GCWA 2023 Writing Contest

GCWA 2023 Writing Contest will open November 15, 2022

Best Writing Contests of 2022, recommended by Reedsy

Deadline: 11:59pm on January 31, 2023

Writing Contest is open to GCWA members and the public — adults 18 and over, youth 11 to 17.  Winners will be announced at the GCWA meeting in April 2023.

 


Documentation for 2023 Contest (adults 18 and over)

Writing Contest Announcement 2023

Writing Contest Guidelines 2023

Online Submission Form

Documentation for 2023 Youth Writing Contest (age 11 through 17)

Youth Writing Contest Announcement 2023

Youth Writing Contest Guidelines 2023

Online Submission Form


If you have questions please email specialprojects@gulfwriters.org


Sponsor or Donate to keep this contest Free for Youth entrants. Contact specialprojects@gulfwriters.org


All submissions must include full payment made by check to GCWA.
DO NOT MAIL CASH. Check should be for your entries only and not for other monies owed to GCWA. You can also pay below with PayPal.

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Member Contest Entries Non-Member Contest Entries

Entries




Entries



Thank you to our Sponsors

 

 

 

President’s Letter for November 2022

Four hundred years ago, on November 11, 1620, the Pilgrims suffered through a 66-day journey filled with severe storms and loss of many lives before they landed in America.  Their main issue was finding bare necessities, such as shelter, safety, and food.  Many were severely ill, but at that point, there was no turning back.  They were eternally grateful for their lives and determined that they would live.  There was no government in place to help, like it is today, so they had to do whatever it took, by any means necessary, to survive, and survived they did!

The storm has brought on unforeseen circumstances for most, if not all of us.  As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we will certainly be thankful, but it will not likely be celebrated the traditional way for many of us.  However, just like the Pilgrims, together, we will stand strong and make do..  Most of our lives have been turned upside-down and it is difficult, some days, to find things to be thankful about.  One thing we can be thankful for is our beautiful, sunny weather because it could definitely be a lot worse.  Imagine trying to recover from this tragic storm while, at the same time, being forced to deal with and suffer through horrific cold weather with snow like other states?

We regretfully apologize that we have to cancel the November Membership Meeting.  Most of our officers and an untold number of our members and neighbors are simply not physically, mentally, or emotionally ready to meet.  Even our speakers have postponed.

We believe 2023 will be a better year; therefore, we are planning to hold our first meeting of the year on January 21, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. – Noon at Word of Life Church in Fort Myers and also on Zoom.  If you are attending via zoom, please sign up for the program.  Honestly,  we believe you will enjoy the program more if you are physically present.  The opportunity to meet and enjoy the company of other members is extremely uplifting and encouraging during these discouraging times.

Location: Map
Word of Life Church

6111 South Pointe Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919

Note: Google maps or your GPS may direct you to the back of the building.  The entrance to the parking lot is on South Point Blvd. between Quigley Eye Specialists and Buckets Restaurant.

Details for the 2023 Gulf Coast Writers Contest will follow in the December Newsletter.  We are excited to inform you that we are considering joining the Reading Festival again this year; that info will be added to the December newsletter as well.

Have a Miracle story to tell us relating to Ian?  We are hoping to get a collection of stories to share on the GCWA website and possibly on another type of platform, such as presenting the stories at the monthly meetings.  We are in the process of collaborating about the details..  If interested, please send your story to:  President@gulfwriters.org.

May God bless and keep all of you safe and sound.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day.

Irene Smith, President
Gulf Coast Writers Association

President’s Letter for October

To all of our members and visitors:

First and foremost, it is our profound hope that all of you are safe in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.  Due to the storm, we were obliged to cancel our meeting for Saturday, October 15, 2022. We truly apologize for not contacting you sooner, but without power or internet, there was no way to inform everyone of the cancellation.  Some are still experiencing limited to no internet service.

Many are exhausted, but are continuing to work on cleaning up debris and replacing damaged items. All of our officers are safe; but they have unfortunately,suffered some form of damage.  Many suffered heartbreaking losses that were painfully incomprehensible.  However, on a positive note, we still have our meeting venue.  The Word of Life Church sustained minimal damage, so when we are ready to resume our monthly meetings, we can continue to have them in a safe and comfortable venue.

In spite of the horror we have experienced, Governor Ron DeSantis has done an awesome job collaborating with and bringing in outside assistance and resources to get our area back up and running as quickly as possible.  Initially, all odds seemed against us.  False rumors spread that it would take months before we had sufficient water and power. If this was meant to defeat us, it definitely did not happen!

One of the greatest and most inspiring sights, for me, was the morning the storm finally died.  In my neighborhood, everyone was outside with their chain saws and hatchets helping each other clear the fallen trees and stacking them for easy pickup. Neighbors, whom I usually only exchanged a few words, were eager to hold full conversation to ensure all were okay. We now share a common bond all due to Hurricane Ian.

We were all negatively affected by Ian; however, instead of concentrating on the horror stories, my request is that we focus on the Hallelujah stories. I believe many of us have themour GCWA family does. If you would like to share your Good News with us, please do so by sending your Miracle story to:  president@gulfwriters.org.  We will read and publish as many of them as possible.

Currently, we do not plan to hold the October and November 2022 monthly meetings because many people are still very unsettled, and attendance would certainly be affected.  If by any chance the situation changes, we will certainly let you know.  Please continue to check the website for updates at www.gulfwriters.org and stay tuned for November’s newsletter posted next month.  The newsletter will offer updates about upcoming GCWA meetings and events.

May God bless and protect all of you until we meet again.

Irene Smith, President

Gulf Coast Writers Association

October 2022 (POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE)

Speaker: Arielle Haughee
Topic: Crisp Up That Prose!
October 15, 2022, 10 a.m. to Noon

In person and Zoom meeting

Arielle HaugheeLocation: Map
Word of Life Church
6111 South Pointe Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919

Crisp Up That Prose! – Tight writing is a necessity for attracting agents and editors as well as keeping readers interested. In this workshop, we’ll discuss frequently used fluff words, strategies for cleaning up sentences, and bad habits that can make prose cumbersome. We’ll utilize three strategies–cut, replace, and trim down–to make your writing as efficient as possible. Bring some of your writing that needs revision for a hands-on portion of class. You’ll leave with easy strategies to use in your writing and an editing checklist to help you spot fluff.

Arielle Haughee (Hoy)
is a six-time RPLA-winning author and the owner of Orange Blossom Publishing. She is an editor, speaker, and writing coach, and was previously the Executive Vice President and Marketing Chair for the Florida Writers Association. She was honored with the President’s Award from FWA in 2020, and in 2021 Pling’s Party was awarded Children’s Book of the Year. Her press, Orange Blossom Publishing, publishes books about love, humor, and wellness for women and children. She is currently taking submissions for romance, women’s fiction, young adult, and nonfiction of interest to the female audience. More information at orangeblossombooks.com.

*Arielle is presenting via  Zoom; however, like usual, we are meeting in person and on Zoom.

President’s Letter for September 17, 2022

This month’s President’s Letter is a most difficult one to write.  Our beloved web designer, Judy Loose, passed away and we are all deeply grieved.

Judy was capable of gracefully juggling many projects simultaneously; she will be greatly missed.  Be assured that Gulf Coast Writers Association will continue being the leading writing group in Southwest Florida.  We have been blessed with a new member, Dr. Kesha Dreher, who is also an IT expert.  At her first meeting, she quickly agreed to take over the website while vacationing in Maui and is in the process of putting everything together.

 

We ask for your patience and support during this transition.  Our September program will go forward as planned and we expect that our guest speaker, Lucy Tobias, will not disappoint you.

Lucy Tobias will give a PowerPoint presentation of undiscovered Florida (translation — drop dead beautiful photos); she presents ways to combine photos, video, and audio to your stories.  How much of Florida still remains a mystery to some of us?  Lucy will bring magic and excitement to the podium.

One additional benefit you will obtain from this presentation is a short exercise on writing the “hook” — the all-important first sentence of any book!  In journalism, it is called a “grabber.”  This was the most valuable tool I learned as a writer.

Lucy Tobias is an award-winning author and blogger who looks at life and finds humor, beauty, and reasons for hope.

Her book, The Zen of Florida Gardening, won first place in outdoor books in the excellence in crafts awards (2021) for the Florida Outdoor Writers Association.

Tobias’ Wednesday Notes, published in 2022, is her newest book..  A five-star review on Amazon said in part: “A weekly blog that started as a pandemic panacea and became a phenomenon – combination journal, travel log and memoir that looks at the profoundness of everyday life and finds humor, tragedy and reasons for hope. A good read for the jaded of heart who might have forgotten that miracles happen every day.”

Wednesday Notes invites the reader to reflect on the moments of goodness and grace that happen in life. The author’s insights and wonderful sense of humor shine through. Written during the pandemic, there is a tenderness and authenticity that shines through. Lucy Tobias is a faithful, thoughtful, fun-loving friend in the journey of life.”

If you are attending via zoom, please sign up for the program.  Honestly,  we believe you will enjoy the program more if you are physically present.  The opportunity to meet and enjoy the company of other members is extremely uplifting and encouraging during these discouraging times.

Location: Map
Word of Life Church
6111 South Pointe Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919

Note: Google maps or your GPS may direct you to the back of the building.  The entrance to the parking lot is on South Point Blvd. between Quigley Eye Specialists and Buckets Restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irene Smith, President