Missouri Writers' Guild

Bringing Writers Together

Latest News

Upcoming Planning Conference

We’re hosting a different kind of conference this year. One that we hope will prepare the Guild to better serve our members, our chapters, and all Missouri writers.



New Contest


Please follow these guidelines when submitting your essay for the Writers on Rails: Explore, Dream, Discover Missouri Essay Contest.

Contest Submission Essay Topic

As in the past, writers—all writers—add to the landscape of history and to the lives of fellow Americans and international communities. In that vein, the MWG board of directors thought it appropriate for each Writers on Rails: Explore, Dream, Discover Missouri contestant to examine several ideas and thereafter develop and write an essay based on the following:

First, what does it mean to be a Missouri writer? For Missouri Writers’ Guild members who live in a neighboring state, what does it mean for you to be a part of the Missouri writing landscape? For all writers, what can you, or what do you offer not only to our community of Missouri Writers’ Guild members, but our fellow Missourians, fellow Americans, and fellow citizens throughout the world? What do you, as a writer, envision for the next 100 years for the Missouri Writers’ Guild, its writers, as well as our world as a whole? As you consider these questions, revisit the past, consider the present, look to the future, and then share your visions.

Please note that the winning entry will also be asked to submit a follow-up essay on your ‘Writers on Rails’ experience after your adventure to the MWG board. This essay will be shared with all members of Missouri Writers’ Guild.



Who May Enter the Contest

Missouri Writers’ Guild members
Missouri Chapter members affiliated with an official MWG chapter, but not an MWG member
Missouri Writers’ Guild members (not affiliated with an MWG chapter)
Missouri Writers’ Guild members (living in another state)
Non-MWG members (must be a legal resident of Missouri)

NOTE: 2014-2015 Missouri Writers Guild membership dues must be paid prior to entering the contest. Additionally, contestants affiliated with a MWG chapter, but who are not a MWG member, also must show proof they are currently paid-up with their chapter dues. Non-MWG members must show some proof of residency in the state of Missouri (phone bill, utility bill, etc.)

Missouri Writers’ Guild member (regardless of residency)- $25
MWG Official Chapter member – $25
Missouri resident (non-Missouri Writers’ Guild member)* – $50

*Anyone who wishes to become a member of Missouri Writers’ Guild can make application to become either a full or associate member and pay the first-time annual membership fee. Visit missouriwritersguild.org and click on ‘Membership Application’ link. Once your application is approved, you will be sent an email on how to pay your dues. Then as an MWG member, you can pay the $25 entry fee.

Word Count:  2,000-3,000 words. Any essay that does not fall within these parameters will not be considered, read, or returned.

Deadline: March 21, 2015.


Judges chosen will be impartial and will not be affiliated with Missouri Writers Guild as a member, chapter member, or board member. Once judges are chosen, a bio on each judge will be posted on the MWG website and sent to all contestants. Additionally, this will be a blind judging; therefore, no identifying information should be on the essay. (See Submission Guidelines below.)

Pay entry fee via PayPal or check. Entries can be sent before paying the entry fee. However, the entry will not be considered valid until entry fees are paid/received.
Checks: Make payable to Missouri Writers’ Guild (MWG)
Mail to: Donna J. Essner
Treasurer, MWG
6701 County Road 621
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Entries accepted via email only. All entries (Essay and Identification page) must be mailed as separate attachments in the same email. Sent to: treasurer@missouriwritersguild.org.
Subject Line: Writers on Rails Contest


Information to Include:
Essay (Attached separately from Identification page). DO NOT PUT NAME OR ANY OTHER IDENTIFYING INFORMATION ON THE ESSAY:

Center the title of essay on each page
Number each page
Identification Page: (Attach separately from Essay).
List the following:
Full Name
Address, City, State, Zip
Phone (home &/or cell)
Title of Essay
Word Count
List one of the following:
Missouri Guild Writers’ member
MWG chapter member, name of chapter
MWG member (Missouri resident)-proof of residency may be required
MWG member (non-Missouri resident)

Any submissions that fail to follow the guidelines above will not be entered into the contest and will not be returned.

All entities of Missouri Writers’ Guild, its board members, and judges will not be responsible for lost, misdirected, or undelivered entries or entry fees via traditional mail, or via PayPal.


AWARD ($1,000 value)

Plaque: Writers on Rails: Explore, Dream, Discover Missouri Award plaque.
Business Class Seat Accommodations to/from St. Louis to Kansas City, on Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner railcar. (Or from Kansas City to St. Louis.)
Hotel Accommodations: For travel from St. Louis to Kansas City, two nights’ accommodations at the Historic Phillips Hotel in Downtown Kansas City arts and business district. Or, for travel from Kansas City to St. Louis, accommodations will be at the historic Union Station in downtown St. Louis.
Meals: To and from St. Louis to Kansas City and return. Meals during stay at hotel.
Cab Fare: To/from Union Station Hotel in St. Louis and cab fare to/from the Phillips Hotel in Kansas City and return. (NOTE: If individual does not live in either Kansas City or St. Louis, it will be the contest winner’s responsibility to get him/herself to either the Union Station or the Amtrak station in Kansas City.
Parking: Parking at either Amtrak station, if contest winner must drive to station from their hometown.

If you have questions, please email Donna J. Essner at treasurer@missouriwritersguild.org.


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