Memoir News: New Memoir Contest Now Open

by Matilda Butler on October 30, 2013

catnav-news-active-3Post #101 – Memoir Writing News – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

NEW Memoir Writing Contest

You’ve been asking and we finally have an answer. We’ve had a number of emails over the past several months asking when we will have another writing contest. Today we’re pleased to announce a new memoir writing contest. The topic is:

How I Met Your Father

Of course, we know that not everyone has children, so the related topic is:

How Mother Met My Father

It’s possible you don’t know the story of how your parents met. And, actually, that’s the reason behind this contest. So often this story isn’t passed along and it should be. It is one of those treasured family stories that everyone enjoys hearing, or in this case, reading about.

Here are the contest rules. We hope you will share this link with your writing group or writing friends.

1 — Deadline is March 31, 2014

2 — Length is between 750 – 1500 words

3 — The story should not have been previously published. If you want to submit a story that has been published, please let us know when and where it was published as well as provide a statement that you have the continuing right to the republication.

4 — Be sure to give your story a title and craft a powerful opening and closing. The opening is your one chance to grab your reader and make us want to read on.

5 — Have your described the people in your story? Have you used dialogue to help the reader “hear” the people and get to know them? Have you let the reader find out when and where your story took place? Have you created an emotional link between you and the reader? These are some of the elements that you want to consider when writing your contest entry.

6 — You write and rewrite and are ready to submit. Wait! Before you click on “Send,” stop and read your story aloud. This will help you find typos, poor word choices, and confusing sentences. This will lead to your final polishing of your contest entry.

7 — Include your name and a brief 2-4 sentence bio. Attach a headshot as a .jpg file so that if you are a winner, we will not need to track you down for this information and photo.

8 — Email contest entries to:
matilda (at) womensmemoirs (dot) com

9 — Put: HOW I MET YOUR FATHER CONTEST — as your subject line so that it won’t get lost in our email. We can’t promise to spot your entry if you use another subject line. Trust me. Kendra and I get hundreds of emails each day and we don’t want yours to get buried.

10 — Attach your entry to the email as a .doc file or, if you prefer, copy and paste the entry into the email itself. We have some people who do both, just to make sure we can read the entry. Do not attach a PDF as we cannot use a file in that format.

What Will Be Done with the Winning Memoir Contest Entries?

Good question. We will publish the names of the winners on our website and we will publish the winning stories as an ebook (or what one of our previous winners calls an e-thology).

PREVIOUS Memoir Contest Winners

Kendra and I have been busy creating a series of four ebooks that are the result of our previous four contests. The series title is: Seasons of Our Lives. We have decided to release all four at the same time and have finished the first two — Summer and Autumn — and are currently working on Winter. It has taken us a lot of effort to master all the techniques to create an ebook, hence the long delay. We had several false starts, but are now fairly happy with the look of the books.

I say “fairly happy” because the various versions of ebook readers — Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, iPad, iPhone, etc — all read HTML codes differently. The early Kindles can’t read the italics font and, of course, don’t have color. Later tablets can and do. So we are learning to make our way through all of this.

The stories, meanwhile, are wonderful and we are eager to get them out to memoir readers. Since you are part of our community we will definitely let you know when they are available. We are making them affordable for everyone — each volume will be just $2.99. In addition, we will make one of them free for a week when we release them — a feature that Amazon allows us.

Write Now. The Holidays are Coming

As we begin to close each year, we find that holidays get in the way of writing. There’s invitations to prepare, presents to purchase, rooms to clean, food to prepare. Knowing all of this is coming, we urge you to begin work on your contest entry now.

But if you don’t, and you find the holiday season knocking on your front door before your story is written, then take advantage of the family members you’ll see to gather more family stories. These are a part of your legacy and they need to be preserved.

Then, come January, get back to your writing.

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