Contest Submission Guidelines

Writing Contest Submission Guidelines


Fiction Page (One Page Only)

Short Story

Novel First Ten Pages

Non-Fiction Memoir


Maximum Length

500 Words*

3,500 Words*

10 Pages*

10 Pages*

1 Page*

Entry Fees are $35 for members/$40 for non-members per entry. You must pay a fee for each entry, and all fees are non-refundable. Early and late entries will not be accepted. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Each category is judged by two or more industry professionals. You will receive the Judges’ scorecards  – FREE with each entry!                                  


Format pages with (category #, Genre, title, page #) in the header. The judges’ comments will be emailed back to you, after the awards ceremony.

Submit online using the appropriate button below. Log in, click on the contest tab under the conference tab, submit your entry and pay the entry fee.


  1. All entries must be ORIGINAL and NOT previously published
  2. Any genre is acceptable, all entries however should be adult or new adult fiction or non-fiction
  3. Entries must be received by midnight, March 15, 2023
  4. All entries MUST:
  • Be in English, and the author’s original work*
  • Be double-spaced with 1” margins in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font*
  • Poetry may be single spaced or in stanza format, but must use the correct font and margins.
  • Poetry cannot be more than four pages, and each poem is considered a separate entry
  • All pages of the submission must have the category name, manuscript title, genre, and page number listed in the upper right-hand corner (this can be a header outside the 1 inch margin)*
  1. Your name must NOT appear on any page of the manuscript. Your name should only be located on your Entry Form
  2.  The Fees are non-refundable for each entry
  3. Failure to follow instructions will result in disqualification. Should your entry be disqualified, you will receive a letter stating the reason for disqualification and, time permitting, an opportunity to resubmit at no additional charge.
  4. Contest scores must average at least 75 to be eligible to win.

*Prizes will not be awarded if no scores meet the minimum requirement (score of 75 or above). Scores are an average of all judge’s scores.


  • 1st place winner in each category = $100
  • 2nd place winner in each category = $50
  • 3rd place winner in each category – $20 gift card

Winners’ names, the title of their work, and the genre of winning works will be posted on our website after the conference. You’ll also receive a contest badge you can use on marketing materials and your website.


When submitting to an agent or editor, one of the quickest ways to get a rejection is to fail to follow the formatting guidelines. To better prepare you for the business side of writing, we have established these guidelines for our contest. Please follow them.

If your submission does not follow the formatting guidelines, it will be sent back to you with a one-time chance to resubmit at no extra charge. If you resubmit a second time without the correct format, your entry will be rejected. 

Please understand this is not personal. We want you to succeed in your writing career no matter what your goals are, and following submission guidelines is an important part of that. 

Join us for the Idaho Writers Conference

You don’t have to attend the Idaho Writers Conference to enter the contest. However, that is where our winners will be announced. So you may want to be present to either accept your award or cheer on your peers.

Besides that, you can learn a lot from this year’s presenters. We have an all-star cast including a workshop the day before the conference with Robert Dugoni (separate registration) and Craig Johnson as our keynote speaker. Consider attending the conference, check out what we are offering this year, and get your tickets today!

Being a Member of IWG Comes with Great Benefits

Want to save money on entering the contest and attending the conference? Become a member of the Idaho Writers Guild! You get discounts, support from other writers from your peers to professionals, and member events throughout the year. Join us today!