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Tadpole Press
100-Word Writing Contest

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Submissions for our November 2024 contest are now open!

Come together at our first community write-in! You'll hear behind-the-scenes insights from the judges about what makes a piece stand out to us. Each registration includes one entry into the current contest.

> The focus of this session is feedback.

- If you entered the April 2024 contest, you may bring your entry for a chance to receive feedback in a group setting during this event.

- Up to 10 entries will be selected.

- You may attend simply to listen to the feedback provided, even if you don't have an entry you'd like feedback on.

> 30-minute Zoom.

> July 26, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. MT.

> $15 USD.

> This event will be recorded so you're welcome to sign up and watch the recording if you cannot attend live.

Word Limit: 100 words or less per entry, including the title if you have one. We use Microsoft Word for the official word count, which treats hyphenated words as one word. We recommend plunking your entry into Word right before submitting it to determine the accurate word count. Just be sure to omit any other info such as your name or the date.

Writers and Pen Names: All ages. All genders. All nationalities. All writers welcome. You may use a pen name, and we will publish the winning entries under that name. If you win, we will have a separate form to fill out the name you'd like to be paid under.

Previously Published Pieces: You may enter pieces that are brand-new or have been previously published elsewhere. We have no restrictions on this, though we suggest abiding by any limitations from anyone else who may have published your piece.

Genre / Theme: Any genre. No theme.

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Prizes:

1st place:

$2,000 USD.

 

2nd place:

Publishing and marketing package with Compassiviste Publishing ($6,000 USD value).

 

3rd place:

Manuscript assessment package with Compassiviste Publishing ($1,500-$3,000 USD value).

 

4th place:

Editing package with Tadpole Press ($1,450 USD value).

5th place:

Writing coaching package with Tadpole Press ($600 USD value).

6th-10th place:

$100 USD.

Entry Fee and Limit: $15 USD per entry. You may submit as many entries as you'd like. Each entry requires its own entry fee.

Deadline: November 30, 2024.

Winners: Winners will be announced at the Celebration of Words as soon as possible after the contest deadline. Please sign up for our email list to be the first to hear the results. You may view previous winners here.

Did you know that if you refer someone who submits a winning entry, then you will also win $50 USD? So please share this contest with any friends, colleagues, or neighbors who might be interested.

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​Not ready to write yet? Sign up for our email list to gain writing tips and inspiration approximately twice a month:

Hooray! You're all signed up.

Additional thoughts:

You may have noticed that we don’t buy into the belief that writing all needs to look a certain way. We’re inspired by the individual dance that each of us does when we’re creating. We don’t need anyone’s permission, so go ahead and you do you. What would your words look like if you just created straight from your own heart and imagination?

Pieces will be judged on creativity, uniqueness, and how the story captures a new angle, breaks through stereotypes, and expands our beliefs about what's possible or unexpectedly delights us. In addition, we are looking for writing that is clever or unique, inspires us, and crafts a compelling and complete story. 

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You can write fiction, nonfiction, poetry, memoir, or a mix of everything. You choose the genre. You choose the words. Put them together in any order, any combination.

The winning submissions will be nonviolent. You may deal with tough themes, but you must move on from there. Don’t dwell in misery. Show growth. If you're going to write about something painful, show how someone was transformed by the experience. Go for something that pulls on our heartstrings rather than breaks our heart.

Judges:

Amber Byers is the founder, CEO, and head judge of the Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest. Her book, Sophie and Spot, won a Gold Medal for Best First Book in the chapter book category from Moonbeam Children's Book Awards in 2019.

Amber has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Washington, a Juris Doctor in law from the University of Arizona, and a passion for diversifying literature.

 

Amber started reading at the age of three and is still in love with the power and beauty of words. She especially loves words that surprise, delight, and encourage us to support, love, and inspire one another.

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Laurel Twitchell has been our regular co-judge since April 2022. Laurel received their Bachelor’s in Creative Writing, with a focus on linguistics, from Colorado Mesa University.

 

They were an editor for the Pinyon Literary Review in 2013. They’ve competed in the National Slam Poetry Competition in 2017 and worked as a first reader for Pushcart Prize Nominee, Alana Noël Voth. They have taken writing courses from national and internationally known writers such as Megan Falley, Rachel McKibbens, and others.

They are a writer and artist passionate about ending stigmas around mental health and disability. They love art that speaks to connectivity, the healing of trauma, and finding glimmers of joy in unlikely places.

Vancouver Island author Micki Findlay refers to herself as an ‘artrepreneur,’ as she loves churning the cauldron of creativity.

 

She is a contributing writer for Chicken Soup for the Soul, Van Isle Poetry Collective, Black Press Media, various magazines, and several anthologies including Back The Way We Came, Grateful, and Crone Rising. She is currently writing a memoir-based, interactive healing journal.

 

Micki writes her life stories to help others recognize their self-worth, find hope through difficult circumstances, and realize they are not alone in their struggles. She also writes to heal herself. Community, creativity and coffee are her love languages.

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Mari Mendoza is a writer, editor, and creative writing coach. Her work has appeared in a number of publications including CommuterLit, Fiction on the Web, 50WordStories, WordCityLit, Fairfield Scribes, Woodlands, and more. Born in Guatemala and immigrating to Canada at the age of six, she has been writing ever since.

Mari lives on the traditional lands of the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation, Oneida Nation of the Thames, and Munsee-Delaware Nation. She loves hiking, reading multiple books at a time, her two Yorkies, her teens (most of the time), and going to bed by 9 p.m.

Grace Slobodzian is an elementary school teacher living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She currently teaches a bridged (mixed-age) class of first and second grade students. She is passionate about exploratory project-based learning and early childhood literacy.

 

She comes from a family of educators and holds a bachelors in Sociology from the College of New Jersey and a masters in Early Childhood Education. Grace enjoys cooking pasta, running outdoors, reading, and spending time with her family.

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Christine Estima is an Arab woman of mixed ethnicity (Lebanese, Syrian, and Portuguese) whose essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times, the Walrus, VICE, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Observer, New York Daily News, Chatelaine, Maisonneuve, and many more.

 

Her debut book THE SYRIAN LADIES BENEVOLENT SOCIETY (House of Anansi Press) was named one of the best books of 2023 by the CBC. She was shortlisted for the 2023 Lee Smith Novel Prize, the 2018 Allan Slaight Prize for Journalism, longlisted for the 2015 CBC Canada Writes Creative Nonfiction prize, and a finalist for the 2011 Writers’ Union of Canada short prose competition. Her short story “Your Hands Are Blessed” was selected for the 2023 BEST CANADIAN STORIES anthology, published by Biblioasis. You may find out more about her here.

Policies:

Winners: By keeping the box checked requesting to be added to the Tadpole Press email list on the Entry Submission Form, writers may be automatically added to our mailing list when they submit their entry. Writers may unsubscribe at any time; however, please note that winners will be announced via the newsletter after the contest deadline. Sign up for our newsletter above or contact us with any questions.

Copyright: By entering our contest, the writer declares that they are the creator of the entry; the entry does not infringe upon any copyright, privacy rights, or legal rights of a third party; and the entry does not contain any unlawful material. By submitting an entry, writers allow Tadpole Press to use their entries as follows: The names, locations, and/or ages of the winners and the winning entries may be announced in the Tadpole Press newsletter, published on the Tadpole Press website, shared at the Celebration of Words, and/or used for additional marketing and promotional activities. Tadpole Press shall retain exclusive copyright of the winning entries, though we encourage writers to resubmit and/or republish their entry in other contests and publications at any time before or after this contest.

Refund Policy: All payments are final and nonrefundable. Writers needing financial assistance may apply for a scholarship up to 1 month before the contest deadline.

Prizes: The email address provided at the time of submission will be used to contact the winners and arrange delivery of the prizes. Prize amounts are in USD.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest! We are honored to have been featured by many wonderful organizations dedicated to writing, such as ReedsyAnne R. AllenAlmond PressKindlepreneurCreative Writing Ink, and Christopher Fielden.

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