that’s building an email list.

 

A Sad Truth about Author Websites

 

Sadly, if you surf the web looking at author websites, you’ll find that many of them lack this essential function: they have no sign-up place for people to add their names to an email list. Many of these blogs offer an opportunity to sign up for the blog articles, but all that will do in most cases is add you to a subscriber list that will be sent each blog post as it’s published. That’s not the same thing as your own email list, although there are some email providers who can combine the two functions.

 

On other sites you’ll see an “opt-in” box where you can enter your email address and perhaps your first and/or last name, too. In exchange, you’ll be promised a free download, or a free newsletter, or perhaps a free short course in a subject that’s related to what the author is writing about on the blog. This opt-in box is the sign that the blogger is actively building an email list.

 

You might be wondering why this is so important. And it is important. In fact, I consider it the most important website element for any author who intends to make their writing and publishing into a sustainable business.

 

The Purpose of Social Media

 

You might think you don’t need an email list, and I’m not suggesting it’s a good idea for every single author. For instance, if you want to become a novelist but haven’t published anything yet, it might be challenging to build a list particularly if you’re not sure yet what kind of books you want to write.

 

But for the vast majority of authors, an email list is the perfect complement to your other marketing activities, regardless of the publishing path you’ve chosen. Since most of those activities are likely taking place in social media, perhaps we should look at what all those connections are really good for.

 

 

Social media is good for:

  • finding communities of readers
  • engaging with readers and other writers
  • determining how much interest exists for your topic
  • building a community of fans who will support your work
  • keeping up with current developments in your field
  • building “buzz” when you’re launching your book

 

But notice that selling books or other related products and services are not really the best uses of social media. No, it’s really more about being “social,” whatever that means to you.

 

To me, that means meeting people who share my interests, finding out about new products and services, hearing about mass media events, and keeping track of breaking news.

 

The Importance of the Network

 

Once people find out about your content, you have the opportunity to… Continue reading here:  https://forums.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-2231?ref=1466658&utm_id=6182&cp=70170000000c3cP&ls=Email&sls=CSP_Newsletter_Members

6 Of The Best Pieces of Advice From Successful Writers

I’ve been reading some advice from successful writers lately and exploring what their routines are like to see what I can learn about them.

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Here are six of the most common pieces of advice I came across that have helped me a lot improving my writing here at Buffer.

It also features actionable tips for you on how to implement them in your own writing.

 

1. The best ways to get over the “blank page hurdle”

 

I write because it comes out — and then to get paid for it afterwards? I told somebody, at some time, that writing is like going to bed with a beautiful woman and afterwards she gets up, goes to her purse and gives me a handful of money. I’ll take it. — Charles Bukowski

Unlike Charles Bukowski, writing well doesn’t come so easily for a lot of us (including me). It takes a lot of mental energy, strains your working memory and often makes you feel vulnerable if you try to be open and honest in your work.

 

The pure effort of writing is hard enough, but coupled with the pain of putting your work out into the world and letting others judge it, this can be enough to stop you from getting started at all.

 

The trick to overcoming this isn’t easy, but it’s surprisingly effective: give yourself permission to write badly, and just start.

Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird wrote an excellent essay on why writers must start with horrible drafts:

I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much.

Anne’s essay makes me feel much better about the hard work of writing great content, as she makes it clear that all great writers struggle with their first drafts:

We all often feel like we are pulling teeth, even those writers whose prose ends up being the most natural and fluid.

So to get over the biggest hurdle–the blank page–just get writing. Don’t be afraid that your draft might be bad (it probably will be, but that’s okay.)

Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something – anything – down on paper.

10 Rules for Writing First Drafts

 

(Great infographic from Copyblogger)

2. Discard clichés: How to stop writing like “you’re meant to write”

Down with the cliché! If only it were that easy. Clichés surround us, and it’s surprisingly hard to avoid using them.

Put simply, in writing, clichés are bland and overused phrases that fail to excite, motivate, and impress your readers or prospective buyers. (6)

Clichés dominate our language both in speaking and writing. This is because we hear them all the time, so they become the first phrases that come to mind when we want to express ourselves. Which is exactly why they’re a problem:

Given that clichés are the phrases that have struck our eardrums uncountable times, we either don’t associate them with particular ideas and products, or we associate many products and ideas with a particular cliché. 

The fact that clichés are so generic you can attach them to any idea makes them ineffective. (6)

This actually has a lot to do with how we take in words and phrases when we read. The more familiar a term or phrase becomes, the more often we start skipping over it as we read, rendering it ineffective.

 

The best way to avoid this problem is to use different language to explain familiar concepts.It’s a careful balancing act between being so different that your readers are turned off by the effort of understanding your content and being so familiar that your work becomes trite.

In other words, your audience has to feel your content is new, but also credible. (7)

 

3. Don’t make it sound like writing, instead “Write like you speak”

 

It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style. — P.D. James

Novelist and screenwriter Elmore Leonard knew how important the reader was. More important than his English Composition teachers, that’s for sure. He never let “proper” writing get in the way of telling a great story and making it engaging for the reader.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. — Elmore Leonard

Writing like you speak is harder than it might sound. For some reason, it’s easy to “put on” a tone when you start writing, without even realising it. This is something I’m still working on, and it takes a lot of practice.

 

In Kurt Vonnegut’s list of rules for writing with style, he explains how much better his writing is when it sounds the way he talks:

I myself find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am.

One thing that’s really helped me to improve in this area is a trick that Leo taught me:imagine someone sitting in front of you as you type, and write as if you’re talking to them.

Continue reading # 4-6 here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/belle-beth-cooper/6-of-the-best-pieces-of-a_b_4628690.html

How to Make Money Writing Online and Content Marketing

How to Make Money Writing Online and Content Marketing

by: C.A. Perez

Article writers using content marketing often overlook content readability when composing their articles. Writing articles online for money must not only consider motivating readers to buy a product. To make money writing online, authors must also provide readable quality content.

With the advent of Google’s stated goal to improve a user’s search experience, many websites and articles lost their coveted positions in Search Engine Ranking Positions (SERPs). It is now, more than ever, that quality website content writing is king. Writing online for money as a means of ‘gaming’ the search engines through keyword stuffing, article blasts to thousands of article directories, and weak, poorly structured website content writing are gone.

Readability

Readability measures the grade level needed to understand any document. There are several schemes that are used to determine readability. The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is one of better known and most used measurements. Your content writing can be much improved if you incorporate this measure into your article writing.

Although it has come under criticism for its simplicity, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level scale is still widely used and can give you an idea of your article’s readability.

You can determine your article’s readability with the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level scale which assigns a grade level to the written material. MS Word provides a readability statistics feature found under the spell check tab that determines your article’s grade level reading score.

There are free utilities on the web that allow you to copy and paste your document and the utility will return the grade level score. There are others. Online-Utitility.org is one. You can find them with a ‘free readability tools’ search on the internet.

You can also use the Google ‘more search tools’ feature found at the bottom of the left navigation bar when doing a Google search and choosing ‘reading level’. The organic results will show ‘basic’, ‘intermediate’, or ‘advanced’ reading levels for each of the page results.

Although, the results may not be 100% accurate, they do give you an idea of the grade level that your article or page is written at. It may seem that I am putting much emphasis on readability and quality content. It is important to note when writing for the web that the content be easily understandable by your targeted reader. You make make money writing articles online by targeting your reader.

Ideal Reading Level

If you dumb down your website content writing, the reader may feel insulted and dismiss your words. If your words are too pedantic, readers may accuse you of flaunting your knowledge. You may have quality content, but not readable by your targeted audience.

What is the ideal reading grade level? The answer eludes me. Many claim that the national average reading level is eighth grade and that article writers should write at that level or lower when writing for the web. I have yet to find any evidence to substantiate that claim or that you will make money writing to that grade level.

Studies have been conducted by various governmental agencies under the U.S. Department of Education and by independent private agencies on various aspects of literacy throughout the United States, but I have yet to find any authoritative data that specifically identifies the national reading average to be at the eighth grade level.

Adult Literacy in America

The study most often cited as the source of the eighth grade reading level claim is a 1993 study, Adult Literacy in America: A First Look at the Results of the National Adult Literacy Survey, by Irwin S. Kirsch, sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics. You can review the results yourself at the National Center for Education Statistics.

However, the study does not specifically state that the national reading level average is at the eighth grade level. In fact, the study’s committee “… agreed that expressing the literacy proficiencies of adults in school-based terms or grade-level scores is inappropriate.”

The study did survey levels of literacy skills ranging from Level 1 to Level 5, with Level 5 being the most difficult or the highest skill level. The survey did show that about half the population performed at levels 3-5 and half performed within the lower levels 1 and 2.

SERPs and Readability

Nevertheless, if we accept the various reading level scales like, Flesch-Kincaid, article writers can improve their content marketing to more closely match the acceptance of targeted readers. In addition, Google and other search engines may or may not look favorably on the webpage or article and rank it higher than one that Google deems to be written at an inappropriate level as evidenced by the Official Google Blog

For instance, an article written at the twelfth grade level about building a tool shed may not be looked upon as worthy of Google’s definition of maximizing the user search experience. An article on the same subject written at the sixth or seventh grade level might well fair much better in the SERPs.

On the other hand, writing an article on the Literacy Statistics of Migrant Workers at the fourth or fifth grade level would not fare well with academic readers and probably not with the search engines.

The point is that article writers should consider readability when writing articles. The effort does not need to be an all consuming effort. Readability can easily be checked with one of the tools I mentioned earlier.

Be aware of the end user. The more you comply with Google’s goal of “providing the best user experience possible,” the more favorably the search engine will rank your writing for money efforts.

About The Author

Writing articles online for money can be very profitable. Start off on the right foot, learn how to write and structure your article and increase your sales and traffic by following the rules of the road in my new e-book: “Writing For The Web:An Introduction To Article Writing”. Find out about it and more at http://WritingFortheWeb.info.

Marketing My Book: Attract More Readers than Most Best Selling Authors

Attract More Readers than Most Best Selling Authors

Many people dream of writing a best-selling business book. Surely, the world is waiting for their unique wisdom . . . or so they think. The reality is far different. The average business book offered by a major publisher sells about 5,000 copies. Even if everyone who gets a copy reads it, that’s not a lot of influence.

By comparison, a best selling business book typically sells 50,000 to 100,000 copies. Of those copies, about 10 percent will ever be opened . . . and less than 5 percent will be read cover to cover. Reach 10,000 readers. Big deal.

Let’s look at how creating breakthrough solutions (ways of accomplishing 20 times as much with the same time, effort, and resources) can change the result.

When both usage and delivery effectiveness improve, stakeholders can gain 20 times more benefits than from either improvement alone. When that combination happens, these two complementary breakthrough solutions acquire the power of 20 or more individual breakthrough solutions. That’s what I mean by a breakthrough squared solution. You can also think of this concept as developing a 40,000 percent improvement, or a 400 times increase in benefits.

To some, that goal may seem remote. Keep an open mind while I share an example of creating breakthrough squared solutions for inexpensively attracting more readers to my books.

In 1998, a best-selling author friend told us that it was important to distribute tens of thousands of free copies of business books either just before the book is published or right after publication. Tom Peters, coauthor of In Search of Excellence (reissue edition, Warner Books, 1988), tells the same story about one aspect of how that book became a blockbuster.

When I was writing my first book, I heeded that advice. Before publication, I sent out thousands of draft copies for advance reading. After publication, I sent out thousands more free copies of the completed book to influential readers. In addition, I created a Web site for the book and put all but two chapters online there for free reader access. The cost to do this sampling was over $40,000.

I estimate that these activities have directly yielded 20,000 people who have read some part of that book. That means our cost per reader for just this activity was about $2.00.

Since royalties on books like ours are usually around $2.00, this was a money-losing proposition unless this distribution yielded sales of at least 20,000 additional books. In the case of our friend, this was no concern because his company had paid this sampling expense.

My costs, however, came out of my personal pocket. I needed to do better.

For my third book, I decided to create a breakthrough squared solution for advance distribution. For that book, I only provided free advance copies to those who helped us create the book. The cost for those copies was about $1,200. I then wrote brief articles based on the book and arranged to have them published in prestigious journals and magazines.

I next condensed the articles and turned them into brief guides that the online bookseller Amazon publishes for free. In the first four years, I estimate that over 50,000 people read some part of that book through these efforts. I estimate that total readership through this approach will swell to 100,000 people by the time the third book has been in print as long as the first book has been. If that occurs, I will have produced 100,000 readers at a cost of $1,200. That means the cost per reader will be $0.012.

The first book’s campaign cost 166 times as much per reader as what the latter campaign did, and I will actually draw more readers with the new, less expensive effort. These estimated results will provide me with a 66,000 percent solution compared to our first approach (16,500 percent lower cost per reader multiplied by 400 percent more readers).

For a forthcoming book I am developing, that sampling solution has been further enhanced. The pre-launch involves a blog in which the material is tested for reader reaction. I estimate that more than 200,000 people will have read some part of the book through the blog before the book is published, and the cost is only the electricity to post the blog entries.

I will also reuse the Amazon guides that worked well for the third book to add another 100,000 readers at limited cost. Publication publicity will probably draw another few hundred thousand people to the blog samples.

I also plan to send millions of excerpts for free by e-mail to people who subscribe to various complementary newsletters. We should be able to increase our total readers by several hundred more percent. Since I carry advertising on the blog, I have a revenue offset to our costs. If enough clicks occur from the blog to advertisers’ sites, this sampling program may well turn out to be free. As you can see, repeating such a process on the same or a similar problem can be profoundly valuable in making further improvements.

Now you know how you can reach best-selling reader levels for your next business book. What are you waiting for?

About the Author

Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage.

Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail
by registering for free at http://www.2000percentsolution.com .

Writing My Book: Listen To The Critics

Listen To The Critics

Back in 1999, I wrote my very first self-published book. I wrote it in Microsoft Word®, then took it down to Kinko’s to be copied and bound. I sold several of those books without one ounce of feedback, good or bad.

Then a retired minister contacted me; he told me the book was good, but could be so much better. It was hard hearing his constructive criticism but I listened. I made the changes as fast as I could and then I sent him a complimentary copy. He emailed me immediately, ecstatic that I had rewritten the book because it was exactly what he needed. In fact, he was so thrilled with the new content that he offered to pay me for the second copy. (I declined his offer.)

I stopped printing and began selling the e-book version. The e-book began to make more money and word of mouth spread.

A few years later, I received an email from another gentleman who loved the e-book but felt it was lacking information. I asked what he felt was missing and where he was having trouble. He emailed me back some specifics. Once again, I went to work to improve the material in that e-book and sent him the finalized draft. A few weeks later he wrote back to tell me that the e-book was a hit! In fact, he was praising it all over the Internet and had received several job leads because of it.

Had I insisted my e-book was fine just the way it was, I would have made a few hundred bucks a month, but thanks to the feedback I received and my willingness to improve my book to meet the needs of its audience, I now sell over $1,000 per month of that very e-book! (And that is all by word of mouth…I have yet to pay for advertising for that e-book.)

So how do you go about getting feedback? You ask for it!

1. Include a questionnaire with every item you sell. Provide a multiple choice or fill in the blank survey.

2. Send an email to every customer who provided you with an email address. After three weeks from the date of purchase, send your customer an email asking for feedback on the product/service purchased. In exchange you will enter his/her name into a drawing for a prize at the end of the year. (Make sure you have your drawing rules and disclaimer in the email or a link back to a web page on your company site.)

3. Send a sample of your product to trusted friends, colleagues, and/or business associates and ask for their honest feedback. (Remind them that you’ll return the favor.)

4. Hire an outside company to get a survey going.

Sometimes, we don’t know everything and listening to feedback from our customers can improve our bottom line if we’re willing to improve our product or service.

About the Author

Alyice Edrich
Available for Hire
www.alyiceedrich.net
www.thedabblingmum.com