Enter the 2020 Unknown Writers Contest Now

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”If you have never been called a defiant, incorrigible, impossible woman … have faith … there is yet time.” Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, “Women Who Run with the Wolves” DWPC Guest Judge

The Denver Woman’s Press Club sponsors the Unknown Writers Contest, open to unpublished, unpaid Colorado residents, 18 years or older. The contest offers unpublished writers the opportunity to share their work by entering 2000 words of fiction, nonfiction or poetry. All entrants will receive constructive comments from professional writers and editors who are members of the Denver Woman’s Press Club.

The Unknown Writers Contest opens on January 1, 2020 with final deadline February 15, 2020. Entry fee is $25 per entry ($20 for poetry). Cash prizes are awarded for winners, in the amount of $125 for first place, $75 for second place, and $50 for third place. 

This year’s esteemed guest judge is Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Dr. Estés is a mestiza Latina, poet, and post-trauma recovery specialist working for the last 49 years with survivor families of critical incidents, massacres, and disasters. Her work with combat veterans began in 1965. Her book Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype was on the NYT bestseller list for 144 weeks and is published in 42 languages worldwide.

“This contest is a tradition within DWPC and an opportunity to bring new voices into the world of writing,” says Denver Woman’s Press Club President, Anne Randolph. “We can’t wait to recognize original new writers. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés reports that winning a Denver contest began her adventure as a writer.”

The contest is open to men and women who meet the following criteria:

  • Are Colorado residents (men and women), 18 and older
  • Have never been published with a byline and paid in cash or copies
  • Have not previously won first place in the same category in this competition

Categories include the following:

  • Fiction: Short story (2,000-word limit), novel excerpt (2000 words plus 250 word synopsis)
  • Nonfiction: Journalistic report or essay, such as a profile, memoir, opinion piece, etc. (2,000-word limit)
  • Poetry: Up to three poems, rhyming form or free verse (maximum of 40-lines each)

Winners of the Unknown Writers Contest award will be announced by March 20, 2020. An awards reception will take place on Saturday April 4, 2020 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Denver Woman’s Press Club (1325 Logan St. 80203).

➤ To enter the contest, read rules and submit entry form(s), visit dwpconline.org/outreach/unknown-writers-contest/.

Learn more about Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés at www.clarissapinkolaestes.com.