2021 Contest

enter to win purple template for promotions

HWG Press
Writers’ Contest

Contest Window:

February 8  to June 30

The winner will be announced on Friday October 8 at Indiepalooza.

Entry Fee:

Members = $25
Non Members - $85
** Each entry fee is for one story submission OR poetry up to 42lines and/or 3 poems
** Become a member, then enter contest, and save $10
** All entry fees are nonrefundable. Please adhere to submission guidelines with care. Disqualification of your submission for failure to follow the guidelines will not entitle you to a refund.

Contest Theme:

Women’s Voices
This year’s focus is on empowering women in honor of our first female vice president. Story entries can be either fiction or narrative nonfiction. All submissions should be from a female or female identifying POV and be a source of inspiration and empowerment for women. All authors, regardless of gender, are welcome to participate.


1st place = $100 plus medal, featured on organization website, and publication in contest anthology
2nd place -- $75 plus certificate, featured on organization website, and publication in contest anthology
3rd place -- $50 plus certificate, featured on organization website, and publication in contest anthology
Honorable Mentions – publication in contest anthology
All Entries will receive feedback on the work from contest judges.

Contest Logistics:

Story Submissions
There will be three phases:
Judging Phase – From April 1st to April 15th judges will read and score the contest entries. All entries will be sent feedback. Entries selected as potential winners will move into phase two.
Revision Phase – From April 15th through 30th entries selected will work with a developmental editor to make revisions to the story. The key purpose of this phase is to help authors get a sense of what working with content editors is like, an important part in all publishing processes.
Editing and Publication – From May 1st through May 30th judges will select the winners as well as honorable mentions. Those stories will be sent to copyediting and formatting for compilation in the contest anthology, Women’s Voices.
Winners will be announced Friday, June 11 at the Houston Writers Guild’s Annual Conference to be held in a virtual format. Prize money and items will be sent via snail mail shortly thereafter.

Poetry Submissions
Poetry submissions will have the same process as the story entries with the exception of a developmental editing phase.

Submission Guidelines:

  •  Story submissions should be no more than 8000 words long and must involve volume’s theme in some way. Only 1 story submission per author will be accepted. Please follow this guideline as all entry fees are nonrefundable.
  • Poetry submission may be a maximum length of 42 lines and/or up to 3 poems for consideration
  • Each entry must be submitted with verified entry fee paid.
  • In addition to the prizes, authors selected will also:
    o Be provided a free copy of the volume
    o Be able to purchase from HWG Press as many copies of the anthology as they wish at 50% off retail price and resell these retaining all profits from said sales
    o Retain all rights to their story for any future or concurrent use. No exclusivity is required or requested.

Submission Format:

  • Send story in Word to houstonguild@gmail.com
  • Subject Line of Email: Writers’ Contest Entry -- Your Full Name
  • In body of email, provide PayPal transaction number as proof of payment of entry fee. Entry will not be submitted for judging unless payment of fee is verified.
  • If submitting multiple poems, please include all poems in 1 word file only.
  • 1st Page should be a cover page with
  • Title of story or Poem Title(s)
  • Word Count/Line Count
  • Author’s pen name as you wish it to appear in publication
  • Author’s legal name (if different from pen name)
  • Contact information for author including
  • email address, telephone number, and mailing address
  • 2nd Page should begin the text, with title again and in 12 pt Garamond font, double spaced
  • Last page, after the final page of text, include a short biography of the author.
  • Header throughout should only include:
  • Title(s)
  • Page Number

Author’s name should only appear in the first (cover) page of the submission and the last page with bio. Judging is blind, so any entry which contains author’s name anywhere else will be disqualified. Entry fee will not be refunded.
Any entry that does not strictly adhere to these guidelines will be disqualified. Entry fee will not be refunded. In order to be submitted for judging, entry fee payment must be verified. No exceptions will be made.