News: New Memoir Writing Contest

by Matilda Butler on April 18, 2013

catnav-news-active-3Post #94 – Memoir Writing News – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

New Memoir Writing Contest Now Open

memoir-springAs an elementary schoolgirl of 10, I loved skipping. (Actually, at the age of 71, I still love to skip, but that’s another story.) In the spring, I often recited a poem in a sing-song voice as I skipped down the sidewalk toward my home. The version, I clearly remember was:

Spring has sprung
The grass has riz
I wonder where the teacher is.

Sadly, at least for my memory, those are not the actual words. Although there are numerous variations, they are all similar to:

Spring has sprung
The grass has riz
I wonder where the boidies is

The boids is on the wing!
Don’t be absoid!
Da wings is on the boid!

Since I grew up in Oklahoma, it’s no wonder that I had never heard the New Jersey accent version. So I’ll forgive myself for not knowing the full set of words. But my version occurred to me today as I take in the marvels of spring wearing its full-flowered coat in Corvallis. Spring is a lovely season and one that lifts the spirit. My thoughts are soaring high today as I am once again ready to settle into a week of writing before taking off for a writers’ conference where Kendra and I are giving an all-new workshop on Writing Alchemy. We have developed some fun exercises and are eager to introduce them.

Are you finding inspiration in your spring writing? We hope so and urge you to share a favorite story about spring with us. That’s my subtle way of inviting you to submit a memoir vignette about spring to our just opened new memoir contest.

Here are the general guidelines:

Choose a remembrance of spring and write it as your submission for our Women’s Memoirs Spring Contest. We intend to publish the best of these as an ebook. So be sure we have your permission to publish your story, if it is a winner. You retain your copyright. You simply grant us the right to publish it as part of our compilation of spring memoirs.

Do you remember a special spring from your childhood? This might include Mother’s Day, Easter, as well as other times. Maybe you are thinking of a story from your adult years. Your memory might be light and fun or poignant and sad. Write your story and submit it to our Spring Memoir Contest. Below are the few rules we have:

1 — Deadline is July 31, 2013

2 — Length is between 750 – 1200 words

3 — 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 her or him want to read on.

4 — 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.

5 — You write and rewrite and are ready to submit. Wait! Read your story aloud before submitting. This will help you find typos, poor word choices, and confusing sentences. This will lead to your final polishing of your contest entry.

6 — Include your name and a brief 2-4 sentence bio

7 — Include a photo relevant to the story, if possible

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

9 — Put: SPRING CONTEST ENTRY — 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.

10 — Either attach your entry to the email as a .doc file or copy and paste the entry into the email itself. Either way is fine. Attach any photos to the email, we prefer .jpg format. Please make your name part of the filename so that we can later match them.

11 — There are no entry fees.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Annette Skarin April 27, 2013 at

I want to enter the Memoir Contest, about spring. How soon can we enter?

Matilda Butler April 27, 2013 at

Hi Annette: This is great. Glad you want to enter our contest. You can email us your entry at any time. In other words, the contest is open until it closes. Just be sure to put: SPRING CONTEST ENTRY in the Subject field. We get many emails and don’t want to overlook any entries.

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