Having trouble staying on task with your memoir? A writing competition can be motivating for a couple of reasons. First, contests come with a deadline. That in itself keeps you working toward a goal. Then, of course, there’s the reason you’re entering—to win. Competing makes you try harder to produce the best product you can.
If you’re interested, the San Francisco Writers Conference is sponsoring an Indie Publishing Contest that specifically includes a category for non-fiction and memoirs. The other three categories are fiction, children’s lit and poetry. After narrowing the field to 25 entries in each category, the judges will name one winner and one runner-up in each category. The grand winner will receive a publishing contract, but all winners and runners-up will receive some prize money or publishing help.
To be eligible to enter, you must:
- Live in the United States or Canada.
- Fill out a required form.
- Submit up to the first 5,000 words of work that has never been traditionally published, although it’s okay if you’ve self-published the work.
- Pay an entry fee of $35 for any category except poetry, which carries a fee of $25.