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The 2014 Emerging Writer's Contest is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who have yet to publish a book. The winner in each genre will receive $1,000 and publication in the magazine.
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You can read some of the winning submissions from past years here.
Contest Rules & Eligibility: Entries will be accepted via our online Submission Manager ONLY between Saturday, March 1 and Thursday, May 15th. The Submission Manager will open to entries at noon EST on March 1 and will close to entries at noon EST on May 15th. Sorry, no entries via email or mailed in hard copy will be considered. Submitted work must be original and previously unpublished. Fiction and nonfiction entries should be under 6,000 words. Poetry entries should contain 3-5 pages of poems. For poetry, we will be reading both for the strongest individual poem and the general level of work, and may choose to publish only some of the winner's submitted poems. Writers are allowed to submit only one entry to the contest, per year. We define an "emerging writer" as someone who has yet to publish a book, including chapbooks, eBooks, and any self-published works, in any of the content genres: fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. No book should be forthcoming before April 15th, 2015, the date when the Winter 2014-15 issue (where the winners will be published) will be off the stands. If you are currently affiliated with Ploughshares or Emerson College, as a staff member, student, faculty member, or volunteer reader, please do not submit. Also, if you might have such a relationship with Ploughshares or Emerson before April 15, 2015: for example, if there's a chance you will be attending the Emerson MFA program in the coming year, please do not submit.
Entry Fee & Subscription Options:
- The entry fee for the contest of $24, payable by credit card through the online submission manager, includes a 1-year subscription to Ploughshares (starting with the Spring 2014 issue and expiring with the Winter 2014-15 issue). Current subscribers (through the Winter 2014-15 issue) may submit for free by selecting the genre "Emerging Writer, current subscriber (through Winter 2014-15).
- Select the type of entry/the type of subscription you would like to receive from the "genre" drop-down menu on the submission form.
Emerging Writer, regular rate, print subscription
U.S. print subscriptions.
Emerging Writer, regular rate, digital subscription
U.S. and international digital subscriptions. Files (.mobi, .epub, PDF) delivered by email.
Emerging Writer, current subscriber (through Winter 2014-15)
Subscribers current through the Winter 2014-15 issue. Don't know when your subscription expires? Contact email@example.com
Emerging Writer, Canada/Mexico, print subscription (add $10)
International print subscriptions in Canada/Mexico. This $10 surcharge covers the additional cost of shipping.
Emerging Writer, other international, print subscription (add $30)
All other international print subscriptions. This $30 surcharge covers the additional cost of shipping.
DIRECTIONS TO SUBMIT Please do NOT e-mail us about policies we have stated in these instructions. Read all instructions carefully and completely before submitting.
How to use the Submission Manager:
- If you have used our Submission Manager before, log in using the fields in the top left corner of this page. If you have never submitted to us before: Fill in all of your contact information in the form below. This is when you will create your Submission Manager registration and password.
- Include your entry's genre (fiction, nonfiction, poetry) in the comments box, if you do not provide a genre for a prose submission we will assume that it is fiction.
- Acceptable file types: .doc, .docx, .rtf.
- Select from the drop-down menu the type of subscription you would like to receive. See "Entry Fee & Subscription Options" section above.
- We accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express for payments.
- You will then have the option to review your information and confirm that it is correct. Hit continue to finish.