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Showcase Awards (For a pdf. click here)

1. Grand Showcase Award - 3 Prizes ($300/$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. First Place Winner will be published in Saddlebag Dispatches Magazine.

  • Limit: 3000 words. 

  • Sponsor: OGHMA Creative Media.


3. Founding Member Award in Memory of Arkansas Poet Laureate Peggy Vining - 1 Prize ($150) 

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

  • Sponsor: Ozark Creative Writers Board of Directors. 

4. Mike Willis Inspiration Award - 1 Prize ($150) 

  • An inspirational short story about growing up or family life. Limit: 2000 words. 

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

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

5.  Search for Excellence Award  

  • Nonfiction memoir or essay. Limit: 2500 words. 

  • Sponsor: Leon Combs  

6. Native American Short Story Award

  • Short story with Native American theme. Limit: 2500 words.

  • Sponsor: Clouse Literary Arts and Theater

7. Flash Fiction

  • Must have a beginning, middle, and end. Limit: 99 words. 

  • Sponsor: David Kirkland

8. Urrey-Hightower Award

  • Write a story with a hint of suspense and a surprise ending (No slasher, horror, occult). Word limit: 2000.

  • Sponsor: Chrissy Willis in memory of her mother, Clarice Hightower, and her grandmother, Clara Urrey Brown.

9. 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

10. Bowled Over Contest

  •  A short story about high school sweethearts who have been out of touch for 25 years. The two, both now single, accidentally come together at the bowling alley while competing in a tournament.

  • Limit: 1500-2000 words.

  • Sponsor: Ozark Romance Authors, Springfield, MO

11. "Steamy" Romance Contest

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

  • Limit: 1000-4000 words

  • Sponsor: Delicious Escape Publications

12. Sleuth's Ink Contest

  • The US President goes missing at a summit with foreign dignitaries. Must include a crime. 

  • Limit: 1500 words

  • Sponsor: Sleuth's Ink, Springfield, Mo

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

13.  Goddesses of Poetic License Challenge

  • Write a short story, any genre including all the following words: comorbidity, prescription, hedgehog, rabbit, and clock.

  • Limit: 1000 words.

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

14. Senior Moments​

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

  • Sponsor: Betsy Gray

15. A Scream in the Night

  • A horror short story. Limit: 3000 words.

  • Sponsor: Tahlequah Writers

16. Life Along the Mississippi (Historical Fiction)​

  • Short Story, set in the Nineteenth Century (1800-1899) along the Mississippi River. Limit: 500 words.

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

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

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

  • Sponsor: Renee LaViness

18. Paranormal Western Contest

  • Paranormal western short story. Limit: 3000 words.

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

19. Hometown Newspaper 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

20. Give Us The Best of Friends

  • A light-hearted humorous short story about best friends. Must include the words Arkansas and Tennessee.

  • Limit: 1500 words.

  • Sponsors: Joni Cogbill and Betsy Gray

21. Repurpose a Quote

  • Repurpose a famous quote from a movie or a book using it in a way that is totally unrelated to its original context.

  • Incorporate it into a short story or poem. Limit: 500 words (short story) or Up to 60 lines (poem).

  • Sponsor: Marcia Gaye

22. Space Journey

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

  • Sponsor: Tahlequah Writers

23. Traditions Contest

  • Creative nonfiction essay on your favorite family traditions. Limit: 500 words.

  • Sponsor: Linda Apple

24. ​Travel Article

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

  • Sponsor: Johnny D. Boggs

25. Things That Go Bump In The Night!

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

  • Sponsor: Ruth Weeks

26. My Favorite Day in Nature

  • Free Verse Poem

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

27. Hook Us with your Best First Paragraph

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

  • Sponsors: Margarite Stever and Bonnie Tesh

28. No, No Ebeneezer Award!

  • Write a memoir about something you did as a child or young adult that got you into trouble and what you learned from the experience. Limit: 1000 words.

  • Sponsor: Ebeneezer Longfellow

29. Creative Non-Fiction Award

  • Make the ordinary seem extraordinary. Limit: 1500-2000 words.

  • Sponsor: Little Red Writing Hood

30. Cross-Genre Contest

  • Must include at least two genres (Examples: romantic/thriller, fantasy/horror, western/paranormal).

  • Limit: 2000 words.

  • Sponsor: Author's Anonymous 2.0

31.  The Rainbolt Children's Book Award

  • Children's book. Limit 750 words.

  • Suitable for a child between 3-7 years old

  • Sponsor: Doris Jean Shaw

32. 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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