The Telling Room's annual writing contest runs from December through February each year, with prizes including publication in Maine Magazine, and in our anthology up for grabs. One grand prize winner walks away with $200 as well. We look for poetry and prose submissions, but be sure to read the rules below to make sure your piece meets our guidelines.
This year's theme is "Wild Words." Themes of wildness abound in the world of children’s literature, movies, and stories. In Maurice Sendak’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are, Max sails deep into the sea of his imagination and becomes a “wild thing”, far from society, all while being trapped in the confines of his bedroom walls. In Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved My Neighbor Totoro, two young girls trying to make sense of life wander in the woods and into a fantastical journey complete with friendly forest spirits who help and comfort them as they face life as grown-ups for the first time. And in Winnie the Pooh, a hundred acre wood comes alive with the joys, fears, play, and sadness of a community of animals and one boy who learns, gently, the ways of the world.
We're looking for submissions that tackle some of the following questions: How, when, and where are we free to be wild? How does the wild impact us? Who or what is the “wild thing” in each of us?
Here are a few prompts to get you started:
- Write about a wild place that means something to you, whether real or imaginary.
- Describe your wild side. When and where do you feel most free?
- Describe one particular moment you've experienced in the wild in great detail.
There are many ways to approach the theme -- show us what you can do, through fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.
Writing Contest Rules
- All submissions should be related to the theme: “Wild Words”
Entrants must be from Maine in grades 6-12 during the 2013-14 school year, or, if home-schooled, between the ages of 11 and 18.
- Poems must be 40 lines or fewer, in any form. Prose pieces should be 750 words or fewer.
Send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach your story as a .doc or .rtf file, or paste it into the body of the email.
- Include this information with your submission: Name, Age, School, Email Address, Phone Number, Parents Names, Mailing Address.
- Submitting to our contest contstitutes an agreement to be published in our annual anthology.
The deadline for submission was February 15th, 2014.
- A panel of professional writers will select one prose and one poetry winner.
- Winners will be published in the May 2014 issue of Maine Magazine.
- A $200 cash prize will be awarded to one grand prize winner.
- The grand prize winner will read their piece at our 2014 Big Night Event.
Listen to the winners of last year's contest: