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Showcase Awards (PDF to be available once all awards are finalized)

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

  • Short story or essay about finding your muse.

  • 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)

  • A humorous short story about a surprise party going awry.

  • Limit: 2000 words. 

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

5. Velda Brotherton Memorial Contest - 1 Prize ($100) 

  • Short fiction, mystery with a strong female lead character.

  • Limit: 2500 words. 

  • Sponsor: Anthony Wood

6. 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)


7. Children's Book Award

  • Children's Book suitable for ages 3-8.

  • Limit 750-900 words.

  • Sponsors: Paperback Press & Solander Press 

8. Search for Excellence Award  

  • Nonfiction memoir or essay about someone who has influenced your life in a positive way.

  • Limit: 2500 words. 

  • Sponsor: Leon Combs  

9. One Act Comedy Skit (15 min limit) ​

  • Write a one act comedy skit about Funny Things Happen at Writer's Conferences

  • Limit: 15 minute production limit

  • Sponsor: Clouse Literary Arts and Theater

10. Flash Fiction

  • Must have a beginning, middle, and end.

  • Limit: 99 words. 

  • Sponsor: David Kirkland

11. Haiku Award

  • Write a haiku

  • Limit: Traditional 5-7-5 syllables

  • Sponsor: David Kirkland

12. 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

13. Point A to Point Z

  • Write a complete story in 26 sentences. Each complete sentence must begin with a sequential letter of the alphabet from A-Z.

  • The first sentence must begin with the word a or a word beginning with a. The second sentence must begin with a word beginning with the letter b and so on so that the 26th sentence begins with a word beginning with the letter Z.

  • Limit: 500 words.

  • Sponsor: Saturday Book Club

14. "Steamy" Romance Contest

  • Short Story Romance. Best friends fall in love. Make it humorous and steamy.

  • Limit: 1000-4000 words

  • Sponsor: Delicious Escape Publications

15.  Sleuths' Ink Contest 

  • TBD

  • Sponsor: Sleuths' Ink, Springfield, Mo

16. 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

 17. Ozark Romance Authors Award                                                                                                                 

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

18.  Goddesses of Poetic License Challenge

  • Write a short story in any genre, including all the following words: destitute, munchkin, bizarre, wicked, and revenge.
  • Limit: 1000 words.

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

19. Senior Moments​

  • Write a story, any genre, where the protagonist is over 50.

  • Limit: 1500 words.

  • Sponsor: Betsy Gray

20. Everything But The Kitchen Sink

  •  A Short Story any genre. Give us your best short fiction

  • Limit: 1500 words.

  • Sponsor: Little Red Writing Hood

21. A Scream in the Night

  • A horror short story.

  • Limit: 3000 words.

  • Sponsor: Tahlequah Writers

22. Coffee and Critique Group of O'Fallon, MO

  • TBD

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

23. Historical Romance Contest

  • Historical Romance short story.

  • Limit: 3000 words.

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

24. 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

25. Well That Went Sideways

  • Tell about a time you tried to impress someone, but plans went horribly, tragically, and/or probably hilariously, awry. Keep it real no pretending, no exaggeration.

  • Limit: 1100 words

  • Sponsor: Marcia Gaye

26. Space Journey

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

  • Limit: 2000 words.

  • Sponsor: Tahlequah Writers

27. Quotable Quote Blog

  • Choose a favorite quote and blog about it.

  • Limit: 500 words.

  • Sponsor: Linda Apple

28. ​Travel Article

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

  • Limit: 1500 words.

  • Sponsor: Johnny D. Boggs

29. Things That Go Bump In The Night!

  • Paranormal short story (No Horror).

  • Limit: 3000 words.

  • Sponsor: Ruth Weeks

30. Best First Paragraph

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

  • Sponsors: Margarite Stever and Bonnie Tesh

31. My Favorite Trip

  •  Tell us about your favorite trip. What made it special?  Give us details that make us feel like we were there too.

  •  Limit: 1000 words.

  •  Sponsors: Joni Cogbill and Betsy Gray

32. My Favorite Day in Nature

  • Free Verse Poem

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



 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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