Annual Writing Competition Registration
Submissions are open from September 2, 2023 to October 7, 2023. Any submissions before or after this date will be deleted unread.
Entering is free! Writers are limited to submitting one piece in each category (a total of four pieces – a collection of poetry counts as one piece). The categories are:
• Fiction (short story or novel extract, no more than 5000 words)
• Poetry (up to 5 poems with a limit of 15 pages)
• Creative Nonfiction (including memoir and personal essays, word limit same as fiction)
• Short Plays (7-11 pages long)
Winners (and one honorable mention) from each category will receive a small honorarium and have their work published in the Joy of the Pen Literary Journal.
We recommend doing a spell check and reading your work aloud before submitting.
Rules of Entry:
✫ Residents of Maine 17+ only
✫ Unpublished work only (work that has been self-published or has appeared online, on a personal blog, for example, is NOT eligible)
✫ Writers are limited to one piece in each category. Simultaneous submissions are allowed but please let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere
✫ Work that does not adhere to word/page limit will not be read/considered
✫ Work that is sent before the opening date or after the deadline will not be read/considered
✫ Joy of the Pen is judged anonymously. Please do not put your name on the work itself, only on the application. Likewise, the judges will remain anonymous until the awards are announced.
✫ Topsham Public Library retains first publication rights to the work of the winners and runners-up (all other rights automatically return to the author after publication)
How to apply:
Email email@example.com with the following information:
– Your name
– Phone number
– Email (we prefer to contact you by email when possible)
– What categories you are submitting in and the title of each work. Please indicate which title goes in which category. If you are submitting poetry, use the title of the first poem
– Attach your work to the email either as a doc, docx or rtf. Make a separate document for each category (a group of poems counts as one piece). Please do not put your name anywhere in the document and use the title as the document name