Check Out Winning Writers: Contests and More

Thursday, February 07, 2013
I'm really excited to introduce you to Adam Cohen and his wife, Jendi Reiter, from the website, Winning Writers. Like WOW!, it has been voted by Writer's Digest as being one of the 101 most useful sites for writers. After reading the interview below with Adam and discovering all this site has to offer--from contests to free newsletters, from tips and contest insider information to an inexpensive subscription to a searchable database of over 1250 contests--you will be checking out Winning Writers today. This is one interview and website you won't want to miss! 

WOW: Welcome Adam, to The Muffin! We are happy to have you here today. Let's start by telling us a bit about your site, Winning Writers, and why you created it.

Adam: My wife, Jendi Reiter, and I started Winning Writers in 2001. Jendi has extensive knowledge about literary contests, which ones are good and how to win them. We wanted to make this information available to the public online at a reasonable price. We also wanted to warn people about certain contests to avoid. We call them "vanity contests." They tend to be unselective and most interested in selling products, like expensive anthologies.

WOW: That sounds like a terrific service for writers. So, when a writer goes to your site now, there are a lot of opportunities available to him or her. Let's start with the contests. What are a couple upcoming contests that you have going on?

Adam: All four contests hosted at Winning Writers are open now. We directly sponsor the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (no fee) and the Sports Fiction & Essay Contest. We assist Tom Howard Books with their Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest and their Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest.

WOW: After reading the guidelines for all of them, they sound like great opportunities for writers--especially the humor poetry category--no entry fee and $1000 top prize. In order to enter contests, what does a writer need to do?

Adam: All four contests accept entries online at The Tom Howard contests also accept entries by mail. Before entering, we encourage contestants to read previous winning entries published on our website. We have also made years of judges' comments available, so contestants can understand what makes an entry stand out.

WOW: That is a great idea to allow writers to read previous winners AND judges' comments! What is Literary Contest Insider? [new name]

Adam: Literary Contest Insider is our online database with 1,250-plus detailed profiles of poetry and prose contests. It represents years of distilled knowledge and research to help you find the best contests for your work--fast! Search and sort contests by prize, fee, type, and many other criteria. We suggest specific contests for beginning, intermediate, and well-established writers, and estimate the potential impact each contest might have on your career. A contest we highly recommend will probably have much more impact than a contest we're neutral about.

We love it when good writers not previously "plugged into the contest circuit" begin to get recognition because we guided them to the contests that are effective for them. Access to Literary Contest Insider is $9.95/quarter, with a 10-day free trial period at the start. You can start a trial at

WOW: This database sounds fantastic for writers interested in contests and at a very reasonable price! Besides contests, you also offer a free newsletter. What type of information is in the free newsletter and how do writers sign up?

Jendi and Adam
Adam: Our free e-mail newsletter is built around the best free literary contests--profiles of contests in our database that have no entry fees. Every month you get a heads-up on free poetry and prose contests whose deadlines are approaching. There are over 150 of these. Subscribing to our newsletter gets you instant free online access to The Best Free Literary Contests. We have over 40,000 newsletter subscribers. You can subscribe at

WOW: There's also a section of Winning Writers, titled "What's New?" What will writers find on this page?

Adam: This is where we announce useful resources for writers and news about new and changed contests. Entering new contests can be a good strategy--they are less likely to be swamped with entries than well-established ones.

WOW: That's a great tip! What about under the "useful resources" section?

Adam: Here we organize our directory of resources into categories like "Markets and Contests," "Resources and Contests for Students," "Literary Societies," and "Exotic Forms." We also provide a large library of poetry critiques--a place to learn about a wide range of techniques, plus suggestions on where to submit various styles of poems.

WOW: It sounds like you could spend hours on your site, finding useful tips, ideas, and contests for a writing career! Anything else you'd like to add about Winning Writers?

Adam: We have a rapidly growing Twitter feed with links to contest news and award-winning poems and stories. Follow us @winningwriters.

WOW: Thank you, Adam, for sharing all of this information with our readers today. You have a wonderful site, and I hope that many of WOW!'s fans and followers will become yours, too. 

WOW! readers, don't forget to check out Winning Writers by clicking here.  

Interview conducted by Margo L. Dill, author of Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg.


Anonymous said...

I've already checked out the site-- thank you for pulling this wonderful resource together.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Great interview. I can't wait to enter the sports essay contest! I have so many stories to share. :)

Marcia Peterson said...

Contests are such a great way to get writers writing. Good to have a place to find where to submit.

Margo Dill said...

Thanks, Julie, Ang, and Marcia. I'm interested to read your sports essay! :)

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