San Antonio Writers Guild

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

The San Antonio Writers’ Guild 26th Annual Contest features categories in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The contest is open to all writers, SAWG members and non-members. The deadline for entry Has been extended to January 31, 2018. The rules for 2017/2018 are posted below.

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

Please read the rules carefully. Entries that do not meet the submission guidelines or do not fit the contest categories will be disqualified, and the entry fee(s) will be forfeit.

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 (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place) from previous SAWG contests may not be submitted. Entries must not be previously published in any medium prior to submission to the contest. An entry may be submitted for publication at the time it is entered in the contest, but if the entry is published prior to December 31, 2017, the individual must notify SAWG to withdraw the entry from the contest. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Contest Categories:

  • Novel: first chapter or up to the first 5,000 words
  • Short Story: limit of 4,000 words
  • Flash Fiction: limit of 1,000 words
  • Memoir/personal essay: limit of 2,500 words
  • Poetry: any style except haiku, with a limit of 1,000 words


In each of the five categories:

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

If the number of entries in any category is fewer than ten, SAWG retains the right to limit the number of prizes awarded in that category.

A writer may enter all five categories but may receive only one award per category, including Honorable Mention.

Number of Entries

An individual may submit a maximum of
  • 4 poems
  • 2 first chapters
  • 2 short stories
  • 2 flash fiction entries, and
  • 2 memoirs or personal essays

for a total of 12 possible entries per person.

Membership Status

Membership dues must be current and up-to-date at the time of submission or entries will NOT be accepted at the member rate and may be disqualified. Please contact the SAWG Treasurer, if necessary.


There will be two rounds of judging. The first round will be blind judging conducted by a panel of volunteers selected by the SAWG Contest Director/Committee. Each entry will be judged by no fewer than three preliminary judges. 

No person may judge a category he or she has entered.

The five entries with the highest preliminary scores progress to the final round.

The final judges are professional writers.

Winners will be announced at the monthly meeting on April 5, 2018, and posted on the website shortly afterward. Participants are invited to bring their work. Time permitting, First Place winners may read up to a 1500 word selection from their winning pieces.

Submitted manuscripts will have score sheets returned via e-mail after the monthly meeting on April 5, 2018. Winners who do not attend the April meeting will be notified via e-mail.

No paper entries will be accepted this year. Entries and 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.

Specific submission guidelines are included on the Contest Category page.