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Reasons Why You, You and Yes, You Should Enter The 2013 Weta Nichols Writing Contest

That's me, smiling like a dork. I smile
with my mouth shut now. I know
what I look like.
It's that time again. Time for a bad picture of me holding an award while I talk you into entering a writing contest. I know how you all live for this moment.

Here's the skinny in a not-so-skinny version.

Contest is open APRIL 15-JULY 15, 2013 to all entries!

Winners will be announced at our 2013 Annual Conference, scheduled to be held September 21, 2013, in Springfield, Missouri. Winners are not required to be present to win. Winners who are not in attendance will be notified via email, and prizes will be mailed promptly. We will also post the winners’ names, titles, city, and state, on our website.

Please read guidelines carefully and fill out the electronic entry form at the bottom of this page when submitting.


* Complete the entry form at the bottom of this page.

* Pay the entry fee through the PayPal account (details below).

* The subject line of your email submission must state: WETA ENTRY

* Short stories, memoirs, essays, poetry, or non-fiction will be disqualified without refund.

* Membership in Ozarks Romance Authors is not required in order to enter the contest.

* Contest is open to both published and unpublished authors, but the piece submitted must be:
- unpublished (traditional, self-pub, or e-pub)
- not under contract to be published.

* The first page of your entry should be one-paragraph of flap copy (flap copy is the blurb on the inside covers of a book, the information a reader would see when he or she picks up the book) to orient the judges to your story. Note: The flap copy is not a synopsis.

* Total word count for the entire entry (including flap copy) should be no more than 3,200.

* Send your entry as an email attachment in .doc format with one inch margins all around, double spaced, in 12 pitch Times New Roman font. Do not include the entry within the body of your email message.

* The cover page should be saved as a separate document (NOT the first page of your entry) and attached to your email submission.

* Indicate one category for each submission. Categories in which entries may be judged are:
- Historical
- Contemporary
- Paranormal/Sci-Fi
- Young Adult

* Entries are open genre and not required to contain romantic tones.

* Your name (and pen name, if any) should only appear on the entry form below and your cover page. Also on the cover page, please put your contact information, the name of your submission, and the cateory (see above). NOTE: The cover page should be saved as a separate document (not as the first page of your entry) and attached to the email submission.

* In the header of each page of your submission, the title of your story, category to be judged, and page number should appear. The story title should appear in the top left, and the category/page number should appear in the top right. Do not include your name on page headers. Your name should only appear on the cover page, which is to be saved as a separate document and attached to your email submission.

* Entry fee is $20.00 per submission for non-members. $15 per submission for ORA members.. Fees may be paid via your PayPal account or credit card using the PayPal button below. (If you do not have a PayPal account, you can use your credit/debit card to send payment to our PayPal account.)

* If the email address or name on your PayPal account does not match (a) the email address tthat you are using to send your submission, or (b) your name or pen name, please let us know by including the other email address or name within the body of the email when you send your submission. Otherwise, we will not be able to match the contest entry with its payment, the entry will be disqualified, and no refund will be made.

* You may submit up to five separate entries. Each submission must be sent in a separate email message, with the subject line indicating: WETA ENTRY 1, WETA ENTRY 2, etc.

* If you have questions about the rules, please tweet the question to us at @OzarksRomance or email us (with WETA QUESTION in the subject line) at


Category: Historical
1st place: $50, Certificate, and ORA Pin
2nd place: $25, Certificate, and ORA Pin
3rd place: Certificate and ORA Pin

Category: Contemporary
1st place: $50, Certificate, and ORA Pin
2nd place: $25, Certificate, and ORA Pin
3rd place: Certificate and ORA Pin

Category: Paranormal/Sci-Fi
1st place: $50, Certificate, and ORA Pin
2nd place: $25, Certificate, and ORA Pin
3rd place: Certificate and ORA Pin

Category: Young Adult
1st place: $50, Certificate, and ORA Pin
2nd place: $25, Certificate, and ORA Pin
3rd place: Certificate and ORA Pin

 Now, if you've waded through all that, then let me tell you specifically why I think you should enter. Because
A) you're an awesome writer
B) feedback
C) I'll be doing some judging. Entertain me.
D) Proceeds from our conference benefit the Ozarks Literary Council. Yay for reading!
E) It's open to published and unpublished authors alike, so long as the work you're subbing isn't contracted.

So polish up those MSs, go here to enter, and battle it out with other fantastic writers. It's like American Gladiators, only with no gladiating. It's really a battle of words. Which if you think about it, are stronger than muscles and just as hard to train.


  1. I think I just might try this one. Thanks for the heads up.

    1. I forgot to mention the entry fee is $15 for members and $20 for non-members, which is a great price.

      Good luck, Melissa!

  2. I'm a little confused. You say you don't want short stories, but it has to be a short work of fiction. How do you define short story?

    1. It has to be the first 3000 or so (depending on the length of your one paragraph flap copy) words from a novel that's at least 40,000 words long. You CAN enter a novella, but typically that's not what agents/editors are looking for.

      I'm confused about where you picked up on 'short work of fiction'? I can't find anywhere it says that either here or on the ORA page.

  3. You said non-fiction wasn't allowed, so that left fiction. The maximum word length indicated short fiction. Though you went into a lot of detail on what wasn't allowed, and on the format of the submission, you didn't actually say what the submission was supposed to be.

    1. That explains it. Thanks, Stephen. I'll have the web admin update that so it states it has to be an excerpt from a novel or novella.

      I think we assumed everyone would realize it was the first part of a novel. You know what they say about assumptions. :)


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