Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 6, 2022

Book Winners – SCBWI Conference – Opportunity


Cathy Stefanec Ogren won A PENNY’S WORTH by Kimberly Wilson

Melisa Wrex won THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE: A Story About Success by Rosie J. Pova

Ellen Leventhal won DIVING DEEP by Michelle Cusolito

Winners please send me your addresses: Thanks!


Here is the link to read all the details:



Wild Waterways is the first magazine to pay a professional rate and only accept submissions from new writers.

Write a story involving waterways, and a buckle.

$3,000 grand prize.

Stand under the waterfall. Hear it roar. Feel the water rushing downriver from the mountain. Feel it flow past you on the long journey out to sea. Rest assured, it will be gathered and returned, to begin the wild ride again.

Shipping lanes, heating pipes, and the blood in our bodies. Waterways are everywhere. Whales diving to the ocean depths or rats hitching a ride on garbage, it’s all the same. Rivers have always been used for transport—and war. You might take a peaceful canoe trip on the lake, or drift in the dark with your brick-weighted bag. Take a hike down the canyon and remember the raging torrent that carved it. Walk the ice, but be wary of splintering cracks and the cold death below. How fortunate we are water doesn’t have a mind of its own, because it’s all around us…

This contest invites you to explore waterways, whatever that means to you. Fantasy, contemporary, romance, crime. All genres are welcome.

Submissions close July 31st at 11:59 pm EST. Contest only open to new writers.

Who can enter?
New or unpublished authors, from anywhere in the world (excluding Quebec, Canada). Full details here.

Prize: 1st place: $3,000 USD. Free enrollment in the New Novelist Accelerator.
2nd – 10th: 10c/word and publication.
11th – 35th: $20 USD and an honorable mention in the magazine.

How to enter: Sign up for an Elegant+ Membership and visit the Members Area, or click “Enter Now” on the contest page. Fill out the form and copy/paste (preferred method) or upload a file containing your work.

Important Dates:
The contest opens at 12:01 am EST on July 1st.
The contest closes at 11:59 pm EST on July 31st.
Winners will be announced on September 1st.

Unlimited. English language only. Must follow the contest theme/prompt and include the word “buckle”.

Minimum 500 words. Maximum 2000. Word count does not include title of work.

Head Judge:
Creag Munroe

Selection Criteria:
The Judge will choose the winner based on:

Structure & Flow
Quality of Writing

Increase your chances of selection:

We see the same problems regularly while reading high volumes of stories, so keep this list in mind when writing and editing. Address these common issues and your work will stand out.

  1. Search and replace the following when appropriate: suddenly, started to, seems, that, had, just, simply, down, up, got, then.
  2. Also avoid: heart thudded, eyes flashed, blood pounded, ears screaming, chest heaving, tears streaking, mouth twisting, and the many other similar expressions. Use them when appropriate, but sparingly. We also see a lot of wry smiles, twitching lips, grinning, and gasping.
  3. Shifting tenses pulls the reader out of the story. Be careful to keep one tense throughout.
  4. Limbs are not distinct entities. They are a part of you. My eyes I surveyed the scene. Her hand She felt for the light switch.
  5. Eye color. People don’t usually notice it outside of intimate situations, and no one ever thinks about their own unprompted.
  6. When noting actions they must either a) advance the plot or b) reveal character/emotion. Example: pinching the bridge of your nose shows frustration and impatience. Quick-stepping into a shadowed alcove is a plot-related action. The character is hiding… will they be seen? Phrases like “stepping forward” or “I walked down the street” do not create tension, advance the plot, reveal character, or show emotion. Always ask if the action description serves a purpose and you will eliminate unnecessary words.
  7. Avoid backstory. There is limited space to tell your tale. Starting with a strong, action-forward scene should not be followed by the character thinking about how it all began when they were a kid.
  8. Stories about writers writing (or failing to write) are going to be hard sells.
  9. Stories that do not include the prompt word. It doesn’t matter how good your work is, you won’t be selected.

For more information, please see the full Contest Rules.

For answers to common questions, please see the FAQ.

We have a uniquely streamlined Publication Process. Read about it here.

See our Submission Guidelines for information on how to increase your chance of selection.

Enter Now

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Congrats, winners!

    This is a fun contest, Kathy! Thanks!


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