Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Personal Essay Contest and Writer Networking

Take a guess who the baby is...

Memoirs, Ink. Half-Yearly Personal Essay Contest - 2009 Contest Guidelines:

Less is even more this year. What makes this contest different is that the word limit is half that of our yearly contest. The guidelines are below.

Memoirs Ink is looking for original, well-written personal essays, memoirs, or stories that are based on autobiographical experiences. The narrative must be in first person, other that that, the contest is open to any type, genre or style of story. It is open to any writer, any age, writing in English--that means Canadians, Brits, Australians, Ugandans and anyone else anywhere can enter.

Entry must be previously unpublished (this includes websites and blogs).

Entry fee: $17. (Please make check or money order to Memoirs, Ink.) or you can pay online. (Make sure to mail in receipt of payment with entry.) Get $2 off entry fee by becoming a fan on Facebook.

Prizes: This year, to prove that less is more, or at least reward less with more, we are giving away more prize money. First Prize: $1000. Second Prize: $500. Third Prize: $250.

Please limit entries to less than 1500 words.

Contest Deadline: February 15, 2009 (postmark). Late Deadline: February 28, 2009 (Postmark - Late entries require additional $5 entry fee per entry)

Winners will be announced April 30, 2008. We will announce them by e-mail and on our website.
Send entries to: Memoirs Ink Writing Contest 10866 Washington Blvd, Suite 518, Culver City, CA 90232

Please submit entries as follows: Typed, double-spaced, 12 pt. font.
Your name should appear only on the contest submission form. Click here to print submission form.

The title of the manuscript should appear on every page.
The pages should be numbered.
We used to prefer paperclips, but are now partial to staples.
Multiple submissions are accepted, however, an additional $10 entry fee is required for each additional story.
Simultaneous submissions are accepted, however, if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere, you need to let us know immediately that you are withdrawing your submission.
E-mail questions to Jill at Memoirsink dot com

Other Info

Manuscripts will not be returned. Memoirs, Ink., is not responsible for manuscripts lost in the mail, etc. Memoirs, Ink cannot confirm receipt of your entry unless you provide a self-addressed stamped postcard.

Winners must sign a contest winner agreement form that certifies your writing is original and assigns us temporary rights and electronic archiving rights.

If you win, we will publish your story. If you do not want your story published please do not submit it.

We reserve the right to mention or not mention anyone honorably.
Winners will be contacted between April 1-30, 2009.


I'm already making resolutions for the new year. Diet failed, so let's try something new. My resolution for the new year is to network, network, network. This is a challenge for me. I know I appear to be a big mouth, but I'm not. Really, I'm not. Talking off the cuff does not come easy. Put me in front of a crowd to talk about something I know something about--no problem. But ask me to make small talk, and I freeze.

I don't consider myself shy, and I don't suffer from stage fright. Speaking in public doesn't make me nervous. So what's the problem? Beats the hell out of me.

So there you have it--my New Year's Resolution. I've said it out loud, so now I have to act on it.

Here's my networking strategy for the new year... (if you can think of others, let me know.)

1. I resolve to mingle more at conferences. Usually I slither into the room at the last minute, find a seat at the back and then beat feet out when the presentation is over.

2. I resolve not to skip social hours at conferences.

3. I resolve to visit other area writer's groups and expand my writing network of friends.

4. I resolve to put myself out there at workshops and conferences by meeting and talking to the presenters and conference organizers.

5. I resolve to put my writing first, but not be obnoxious about it. (I hate it when people are me, me, me and won't let others get a word in edgewise.)

6. I resolve to grow my online writing network.

7. I resolve to actually use my business cards.

8. I resovle to grow my blog by telling people about it (help me out here and tell your friends to stop by for a visit.)

9. I resolve to tell people that I am a writer when they ask what I do.

10. I resolve to pay attention to others who are good at networking and learn their secrets of success.

For you shy ones, C. Hope Clark has a book called The Shy Writer .

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