Saturday, February 27, 2010

Poetry and Prose Contest: Tallgrass Writers Guild

TallGrass Writers Guild
Literary Anthology/Contest Guidelines
Sponsored by Outrider Press in affiliation with TallGrass Writers Guild

EXTENDED Deadline is 3-20-10

outriderpress(at) or tallgrassguild(at) Replace (at) with @.

Planned publication date: late summer/early fall 2010. Working title: Seasons of Change. We interpret broadly, and welcome work on seasonal changes in the natural world, but also socio-economic change; change of scene; and deep personal change as well. Especially interested in poetry.

Previously published material and simultaneous submissions OK. 

Award of $1000 in cash prizes for First ($500 each for poetry and prose) . Also: 2nd, 3rd places, + Hon. Mention. All winners receive Featured Reader status at the Kick-Off Reading at Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest, the nation’s third largest book fair of its kind (depending on CTPRLF scheduling). Each published contributor receives a free copy of the anthology.


Entry fees for each category are $16, reduced to $12 each for TWG members. Current annual U.S. TWG membership fee of $45 ($25 for students w/xerox of valid photo ID) includes six 12-page newsletters each year. 

An entry form for the 2010 Anthology/Contest (available w/SASE, if not attached to these guidelines) must be completed and accompany each entry category. To obtain, email: outriderpress(at) or tallgrassguild(at), replacing (at) with @.

Poetry: Single-page poems to 28 lines – single spacing OK for poetry. Prose poems may be treated as prose at judge’s discretion. Reading fee for each group or partial group of 1-4 poems: $16US/$12US-TWG member.

Prose: 2500 word limit per entry; sections from longer works accepted. Each entry must have a separate reading fee of: $16 US/$12US-TWG member.


Submission Guide: (for complete guidelines, email outriderpress(a), replacing (a) with @. Send twocopies of each manuscript (ms.) Plus disk as follows:

§ HARD COPY – Double-spaced manuscript on one side, on 8.5”x11” unlined white paper. Single-spacing okay for poetry. Only laserjet, inkjet or letter-quality dot matrix acceptable; plus: Four-sentence bio

§ ELECTRONIC – Provide ms. and bio (separate files, please) on small capacity flash drive or CD, using Windows Rich-Text-Format (RTF) or Microsoft Word (not Works). Package your CDs safely to prevent damage. Specify word processing program on label + author’s name and e-mail address. No MAC.

§ Include name, address, phone/FAX numbers (w/area code) and e-mail addresses on first sheet of fiction; eachsheet of poetry. Your phone number and e-mail address are required on every item.

§ Include a stamped, self-addressed #10 (business size) envelope (SASE) for response. Mss. shredded/recycled, not returned. Include a stamped, self-addressed postcard to have receipt of ms. confirmed.

DEADLINE: Postmarked no later than 3/20/10 

FOR COMPLETE GUIDELINES WITH REQUIRED ENTRY FORM: outriderpress(at) or tallgrassguild(at), replacing (at) with @. Telephone: 219-322-7270 or toll-free 866-510-6735


Kelly Hayes-Raitt said...

Hi, I wanted to let you know this contest isn't entirely on the up-and-up:

I entered the TallGrass Writers Guild contest, coordinated by Outrider Press, and was excited to learn I was one of six finalists! However, to be considered for the cash prize, I was told I'd need to allow my essay to be published in Outrider Press' journal.

I know it may seem counterintuitive for a writer to NOT want her work published, but I had sent the same essay to several other contests that allow simultaneous submissions of unpublished work. I would have to pull my essay from those other contests -- forgoing those entrance fees -- on the CHANCE that I might win a cash prize from TallGrass Writers Guild.

When I asked Whitney Scott, the editor and contest coordinator, where I had misread her rules (which did not mention that publication in her journal was a prerequisite for prize consideration), she responded by pulling my essay from the contest. I asked for a refund of my $32 entry fee, which she refused.

I am quite careful about the contests I enter, and I would not have entered one that feels like an editor's veiled ploy to get writers to pay to provide uncompensated content for a for-profit journal. It's not the $32 that bothers me so much, it's the feeling I've been had.

Just wanted to alert other writers...

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

Jeanne Lyet Gassman said...

That's good to know. Did she tell you that all of the finalists had to allow their work to be published in the journal in order to qualify for the prize? If that wasn't in the initial guidelines, then yes, it's a little "fishy."