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 February 28, 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 May 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.

paypal
Member Contest Entries Non-Member Contest Entries

Entries




Entries



Thank you to our Sponsors

 

 

 

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

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

See Lori’s blog.

Imposter in the Woods
by Lori Goshert

The call of a cardinal echoes through the trees. A brown anole skitters up a palm trunk, pausing to listen and bob her head.

With one finger jammed between the pages of my book to mark the place, I crane my neck to peer under the lounge chair, seeking the fat brown ant that disappeared underneath. I examine the back rails to make sure the insect is not making her way toward me, and I shake out my discarded shoes. I regard the jumping spider on the arm of the chair with suspicion—I do not fear spiders, but the unpredictability of jumping insects and arachnids unnerves me. I like knowing where things are and where they are going. Especially if they’re creepy.

I consider myself a lover of nature, even presuming to write about birds and environmental issues. But I keep nature at arm’s length—a long-distance romance.

I devour documentaries of faraway rainforests, reveling in the flight of scarlet and green parrots and the majestic decisiveness of jaguars. I will never visit them, but to ensure their survival, I place my pen, my time, and sometimes my wallet at their service. The oxygen those trees exhale makes my life possible, and their destruction is my own.

The only reason I’d leave the convenience of an urban apartment for a house would be to plant fruit trees and let my lawn burst with food for people and pollinators rather than grass. But I know myself—I would rather suffer jury duty or fold laundry than dig in the dirt, where I’d encounter wriggling earthworms. And the very thought of bugs on my skin makes every hair stand up.

There is much in the city to feed my love of nature: The moss hanging from the southern live oaks. The barred owl behind our building periodically calling “Who cooks for you?” I long to answer him, but he stubbornly refuses to show himself for a real conversation.

The wonders of our national parks call to me, and I long to visit and marvel in the august presence of ancient trees, mirror-still mountain lakes, and multi-pigmented rock formations. But when the sun goes to bed, let me bask in the glory of indoor plumbing, snake- and insect-proof doors and windows, and the promise of morning elixir from the venerable coffeepot. (Though a  voice in the back of my mind scolds me, saying I should know how to “rough it.” For the future, when we’re all living in Octavia Butler’s The Parable of the Sower.)

Am I an imposter, then, when writing about nature issues? I ask myself that each time I lift my pen to extol the delicate beauty of a green heron, the still vigilance of a lizard, or the mossy fairy-tale shape of a live oak. Yet I continue to look for that owl—through my apartment window—and to write about him and his bird friends.