Annual Writing Contest

The Writers@Work Annual Writing Competition has concluded. Check back for 2018 winners prior to our annual conference in June.

  • Deadline extended until February 15, 2018!
  • Winners in each genre are published in Quarterly West and receive $1,000 or full scholarship to the 2018 Writers at Work Generative Conference.
  • Online submissions only. Fee: $20/submission.



Poetry: Paisley Rekdal

Image result for mat johnson fiction

Fiction: Mat Johnson

tessa fontaine

Creative Nonfiction: Tessa Fontaine









The Writers @ Work Annual Writing Competition is a great opportunity for emerging writers to have their work vetted by a talented panel of judges, well-known in their respective fields. Submissions are accepted in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

First prize is awarded in each category:
  • $1,000 OR full scholarship to the Writers@Work Generative Conference (June 6-10, 2018 at Alta Lodge, Alta, UT)
  • Publication in Quarterly West.
  • Any writer who has not yet published a book-length volume of original work in the genre in which they submit a manuscript;
  • If your work is accepted elsewhere for publication before the contest deadline, please withdraw your manuscript in Submittable. Note: The entrance fee is non-refundable.
  • Unpublished work only. Work appearing in online journals is considered published. Work on personal websites or blogs is considered unpublished;
  • Previous winners are not eligible in the genre in which they have won;
  • Board members are prohibited from submitting manuscripts during their tenure on the board;
  • Current and former students of the judges are ineligible to submit in those categories;**
  • You may enter multiple submissions per category and/or submissions in multiple categories. A reading fee is required for each entry.
Submission Guidelines
  • Your submission must have all identifying information removed. If your name appears on the submission, your entry will be disqualified;
  • Remove all identifying information from your submission. This includes the body of the manuscript (change names if necessary) and the submission file name.;
  • Please indicate the word count of your submission on the first page;
  • If your name appears in the submission or its file name, your entry will be disqualified.  There will be no refunds;
  • Please submit your work through our online submissions manager. The submissions manager keeps a record of your name, contact information, and submitted texts, which are kept blind from the readers and judges.
  • W@W Annual Writing Competition no longer accepts paper submissions.


Genre Specific Guidelines
Fiction judged by Mat Johnson
Submit a double-spaced, unpublished short story or novel excerpt (must read as a complete story on its own) up to 5,000 words (20-page maximum). Please indicate the word count of your submission on the first page. Do not include a novel synopsis. Submit only one work per entry.
Creative Nonfiction judged by Tessa Fontaine
Submit a double-spaced, unpublished essay up to 5,000 words (20-page maximum). Please indicate the word count of your submission on the first page.Submit only one work per entry.
Poetry judged by Paisley Rekdal
Submit up to six unpublished poems (10-page maximum).
Reading Fee
$20 per entry
Submissions open November 15, 2017 and close January 31, 2018 (midnight, MST). DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL February 15, 2018!
Submit your competition entry with the Writers@Work Online Submissions Manager.
**Contest Code of Ethics
CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believe that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. Intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree (1) to conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; (2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and (3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.