Writing Contests

UK Authors: Kindle Storyteller Prize £20,000

British-Pound


Are you a British author?  Did you just finish a new work? Why not enter this competition?  
Amazon UK invites authors: “Recognizing literary excellence, the Kindle UK Storyteller contest is open until 19th May 2017.  The winning author will receive a £20,000 cash prize, and be recognized at a central London award ceremony this summer.
The Kindle Storyteller prize is open to submissions of new English language books from all authors and genres.  Titles must be previously unpublished, a minimum of 5,000 words with no upper word limit and be available as an eBOOK and in PRINT.

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Storyteller FAQ:
How is the Winning Book Selected?
Readers will play a significant role in the competition, with the award shortlist compiled based on customer ratings for the titles, followed by an esteemed panel of judges – made up of both Amazon experts and literary authorities – selecting the Kindle Storyteller 2017 winner.

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Who can Enter?
Subject to certain restrictions set out in the Terms and Conditions, the prize is open to anyone over the age of 18 who enrol their book through Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.co.uk between 20th February and 19th May 2017.

All titles must be entered into the KDP Select programme and must be available as an eBook and in print for the entry period to be considered. For more information, authors can visit http://www.amazon.co.uk/storyteller

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Can any Book be Entered?
Yes! All entries must be previously unpublished and a minimum of 5,000 words with no upper word limit.

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How can you Enter Your Book Into the Prize?
The Kindle Storyteller prize is open to submissions of new English language books from all authors and genres, and all entries must be submitted using Kindle Direct Publishing with the exact phrase: “StorytellerUK2017” in the ‘keywords’ metadata field when the title is enrolled.
Titles must be previously unpublished. Kindle Storyteller opens for entries on 20th of February until 19th May 2017, and titles must be entered into the KDP Select programme during the entry period to be considered.

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How Will the Winning Book Selected?
Readers will play a significant role in the competition, with the award shortlist compiled based on customer ratings for the titles, followed by an esteemed panel of judges – made up of both Amazon experts and literary authorities – selecting the Kindle Storyteller 2017 winner.  The shortlist will be announced in the beginning of June. The judges will be announced soon. The panel will be made up of industry experts within and external to Amazon.

How Will the Winning Author be Recognized?
The prize will be announced at a central London ceremony in July, with the winning author being rewarded with a cash prize of £20,000 and a marketing campaign to support the book on Amazon.co.uk, as well as the opportunity to have their book translated for international sales.
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What is KDP Select?
KDP Select is an optional programme that gives authors the opportunity to reach more readers and earn more money. Enrolling in KDP Select grants authors access to a set of promotional tools, including Kindle Unlimited, Free Book Promotion (readers worldwide can get your book free for a limited time) and Kindle Countdown Deals in the US and UK (limited time promotional discounting for your book). In order to be eligible to win the Kindle Storyteller competition titles must be enrolled into the KDP Select programme.

CONCLUSION:
According to the fine print, especially: “readers will play a significant role in the competition, with the award shortlist compiled based on CUSTOMER RATINGS for the titles” the work needs to be fantastic.  But even more, it needs to show fantastic ratings too!  If you are planning to participate in the contest, work hard on getting lots of reader support and reviews.  Only an early on successful book has a chance to win.
IMPORTANT: don’t forget to add: “StorytellerUK2017” in the ‘keywords’ metadata field.  

Good Luck!

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How to Navigate Writing Contests

Book Pile

Aside from the cash prize, winning a contest usually means publication in a magazine or newspaper – sometimes even a book publishing contract. Both yield readership, relationships with editors, and exposure.
You might also get that story published, even if it’s not a first place winner.  Contests are a great way to hone your craft and show the world how much better you are than other writers.  Winning a book award for your self-published fiction or nonfiction book is a great way to gain recognition and approval.

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Writing contest prizes often are running from $1,000 to $10,000 cash, often paired with an invitation to the prize award presentation ceremony. Recently another prize was a free university MFA program “Creative Writing”. Often there are publishing offers or a free magazine subscription.  Here a s
hort excerpt from our upcoming book:
111 Tips on How to Make Money with Writing
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Winning a book award for your self-published fiction or nonfiction book is a great way to gain recognition and approval.  You will not only see an increase in your book sales – provided you market it well.  You also can add the award sticker to your cover and mention the achievement on your back cover, in your books’ description, and in all your marketing and promotions – online or offline.

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Examples of Writing Competitions
Two writing contests in the UK call for entries, due in September – one for short stories, one for novels – to attract British, or in the UK published writers.  One is for previously unpublished novels, the other for short stories of well-published authors, prizes range from £5,000 to £30,000.  It is the highest prize award every paid for a short story by the SUNDAY TIMES Short Story Award (up to 6,000 words).  The winner will receive the equivalent of ca. US $38,500.  However, most contest prizes are only around $1,000.
Deadline March 1:  Neutral free contest from New Welsh Review awards a top prize of  £1,000 = US $1,250, e-book publication, and other networking/promotional opportunities for previously unpublished, English-language prose written for an adult audience by authors age 18+.

For 2017, there are two categories: memoirs (5,000-30,000 words) and novellas (8,000-30,000 words).  Both categories are open to all residents of the UK and Ireland, plus those who have been educated in Wales for at least six months; the Novella Prize is also open to writers based in the US and Canada.

Works may be a single, long-form piece or a book divided or structured as the author sees fit.  No simultaneous submissions.  No limit to the number of entries submitted by one author, although only one work may win.  An author may enter both categories. Enter using sponsor’s online submissions portal.

 

Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing –
The winner receives a US$10,000 advance.
http://www.restlessbooks.com/prize-for-new-immigrant-writing/

CBC Creative Nonfiction Competition – First Prize CAD6,000
http://www.cbc.ca/books/2016/01/cbc-creative-nonfiction-prize-is-now-open.html

American Library in Paris Visiting Fellowship. Is open to writers worldwide. Fellows receive a stipend of US$5,000 to assist with travel and housing costs.
http://americanlibraryinparis.org/events-programs/visiting-fellowship.html

 

The James Jones Fellowship Contest awards $10,000 to an American writer with a first fiction novel in progress in 2017. Two runners-up will each receive $1,000.
http://www.aerogrammestudio.com/2017/02/02/james-jones-fellowship-contest-2017/

Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award
has been held annually since 1981. The award carries a first prize of US$3500 and has four finalist prizes ($1000 each) and five runners-up prizes ($500 each) and there is no entry fee. Stories can be up to 8000 words and must be previously unpublished. The Nelson Algren Award is only open within the United States and entries close on 31 January.

Iowa Review Awards
are open to short fiction of up to 25 pages (double-spaced), as well as poetry and nonfiction. First prize is $1500 and all entries will be considered for publication. The judge of the 2017 fiction category is Amelia Gray. Entries open on 1 January and close on 31 January.

Philosophy Through Fiction Short Story Competition
is open to speculative fiction (including but is not limited to science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternative history, or magical realism) that explores one or more philosophical ideas. These can be implicit; there is no restriction on which philosophical ideas you explore. First prize is US$500 and the winning story will be published.

Yearbook Short Story Competition
offers the winner a place on an Arvon residential writing course of your choice (valued at £1000) and publication on writersandartists.co.uk. Stories must be under 2000 words and, unlike previous years, can be on any theme. Entrants can be from anywhere in the world and there is no entry fee.

Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize
is awarded by Selected Shorts. The winning entry will receive US$1,000 and the work will be performed and recorded live at the Selected Shorts performance at Symphony Space and will be published on electricliterature.com. The winning writer will also earn free admission to a 10-week course with Gotham Writers Workshop.
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There are literally hundreds of writing competitions every year.  Readers of our upcoming book: 111 Tips on How to Make Money with Writing will receive a complementary and comprehensive list of contests in english-speaking countries.
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Fee or Free?
Authors can search and apply for a free competition, or one that requires an entry fee. You may wonder “why should I pay to enter a contest?”  Good question.

When a contest is from a reputable publisher such as Writer’s Digest, you can trust they won’t take your money and run.  You have a chance to receive the prize (cash, trip to a writer’s conference and publication of your writing) for your entry.  Even if you don’t win, the experience gives you the opportunity to hone your writing skills.

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Where to Find More Writing Contests?

These websites let you know about upcoming writing competitions:

http://www.aerogrammestudio.com

http://FundsforWriters.com

http://www.pw.org/grants

https://thewritelife.com/27-free-writing-contests/

http://bookmarket.com/awards.htm

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Writer Beware…
Before you click on “accept” when applying, or pay any money: carefully read the small print, and avoid giving your rights away for free.  There are hundreds of options that range from scams to high-level awards and great exposure.  Submission fees are from $10 to $250.  Some entries don’t require fees.  Enter any book award contest only after careful consideration and review of its reputation. Google the awards name.  You sometimes might be surprised what’s coming up.  Watch out for the “small print” examples, shown in these websites, before you apply or pay any fees:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2012/03/when-writing-contest-has-hidden-agenda.html

http://helensedwick.com/beware-contests-offering-publishing-contracts/

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2015/06/awards-profiteers-how-writers-can.html

http://selfpublishingadvice.org/allis-self-publishing-service-directory/award-and-contest-ratings-reviews/

SelfpublishingAdvice listed among others these “Guiding Principles for Writing Contests and Awards”:
“The event exists to recognize talent, not to enrich the organizers.  
Award ceremonies present a lucrative opportunity for unscrupulous organizers and vanity presses.  These companies extract millions of dollars from unwary authors every year through entry fees, merchandising, and ancillary services such as marketing and editing.  The most common method of separating authors from their money is a high entry fee (which they define as $50 and above) multiplied by a high number of categories (10 or more). This system is meant to encourage multiple entries and huge numbers of winners who can each be targeted for promotional products and add-on services.”
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Watch out for these unethical rights grab.  Intellectual property is under attack from all fronts and we must be vigilant.  Read the fine print!

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How Will You Market Your Award?
Having written or published an “Award Winning Book,” selected from a hundred or more competing titles by an experienced, professional team of judges gives your book the seal of excellence.

Winning the award is one thing, but marketing the fact that your book has been chosen among hundreds of others is equally important.  Have a plan how you can spread the word about your award-winning book, also outside of Social Media:

  • Add it to your email signature. 
  • Post a press release and write a blog post about it. 
  • Create a guest post about your experience, with valuable tips for other writers. 
  • Offer your work to book clubs, mentioning your award. 
  • Do as many book signings as possible, accompanied by a huge poster of your award. 

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Most awards call for entries every year, so if the competition is closed for this year, mark your calendar for next years’ contest call.   Entering a writing contest means you will gain experience, and you will get feedback on your writing.  It boosts your self-confidence, which in turn encourages you to write more.  If you don’t win the first contest you enter: remember what Thomas A. Edison said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Good luck to all of you who participate in writing contests!

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Upcoming Writing Competitions

typewritera007
No, I am not talking about NaNoWriMo – even so you might be able to use some of what you already wrote for this yearly NaNoWriMo competition – if it fits into the following categories of the upcoming writing competitions.  Your manuscript will certainly need to be edited, maybe even slightly re-written before you enter it into the contest. Best of all: these competitions require no entry fees!
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The Writer Short Story Contest – Deadline November 30, 2016
Write a 2,000-word fictional short story using any nuance, definition or understanding of the word “dark.” Grand prize $1,000 and publication in the magazine.
http://www.writermag.com/writing-resources/contests/
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Dreams and coincidences – Deadline November 30,2016
Chicken Soup explains: “Sometimes magic happens in your life. You have a dream that reveals a truth or a course of action to you. You have a premonition that changes your behavior and saves you or a loved one from disaster. You meet someone at just the right time and you can’t believe the coincidence. We’re collecting stories for a second book on this topic. Up to 1,200 words.  Pays $200 and ten free copies of the upcoming book.
http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics
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Somerset Maugham Awards – Deadline: November 30, 2016
Open to writers under the age of 35.  Genre: Published work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Prize: 2,500 British Pounds apiece to four winners. Prize money must be used for travel.
http://www.societyofauthors.org/somerset-maugham
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Betty Trask Prize – Deadline: November 30, 2016
Restrictions: Author must be a Commonwealth citizen. Genre: First novels, published or unpublished, written by authors under the age of 35 in a “traditional or romantic, but not experimental, style.” Top prize 10,000 pounds. The prize money must be used for foreign travel. 
http://www.societyofauthors.org/Prizes/Fiction/Betty-Trask

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Stories about Dogs – Deadline January 31, 2017
Chicken Soup explains: “We are working on and collecting stories and poems for another wonderful book about our dogs. The focus of this book will be on rescued dogs that were adopted from shelters or rescue organizations and who luckily found their forever homes. We are looking for true stories of no more than 1,200 words.” 
Pays $200 and ten free copies of the upcoming book.
http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

dog-waiting

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Will YOU be the Winner? Writing Contest and Fellowship

Award-Winner

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Winning a book award for your self-published fiction or nonfiction book is a great way to gain recognition and approval.
You will not only see an increase your book sales – provided you market it well – you also can add the award sticker to your cover and mention the achievement on your back cover, in your books’ description, and in all your marketing and promotions – online or offline.

Here are two opportunities for writers: either to study Creative Writing one year for free in Ames, Iowa – or for Canadian writers to apply for an Award in fiction, history or poetry writing.
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$16,200 Fellowship in Iowa
Iowa State University’s three-year MFA program in Creative Writing and Environment emphasizes study in creative writing—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama—that encourages writers to identify and explore in their stories and lyric impressions the complex influences of place, the natural world, and the environmental imagination.

The fellowship offers a talented writer ONE academic year to study creative writing full time at Iowa State University and to focus on his / her creative work without distraction.  
The fellowship is granted for a nine-month academic year and currently carries a stipend of $1,800 per month – $16,200 total – in addition to full payment of university tuition and fees during the fellowship year.  Applicants to the Pearl Hogrefe Fellowship may major in any discipline at Iowa State University.

However, the Fellowship is designed for students interested in studying creative writing in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment.  Pearl Hogrefe Fellows are required to maintain full-time graduate status and take a minimum of six semester credits of graduate work in Creative Writing during the fellowship year.  Fellowship support is contingent upon the student maintaining satisfactory grades. Deadline to apply for the Pearl Hogrefe Fellowship in Creative Writing is January 5, 2016.

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Canadian Authors: Submit for these Writing Contests

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Blog Image CanFlag430.

Fiction
For: a full-length novel
Prize: $1000
Deadline: January 15, 2016
Entry Fee: $40
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Canadian History
For: a work of historical non-fiction on a Canadian topic
Prize: $1000
Deadline: January 15, 2016
Entry Fee: $40
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Poetry
For: a volume of poetry by one poet
Prize: $1000
Deadline: January 15, 2016
Entry Fee: $40
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Criteria for the above literary awards at CanadianAuthor.org

  • The entry must have been first published in 2015.
  • Publication may have taken place outside Canada.
  • Entries must be full-length English-language literature for adults written by a single author. (Exception: books co-written by two or more authors are permissible in the Fiction and Canadian History categories.)

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Most awards call for entries every year, so if the competition is closed for this year, mark your calendar for next years’ contest call.   Entering a writing contest, means you will gain experience, and you will get feedback on your writing. It boosts your self-confidence, which in turn encourages you to write more.
Good luck to all of you who participate in writing contests!

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One Month Writing in Normandy, all Expenses Paid…

Any plans for next July?  No, not yet?  What about writing in the bucolic small town of Brittany, Normandy?

Writers-Retreat.
Apply for “The Time & Place Prize”.  It is an international literary award, which is established to provide the two things every writer requires . . . the time and the place to write.  The Submission period for the 2015 Prize ends on November 30!
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The Details:

  • All literary genres considered.
  • Winner(s) selected by independent, third party judges.
  • Submissions limited to 5,000 words.
  • A $25 submission fee will be charged.

The winner of The Time & Place Prize receives a month-long stay in an idyllic cottage, nestled among the menhirs, myths and mists of the Bretagne, France.
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The Lucky Winner Gets:

  • Round-trip airfare to and from Paris, France to the Normandy
  • plus ground transport to and from the cottage
  • Room & board for the month of July in a private cottage in bucolic Brittany, Normandy
  • The cottage is equipped with all the tools a writer needs, including library, computer, internet access,etc. in short: Time and place to work on your ideas

At the “Payment” page and on the “About Us” page are two photos of the cottage in France.
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“The Time & Place Prize is a perfect situation. It doesn’t get any better.”  The 2013 winner was author Jill Patterson.
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About the Grantors:
“The Time and Place Prize is our way of giving back, our way of acknowledging the role luck and perseverance have played in our lives and our way of saying thank you to everyone who has ever attempted to put their ideas onto a sheet of paper.
Our mission is to provide the winner(s) with a personalized writing experience of a lifetime. And we pledge to do our best to create the atmosphere you need to do your best. The prize is not some writers’ camp. It is not a vacation. There are no strings attached. It is simply and profoundly The Time and Place for you to do what you love above all else . . . to write.”
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The Submission Guidelines can be found here: http://www.timeandplaceprize.com/services.html
Good luck!

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also “Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.

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6,000 Canadian Dollar Prize for a Short Story

Short-Story-Prize

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Fantastic Prizes for Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada who s
ubmit an original, unpublished short story before November 1, 2015.
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Only one Author per Entry.

All works that have been published in print or on the Internet, including self-published works, as well as works that have been broadcast or delivered in front of a public audience, are considered previously published and are therefore not eligible for the short story competition.
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Length:
The word count must be between 1200 and 1500 words. Word count includes titles.  Submissions over or under the specified word count (including the titles) will be disqualified.  For works submitted by mail, an electronic version may be required in order to check the word count.
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Deadline:
The Short Story Competition runs from September 1 to November 1. Usually, the winners are announced about four months after the deadline.
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How to Submit:
While the competition is active, submit online by clicking the “submit” link or, if you wish to submit by mail, you can download the offline submission form.

A fee of $25.00 (taxes included) for administration purposes is required for each entry. Detailed info can be found at:
http://www.cbc.ca/books/literaryprizes/rules.html

Publication of the winner’s short story will be at Air Canada’s enRoute magazine and on CBCBooks.ca and there is also a 10-day writing residency at the Banff-Center in Alberta.

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Other Canadian Competitions:

Creative Nonfiction – Competition opens: January 1, 2016, Deadline: March 1, 2016
Poetry – Competition opens: April 1, 2016, Deadline: June 1, 2016

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For American Writers – and Everyone else:
Robert Lee Brewer, Senior Content Editor, Writer’s Digest Community, just released a “Call for Submissions” for the Writer’s Market 2017.
He announced: “Running October 31, 2015, I’ll be accepting pitches for articles in the Writer’s Market 2017. Sometime in November, I’ll start making assignments. The best way to figure that out is to read a recent edition or two of Writer’s Market. Learn more about the Writer’s Market 2016 here.  Anyone familiar with the book will know that I’m looking for articles that will help freelancers find more success from a business perspective.”
“Previous articles have tackled queries, book proposals, taxes, record keeping, business management, and more. If you’re an experienced source and can interview other sources, that is ideal.”
Read more details at Writersdigest.com

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also “Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

 

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.



Prestigious Great Britain-Ireland Writing Contests

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Writing-Contest

Two writing contests call for entries, due in September – one for short stories, one for novels – attract British, or in the UK published writers.  One is for previously unpublished novels, the other for short stories of well-published authors, prizes range from £5,000 to £30,000 – the highest prize award every paid for a short story.

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MSLEXIA Women’s Novel Competition
MSLexia magazine is on the lookout for novels of at least 50,000 words written for adults (and young adults) in any genre by previously unpublished female novelists.  The first prize is £5,000.  Entry fee is £25.
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Judges, Winners, and Finalists
Judges will be: Marina Lewycka (novelist), Juliet Mushens (literary agent), Di Speirs (Books Editor, BBC Radio & Music Production).  The winner and four other finalists will receive manuscript feedback from The Literary Consultancy and an invitation to a special networking event with literary agents.

Placing in the competition can help you along the road to publishing success.  The 2011 winning novel The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland was published by HarperCollins, and Lu Hersey’s Deep Water – the winning entry in our 2012 Children’s Novel Competition – secured a publishing deal last year.

To enter, please submit the first 5,000 words of your completed novel.
Deadline is September 21, 2015.

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2016 SUNDAY TIMES Short Story Award
Writers from around the world – who have been published previously in the UK or Ireland by a trade publisher – are invited to enter the 2016 Sunday Times Short Story Award.  No entry fee!
The prize is for stories up to 6,000 words in length.  The winner will receive £30,000 (ca. US$46,500), making this the most valuable prize for a single short story in the world.  Five runners-up prizes will £1,000 each.
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From the entries submitted, the judges will draw up a longlist of up to twenty (20) short stories.  The judges will then reduce this to a shortlist of six (6) outstanding entries, from which they will select the winning entry and five runners-up.
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Sorry – No Self-Published Authors
Stories can be either unpublished or published – but not earlier than 2015.  Writers can enter regardless of their nationality or residency,  but they must have an existing record of publication (print books or an established printed magazine) in creative writing in the UK and Ireland.  The Award is open to authors writing in the English language, aged 18 years or over at the time of submission.
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Carefully read the lengthy submission guidelines
Be aware that you practically give away your short story, albeit for a fantastic prize, as the conditions move all publishing rights indefinitely to the Sunday Times and its subsidiaries – worldwide.
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Moreover, by submitting an Entry, Entrants agree to make themselves available for public relations activities wherever possible, including participating in events in the run up to the Award in London and elsewhere.  In the event of being shortlisted for the Award, Entrants agree to attend the Award Ceremony (if one is held), and in the event of winning the Award undertake a mutually acceptable limited programme of activities to promote the Award – particularly immediately after the Award is made.

Deadline for entries is September 24, 2015.
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Also for British Authors:
Great advice about literary income and taxes by Natalie Butlin on MSLexia: Get paid before you are published. https://mslexia.co.uk/get-paid-youre-published/

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

 

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.
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17 Bestseller Tips – from Trade Publishers

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Bestseller-List

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If you ever see Marketing and Advertising from traditional puplishers, it’s for their Bestseller authors only, such as: Advance Book Reviews, posted on their book’s cover, Book Tours and Signings of celebrity authors, media coverage including reviews, speaking engagements, and placing at major bookstores who report to Bestseller lists.  How can author-publishers use the methods of global trade publishers to promote their self-published books?  You don’t need to travel to the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, like Johannes Kepler did in 1620 – yes, self-publishing was en vogue already four hundred years ago!

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7 Million Self-Published Titles:  Stiff Competition
Since 2010 roughly 7 million new self-published books appeared, almost all at online retailer’s websites.  And these titles will be offered for many years to come, as most of them are in digital format. The “gold rush” seems to be over and self-publishing has been dropping almost 50% per year, obviously “separating the wheat from the chaff”.  You’re not a New York Times bestselling author. You don’t have a publicist. And your Amazon sales numbers are awful. Should you quit writing books?  No, absolutely not!

For those of you who want to succeed at self-publishing, use also some traditional marketing methods, create a Business Plan and a Budget, including anywhere from 5-10% for your overall book marketing, including website, paying for IT help, designer, or Google ads.
Traditional publishing uses multiple ways to promote. Self-published authors attempt to market their books to the entire world via Amazon, social media, and their website it seems.  Publishers select books in order to stay in business, and also to determine what the publishing house’s identity is.  Here’s how you can copy traditional ways to market – adjusted to self-publishing.  One step at a time, but continually every day – split in small tasks.
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1. Start Early
Market Research – the very first step to do!  An editor will need to make a case that the book fills a market need. And to do that, the publishing house will look carefully at what’s out there. Has the competition a recent publication in this sub-genre? Does it have similar scope? Is it widely available?

Authors, and especially self-publishing authors need to study their competition carefully too:  Read their books, study book covers, pricing, reviews, and the marketing of competing books. The most powerful and essential steps you can take toward promoting your book begins long before the actual writing of the book. At least two years before the book is published, start building a network of supporters and reviewers.
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2. Print!
Traditional publishers concentrate on print books, which still make up for about 60% of the book market, depending if you look at book sales numbers or revenue per book.  Audio Books: The audio-book market is certainly growing, and Trade Publishers are not only investing in digital (even so it took them a very long time) books, but also in audio-books.

E-book authors might be happy with their sales on Amazon, Apple, Kobo or Barnes & Noble. You might have even turned it into an audio book. But the questions for a “real” book, paper back or hard-cover copy from conservative friends or elderly family members are nagging… And wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a Chapters or Baker & Taylor or one of these rare independent book shops and see your book in the shelf?  You will not earn a fortune, not even a living, but for a couple of months it is a nice pocket change. Only months… yes, because longer than this, barely any book will stay in the book store, unless it really is a bestseller and gets re-printed. If you go the indie route and choose for example the POD services and worldwide distribution through Lightning Source, (provided you have at least 3 books to be considered a small publisher) your book is printed on demand and will never get discarded (good: no-return-policy in POD worldwide distribution). See this article How to Distribute Your Book Worldwide.
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3. Book Sales at many outlets
Imagine you could buy all books from Penguin only in one book chain… Publishers distribute their books to as many outlets as possible, to brick-and-mortar stores, independent book sellers, mass markets, online book sellers, even via Affiliate programs.

Authors: Sell your books, e-books and audio-books not only through Amazon, but as well on Barnes&Noble, Apple and Kobo websites, to have your “eggs in more than one basket”. And don’t forget the potentially huge potential market for hardcover books, selling them to libraries all over the country!  However, there are way more online retailers for e-books and books than just Apple , Sony, Diesel, Kobo or Barnes & Noble.  Sign up with a book distributor / fulfillment company for your print-version of the book. Distributors mostly require just three books to be listed as a publishing business, and if authors have not written three books yet, they can band together with other authors to reach this minimum.  Traditional publishers and the books of their authors can be found on Bowker’s global database of books.  How to get into “Books in Print”, a worldwide database and to register your book for FREE! with Bowker is the topic of another blog posts.

Books available for future publishers:  Aaron Shepard has written two books about the topic of book distribution: POD for Profit and Aiming at Amazon, both contain very detailed information for small publishers. Another great source is Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual, a classic publishing guide-book.
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4. Sell books to Libraries
All traditional publishers sell their books to libraries.

According to statistics from the American Library Association and the Book Industry Study Group, libraries yearly purchase books for nearly $2 billion. But not only books, also audio-books and other forms of publications. Around 95% from major publishers.  Imagine, you sold your $15 book at a 50% discount to only 10% of these libraries, you will earn more than $75,000. But how can you tap into the lucrative library market?  It is explained in detail, including valuable links of wholesale companies who sell to libraries, on SavvyBookWriters here and here.
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5. Book Shows & Fairs
Representation at the applicable trade shows includes bookseller trade shows like the Bookseller Expo America (BEA) or one of the regional bookseller shows, like the New England Booksellers Association, Book Shows for the Library Association (ALA) and certainly the world’s most important, the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany every October.

Which Book Fairs or other Literary Events will you attend in the coming months to present your work?  How to organize your participation and how to attract visitors is explained in detail in this blog post, pointing out the do’s and don’ts at book fairs.

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6. Book Signings
An author tour can take various forms. Two weeks of travel, flights from city to city, an author appearance every day, twice a day if possible.  Publishers often make their choice on the basis of three factors:  if the book can sell in quantity in bookstores; if the book can be reviewed in newspapers, not simply journals;  and if the author is presentable.

How you can organize your own book signing is explained in detail, even with a time-table, here on this blog post at SavvyBookWriters.com/blog
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7. Book Clubs
Traditional Book Publishers sometimes sponsor book clubs, or invite them to participate in a contest, such as the one offered by Random House of Canada “Book Clubs are Beautiful”.  Members suggests four or five books that they must have read and then the voting and lobbying begins until they’ve got their list. member suggests four or five books that they must have read and then the voting and lobbying begins until they’ve got their list.

Authors on the book clubs list have attended a meeting or contacted them by phone or email. Writers can find easily contact addresses of book clubs via Google. Offer them a free copy of your book, just as big publishers do. Don’t overlook virtual book clubs at Goodreads, Wattpad, Bibliophile etc.
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8. Writing Contests
Many published authors compete in writing contests, and publishing houses sometimes organize contests.

How to Get More Readers from an Award:  Publicity around a book award will boost your book sales. Contests are a great way to hone your craft and show the world how much better you are than other writers. Winning a book award for your self-published fiction or nonfiction book is a great way to gain recognition and approval. You will not only see an increase in your book sales – if you market it well – you also can add the award sticker to your cover and mention the achievement on your back cover, in your books’ description, and in all your marketing and promotions – online or offline. 25 Writing Competitions You Should Enter
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9. Content Writing for magazines & newspapers
World-famous bestseller writers from big publishing houses, such as Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, Tom Chiarella, Gloria Steinem and Stephen King did it: Writing occasionally short stories and magazine articles – before blogs became fashionable.

Your book has been launched months ago or even last year. NOW readers need to see something NEW from you. It doesn’t need to be a whole new book:
The three main assets you have already
– your writing skills
– the content you already penned
– the research you have done for your book(s) can be used to write at least 20 – 30 articles or blog posts – and if regularly posted on Google+ it is raising your Search Engine Ranking on Google tremendously.

More benefits of writing content:
– it is a subtle way to promote your book
– you receive valuable back links to your website or blog
– you will have lots of possibilities to post on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook.
– include links to your articles in email newsletter (that you hopefully send out regularly to your readers)

Post these articles on your blog or contribute guest blogs to other sites that are focused on the same topics as your book.
Content is used to draw in your ideal readers / reviewers, it will link to your book sales page or your website and it helps a lot to build a platform. Last but not least it gives you a lot of material to post and to tweet. The result: you will increase your exposure, show your writing skills, grow a loyal following and attract reviewers – in one sentence: you will achieve success with your writing – and in many cases, even get paid for it.
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10. Press Kits on your website
Bestseller authors at traditional publisher have the support of the publisher’s in-house (or out-sourced) publicity department. How much publicity support depends on many factors, but there are the basic elements that a publicity department will likely provide:  Book Press Materials.  Near publication date, the book’s publicist will email the electronic version of the press kits to a large number of applicable editors and producers to garner interest in the book. Book Media Follow-Up is the next step. The book publicist will follow up with any media outlet that responds to the mailings or e-mailings, will mail additional copies of the finished book, and will make additional calls or emails to other outlets to remind them the book is in their in-box.

To get the word out about the upcoming book launch, to receive positive articles in newspapers., magazine, book blogs, or to get interviews, writers should professionally deal with anyone who could tout their book – not only national press or TV.  Don’t make these common errors:  Not having a press page on your website for example.  Unfortunately most writers are not aware that journalists, bloggers or radio hosts need a bit more information than what they see on your Amazon page. And they won’t just copy and paste your “about the author” or the description of your book on the sales page. Check out Stephen Kings website, see how he organized his page for the media, where journalists can download high-resolution press photos.

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11. Advance Book Reviews in magazines and newspapers
Did you ever wonder why brand new books had already reviews?  New author-publishers can learn a lot in book stores:  Check out how professionally published books look like: Many of these trade books have either on their back cover (paperback) or on their binding flap (hard cover) several snippets of the book reviews, as well as endorsements from bestselling writers or other professionals, that were already written before the book was printed.
Traditional publishers may budget anywhere from fifty to several hundred “free and review” copies. Advance Review Copies (ARC’s) are what they send out half a year before book launch date.

How these pre-editions Galleys) are produced and to whom they should be sent is explained in How to Get Reviews Before Your Books Launch.  Prepare your book review query well in advance and learn what to avoid when pitching to reviewers.  Valuable tips can be found at Prestigious Reviews and How to Get Them.
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12. Radio Interviews
Bestseller authors often appear as guest at TV or radio stations. Publicists for major publishing houses have longstanding contacts to their editors and arrange interviews for bestseller authors.

Authors can go the same route, starting with internet radio stations, such as this one: The Book Report.  Don’t forget when you plan the marketing of your public events, to announce it for free on Google+ and on Goodreads, use their free Event pages.

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13. Speaking Engagements
Keynote Speakers and Motivational Speakers get handsomely paid, often $10.000 to 15,000 for a two-hour speech!  Most celebrity authors, found as speakers, are writing Non-Fiction books.

Speaker agencies, or organizers of Writers Conferences are the best approach if you want to earn more with speaking engagements than with your book.  If you are really serious about publicly speaking, join first Toastmasters.com and then the Certified Speaking Professional Association where you can get certification in public speaking.

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14. Foreign Rights
Basic subsidiary rights that publishers contract with their authors include translation into foreign languages, foreign rights, and reprint of selections by other publishers, just to name a few. An American publisher may also license a book to a British house for separate English-language publication in the UK and the Commonwealth

Foreign Rights  as well as translations into other languages can be a great way to leverage the value of your manuscript – but don’t expect big numbers right away. Additionally, it will add an international, professional image to you and your books. Revenue will be an advance and approximately 6 – 10% royalty of the retail price, minus percentage for the agent. Try to get the highest advance possible. It’s also a long-term project as it takes around 18 months until the book is translated and finally available online and in bookstores – and another half year for royalties to arrive.
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15. Bookstore Placement
Placement in bookstores, both chain and local (especially bookstores that report numbers to the Bestsellers List)  William Germano explains in his book:
Trade publishers’ marketing departments issue all kinds of catalogs to promote books—ones you see and ones you won’t unless you’re a librarian or a bookseller. The trade catalog is a publisher’s principal tool for making sales to bookstores.  Publishers with two trade catalogs bring out one per publishing season. The fall season usually begins in September and continues through the winter. The spring season begins in February or March, and continues through the summer. Books to be announced in a catalog must be securely in place at the publishing house up to a year ahead.

For those of you who want to succeed at self-publishing, use also some traditional marketing methods, create a Business Plan and a Budget, including anywhere from 5-10% for your overall book marketing including your website, paying for IT help, designer, or ads.

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16. Placement of books in big box stores
Wandering into a Walmart or Shoppers DrugMart outlet, you will most likely find close to the entrance / cashier desk the shelves of magazines and books, often from Bestseller authors. Big publishing houses sell tons of books to these big box stores – at steep discounts I must add.

If your books are selling like hot cakes, consider selling in bulk too.  Book wholesalers or websites such as ChainStoreGuide.com and TheSalesmansGuide.com, provide contact information for hundreds of buyers. You could also visit the websites of your most coveted outlets. Target even maintains a “vendor hotline” to answer questions by phone. However, be aware that having at least a dozen books is the minimum before you approach buyers at big box stores. They will not order single titles. If you have a book that should go into a specific department, for instance Sporting Goods, Electronics, Childrens, etc. contact your local store manager and ask who the buyer is for that specific department.

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17. Book Sales Page
Many big publishers and major online retailers sell from their own website print and digital books – and so can you!  How?

Get all the information you need to start selling your books from our former article:  How to Sell Your Books From Your Own Website.
Make at least 30% more on your books. Get your revenue immediately and get to know your readers, a very important point for your future marketing and to keep in contact with your customers.
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Conclusion:
This is just a small selection of the many book marketing activities that authors can copy from major publishers – beside Social Media networking.  “Just Because You Wrote a Book, Readers Won’t Line Up To Buy It!”  Yet, authors who take their publishing endaveor seriously and work as hard on their publishing business as they do on their writing, will always succeed. Read this article regarding the “Book Sales Plateau”.
Find many more detailed tips and links to all aspects of author-publishing and book marketing at SavvyBookWriters, especially how you can act like a professional publisher and take your books to the next level.  Remember that you don’t have to do all of this at once!

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

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Tagged: 7 million new self-published books, book marketing activities, Book Reviews in magazines and newspapers, Book Sales Page, Book Shows & Fairs, book signings, bookstore placements, radio interviews, Writing Contests


Benefit of Writing Contests and Book Awards

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Writing-Contests

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How to Get More Readers from an Award
Publicity around a book award will boost your book sales. Contests are a great way to hone your craft and show the world how much better you are than other writers. Winning a book award for your self-published fiction or nonfiction book is a great way to gain recognition and approval. You will not only see an increase your book sales – if you market it well, you also can add the award sticker to your cover and mention the achievement on your back cover, in your books’ description, and in all your marketing and promotions – online or offline. Most awards call for entries every year, so if the competition is closed for this year, mark your calender for next years’ contest call.

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Here are a few of the most popular book contests:

http://www.narrativemagazine.com/node/249923

http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/ipawards.php (IPPY awards)

http://www.usabooknews.com/2014usabestbookawards.html

http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/literaryprizes/nonfiction/

http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished

http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com/

http://readersfavorite.com/annual-book-award-contest.htm

http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/literaryprizes/shortstory/index.html

http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/literaryprizes/poetry/index.html

http://indiereader.com/the-indiereader-discovery-awards-welcome/

https://www.createspace.com/abna?ref=478921&utm_id=5969

http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writers-digest-self-published-ebook-awards

http://www.forewordreviews.com/services/book-awards/botya/

http://www.thefolioprize.com/

More awards can be found at http://www.pw.org/grants

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Writer Beware
Before you click on “accept” when applying, or pay any money: carefully read the small print, and avoid giving your rights away for free. There are hundreds of options that range from scams to high level and great exposure. Submission fees are from $25 to $250. Enter any book award contest only after careful consideration and review of its reputation. Google the awards name. You sometimes might be surprised … I ommited two links here in this article after reading about complaints.
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How Will You Market Your Award?
Having written or published an “Award Winning Book,” selected from a hundred or more competing titles by an experienced, professional team of judges gives your book the seal of excellence. Winning the award is one thing, but marketing the fact that your book has been choosen among hundreds of others is equally important. Have a plan how you can spread the word about your award-winning book, also outside of Social Media. Add it to your email signature. Post a press release and write a blog post about it. Create a guest post about your experience, with tips for other writers. Do as many book signings as possible, accompanied by a huge poster of your award. Offer your work to book clubs, mentioning your award.

What has your experience been with book contests and awards?

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

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Tagged: Benjamin Franklin award, Book awards, how to find writing contests, IPPY awards, most popular book contests, pw.org, Writers Digest, Writing Contests


9 Writer Residencies, Grants and Funding

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Liguria-Italy
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Earlier this month we wrote already about it:  Winter and early spring are good times to apply for Writer Grants, which includes fellowships, workshops, residencies, travel expenses, sometimes even meals or small allowances … and not only in North America, but worldwide. Here are nine additional tips and addresses where you can apply. 

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Australian Publishing and Promotion Grants
This grant supports Australian book publishers and overseas publishers to publish literary work by Australian writers and supports innovative publishing projects that contribute to the development of Australian culture.  Applications are accepted from: Australian book publishers (established and emerging publishers), overseas book and magazine publishers.
The Literature Board will accept applications from Australian and overseas organisations for support towards airfares, fees and expenses for the participation of Australian writers at literary festivals and conferences and other promotional activities.
Deadline March 23
http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/artforms/literature

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Art Kibbutz Residency Program / Scholarship
Art Kibbutz is delighted to announce the launch its spring residency program at Eden Village Camp – a spectacular 248-acre venue bordered on three sides by the wooded hills of Clarence Fahnestock State Park in the Hudson Valley, 50 miles north of New York City.
The pilot residency provides participants with the power to shape an innovative new program, the only one of its kind to explore creative art, Jewish teachings and tradition and environmental awareness. Scholarships are available based on need. Art Kibbutz will also work with accepted artists to find funding for their other expenses; provide letters of invitation and prepare individualized budgets. Artists are expected to participate in events that foster relationships with the international Jewish community.
Deadline March 23
http://www.artkibbutz.org/environmentalland-art-residency.html

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Atlantic Center for the Arts New Smyrna, FL
During the residency, artists participate in informal sessions with their group, interact/collaborate, and work independently on their own projects. The relaxed atmosphere, unstructured program and lush, unspoiled environment provide considerable time for artistic experimentation, exploration and creation. Location New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Application deadlines: Full and partial scholarships provided.
Deadlines: March 24 for Summer, May 19 for Fall residency.
http://www.atlanticcenterforthearts.org/master-artist-residence-program-details-0

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Harlem Community Arts Fund
Grants from US $1,000 – $3,000 for artists and arts organizations based in and providing services within the Harlem community. Individual artists of all disciplines of literary, media, visual, music, and performing arts may apply to support specific, forthcoming professional development opportunities or the cost of a work in progress. Deadline: March 31
http://www.harlemaa.org

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Jack Jerouac Writer in Residency
Provides four residencies a year to writers of any stripe or age, living anywhere in the world. Each residency consists of approximately a three-month stay in the cottage where Jack Kerouac wrote his novel Dharma Bums.
Utilities and a food stipend of $800 are included. Electronic applications only.
Location Orlando, FL. Application fee $25.  Deadline: March 31
http://kerouacproject.org

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Rhode Island Fellowship Grants
Rhode Island artists who have created a substantial body of work that they are prepared to present in a professional manner are encouraged to apply for a RISCA Fellowship award. Artists who are residents of Rhode Island, and working in the disciplines of: Film & Video, Fiction, Photography, Play/Screenwriting, Poetry and Three-Dimensional Art can apply for one $5,000 Fellowship and one $1000 Fellowship Merit Award in each discipline annually.
Deadline April 1
www.arts.ri.gov/grants/guidelines/fellow.php

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The Writer’s Center Bethesda, MD – Fellowship
Three fellowships are given annually to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Fellows who live within a 250-mile radius of the center receive a $250 honorarium each, and others receive $500 each. Fellows also give a reading at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Poets who have published no more than three books and prose writers who have published no more
than two books are eligible. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE, call, e-mail, or visit the website for complete guidelines. Deadline March 15
http://www.writer.org/page.aspx?pid=927

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Bogliasco Foundation
Bogliasco, Italy. Residencies of an average of 32 days for qualified persons engaged in advanced creative work or scholarly research in archaeology, architecture, classics, dance, film/video, history, landscape architecture, literature, music, philosophy, theatre, and visual arts.
Residency provides housing, meals, and studios. Artist are responsible for travel, materials, and any additional living expenses.
Deadline: April 15
http://www.bfny.org/english/fellowships.cfm

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Hub City Residency
The Writers House provides two residencies per year in a historic cottage in downtown Spartanburg, S.C. The program is open to emerging writers in the United States who have completed a graduate school degree in creative writing within the past five years.
Residents receive lodging, utilities, and a twice-monthly stipend; they are responsible for their own transportation and meals. The 10-week summer residency runs from June 15 to Aug. 24. A nine-month residency runs from September 3 to May 31of the following year. Both residencies include a community service element. The program is targeted at early-career writers, preferably without a published book.
Deadline April 1
http://hubcity.org/writersproject/fellowships-and-scholarships/the-writers-house-residencies//?/residencies/

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For more grant offers check out these websites periodically: Mira’s List and Res Artis (can be sorted by deadlines or countries, however not all are free in this list, some are paid retreats).   Read also our former posts: Get the Money! Apply! and 10 Important Steps when Applying for Grants.

Everyone knows Kickstarter and IndieGoGo in the meantime. But there are other sources to fund writing projects, workshops, prints, publicizing efforts or lectures. Writers and small publishers are offered quite a number of grants and funding money.  Most are geared towards projects, rather than core funding. Think writing projects for example instead of business/office supply or salaries.
Show an interest in the Funders’ organization, call them for further information and find out the name of the person you should address the proposal if it is not stated specifically.

Study the organization and successful grants. Some of them make samples of grant proposels they have funded online available. You can see the “language” they prefer and get an idea what type of projects were successful. Learn and understand the meanings of the vocabulary being used in grant guidelines. It’s important how well your written presentation answers their questions.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 980 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Tagged: apply for writer-in-residency, Atlantic Center for the Arts New Smyrna Florida, Grants for US writers, Jack Jerouac Writer in Residency, Writer's Center Bethesda MD, Writer-in-Residence program, Writers retreat


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