2020 President’s Contests

Information for the 2021 President’s Contests will be posted in November 2020!

Missouri Writers Guild 2020 President’s Contest

You must be a member of the Guild to enter all categories, with the exception of the Young Author Short Story

President’s Contest Categories

Walter Williams Award–Sponsored by Rural Missouri

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, and anthologies (if sole author or editor) published in the last calendar year (2019). Self-published books are not allowed in this category.

“Show Me” Your Best Award–Sponsored by The Missouri 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.

Howard Kelly Holladay Memorial Award for the Best Article or Essay on U. S. Military History–Sponsored by B.H. Skelley

This award is for the best nonfiction article or essay published in a magazine, newspaper, or anthology during the previous year related to any aspect of American military history.

Best Magazine Article–Sponsored by Missouri Life Magazine

Best Newspaper Article–Sponsored by the Columbia Daily Tribune

Best Newspaper Column–Sponsored by the Missouri Press Association

Best MWG Chapter Anthology

Best Short Story–Sponsored by the Joplin Writers Guild, a Chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild

May be published in a magazine, newspaper, book, or anthology, and be paid in dollars or copies.

Best Juvenile Short Work (non-book)–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–Sponsored by Larry Wood

Best Young Author Short Story–$5 entry fee for this category only! Sponsored by the Joplin Globe

Open to aspiring authors ages 12-18. Must also submit parent/guardian written permission if under 18. Up to 2500 words.

(Note: The president reserves the right to consolidate or cancel categories receiving fewer than seven unique entries.)

Rules and Guidelines

  1. The President’s Contest categories are open to any Guild member, with the exception of 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 criteria.
  2. All works must have been published, presented, or performed in the 2019 calendar year. The Young Author Short Story category entries may be unpublished.
  3. 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.
  4. Entries must have received a royalty or payment for the writer, whether from a publisher or through independent publishing.
  5. Electronic entries (book, newspaper, or magazine) may be entered in any appropriate category.
  6. Multiple categories may be entered.
  7. Only one submission per category is allowed.
  8. May not submit the same work in more than one category.
  9. 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.

  1. Books (Walter Williams, Show Me, Chapter Anthology):
    Send one copy of print book. Send .pdf or Mobi file of eBook. Books will not be returned, but donated to libraries, schools, or Missouri Writers Guild chapters. See #8 below for mailing addresses.
  2. Newspaper article or column, magazine article, poem, short story:
    Send one copy of each entry, as a valid link or .pdf ONLY, to
  3. Materials submitted for the contest will not be returned.
  4. With each physical entry (Walter Williams, Show-Me, Chapter Anthology ONLY), 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.
  5. Entry fee:
    Entry fees may be paid through PayPal, using our PayPal recipient address:
  6. 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.
  7. Entry period/deadline: Submissions for the President’s Contests must be postmarked between January 1, 2020, and midnight February 15, 2020. The Guild is not responsible for any lost or misdirected mail or mail without sufficient postage.
  8. Mail physical book entries to the following address:
    Missouri Writers Guild, 281 CR 2600, Edgar Springs, MO 65462
    Email all other entries to president@missouriwritersguild.org
  9. For questions, contact president@missouriwritersguild.org
  10. Names of contest winners, sponsors, and judges will be announced at the annual MWG conference and business meeting on May 2, 2020. All prizes will paid via check if winner is present at the banquet, or via PayPal thereafter. No exceptions.


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.

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 at the annual Missouri Writers Guild banquet on May 2, 2020.