Category Archives: creative writing contests

A Congratulatory Post On Poetry And Books

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope your week was productive and that you have a safe and memorable weekend of rest, reconnection and gratitude. I, like you, was saddened to hear of Robin Williams death. I was remembering all of his great performances and his upbeat, perfectly timed improvise & jokes that made us laugh until we hurt. What baby boomer doesn’t remember Mork & Mindy? His passing is unfortunate and very sad. There are never enough words.

This is a congratulatory post of sorts that I’ve been meaning to share with readers about what’s been brewing on my creative stove, give a well-deserved shout-out to an author’s milestone accomplishment and share information about clara54’s upcoming guest author appearances.


I admit it. I didn’t spend time working on my memoir during my hiatus. I couldn’t bring myself to create in that cathartic space and so I went back to writing poems; a genre I’d found a bit of success in, in the beginning of my freelance writing career.

I wrote a few new poems and gathered some of my languishing poetry to enter them in The Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize Competition. where they placed in the competition’s quarter finalists. The finalists vote comes at the end of August. Fingers crossed:)

I received edits to a poem selected for inclusion in the Michelle Obama Anthology (the authors changed the title) which is set for publication in the historical academia’s “The Black Scholar” sometime in September.

My poem “When Morning Comes” was selected to appear on the website Best New Poems for 7 days where readers and poetry lovers get to vote on the poem they like best and that poet wins the contest. My poem is scheduled to appear on the site August 29th. I need your votes, people! so go here to vote for When Morning Comes

I’m collaborated with,and will be the featured author on a new upcoming Christian Romance Guide, penned by my colleague and friend, Evelyn Cogdell. At our last correspondence, Evelyn was held up and anticipating returning to the project in September. More on that as it unfolds.

Kathy Pooler, who blogs at Memoir Writer’s Journey is presently on a blog tour for her just released memoir and will be stopping in at clara54 the first week of September to talk about her new book (which has received great reviews) and her journey away from emotional abuse.

The same week, Kathy will guest post at my Authentic Woman site to encourage, inspire and empower other women to live a life of wholeness, away from abuse.


I was stuck writing my memoir and turned to penning poems on my time away. I also connected with Joy Devok, a prolific cross genre author who blogs at “My Life a Legacy” and who just happens to have recently published her e-book of poetry, called Poetry: Touch the World with Your Art and Soul.


Look for Joy’s appearance very soon as she joins the writers blog to talk about her enormous body of work and the joy of writing poetry. I’m excited to have these authors visit and share with us their writing process and talk about their books.Congratulations authors!

Whew, this post was supposed to be short and sweet. What happened!? If you have great news to share with my readers, please feel free to inquire about joining the fray:)

“Artistic Differences”


Happy Friday readers and writers! Remember in order to become a great writer, you must love reading:) I’m sharing an eagerly anticipated response from MIRROR Monologues ( remember early summer women playwright submission call?) well I was so thrilled to be among the chosen and was anticipating the results from the meeting of minds in October…This email arrived just last week-Anticipation!

Dear Writer,

Thank you very much for your submission to MIRRORS: Monologues from Women’s Lives. We deeply appreciate your time and interest in our project.

We are writing to say that, unfortunately, we are unable to proceed with the project due to differences in artistic vision. Our decision to discontinue MIRRORS does not reflect on the quality of the submissions. Our panel of writers and directors were deeply touched by your honesty, your humor, and your writing talent.

“Ugh” (sigh) “Really”!?! and “Why can’t artists settle their “artistic” differences?” After all, the play’s the thing. And today? “Okay, so your work didn’t hit the mark its first time out-just keep moving” 🙂

The 6 women playwrights were kind in that they sent along other publishing avenues for those wanting to place their monologues..


How do you guys handle a milestone rejection?

Contest Updates And More…

thcreative writ pin

Happy Friday Everyone! You all know by now how much I enjoy creative writing contests. This year, my submission to Affiliated Women International “NAME” their women business store contest won third place selection- yay! Those who submitted their 2 page entry into The Mirror Monologues a few months ago, received an update from the playwrights informing us of the magnitude of entrants. We’re told our work is awesome-( paraphrasing here) and the final decision will be handed down in October. I’ve only written one-acts before and gotten ‘merit’ responses, so, it’ll be interesting to see how far my submission goes.

Two short story submissions were rejected (drat) but, I enjoyed writing under the umbrella of a 72 hour window where writers had to draft a story from scratch, taking cues from the competition book cover- such fun and showed that I could write a short story ( 1769 words) with a beginning, middle and end:) An awesome book cover and I so wanted to win it!

Enough crying over spilt milk, already. Let’s move on to even better contests cropping up for your summertime fun as you take a break from that book in progress deadline…

Bill Cosby has developed a fun way to promote his new book, I Didn’t Ask To Be Born (But I’m Glad I Was) by hosting a Cosby Sweater Tournament on his website. You have to vote for your favorite Cosby sweater in each bracket to be entered to win an autographed copy of his book.

Another Book Cover contest (won’t be entering this one) is Show Me Your Cover Contest by

July Heat Short Story contest (750) word count, deadline July 25th, at

Assent Publishing “Rogue Writing” contest at or for their guidelines.

Zoetrope; All-Story Short Fiction Contest at The fee here seems to increase every couple of years.

My guest post is featured today at Monique Muro’s Passion Series Blog @ Please stop by for a visit. It was a fun experience.

Okay, that’s it ladies & gents. If you’d like to add other contests to the list, please, don’t be shy. Who is in the mood for summer contests?

Why Entering Contests Can Be “Fierce” For Your Business

I’ve put in a few “guest posts” over the last month and frankly, I’m tired:) But, people have been so generous at these awesome sites, that I’m working on another. Until then,I thought I’d gift myself with another of my guest posts don’t you love contests? Me too…

Suffice it to say I’ve been entering contests for a very long time, can you say, Sweepstakes Clearing House? Now that you have an idea of just how long I’ve been entering contests, let’s talk about how contests can increase your online presence and open the gateway to your business.  When entering contests, be selective.  Okay, so, through trial and error, I learned the Clearing House thing wasn’t exactly the way to go.

Ask what’s in it for you? Seriously, you’re just reversing the “contest protocol’ because contests are designed with the idea of self promotion in mind and you should know up front what your benefit will be.

 The more people participate, the more people will want to know who is behind the greatest contest ever! To be clear, the ruse/rule above applies to contests and not to your business.  Every entrepreneur knows that the client is always right and if they’re not, be tactful in your response in soling the problem. To be a success in business, you must be steeped in integrity and trust.

Now that we’ve gotten the preliminaries out-of-the-way, I’m going to provide a few important dos and don’t when offering contests and how the right approach to your contest will add fierce traffic and awesome clients to your  business Rolodex.


  1. Don’t get all big-headed and think you’re the only fish in the sea with an idea for contest promotion: Businesses are competitive and contests are great incentives to keep abreast of the competition and gain more clients.
  2. Avoid another book giveaway:  I’m a reader and I love books, but, with the onslaught of available down loads of ebooks from people sites, I’d pass up entering your contest.
  3. Don’t overwhelm with details: Entering contests should be a breeze for the contestants.
  4. Don’t charge an outlandish fee to enter your contest: I know this is business, not a writing competition, but, it is not cool to milk your contestants and take the ‘fun’ out of submitting.
  5. Do not avoid answering questions about your contest, as you might have forgotten something of importance to the contestant.


  1. Be original: don’t copy what Ms. Coffee is offering on her site. Do your research and come up with an original- make it their ‘must’ have.
  2. Snoop: Okay, I said not to copy, I didn’t say not to check them out to see what you’re not going to offer as a great prize winner.
  3. Advertise: How else are people going to know about your awesome contest? This is the time to use every social media outlet online and if you’re really proactive- offline as well.
  4. Post a deadline and stick to it: When people are given instruction, they don’t like change. If you say the contest ends at the stroke of midnight, a week from whatever, darn it let it end on a week from whatever!
  5. Have fun with it: Contests are meant to invoke happy endorphins-make it a fun and memorable process.

These are my experiences as an avid contest entrant and sometimes winner. Use them and your business and finance pockets could become a “fierce” force to be reckoned with!

That’s one of my pic taken on vacation-think it will place in a contest?
Photo credit: Clara Freeman-author