Ends on November 30, 2018

$20.00 USD, $15.00 USD

Entry Qualifications

The contest is open to all authors. Entries must consist of a new, original, unpublished and uncontracted POEM manuscript. Submit your complete poem of less than 200 words total. Any form of poetry is acceptable. 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 (POEM) and manuscript title must appear in the header section of each page, including the first page.

Deadlines & Entry Fees

  • $15 per entry early bird submission between 8/1/18 – 9/15
  • $20 per entry regular submission between 9/16 – 10/31
  • $25 per entry last-minute submission between 11/1 – 11/30
  • 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.


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

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

A writer may receive only one award per category.

Number of Entries

A single person may submit a maximum of:

  • 2 book-length entries regardless of category
  • 2 short stories
  • 2 drabbles, and
  • 2 poems

One author may enter a total of 8 possible submissions.

Note: If the number of entries in any genre is fewer than ten, SAWG retains the right to combine categories and/or 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.

  • 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.
  • The final judges are professional writers who specialize in the entries’ genres.
  • 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.