Fresh Ink

This contest is designed to encourage student writers. Enter original works in the 5 Categories listed below. Read on for more details.

Who can participate?

Age Categories:

  • High School (ages 14 – 18)
  • College/University (ages 17-30)
  • Contest is open to members and non-members.
  • Novice Writer Definition: For the purpose of this contest the entrant will not have been previously published in novella or book length fiction/nonfiction and/or have had more than three paid published articles. This includes print or online formats.How Will It Benefit You?
  • Judging sheets are based on a point system and awards will be given based on the quality of writing.
  • Valuable detailed comments and marks on your Submission from those in the writing industry.
  • Cash prizes!  See Prize Page for Details
  • Recognition for Winners & Runner-Ups at The Word Awards Gala

Entry Rules

Entry Categories:

  • Short story (1,500 words or less)
  • Non-fiction piece (1,500 words or less)
  • Poetry (1,500 words or less)
  • First three chapters of an unpublished novel–does not have to be finished (15 pages or less)
  • Short Script – Screen or Stage (45 pages or less)
  • There is no limit to the number of entries that may be submitted, however, a single manuscript may not be entered into multiple categories
  • All judges will look for an underlying expression of the writer’s Christian worldview informing and influencing the writing. The entry should not contain undue profanity, graphic sex, or other objectionable material, and must otherwise conform to generally accepted standards of the CBA as determined by The Word Guild. Judges may request submissions not meeting this requirement be disqualified.

Entry Format

  • Courier or Times New Roman 12-point font
  • Number pages
  • Double-spaced
  • Margins of at least 1″ (2.5 cm) at left, right, top and bottom
  • In the header include title, category, and word count
  • Do not include any pictures or graphics
  • The sample should be the first three chapters or fifty double-spaced pages, printed single-sided and unbound. Please make sure the pages are numbered. (Please use Times Roman 12pt font or a similar very readable font.) Do not print out the pages so they look like actual book pages. Print double-spaced on one side of the page in black ink on 8″ x 11″ white paper, use 1″ margins all around and don’t justify the right margin.

Submission Format for Short Scripts:

  • first page should have the title, author, and the character names (this page is NOT included in the 15 page count).
  • Stage instructions should be minimal, EG, “KWENE COLLAPSES. CROWD SURGES FORWARD.”

Extra Screen play formatting info:

  • FinalDraft(.com) is the industry standard software for automatic formatting screenplays, and it includes several (British & American) acceptable stage play manuscript formats in the same software.  There are various competing softwares that are good.  There are many websites which review what the manuscript should look like for meeting industry standards.
  • UNIVERSAL SCREENPLAY MANUSCRIPT: 12pt courier type, 1” margins.

Extra Stage Play formatting info:

  • Courier or Times Roman fonts in 12 pt
  • double space separates each element
  • no extra formatting (weird fonts, different font sizes, masses of stage directions) as this clutters the piece.
  • examples of good formatting: (American) OR (British)
  • Title, character and setting page (approximately first 3 pages) do NOT count in your 15 page count.

Entry Fee Details & Prize Listings
 on the Word Awards GUIDELINES Page
Please read the Awards Timeline on The Word Awards Page

Fresh Ink winners will be announced and recognized at The Word Awards Celebration in September.

Ready to Submit?  Click Here >