I’d be interested to know how many aspiring writers enter writing contests. We’ve been advised that it’s not a good idea to enter contests that charge an entry fee, particularly those that charge a fee that is relatively high as compared to the “prize” (if any). Preditors and Editors provides a list of contests they approve or not (they disapprove of any that charge). Though, this list seems sadly out of date.

abna_logo-200I’ve just heard of a contest offered by the “300 (million) pound gorilla in the room”: Amazon. Co-sponsored with Penguin Group (USA) not exactly a fly-by-night publisher. The contest is called: Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award click the link for more info. Basically you submit your novel during the week of February 2–8, up to 10,000 entries will be accepted. But you must sign up and submit during that period and they cut it off when the number has been reached. They will be narrowed down to 2,000 by “expert reviewers”. penguinlogo_smallThe field gets winnowed further and the last 3 will be voted on by Amazon.com customers. (Like American Idol for your book?) The winner gets published by Penguin with a $25,000 advance. There is no entry fee. Worth checking it out.

Also a poetry contest offered by Blue Mountain Arts, the greeting card and book publisher located in Boulder, CO. This is the 13th biannual competition. Also no entry fee. First prize is $300. Contest closes December 31. They also buy poems and verses for their card products.