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  Midwest Writing Center


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Call for Entries/Submissions




The Modern Dickens Project

is a serial novel designed to feature untold Iowa stories by undiscovered Iowa authors.


Starting with an opening chapter, any writer is challenged each month to continue the current story being told by The Modern Dickens Project.
Chapter by chapter, month by month, for twelve months, resulting in a collective thirteen-chapter novel.


September 1, 2010, guest author John Domini’s initial chapter was posted on The Modern Dickens Project website, followed by Janet Piller’s winning
Chapter 2 on Nov. 1, and John O’Donnell’s winning chapter 3 on Dec. 1st. Writers are now invited to create the chapter 4 of the existing story.  A winner
will be selected by an editorial panel and posted on the website for subsequent authors to build upon for the following month’s contest. The winning
chapter will be published at midnight (Central time) on the 1st of each month.


Writers will have until midnight of Dec. 21st to create Chapter 4 of the existing story. A winner will be selected and notified, and receive a $100 prize
and author profile on the MDP website.


At the close of the Modern Dickens Project contest, the opening chapter and all 12 winning chapters will be edited and released as an ebook in
December of 2011.

What to Submit

A chapter of no more than 10,000 words that is in keeping with the tone, style, and general theme of all previous chapters. Submission to the contest is free.

Writers need not be residents of Iowa, but at least have a significant connection to or genuine interest in Iowa.

Go to the Modern Dickens project Website for complete guidelines to download chapters 1-3:



For questions, please feel free to contact:


Rachel Vogel, Managing Editor


Chris Draper, Executive Director



Dark Highlands Anthology



The Oak and The Shepherd local publications edited by Betty Mowery of Rock Island seeks submissions.  The Oak and the Gray Squirrel appear as one

publication.  The Oak uses material from college age and up, while the Gray Squirrel section uses material from authors ages 60 and up.  They are looking for

fiction up to 500 words and poetry up to 35 lines.  Art work is also accepted if 4 inches by 5 inches black ink.  There are four issues per year.

A subscription is available for $12.  A sample copy is available for $4.00.   Checks should be made payable to The Oak at 1530 7th St., Rock Island, IL 61201.


The Shepherd is an inspirational publication for kindergarten through senior citizens.  Fiction up to 500 words and poetry up to 35 lines.  Profiles of Biblical characters should be up to 500 words.  There are four issues per year. A subscription is available for $12.  A sample copy is available for $4.00.   Checks should be made payable to The Oak at 1530 7th St., Rock Island, IL 61201.


Both publications have several contests associated with them.  Contest guidelines are available for a SASE sent to Betty Mowery, Editor, 1530 7th St., Rock Island, IL 61201.






We recently decided that we’d like to open up Boomerful.com to more writers. We’re looking for a few especially talented Baby Boomer women who would like to write articles for us on a volunteer basis. They can write from their homes, and they’ll get a byline and have a regular opportunity to share their input on Baby Boomer life with other Baby Boomer women. 

We do ask that volunteer applications submit three short writing samples (articles, preferably) for our consideration. Applicants can send their samples to editor@boomerful.com. This would be a great opportunity for a person who has retired and wants to enter the world of writing, or maybe someone who has always wanted to do some writing on the side, and is looking for an opportunity to give it a try.


Entering your book titles in awards programs -- and winning -- brings credibility, publicity, prestige, and personal satisfaction. It can extend your publicity campaign, get you a whole new round of attention from the press, and open new doors with distributors and vendors.

Awards do influence reviewers and buyers. A 1999 Cookbook category IPPY finalist was discovered this way, and 187,000 copies were sold to a pharmaceutical company. A cookbook winner in our inaugural 1997 contest has reordered stickers continually and the book keeps on selling, thanks in part to the gold seal on the cover.

Winners are featured prominently in our monthly newsletter, which goes out monthly to over 7,000 subscribers worldwide, many of whom are editors, agents, buyers, booksellers and librarians, and appear indefinitely at www.IndependentPublisher.com. We distribute a results program at BookExpo, and send the results press release to an additional 500 media outlets.

"Winning the silver award last year (Useppa, a Passage in Time, 2007) improved our ability to market the book in a multitude of ways. It gave us credentials that we used in our public relations and marketing; it made a real difference in our ability to get book signings and presentation opportunities; it enabled us to get radio and TV interviews; and often people selected to purchase the book because of the silver award medallion sticker. We actually had a couple of people return the book because their book did not have the medallion sticker. It also made the author and the artist feel appreciated and honored, and gave us a reason to celebrate their success!" - Chris Ludwig, Passages Press

"The fact is award stickers help to convince buyers to purchase. I've seen this happen with librarians -- when faced with two competing titles and a limited acquisition budget the librarians will take the one that won an award, any award, over the title that doesn't have an award to its credit. I'm confident that this same phenomena works for bookstore patrons browsing the shelves as well." - Jim Cox, Midwest Book Review


Bill Truesdell, advertising and business writing/consulting (http://www.billtruesdell.com) is seeking nicely crafted pieces of about 600-800 words in these catagories:  Family Fun, Calling All Seniors and The RV Life. He is also interested in travel-themed general articles that may not fit exactly within these categories. 

He says, "Although I cannot pay for submissions at this time, appearance on my site is a wide-open opportunity for new and beginning writers to gain publishing credit.  Interested parties should visit the site to get an idea of exactly what is needed and e-mail me for a copy of my Guidelines for Writers."  www.tripswithatwist.com


Sleuth's Ink mystery writers organization of Springfield, MO invites you to
enter our monthly contest.  Short and sinister are our basic guidelines. 
Word limits vary, please check each months information.  Please distribute
this information to your membership and any other interested writers you may
have contact with.  Thank you and good luck!



Enter your own work only.
Type your name, address, phone number and title on a cover sheet.
Prepare in standard manuscript format with only the title, no names, on each
numbered page.  Please read monthly prompts carefully for word limits.

You may enter more than one story, but each story requires a separate entry
fee. If you would like your story returned, include a SASE.

Entry in the contest serves as authorization for possible publication of the
winning entries in the annual book of contest winners put out by Sleuths' Ink.


This contest is open to all writers in Missouri and the eight states that
share a border with Missouri.

Entry fee is $3.00.  Cash prizes will be awarded to a 1st and 2nd place
winner plus a winner from the Sleuth's Ink membership.  In the event that a
Sleuth's Ink member wins either 1st or 2nd place, the membership place will
become a 3rd place prize.

Bookmark our website to check for complete guidelines, click on "coming
event," future contests and announcement of winners which will be posted
shortly after our monthly meeting the 2nd Saturday of each month.





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