The Pioneer Branch of the National League of American Pen Women is proud to announce the winning entries of the Pen Us an Awesome Tale Contest for 2023. Thank you for each and every entry made to this contest. All of the entries were of the highest quality, which made judging fun, yet difficult. We were swept away by so many adventures, including time travel, tales of boating and creative coping measures during a time of pestilence. Multiple genres were received including Fantasy, Sci-Fi/
Fantasy, Western, Romance, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Crime, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Young Adult, Speculative Fiction, and Creative Non-Fiction.
We encourage all those who submitted to the contest to consider submitting their entries in appropriate contests in the Arkansas Writers’ Conference contests, now open for submissions.
The four monetary winners, selected for their Excellence, are:
Out of the Loop by Barbara Shepherd
Shot to the Heart by Kimberly Vernon
John Paul’s Secret by Kimberly Vernon
Angels in Waiting by Gary Rodgers
Each will be mailed a check for $25 and a Certificate of Excellence. Please send us a picture of you with your certificate for inclusion on our website. Instructions for sending the photograph will come with your certificate.
Honorable Mentions for outstanding work are:
Smell the Roses by June Simmons
Fractured by Barbara Shepherd
My Side of the Story by Lisbeth L. McCarty
Safe to Move On by Joyce Ross
Each will be mailed a Certificate of Merit. A picture of you with your certificate would be appreciated and we will include it on our website. Instructions for sending the photograph will come with your certificate.
All proceeds of the contest benefit the Arkansas Writers’ Conference, which will be held on June 3, 2023 at the Hilton Garden Inn in North Little Rock.
Pen Us an Awesome Tale
2023 Short Story Contest
The Pioneer Branch of the National League of American Pen Woman
Proceeds benefit: Arkansas Writers’ Conference
$5 for first entry, $3 for each additional entry
Submission Deadline (only electronic filing this year)
Electronic filing: January 22, 2023, 11:59 p.m. CT
Open. Genre must be listed on the first page of each submission (details below)
Open (Story must be rated G or PG) entertain us, make us laugh or cry, move us with emotion and your excellent storytelling.
Four awards ($25 each) will be presented to the submissions judged to be the top four entries, regardless of genre.
2500 maximum (1500 minimum)
Contributors’ work must be original and not posted on any website, social media site, magazine, or traditionally or self-published. No exceptions. Winning entries from a prior year are excluded but winning authors are encouraged to submit new entries. Word count must not exceed 2500 words (minimum 1500 words). Story must be fiction and rated G or PG.
(No excessive gore or violence.) Multiple submissions encouraged.
Email submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject Line: “2023 Short Story Contest.”
amount you will owe for contest entry or entries. You will receive an email with instruction for your payment.
All payments (whether regular mail or PayPal) must be received by January 28th, 2023. Payments can be made prior to the submission deadlines (with enough information included for administration to apply the proceeds to the entries.)
All entries and payments received will be acknowledged with an email NO EARLIER THAN January 22, 2023 and prior to January 31, 2023. If you do not receive a confirmation by January 30, 2023, email email@example.com.
Winners will be posted on the Arkansas Writers’ Conference website February 1, 2023.
Formatting the Manuscript
Font: 12-point Times New Roman or Courier Visual: Black text on white background
Margins: One-inch margins and one-half-inch first-line indents
Paragraphs: Set to double-spaced, zero lines before/after Genre/Word Count: Single-spaced genre listed for your
submission and word count in top right or top left of first page (example: mystery/2251 words)
Title: Centered title, about one-third down first page
Main Text: Begin text two double-spaces below title
Header: Title / Pg.# on pages 2 and above
Electronic filing requirements:
Document: MS Word.docx or MS Word.doc or Google doc
Document: Do not submit a PDF or other document that can’t be edited. This is to allow us to make the submissions
anonymous during judging. Email submitting document(s) must include: Author name, address, phone number, indication of whether payment is to be made via PayPal or via regular mail, genre of submission, title of submission and first line of entry. Multiple entries can be made in one email if genre, title and first line of each entry are clear for the administrator.