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Fiction, essay, opinion, factual...send us your best work!


We have made some changes this year, so read on, McDuff!

Write no more than 500 words on the topic announced (see below). Write your best work, send it in, and come to the monthly meeting the following month to see if you've won ~ (for September, the winning piece will be read in October, October in November, etc.) 

You can only enter once for this monthly contest, and there IS NO FEE!


Entries are accepted from the first of the month through the 21st of that month so that we can award the winner more quickly - if you submit your entry as late as the 21st, you could get your award within two weeks rather than waiting!

However, WE HAVE MADE IT MANDATORY FOR YOU TO BE PRESENT TO RECEIVE YOUR AWARD. (No checks are being sent in the mail.) The one winner, the best entry deemed by our judges, will receive $100. If you cannot attend the meeting due to illness or travel, please make arrangements ahead of time.

We look forward to reading your entries!

In the meantime, see below for topics coming up, and get a head start on topics on which to focus.

It's going to be a great year at the guild!

2019-2020 themes



Starting date: 09/1/19

Closing date: 09/21/19

Story Awarded:


Register Here



Starting date: 10/1/19

Closing date: 10/21/19

Story Awarded: 11/2/19

Register Here



Starting date: 11/1/19

Closing date: 11/21/19

Story Awarded: 12/7/19

Register Here



Starting date: 12/1/19

Closing date: 12/21/19

Story Awarded: 1/4/20

Register Here



Starting date: 1/1/20

Closing date: 1/21/20

Story Awarded: 2/8/20

Register Here



Starting date: 2/1/20

Closing date: 2/21/20

Story Awarded: 03/7/20

Register Here



Starting date: 3/1/20

Closing date: 3/21/20

Story Awarded: 4/4/20

Register Here



Starting date: 4/1/20

Closing date: 4/21/20

Story Awarded: 5/2/20

Register Here

Entry Submission Rules

Be sure to comply to all requirements. As with most professional writing submissions, there is no leeway on the rules. Questions? Please contact: kathy.weyer@att.net.

    1. Must be a member of Palm Springs Writers Guild with current status.
    2. Monthly entries accepted on the first of every month through the 21st of that month.
    3. Please enter contest by registering online. Submit your story separately - see #10 below.
    4. Entry  500 word maximum.
    5. One inch margins, double-spaced
    6. 12-point Times Roman or Times New Roman
    7. Indented paragraphs
    8. Title must be typed on your entry in the header. The theme is not the title.
    9. Pagination must be indicated in the footer.
    10. Do not write your name on the submission (word doc), only in the body of your e-mail.
    11. Please submit your entry as an email attachment and send it to kathy.weyer@att.net, no hard copies accepted. Limit of one entry per contest.
    12. The subject line of your email will read the name of the theme (i.e., napping, vertigo, etc.).
    13. Blind submission entries  are judged by selected Guild Members who are professional, published authors. 
    14. Winner receives cash prize of $100 at the following month's meeting.
Judging Criteria
    1. Adherence to all rules above.
    2. Adherence to the theme or prompt.
    3. Compelling and original plot:
      a. Traditionally consists of a beginning (exposition), middle (development), and end (climax and resolution).
      b. However, if your piece is fiction, very short pieces often consist of a “slice of life.” The narrative should still exhibit a plot-like arc so that the story feels self-contained and complete.
    4. Compelling and original characters:
      a. At a minimum, the viewpoint character has dimension, with a substantial stake in the story’s resolution, making the reader care.
      b. Dialogue is believable and suited to each character.
    5. Consistency of narrative voice:
      a. Point of view. Tense. First, second, or third person.
      b. Level of omniscience: omniscient or all-knowing narrator, limited-omniscient narrator, or non-omniscient “objective” narrator.
    6. Fundamental writing skills:
      a. Spelling. Punctuation. Grammar. Usage.       
    7. The writer’s “secret sauce” that, when blended with the above criteria, makes the story stand out. For example:
      a. Artistry and clarity of language.
      b. Creation of mood through setting, description, and detail.
      Distinctness of voice.

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