Tuesday, July 1, 2014
No fee is required for this contest. You will have an opportunity to make an optional donation once your entry is submitted. Your tax-deductible contribution helps keep our contests free. Spark’s production costs are covered and contributing writers are paid in part through sales of the anthology and in part by generous donations from people like you. Funds for all remaining expenses are donated by Brian & Amy Lewis.
GRAND PRIZE US$500.00 Publication in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume VIII, as the first (poem) or second (prose) piece in the collection Lifetime Premium Membership at Scribophile, the online writing group for serious writers One-year subscription to Duotrope One-year print subscription to American Poetry Review or Poets & Writers magazine or The Writer magazine Complimentary print & digital copies of Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volumes I through IV SECOND PLACE US$100.00 Lifetime Premium Membership at Scribophile One-year digital subscription to American Poetry Review Complimentary digital copies of Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volumes I through IV Complimentary print copy of Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume I THIRD PLACE US$20.00 One-year Premium Membership at Scribophile Complimentary digital copy of Spark: A Creative Anthology Volumes I through IV One-year digital subscription to American Poetry Review
The theme for this contest has several lofty terms: self-reflection, introspection, epiphany. We’ve chosen a simpler way to describe it: “You Are Here.”
Good stories give us characters we can connect to—maybe not like them, but at least make us care what happens to them. The best stories go further and show some progression, development, or change in the main character. Sometimes the reader sees the change but the character does not. Other times, the character is actually aware of their personal development and understands that they have a new perspective.
For this contest, present a story where the main character or characters not only go through growth and development, as is appropriate for a good story arc, but are aware by the end of the piece that they’ve changed.
Two pieces from Spark which can be used as examples are “Perspective” by Michelle Soudier, a winning entry in a past contest and later published in Spark, Volume II, and “The Clock has Ceased its Ticking” by Alexis Hunter, published in Volume V.
Contest entries will be accepted from June 15, 2014 until the stroke of midnight, U.S. Pacific Time, on July 2, 2014. (In other words, make sure your entries are in before 11:59 pm on July 1).
There are no genre restrictions for this contest, and content guidelines are similar to our standard submission guidelines, including what we are not accepting.
Contest Five awards prizes for poetry and prose according to our contest judging criteria.
Prose includes both fiction and creative nonfiction, but we have not divided the category further because we believe that well-written creative nonfiction should tell a story so well that the result is indistinguishable from fiction. Prose must be less than 12,000 words.
Poetry includes all styles, meters, and rhyme schemes, or may be free-form. Poetry must be less than 150 lines.