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Showcase Awards (for a pdf. click here )

1. Grand Showcase Award - 3 Prizes ($200/$100/$50) 

  • Short story or essay. Limit 2500 words. 

  • Sponsor: Ozark Creative Writers Board of Directors. 

 2. Oxbow Award in Memory of Dusty & Pat Richards - 3 Prizes  ($200/$100/$50) 

  • Western short story. 

  • Limit: 2500 words. 

  • Sponsor: Ozark Creative Writers Board of Directors

3. Founding Member Award in Memory of Arkansas Poet Laureate Peggy Vining - 1 Prize ($100) 

  • Poem about change, any style. Limit: 24 lines. 

  • Sponsor: Ozark Creative Writers Board of Directors. 

4. Mike Willis Inspiration Award - 1 Prize ($100

  • An inspirational short story about sibling rivalry.

  • Limit: 2000 words. 

  • Sponsor: Chrissy Willis in memory of her late husband, Mike Willis


5. Published Newspaper Column/Blog Award -1 Prize ($50) 

  • Best opinion essay or column published in a newspaper, online news outlet, or blog for the 12 months preceding August 1, 2023. Columns or blogs may be on any subject or theme, including reviews or humor.

  • Limit: 2500 words.

  • Sponsor: Max McCoy


Grand Conference Awards- 3 Prizes ($50/$30/$20)

6. Search for Excellence Award  

  • Nonfiction memoir or essay.

  • Limit: 2500 words. 

  • Sponsor: Leon Combs  

7. Native American Short Story Award ​

  • Short story with a Native American theme. 

  • Limit: 2500 words.

  • Sponsor: Clouse Literary Arts and Theater

8. Flash Fiction

  • Must have a beginning, middle, and end.

  • Limit: 99 words. 

  • Sponsor: David Kirkland

9. Haiku Award

  • Write a haiku

  • Limit: Traditional 5-7-5 syllables

  • Sponsor: David Kirkland

10. A Fish Out of Water Tale

  • A short story that includes someone or something in unusual surroundings. Examples: A 12-year-old enrolls at Harvard, a wolf finds himself appointed king of a lost colony of highly intelligent rabbits, a car mechanic travels back or forward in time, a New Yorker is stranded at the Midland/Odessa airport, etc. Make it zany or believable but write to entertain.

  • Limit: 1000 words.

  • Sponsor: Micki Fuhrman

11. Birthday Party Romance Contest

  • While at a painting party for a friend's birthday, the protagonist feels an immediate, undeniable connection with the artist in charge.

  • Limit: 1500-2000 words.

  • Sponsor: Ozark Romance Authors, Springfield, MO

12. "Steamy" Romance Contest

  • Write a steamy romance. Must use the words escape and delicious.

  • Limit: 1000-4000 words

  • Sponsor: Delicious Escape Publications

13. Sleuths' Ink Contest 

  • A vigilante in Cancun. Must include a crime. 

  • Limit: 500 words

  • Sponsor: Sleuths' Ink, Springfield, Mo

14. From Dusk To Dawn

  • Tell a spooky tale of a monster that prowls the night from dusk to dawn.

  • Limit: 2000 words

  • Sponsor: Homegrown Books

 Conference Awards- 3 Prizes ($25/$15/$10)

15.  Goddesses of Poetic License Challenge

  • Write a short story, any genre including all the following words: trajectory, pragmatic, fish, sunflower, and ice cream.

  • Limit: 1000 words.

  • Sponsor: The Goddesses of Poetic License (Linda Apple, Chrissy Willis & Ruth Weeks)

16. Senior Moments​

  • Write a story, any genre, where the protagonist is over 50. Limit: 1500 words.

  • Sponsor: Betsy Gray

17. A Scream in the Night

  • A horror short story. Limit: 3000 words.

  • Sponsor: Tahlequah Writers

18. Tales from the Trip​

  • Write about a memorable trip (fact or fiction). Examples: family vacation, honeymoon, car buying trip, stagecoach ride in the old west or a trip to the moon. Impress us with your writing and wow us with you story.

  • Limit: 500 words.

  • Sponsor: Coffee and Critique Writers of O’Fallon, MO

19. Middle-Grade Fiction for Boys Ages 9-12

  • Write a story that will appeal to boys. Limit: 1500-2500 words.

  • Sponsor: Renee LaViness

20. Historical Romance Contest

  • Historical Romance short story. Limit: 3000 words.

  • Sponsors: The Deadline Dames (Joy Keeney & Rhonda Harvey)

21. Hometown Nostalgia  Column

  • Write a nostalgic article about the Ozarks that is suitable for a newspaper column. The article should have a headline (title) and give your column a name. Limit: 500-1000 words.

  • Sponsor: Lonnie Whitaker

22. Funeral Mystery

  • While attending a funeral you notices someone secreting a piece of paper into the coffin. What do you suppose it says and why? May be sad, funny, decide. Edit carefully.

  • Limit: 500 words (short story) or Up to 24 lines (poem).

  • Sponsor: Marcia Gaye

23. Space Journey

  • Science fiction genre in the style of 50’s Sci-Fi movies. Limit: 2000 words.

  • Sponsor: Tahlequah Writers

24. Winston's Quotable Quote Blog

  • Choose a favorite quote and blog about it . Limit: 500 words.

  • Sponsor: Linda Apple

25. ​Travel Article

  • Write it as if you were sending it to a reputable magazine. No photos, please. Limit: 1500 words.

  • Sponsor: Johnny D. Boggs

26. Things That Go Bump In The Night!

  • Paranormal short story (No Horror). Limit: 3000 words.

  • Sponsor: Ruth Weeks

27. Give Us The Best of Friends 

  •  Humorous short story, any genre, about best friends on a cross-country trip. Must include the following words: dachshund, magic, mystery, and pinto beans.

  •  Limit: 2500 words.

  •  Sponsors: Joni Cogbill and Betsy Gray

28. My Favorite Day in Nature

  • Free Verse Poem

  • Sponsor: Linda Sartin in memory of her late husband, Gary

29. Best First Paragraph

  • Hook us with your best first paragraph from a novel or short story.

  • Sponsors: Margarite Stever and Bonnie Tesh

30. A Drop In The Bucket

  •  A Short Story about checking off an item from your bucket list (can be fact or fiction). Make it exciting and entertaining.

  • Limit: 1500 words.

  • Sponsor: Little Red Writing Hood

31. CW Indie Press Children's Book Award

  • Children's Book suitable for ages 3-7.

  • Limit 750 words.

  • Sponsor: CW Indie Press 


 On-The-Spot Contest- One Prize $25

  • Open only to those attending the OCW Conference in October

  • Details to be announced at the conference

  • Entries are due by noon Saturday

  • Must be present at Awards Banquet Saturday Evening to win

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