Outside the Window – Tales of the World

HWG presents the 2017 annual short story contest – Outside ​the Window – Tales of the World.

We’ll be accepting submissions for fiction and/or creative non-fiction short stories no longer than 5000 words for the contest.

The theme of the contest is Outside ​the Window – Tales of the World: submissions must adhere to the topic - related to traveling, exploring, and/or experiencing different cultures, and how traveling opens one’s mind to understand and appreciate the world around us (fictitious worlds are welcome - any genre accepted except erotica).

The Contest is sponsored by Houston Writers Guild.

2017 annual short story contest - Members
2017 annual short story contest - Members

Agreement to Official Rules

Participation in the Contest constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon being compliant with these Official Rules and fulfilling all other requirements as set forth herein.


Houston Writers Guild Press Contest is open to members and non-members everywhere in the world, whether published or not, regardless of experience. Current HWG Board Members are not eligible to enter. Previously published short stories (including
but not limited to other contests, books, magazines, blogs, etc) are not accepted.

All short stories must be related to the topic of the contest.

All entries must be original unpublished works.

Entries that do not follow all the rules of the contest will be automatically disqualified with no refund.

HWG Press reserves the right to disqualify any entry that does not conform to the contest rules, or which content is deemed unacceptable and/or not appropriate for general audiences.

You can submit up to 2 short stories for consideration. English language only.

Reading fee:

HWG Members: $10 for first entry and $5 for second entry
Non-members: $20 for first entry and $10 for second entry

Fees are payable via PayPal on HWG's website.

To submit your entry, first make your payment via PayPal on the HWG website. You will need the PayPal receipt number to continue your submission.

Send an email to HWGPress@gmail.com with the entry as an attachment (word doc only). The entry itself must be attached as a single word document.

In the body of the email, please state your name, pen-name if any, address, phone number, title of the short story, word count, and PayPal receipt number. Entries that do not have this information will be disqualified.

The manuscript should not have any identification except for the title and page numbers.

• Double space your manuscript.
• Margins should be one inch all around.
• Use Times New Roman or Courier, 12-point font.
• Do not include your name in the manuscript.
• Number all pages.
• Saved as a Word doc named: YourFirstName_ YourLastName_HWGcontest.doc (or .docx) - Please replace "YourFirstName_YourLastName" with your actual first and last name.

All qualifying submissions will receive at least one feedback from the judges.

Contest Period

The Contest begins on September 06, 2017 at 8:00 AM CST and ends on December 31st  at 8:00 PM CST (the Contest Period).

Entries that are submitted before or after the Contest Period will be disqualified. Submissions will be accepted for the duration of the Contest.

Round 1: a panel of judges consisting of industry professionals and authors will select potential winners from among all eligible entries received.

On or around the second or third week in December,we will deliver feedback to all qualifying entries and notify candidates whose entry has placed into Round 2.

Round 2: entries placed in this round will be given specific revision feedback and will work with HWG Press Editors to resubmit their work for final judging.

The final judging from among the resubmitted entries will be held in January.

We will notify the winners and honorary mention contestants whose work has been chosen for publication in the anthology after the final judgingaround that time.

The anthology will be published and scheduled for release during HWG's
Spring Conference (TBA).

The Book Launch Event will be held during conference events, in which literary agents and other industry professionals are invited to participate, and a copy of the book will be given to all presenters and agents participating in the conference.


First place: $150.00

Runner-up: $50.00

Each story entry must be paid individually using the PayPal payment option.

Submitted stories received without the entry fee will be disqualified.

An error in submission form may mean that your entry will not be considered, so please double-check and adhere to the guidelines.

To be certain that every manuscript finalist receives the fairest evaluation, all manuscripts shall be submitted to the judges without any identifying material.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere.
First place and runner up receive prize and publication in the anthology to be released in 2018.

Honorary mention recipients will be published in the anthology.

All published authors will receive one (1) copy of the anthology.
Winners will be notified directly around February 2018.

Good luck!