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Summer Challenge (Learn More)

  • Monday, July 01, 2024
  • 12:00 AM
  • Saturday, August 31, 2024
  • 11:59 PM


  • Write 500 words. Open to members only.

Announcing our next Challenge

Summer Challenge: Excerpt from a Work in Progress

Challenge Registration Opens: July 1, 2024
Submission Deadline: August 31, 2024

Select an excerpt from a work in progress - 2,500 words (maximum).
And get written feedback from a professional editor!


We look forward to reading your entries!

Entry Submission Rules

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

1. Must be a member of Palm Springs Writers Guild with current, active status.
2. Entries accepted between the opening date and submission deadline posted above.
3. Please enter contest by registering online with a $15 entry fee for each entry; you can enter up to 3 times. Submit multiple entries separately.
4. Each entry is 2,500 word maximum
5. Must be submitted as a MS Word document
6. One inch margins, double-spaced
7. 12-point Times Roman or Times New Roman
8. Indented paragraphs
9. Title must be included in the document header. You may not use the contest theme as your title
10. Pagination must be included in the document footer.
11. Do not include your name anywhere on the submitted document, only in the body of your e-mail.
12. Please submit your entry as an email attachment and send it to, no hard copies accepted. 
13. The subject line of your email will read the title of your work (not the contest theme name)
14. Blind submission entries  are critiqued by a professional editor.
15. Entries will be returned with edits and feedback on your story and presentation.
16. There are no refunds for this event.

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; 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.
    c. Distinctness of voice.
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