Open for Submissions!

We are seeking your best work for our national writing contest. Winning entries will be published in a special issue of The Bookwoman, the national newsletter of the WNBA.

Prizes: First place winners receive $250 cash prize. Second, third and honorable mentions will be published with the first place winners in the contest edition of The Bookwoman.

Open to all writers 18 or older writing in English.  Now accepting submissions – deadline January 15, 2016

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please inform the contest chairperson if work is accepted elsewhere. Previously published work accepted. If your work is accepted elsewhere please contact the Contest Chair [email protected]

FICTION - Includes short fiction, novel excerpts and flash fiction. 3,000 words maximum.

NONFICTION - Includes memoir, personal essay and commentary. 2,500 words maximum.

POETRY - 3–5 pages of poetry


Fiction: Ann Harleman is the author of two short story collections – Happiness, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award, and Thoreau’s Laundry.

Non-Fiction (Creative Non-Fiction or Memoir): Rosemary Daniell is known as one of the best writing coaches in the country, and she is author of Secrets of the Zona Rosa: How Writing (And Sisterhood) Change Women’s Lives.  She is found and leader of Zona Rosa®, a series of creative writing workshops.

Poetry:  Mary Mackey, Ph.D., is the author of 13 novels and 7 collections of poetry including Sugar Zone, winner of the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award.  As Professor Emeritus of English at California State University Sacramento, she taught Creative Writing. She welcomes questions and comments at You can also follow her on Twitter @MMackeyAuthor.


Entry Fee: 

WNBA Members: $15 per entry
Non-Members: $20 per entry

SUBMIT: Submit your work through our online submission site:




2014-2015 Contest winners

Winning entries are published in a special edition of Bookwoman

Poetry: Diana Whitney for “Curiosity”

Fiction: Allison Har-zvi for “If You’re Ready”

Creative Non-Fiction/Memoir: Diane Kraynak for “Science Project”

Runners-up Announced:

Poetry:   2nd Place:  Sarah Wolbach: “Words [in transit]“

3rd Place: Michelle Regalado Deatrick: “The Light-Lust of Trees”

Honorable Mention: Tanya Ko Hong: “Comfort Woman”

Fiction:  2nd Place:  Vicki deArmon – “Hydroplaning”

3rd Place: Kathleen Spivak – “Moths”

Honorable Mention:  Kristen MacKenzie – “Cold Comfort”

Creative Non-Fiction/Memoir:  2nd Place: Renate Stendhal – “Kiss Me Again. She Did.”

3rd Place:  J. Martin – “The Only Child”

Honorable Mention: L. Loomis – “Ghost House”

To download the full results, click on the link:

2015 WNBA Writing Contest Winners

Questions? Email Contest Chairperson: [email protected]

Thank you for your submissions! Proceeds from the contest help support scholarships for writing conferences and other professional development training.

Watch for news on the next WNBA Writing Contest!

This year, the WNBA Writing Contest featured three categories of writing:

  • Fiction
  • Creative Non-Fiction
  • Poetry

Thank you to our judges:

Poetry: Ellen Bass

Fiction:  Michelle Hoover

Creative Non-Fiction/Memoir:  Dierdre Blair