2023 Contest Winners

by | May 22, 2023 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

This year we had 86 contest entries in five categories. A group of judges read and critiqued several poems, short stories, novel first pages, novel first 10 pages, and non-fiction memoir submissions. 

Each category had a first, second, and third-place winner. Here they are:

Second Place – AT WORK IN A MEDICAL WAREHOUSE by Cynthia Clinkingbeard 
First Place – PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND A SIX SHOOTER  by Patrice Locke Lewis
Second Place – GEMINI ECLIPSE BOOK ONE: FISSION by Carolynn Olmstead
Third Place – SIERRA BAKER IS EXTRA ORDINARY by Rebekah Jackson
First Place – POINT LAST SEEN by Tina M Johnson

Second Place – THE MARK by Carrie Stuart Parks
Third Place – BANDAGED HEART by Daniel Kamin

First Place – THE CHASM by Anita Dromey 
Second Place – RITUAL FOR FEEDING THE BIRDS by Tina M Johnson 
Third Place – APPARITION by Vaughn Clark

First Place – THE CONVERSATION PIECE by Nancy K Camp
Second Place – THE REFUGE by James Patrick Focarile
Third Place – STARLIGHT BLOSSOMS by Lyssa Reese


If you are a winner and were not present to win, please contact contest [at] idahowritersguild.org with your mailing address so we can send you your certificate and prize. 

Didn’t win this year? Or didn’t enter? Stay tuned for new categories and due dates throughout the year, as our contest both changes and grows.

We can’t wait to read what you submit next year!

How many authors embark on this “career” hoping they can make it a few years, make a few bucks, and then go do something else? How many writers, even if they do create stories as a side gig or a hobby, tell you, “I think I will try this for a while, and then I will probably quit.”

But how many writers do you know who have quit? They’ve been discouraged by a critique group, discovered how hard “making a living” at writing is, or been rejected by countless publishers or agents, only to decide this “writing thing” is not for their thing.

You know them. You might be one of them. They look sad and feel defeated about their writing. Maybe they weren’t ready for the kind of feedback they got, or they encountered a group of jealous, green writers who took great pleasure in tearing them down so they could feel better.

But you probably know the opposite of that. Writers who embarked on this journey got discouraged and found a group, a mentor, and those who encouraged them and told them this writing thing is not only possible but also worthwhile. They persevered and achieved some kind of success, whatever that looked like to them.

The Lifelong Author

That’s the goal of our Idaho Writers Guild conference next year. We want to introduce you to those mentors and groups, but we want to do more than that. We want to teach you how to be that support system for others. We want you to hear from professionals who will give you tools that will enable you to understand what you want and need from your writing and how to get it.

In short, we want to help you not only improve your writing life and your writing business now, but we want to teach you how to be an author for life.

  • You’ll learn to define success.
  • You’ll learn how to determine how your writing career fits with your personality.
  • You’ll learn how to run your writing like a business without having to become an accountant, attorney, or tax specialist.
  • We’ll show you healthy habits that can keep your body healthy too, from eating right to taking time to exercise to the type of desk and chair you should look for.
  • And we’ll talk about ways to constantly improve your writing craft, and even use the latest technology to make you a better, faster writer who can have fun at the same time.

We’ll do all this because we want you to be a lifelong author. Because I want to be a lifelong author. Because I cannot imagine spending the rest of my life doing anything else.

Workshop Day, 2024

On April 11, 2024, we’re setting up a workshop that will speak to how to discover who you are as an author, determine your why for writing, find your definition of success, and set realistic goals to achieve those goals.

Stay tuned, as we’ll be announcing the speakers for the workshops and details on the subjects we’ll cover soon. This workshop will not only set the tone for the conference but for your blueprint to becoming a lifelong author because you need to know your why and your definition of success as soon as possible before you embark or go any further in your career.

All Star

An All-Star Cast of Presenters

Following that, on April 12th and 13th, we will have an all-star cast of presenters. The best in the industry will be here to talk to you about both the craft and the business of writing. We’ll cover topics from how to take your fiction to the next level to how to structure your business for success from the start.

We’ll talk about good writing habits, good life habits, and how to have both a passion that consumes you and a life that includes hobbies, time off, and even room for other people in your life.

In short, our presenters will walk you through everything from the many paths to publication to the many formats a story takes in today’s modern marketplace (and how you can make the best of them in your career), creating various streams of revenue to support yourself financially, and more.

This is a conference you won’t want to miss, and your friends will not want to miss out on either.  For now, save the date on your calendar. Early bird tickets will go on sale soon!

Want to Be a Part of the Lifelong Author Conference?

We’re looking for help because it takes a lot to put a conference together and make sure it runs smoothly. For now, we are looking for both general and specific volunteers (you can find the roles by visiting this page) who will help us during the conference.

We are also looking for presenters. If you have something to share related to being a lifelong author, we’d love to hear from you. You can find the details of what we are looking for by clicking on the button below and then submitting your ideas to the conference committee. We’ll be in touch soon!

We’re also looking for some more year-round volunteers to help with various aspects of running the Idaho Writers Guild. Find more information by following the button below. We’d love to welcome you as part of the team.

We hope to see all of you in April and at our various events throughout the year!

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