What Do Judges & Jurors Want? Part 3 of Writing for Contests and Anthologies

RamonaGravitarThe judges and jurors quoted below won’t be evaluating your criminal activities. They’ll be evaluating your mastery of the writing craft, your interpretation of theme, your narrative voice, your ability to hook a reader with a well-crafted opening, your skill at creating an emotional connection with a character.

To round out this short series, I contacted people who read submissions and select stories for inclusion in a couple of regional anthologies. Most of the folks below are also writers, so they understand the joy of acceptance and the disappointment in rejection. Continue reading “What Do Judges & Jurors Want? Part 3 of Writing for Contests and Anthologies”

Why Enter a Short Story Contest? Guest Post by Nancy Sakaduski


Today I am welcoming Nancy Sakaduski, owner of Cat & Mouse Press and creator of the Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest.

The RBR contest is in its third year and is currently open for submissions. This year’s theme is “beach days.” I had the pleasure of judging last year’s entries for Rehoboth Beach Reads, published in The Boardwalk. Although the beach and Rehoboth are tied into the stories, the contest is open to all writers, from anywhere. Continue reading “Why Enter a Short Story Contest? Guest Post by Nancy Sakaduski”

3-Part Series on Writing for Contests and Anthologies

RamonaGravitarLast week, two new short story anthologies bearing my name as editor were released for publication. Those marked my sixth and seventh time working on an anthology based on a specific theme. In addition, as a writer, I’ve contributed stories to three other themed anthologies, plus I’ve gathered some fellowships and grants for my work in short stories. In the arena of short story anthologies and contests, I feel pretty comfortable.

I love the short story form with the heat of a thousand suns. To spread the love, this week, I am posting a three-part series on writing for contests and themed anthologies.

Today, I will share my “rules” for entering contests. Continue reading “3-Part Series on Writing for Contests and Anthologies”

Top 10 Tips for Writing for a Short Story Contest

Here comes summer, and that means beach reads!

 Cat & Mourse pressCat & Mouse Press is happily accepting work for its second Rehoboth Beach Reads short story collection, and I am happy to be one of the judges for this year’s contest.

This year’s theme is “the Boardwalk.” A connection to a boardwalk is required by contest rules, but writers do not need to be from Rehoboth Beach or Delaware. You can send a story from wherever you write!

Continue reading “Top 10 Tips for Writing for a Short Story Contest”

March Madness

No, not basketball, but literary events galore this month! The following are classes, contests, workshops, and launches.




March 1 – Publication date for EXTRAORDINARY GIFTS: Remarkable Women of the Delaware Valley. This collection of prose and visual art salutes noteworthy women with connections to Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, with contributions by local artists and authors. I was honored to write a piece inspired by Delaware environmentalist Dorothy P. Miller.

Extraordinary Gifts


March 8 – Book Launch party for EXTRAORDINARY GIFTS! at the Philadelphia Girls Rowing Club, the oldest club on Boathouse Row, and founded in 1938 by one of the extraordinary women featured in the book.





March 1, 17, and 25 – First Write: Now Edit, a three part editing series sponsored by the Havre de Grace Public Library. I will be presenting on March 25. This is a follow-up to a terrific series in October that pumped up writers planning to participate in NaNoWriMo.

First Write Now Edit


March 9 – 16 – Online workshop: Submission Preparation: Everything You Need for a Perfect Pitch – This week long intensive is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Mary Roberts Rhinehart Chapter of Sisters in Crime. I will lead the group in preparing log lines, queries, synopses, and summaries.






March 1 – The entry period opens for the second Rehoboth Beach Reads short story contest, sponsored by Cat & Mouse Press of Delaware. The 2014 theme is “The Boardwalk” and I am pleased to be one of the judges for this year’s book!

Rehoboth Beach Reads

So much going on in March! I hope somewhere in here is something you’ll find beneficial and fun.