You must be a member of the Guild to enter all categories, except for the Young Author Short Story
MWG Writing Contest Categories
Special Announcement – Children’s Picture Book Category Added
After numerous inquiries and finding volunteers for judges, we are pleased to announce that we are adding the “Children’s Picture Book” category to our 2021 President’s Writers Contest. All books must have an ISBN. The deadline for submissions for this category is May 30, 2021.. (deadline for all other categories remains May 15, 2021).
Walter Williams Award, Sponsored by The Association of MO Electric Cooperatives: Named in honor of the founder of the MWG. This should be a major work, whether in book form or in some other form of publication that is worthy of special recognition because of the research or high literary quality involved in its creation.
This award is open to any type of publication or production, including fiction, nonfiction, scripts, poetry (as in a poetry collection in a book), books, published in the calendar year (2020). If in book form, it must be traditionally published (no self-published books), whereby the author is paid by the publisher. The book must contain an ISBN number.
“Show Me” Your Best Award, Sponsored by The MO Center for the Book-Ozarks Chapter: This award is for a work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry published in book form. The book must have Missouri incorporated into it, showing the appreciation for the people, land, and culture of the state. This book may either be traditionally published or self-published and must contain an ISBN number.
Howard Kelly Holladay Memorial Award for the Best Article or Essay on U. S. Military History, sponsored by Billie Holladay Skelley: This award is for the best nonfiction article or essay published in a magazine, newspaper, or anthology during the calendar year (2020) related to any aspect of American military history.
Best Magazine Article: This award is for the best magazine article published.
Best Newspaper Article, sponsored by Missouri Press Association: This award is for the best newspaper article published.
Best Newspaper Column: This award is for the best newspaper column published.
Best Short Story: May be published in a magazine, newspaper, book, or anthology.
Best Juvenile Work, Sponsored by The Missouri Association of School Librarians: May be published in a magazine, newspaper, book, or anthology. Should be for children or young adult audiences.
Best Poem: May be published in a magazine, newspaper, book, or anthology.
Best Young Author Short Story: $5 entry fee for this category only!
Open to aspiring authors ages 12-18. Must also submit parent/guardian written permission if under 18. Up to 2500 words.
Best Non-Fiction: The book must be published and contain an ISBN number, examples to include:
- Biography / Autobiography / Memoirs.
- Academic books/
- Guides / Manuals / Handbooks / Technical books.
- Travelogues / Travel Literature.
Best Fiction Novel: Open to both Literary Fiction and to Genre Fiction, to include several categories. Within Genre fiction, for example, the contest will include i.e. :
- Action Adventure,
- Science Fiction,
- Speculative fiction,
- Young Adult,
- New Adult
- Western Fiction.
The book must be published and contain an ISBN number.
Rules and Guidelines
- The President’s Contest categories are open to any Guild member, except for the Young Adult Short Story category, which is open to anyone under the age of 18. In cases of co-authorship, both authors must meet this criterion.
- All works must have been published, presented, or performed in the 2020 calendar year, except for The Young Author Short Story category.
- The entry fee for all categories is $15, except the Young Author Short Story category, which is $5. This fee covers ALL entries a writer may choose to submit, in any number of categories.
- Entries must have received a royalty or payment for the writer, except for Best Young Author Short Story, Best Poem and Best Short Story.
- Best Show Me Award is for narrative in a book form that may have been traditionally published or through independent publishing.
- Electronic entries (book, newspaper, or magazine) may be entered in any appropriate category.
- Multiple categories may be entered.
- Only one submission per category is allowed.
- May not submit the same work in more than one category.
- All books must have an ISBN.
Submission Procedures for President’s Contests
Poor quality submissions will be disqualified. Therefore, entries that are tattered, smeared, difficult to read, poor quality photocopy, or otherwise unprofessional looking may be disqualified.
- Books (Walter Williams, Show Me, Non-Fiction, and Fiction): Send one copy of print book. Send .pdf or Mobil file of eBook. Books will not be returned, but donated to libraries, schools, or Missouri Writers Guild chapters. See #8 below for mailing addresses.
- Newspaper article or column, magazine article, poem, short story:
Send one copy of each entry, as a valid link or .pdf ONLY, to
- Materials submitted for the contest will not be returned.
- With each physical entry, send a cover sheet which includes:
The writer’s name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address, the title of the submission, and the publisher’s name and date of publication.
- Entry fee:
Entry fees may be paid through PayPal, using our PayPal recipient address:
PayPal-alert@MissouriWritersGuild.org, or by check to PO Box 410435, Creve Coeur, MO 63141.
- Disqualification: Entries that do not follow the guidelines will be disqualified and the entry fee will not be returned. Any entries not meeting the requirements of these rules may be disqualified at the discretion of the contest coordinator.
- Entry period/deadline: Submissions for the President’s Contests must be postmarked between April 1, 2021 and midnight May 15, 2021.The Guild is not responsible for any lost or misdirected mail or mail without sufficient postage.
- Mail physical book entries to the following address:
Missouri Writers Guild, PO Box 410435, Creve Coeur, MO 63141. Email all other entries to email@example.com
- For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Names of contest winners, sponsors, and judges will be announced on the Missouri Writers’ Guild website, June 30, 2021. All prizes will be paid via check.
Walter Williams Awards: First place receives $100 and a plaque, second place receives $50 and a certificate, third place receives $25 and a certificate. Honorable mentions may be named at the discretion of the judges.
“Show Me” Your Best Awards: First place receives $50 and a certificate, second place receives $25 and a certificate, third place receives $15 and a certificate. Honorable mentions may be named at the discretion of the judges.
Fiction and Non-Fiction Awards: First place, 50.00, second place 25.00 and third place 15.00 along with certificates:
Other Category Awards:
First place receives $30 and a certificate, second place receives $20 and a certificate, third place receives $15 and a certificate.
Honorable mentions may be named at the discretion of the judges.
In accordance with Article X, section 3 of the MWG bylaws: Awards may be given at the judges’ discretion. If there are fewer than seven entries in any category, except for the Walter Williams Award, no prizes will be given in that category, unless in the judges’ opinion the work submitted is of such quality as to merit recognition. Similarly, the Walter Williams Award may be withheld if, in the opinion of the judges, no material of sufficient literary merit is submitted.
Awards will be announced on the Missouri Writers Guild Website June 30, 2021.