2024 President’s Writers’ Contest Announcement

March 11, 2024

We are pleased to announce the opening of our annual MWG Writing Contest

Instructions & Categories for Year 2024

You must be a member of the Guild to enter any category

Walter Williams Award, Sponsored by The Association of MO Electric CooperativesNamed 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 (2023). If in book form, the book must be traditionally published and contain an ISBN number.

“Show Me” Your Best Award: Sponsored by Ozark Studies Institute 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. The book must be published and contain an ISBN number.

Best Fiction Novel: Sponsored by Warren Martin, Ph.D., MBA – President of Missouri Writers Guild. Consider multiple genres, the boundaries of each genre serve as models on which you, the author, can craft your respective stories. No erotica submissions.

 Best Nonfiction Book: Sponsored by Billie Holladay Skelley. The Howard Kelly Holladay Memorial Award for the Best Nonfiction Book.

 Best Children’s Work: Sponsored by The Missouri Association of School Librarians. This award is for Children’s Books (fiction or nonfiction for children aged 0-12).

Best Magazine Article: Sponsored by Missouri Life MagazineThis award is for the best magazine article published.

Best Newspaper Article/Column Sponsored by Missouri Press AssociationThis award is for the best newspaper article, or the best newspaper column published.

Best Short Story:  Sponsored by Larry WoodMay be published in a Magazine, newspaper, book, or anthology.

Best Poem:  Sponsored by St. Louis Publisher’s Association:  May be published in a magazine, newspaper, book, or anthology.

(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.
  2. All works must have been published, presented, or performed in the 2023 calendar year.
  3. The entry fee for all categories is $15. This fee covers ALL entries a writer may choose to submit, in any number of categories.


  • 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

Inferior 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. To establish uniformity, each submission will require a completed COVER SHEET, whether entry is a physical  print or via electronic submission. Place the cover sheet first in the submission. In doing so, you will ensure your work to be identified and sorted into the correct category and submitted to the assigned judge.  Multiple entries require separate cover sheets.
    We have provided an  attached cover sheet on the website for your convenience.
  1. Books: Send one copy of print books to: Missouri Writers Guild, PO Box 410435 Creve Coeur, MO 63141.    Send PDF, Kindle or epub file of eBook to: EBOOKSUBMISSIONS@MISSOURIWRITERSGUILD.ORG   Books will not be returned, but donated to libraries, schools, or Missouri Writers Guild chapters.
      1. Newspaper article or column, magazine article, poem, short story:
        Send one copy of each entry, as a valid link or .pdf ONLY, to  EBOOKSUBMISSIONS@MISSOURIWRITERSGUILD.ORG
      2. Materials submitted for the contest will not be returned.
      3. Entry fee: PayPal or Credit/Debit card
        Entry fees may be paid through PayPal, using our PayPal recipient address:


  1. 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.
  2. Entry period/deadline: Submissions for the President’s Contests must be postmarked between April 1, 2024, and midnight May 31st, 2024.The Guild is not responsible for any lost or misdirected mail or mail without sufficient postage.
  3. For questions, contact Warren Martin at President@MissouriWritersGuild.org

Names of contest winners, sponsors, and judges will be announced.   All prizes will be paid via check.


 Walter Williams Awards: First place receives $100 and a certificate, 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 Book 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 Announcements will be made in early fall of 2024. 


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