San Antonio Writers Guild

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


Writing Contest Rules & Procedures

The San Antonio Writers’ Guild’s 27th annual writing contest welcomes non-fiction, poetry, and multiple genre categories in long and short fiction. The contest is open to all writers. Entries may include other languages, real or imagined, but must be primarily in English. The deadline for entry is 11/30/2018 with very generous discounts for earlier entries.

Cash prizes are given in each category. Authors retain all rights to their works.

There will be two rounds of blind judging. The first round will be performed by a panel of volunteers selected by the SAWG contest committee. Each entry will be judged by no fewer than three preliminary judges who are familiar with the entry’s genre. The final judges are professional writers who specialize in the entries’ genres.

Please read the rules carefully. Entries that do not meet these guidelines will be disqualified, and the entry fees cannot be returned.

All entries, characters, and worlds must be the original work of the contestant unless the characters are real people (memoir or non-fiction). Fan fiction is not permitted. Winning entries from previous contests may not be submitted.

Entries may not be previously published in any medium except for brief samples on the authors' social media or web sites. An entry may be submitted for publication either before or while entered, but if it is published prior to November 30, 2018, it must be withdrawn from the contest.

Unlike most other contests, SAWG retains no rights of any kind to any entry, and SAWG will not publish any part of an entry beyond the author's name and the title. A piece that enters or even wins a contest category does not count as being published.

Entry fees are non-refundable.

Contest Categories

Book-length: First 5,000 words plus 500-word synopsis 

Short story: maximum 5,000 words

Either length in one of these genres:

  • Nonfiction
  • Memoir
  • General Fiction
  • Romance
  • Young Adult Fiction
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Historical Fiction

Drabble: exactly 100 words, any subject

Poetry, any form: maximum 200 words, any subject

Entry Qualifications

The contest is open to all authors. Entries must consist of a new, original, unpublished and uncontracted manuscript. Submit only the number of words acceptable for your category/genre and length/format. Entries may include other languages, real or imagined, but must be primarily in English.

Acceptable file formats include:  

  • DOC - Microsoft Word 1997-2003 format (.doc)
  • DOCX - Microsoft Word/Open Office XML format (.docx)
  • PDF - Portable Document Format (.pdf)

Formatting Guidelines:

  • The font must be Times New Roman 12-point or Courier 12-point.
  • The author’s name or identifying information must not appear anywhere in the document.
  • All paragraphs must be double-spaced.
  • All pages must have one-inch margins.
  • All pages must be numbered in the footer section of the page.
  • The category and manuscript title must appear in the header section of each page, including the first page.

Deadlines & Entry Fees

Early bird:    8/1/18 – 9/30 $20 per book or story, $15 per drabble or poem 

Regular:        10/1 – 10/31 $25 per book or story, $20 per drabble or poem 

Last-minute:  11/1 – 11/30 $30 per book or story, $25 per drabble or poem 

Student, military or Guild member discount $5 per entry with current ID.

Late entries will not be accepted after midnight Central (US) time on Friday 30 November 2018.

Prizes

In each category:

  • First place $100
  • Second place $50
  • Third place $25
  • Honorable mention

Every prize includes one year’s SAWG membership, a SAWG t-shirt, and a link to the writer’s web site on SAWG’s on-line contest page.

A writer may receive only one award per category.

Number of Entries

A single person may submit a maximum of 

  • 2 book-length entries of any genre
  • 2 short stories
  • 2 drabbles, and
  • 2 poems

for a total of 8 possible entries per person.

If the number of entries in any genre is fewer than ten, SAWG retains the right to combine genres as appropriate.

Contest Judging

There will be two rounds of blind judging. The first round will be performed by a panel of volunteers selected by the SAWG contest committee. Each entry will be judged by no fewer than three preliminary judges who are familiar with the entry’s genre. The final judges are professional writers who specialize in the entries’ genres.

  • No person may judge a category he or she has entered.
  • The five entries with the highest preliminary scores will progress to the final round.
  • Winners will be contacted by email, announced at the monthly meeting following the final judging, and posted on the SAWG website.
  • All writers will receive score sheets for their work via email after the winners are announced.
  • All entries and fee payments must be made digitally through Submittable.

Archival Copies

The Guild will retain one copy of each of the entries that earned a prize. These archived copies will be available in case a claim of plagiarism is levied at a later date.



San Antonio Writers Guild