InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship believes that contests are an excellent way for writers to stretch their skills and hone their craft. ICWF provides a variety of members-only contest opportunities to ensure all our writers have a chance to participate.
WORD CHALLENGE: Unique to Inscribe, this contest invites participants to challenge themselves in both writing to guidelines and critiquing one another. New Word Challenges are posted on the Listserv (a private e-mail group for members) several times a year. (No fee)
FALL CONTEST: This contest has something for writers in a variety of categories and at all writing levels. The Fall Contest is our largest writing event offering a variety of categories in numerous genres. (Fee / Cash Prizes)
WINTER CONTEST: Held early in the new year, the Winter Contest is run specifically for InScribe members who have published in the past year. Published items are scanned and submitted for judging. (Fee / Cash Prizes)
UPPER ROOM SUBMISSIONS: InScribe members are invited to submit Devotionals for fast-tracking to the The Upper Room Magazine online. Those accepted are published by Upper Room and translated to be read by both Christians and seekers around the world.
Contests are open to InScribe members only. Join our community of writers today to take advantage of InScribe’s ongoing contest opportunities. A one-year membership makes you eligible to take part.
Become a Member
If you’ve never taken the step to enter a writing competition, you may ask, why do so? One reason, it’s good practice — we are often told that the more you write, the better you’ll become. Another reason, as someone once said, the more you submit the more chances you have of winning.
Every contest provides the opportunity to gain experience and learn something new. An aspiring writer learns to write to deadline, specific guidelines and various lengths. An experienced writer can try out a new genre to ‘test the water’ before committing to something larger and more time-consuming.
By entering–and winning–an InScribe Competition, you could:
- Get published. If you win a prize, your winning entry could be published in the pages of FellowScript, the FellowScript Fall Supplement, and on our ICWF website or blog*. Who knows where else it might go from there!
- Get recognition. All Winners are listed in our newsletter, on our website, on our social media sites, and in FellowScript*. Fall Contest Winners will be announced at the Fall Conference.
- Get feedback. Judges, who are experts in the writing community, are available to provide a profession critique of your contest entry or entries for an additional fee. Word Challenge entries will receive critiques from fellow InScribers.
- Get prizes. Many of InScribe’s writing contests award cash prizes and certificates to First, Second, and Third place winners, plus certificates for Honourable Mentions. Word Challenge winners will receive token, writer-related prizes.
- * inclusion in any publication is at the discretion of the editorial staff
Another Reason To Enter
Although a winner’s cheque can be most rewarding, LinDee Rochelle, Founder of Women Writers Worldwide, points out in her article “Why Enter Writing Contests”, that a cheque in your hand often isn’t the real prize. She describes the real prize this way:
” …even as you mail your entry, whether you win or not, you have triumphed. For it takes a spirit of a winner, the heart of an artist, and the determination of a corporate magnate to create, manifest, and bare your soul with your writing, and submit it to a contest.
If you are satisfied you submitted your best work (it isn’t worth it if you don’t) … if you enjoyed the writing process … and if you learned something in your self-imposed workshop—you are a winner!”
So why not take the step and submit one or more entries in our very next contest!
Fall Contest: Open to all members. Multiple categories for new, unpublished work (Fee * / Cash Prizes)
* Professional critique is available for an additional fee
This Contest is offered each year in conjunction with InScribe’s Fall Conference. (Members are not required to attend Fall Conference to enter the contest.)
Fall Contest offers an opportunity for writers to submit unpublished work in a variety of genres. All entries are written to stated guidelines within specified categories.
Judges are chosen from professional writers, and entries are judged according to a grid.
For an additional fee, entrants may request a critique of their submitted material – a great opportunity for feedback and learning.
GENERAL CONTEST GUIDELINES:
- All entries must be original, unpublished work. (Blog posts on your own blog qualify. Send link to contest coordinator.)
- Download the Contest Guidelines
- Read the contest rules and follow the instructions
- Write your entry(ies)
- Entries will be received by EMAIL only. EMAIL MICROSOFT WORD ATTACHMENT to contest coordinator ON OR BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1ST. Please name the document by the title of the entry and category. For instance, if you send a poem called “God’s Favour,” title the document God’s Favour – Poetry. Please put the category in the Subject field of the email – for example, Fall Contest submission – short story.
- In your entry email give your contact information, category, word count, and whether a critique is required. Late entries will be discarded.
- Entry fee is $15.00 per entry. Anyone wanting a critique must submit an extra $15.00. Youth writers (under 18): No entry fee if age is indicated on entry form.
Devotional • maximum 500 words
Nonfiction • maximum 1500 words – Essay on a current issue from a Christian perspective
Poetry – Free Verse • up to 40 lines
Fiction – Adult Short Story • maximum 800 words.
Blog Post – related to writing – can be any form – devotional, how-to, advice, whatever – maximum 600 words. This entry will be published on InScribe’s Blog.
First: $100 plus publication in FellowScript and/or on the ICWF Blog*
Second: $50 plus publication in FellowScript’s Fall Supplement and/or on the ICWF Blog*
Third: $30 plus publication in FellowScript’s Fall Supplement and/or on the ICWF Blog*
*publication is at the discretion of the editorial staff
Certificates are included with all prizes and Honourable Mentions.
Important! Type your manuscript in proper submission form with 1″ margins and double-spacing (except for poetry) in Times New Roman font and send by emailed Word doc. attachment. Your name must NOT appear on the manuscript.
Entries must be original and unpublished (except for entries in the blog post category from your own blog), and not entered in any previous InScribe contest. Simultaneous submissions (sending the same manuscript to another contest) are NOT acceptable.
Winners will be announced at Fall Conference in September, then in FellowScript, on our Blog and on our Listserv. Winning entries may be read or displayed at the next Fall Conference. Acceptance of a prize grants InScribe First North American Serial Rights to publish the award-winning manuscript online in FellowScript’s Fall Supplement at the discretion of the editorial staff.
Awards are at the discretion of the judges and all prizes will not necessarily be awarded. This is to encourage quality craftsmanship in your entries.
Judges are anonymous and will not enter into discussion or disputes regarding decisions or awards. Please note, the contest coordinator does not judge the entries. Please do not contact the contest coordinator regarding the judging.
Contest Check List:
- I have read & complied with the contest rules.
- I have included the necessary information in my e-mail.
- I have sent adequate entry fees (15.00 per entry)
- I have indicated if I want a critique and forwarded the extra fee (15.00 per entry)
Winter Contest: Open to Members who have Published in the past calendar year (Fee / Cash Prizes)
InScribe’s Winter Contest spotlights the work of members who have been published between January 1st and December 31st of the previous year. Published material is scanned and e-mailed to the Contest Coordinator. Entries are judged by professional writers.
OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS – January 1, 2018; Deadline – Midnight February 28, 2018. Send submissions by email to the Contest Coordinator.
NOTE: Fee must accompany submissions, and cannot be paid after the deadline.
Held every February, InScribe’s Winter Contest was created to celebrate those members whose work was published in the previous calendar year. One prize of $100 is awarded to the winning submission in each category. Prizes will be awarded by April 30th.
- Members in good standing (membership must be paid up).
- All entries must be original, published work.
- Publication must have occurred between January 1 and December 31 of the previous calendar year.
- Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. (May be submitted elsewhere.)
- Online published items must be a third-party publication, that is, not on the author’s blog or website.
- To qualify, submissions must indicate source and date, which may be Hardcopy (Scan of magazine or newspaper page, including date or Scan of date of publication and Table of Contents for an anthology) OR Online (Provide a link to the item or screen shot of item with publication date).
- Multiple submissions with accompanying fees are welcome.
- Entry fee: $20/entry
- Critique fee: $15/entry (critique fee must be paid by anyone requesting one).
- Non-fiction article
- Poetry – free verse or rhymed
- Fiction – Short Story
- Complete the online Contest Entry Form below
- To request a critique for $15/entry, click on item 3 (b).
- Click the link and pay the total for: (a) Adult entries, (b) 18 and under critique fees OR (c) adult entries & critiques. For multiple entries, please select the appropriate number on the item before submitting payment.
- Email with the subject: WINTER CONTEST – [Your surname and first name]. Multiple entries may be sent in one e-mail to the Contest Coordinator.
- Remember to attach the appropriate files as noted under “Criteria”. NOTE: If the scanned version is not easily read, please also attach a Word or PDF document of the same submission.
- Send to contest coordinator
NOTE: Fee and entry must both arrive before midnight on the last day of February
JUDGING, PRIZES AND PUBLICATION OF WINNING ENTRIES
- Acceptance of a prize grants InScribe subsequent Second Serial/Reprint Rights to publish the award-winning entry online and/or in FellowScript for the magazine’s current reprint pay rate at the discretion of the editorial staff.
- Judges are anonymous and will not enter into discussion or disputes regarding decisions or awards. The Contest Coordinator does not judge entries. Please do not contact her regarding the judging.
- Contest winners will be announced in some or all of the following: FellowScript, InSide InScribe, Listserv, InScribe website, and InScribe social media sites. Winning entries may be read or displayed in part or in whole at InScribe’s Fall Conference.
Word Challenge: Members only – No Fee / Fun Prizes
Unique to Inscribe, Word Challenges are announced several times a year. These entertaining contests are designed and posted by the moderator on the InScribe Members Listserve.
All members can enter. All members can critique.
This is your opportunity to practice writing to theme, follow guidelines, and receive peer reviews from fellow writers. You also have the chance to practice your own critiquing skills as you consider comments to share about other entries.
- Moderator presents a topic/idea/game/writing exercise
- Usually there is a specific word or line count.
- Interested Inscribers write according to the topic and other guidelines.
- The Moderator gives a deadline – usually one week.
- All submissions have to be forwarded to email@example.com before the cut off deadline.
- Moderator will strip all submissions of identifying information.
- Submissions are then forwarded to the listserv with numbers and titles only.
- All Inscribe members are encouraged to vote. Members pick first-place, second-place, and third-place winners; members will also be asked [not compulsory] to offer some feedback on any or all submissions. They can be short or detailed.
- The votes will be tallied and the submission with the most votes will be first place.
- Moderator will gather all this information and announce a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner [ties are acceptable] in one email. Any feedback will be included with each submission.
- Token, writer-related prizes will be awarded to winners.
- Acceptance of a prize grants InScribe First North American Serial Rights to publish the winning entries in FellowScript Magazine at the discretion of the editorial staff. No payment will be received for publication of these entries.
Why would I want to join in on the Word Challenges?
- Because you are a dedicated Inscriber and you want to humour the organizer
- You want to get a little feedback on something you have written
- You want to encourage others in their craft
- You want to get some experience pressing the send button (some first timers really do have a fear)
- You want to learn something about the craft of writing
- You have a message you want to impart
- You want to practise submitting to a contest
- You want to win a prize
For information on the monthly ICWF Word Challenges contact Glynis Belec at firstname.lastname@example.org
FellowScript Magazine is published four times a year. When a FellowScript contest is held, details will be provided only in the magazine.
These contests are exclusive to FellowScript readers. You never know when they’re coming, so be sure to check your FellowScript when it arrives!
Winning the contest automatically grants InScribe First North American Serial Rights to publish the winning entry in FellowScript Magazine at the current pay rate for articles.
Upper Room Submissions: Open to all Members – Meditations written to Upper Room Guidelines will be received by our Publicity Coordinator and submitted to the U.R. Editorial team on a quarterly basis.
NOTE: Submissions will be accepted for 2017, starting in June.
The Barnabas Fellowship is a grant of $250 enabling a member of InScribe to further his or her progress in writing. It is named for Barnabas, a co-worker with the Apostle Paul. His story is found in the book of Acts. Barnabas means “encourager,” which coincides with the purpose of this award.
Applications for the Barnabas Fellowship grant are accepted each Summer (deadline is August 31st of the current year). The Fellowship is awarded at the Fall Conference to a current member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.
You must be a member to InScribe to qualify. Carefully read the following rules before making application.
2017 BARNABAS FELLOWSHIP GRANT
The Barnabas Fellowship grant is awarded to a member of InScribe each year at the Fall Conference, and with summer upon us, it’s time to get working on your application.
If you desire to take your writing to a new level, winning this award might just be the motivation and ‘encouragement’ to help you achieve your current writing goals.
Please carefully read the rules and guidelines. Fill in the application form and provide the other documents listed below. Send your package to the address listed on the application.
- Applicants must hold a current year InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship membership.
- Application must be postmarked no later than August 31 for the year of application.
- Both published and unpublished writers may apply.
The application form must be completed entirely and included with the following information:
- Biography / brief history of your writing experience: describe when you became interested in writing, the progress you have made, courses you have taken, conferences attended and any other relevant information. Length: no more than one page.
- Curriculum vitae / summary of published writing: include books, magazine articles, poetry, newspaper features, columns, etc. You can include work published in church bulletins and newsletters. If your work has not been published in any form, mark “Never published” on your curriculum vitae. Length: no more than one page.
- Personal essay / explanation of your writing goals and how this award could help you achieve them: you may also describe how God is using your writing ability. Length: no more than one page.
- Tear sheet of a published article / photocopy is permissible: demonstrating your writing ability. If you have not been published, send 1-3 pages (maximum) of your writing as a sample of your work.
- Recipient will not be required to account for their use of this grant but ICWF asks that the winner respect the stated intention of this Fellowship award.
- Please send copies (not originals) as no applications or manuscripts will be returned.
The Janette Oke Award
- will be awarded every second year or as donated funds permit
- is open to any current member (or former members who renew their membership at the time of submitting their award applications.)
- award is cash; value can be different each time it is offered, depending on donations received specifically for the award, but it will be at least $250 dollars.
Janette Oke is a lifetime member of Inscribe and some members of Inscribe have long wished to honor her faith, writing career and Christian commitment that have impacted millions around the world. This award was first presented at the 2016 Fall Conference.
The award will be given to someone who demonstrates a strong Christian commitment, a desire to impact society with family and Christlike values in their work, belongs to Inscribe, and is innovative or brave in their chosen genre. The committee is not looking for a similar theme or genre but a sense of commitment, conviction and a strong desire to persevere in their field.
Thoughts from the committee for the award, when thinking about the criteria:
“How about the detail she puts into her settings…I was thinking of the simplicity in which she writes about real life. As Davis Bunn said, “right down to the smell of toast burning.” Tandy Balson.
“The moral fibre of her characters, the way Christ shines through in her storytelling. What I remember most about the Love Comes Softly book is the grace and kindness always extended to Marty by Clark. Even when she screwed things up, he’d find something positive to say, even if it was simply ‘that’s right good coffee’.” Janelle Baldwin
JANETTE OKE AWARD APPLICATION PROCESS
- Fill out the application form
- Submit a 500 – 600 word essay on the impact Janette Oke has either had on your writing or the impact of her writing in general.
- Provide two references from people who know your writing (preferably one from an Inscribe member).
- Provide a short bio and a picture
Please submit the application form, essay, two references, your bio, and a headshot by email with the subject line: JANETTE OKE AWARD
DEADLINE: to be announced
Please request a read receipt so that you know it has been received.
JANETTE OKE AWARD COMMITTEE: TANDY BALSON, JANELLE BALDWIN, DEB ELKINK, and SHEILA WEBSTER
This is an annual contest for those members who attend the ICWF Fall Conference. You are invited to submit an entry on the impact that the Conference had on you. Your entry should be between 525 – 600 words, and it is to be submitted within one week from the end of the Fall Conference. The winner of this contest automatically grants InScribe First North American Serial Rights to publish their entry in the Fall issue of FellowScript at the current pay rate for articles. Email your submission to the editor at email@example.com.
Winter Contest 2016
by Andrea Kidd
Fiction: Breaking Alvin’s Fast
by Marcia Laycock
Poetry: The Pregnant Pause
by Alvin Enns
(No prize was awarded in the devotional category)
NEW! 2016 Janette Oke Award – Janice Dick
2016 – Eleanor Bertin
2015 – Nina Faye Morey
2014 – Melanie Fischer
2013 – Brenda Leyland
2012 – Brenda J. Wood
2011 – Nikki Rosen
2010 – Barbara Quaale
2009 – No award this year
2008 – Elaine Ingalls Hogg
- 1st – Marcia Laycock “Until That Day”
- 2nd – Wendy Macdonald “Better is One Book in God’s Library than Thousands Elsewhere”
- 3rd – Violet Nesdoly “Eleven Must Haves in My Toolkit”
- HM – James Bruyn “Humility Meets Anxiety”
- 1st – Donna Gartshore “God is always with us”
- 2nd – Janet Seever “To See Him More Clearly”
- 3rd – Jack Popjes “The Day the Teacher Learned”
- HM – Carol Harrison “Hoping for a Miracle”
- 1st – Sheri Hathaway “I Am a Hawk”
- 2nd – Donna Gartshore “Where Did You Find God Today?”
- 2nd – Sharon Cavers “Your Voice”
- 3rd – Violet Nesdoly “Dangerous Secret”
- HM – Sharon Cavers “He”
- 1st – Pam Mytroen “Onions, Satin & Hope”
- 2nd – Eleanor Bertin “A Tale of Two Sisters”
- 3rd – Connie Inglis “Grand – An Allegory of Hope”
- 1st – Bobbi Junior “Satan’s Attack on the Sanctity of Life — How Do We Respond?”