Contest One ran from January 1 to March 1, 2013. Check out our full list of quarterly contests for past winners and current or upcoming themes!
The winners, selected by a panel of six judges, are:
Michelle Soudier – “Perspective”
Mary Hedengren – “A Trans-Atlantic Occurrence”
Deborah Miller-Collins – “Call, Talk, Lock”
(in no particular order)
Mike Donoghue – “Stuck in the Past”
Caroline Zarlengo Sposto – “Chivalry”
Jennifer Racek – “The Library At The Center Of The World”
Maude Larke – “The Tishbite”
Kate Raynes – “Oh, how we lived and died there”
Scott Skrabal – “The horse race for existence”
Lisa Reeves – “Google Earth: Madison County”
(in no particular order)
Kaye Spivey - “Villanelle de Vive”
Candice Conner – “The Divine Spark of Wine Dancing”
Tom Vredenburg – “Predators”
Elinor Gale – “Star Bright?”
We will award one Grand Prize for poetry, and one for prose. Each of the two Grand Prize winners will receive:
We will award one Second Place prize for poetry, and one for prose. Each of the two Second Place winners will receive:
We will award one Third Place prize for poetry, and one for prose. Each of the two Third Place winners will receive:
A fee of US$10 must accompany each entry.
Your writing prompt for this contest is the single word spark. The word is not required to appear within the text of your contest entry, but you will need to include a 90-word-or-less description on the entry form explaining how the word spark inspired or influenced your work. There are no age or genre restrictions for this contest, and content guidelines are similar to our standard submission guidelines, including what we are not accepting.
Contest One awards prizes for poetry and prose according to our contest judging criteria.
Prose includes both fiction and creative nonfiction, but we have not divided the category further because we believe that well-written creative nonfiction should tell a story so well that the result is indistinguishable from fiction. Prose must be less than 12,000 words.
Poetry includes all styles, meters, and rhyme schemes, or may be free-form. Poetry must be less than 150 lines.
Rules & Restrictions
- Prose must be less than 12,000 words. This is a limit, not a challenge; we are looking for excellent writing and storytelling, not length. A compelling and well-written “flash fiction” piece has equal chance against a novelette.
- Poetry must be less than 150 lines. This is a limit, not a challenge; we are looking for evocative imagery that paints a small story in a poem. A haiku or tanka has equal chance against a sonnet or epic.
- Only previously unpublished works will be considered.
- You may enter a previously-written piece if you feel that it satisfies the prompt for this contest.
- There are no age limits for this contest other than legal restrictions imposed by your local jurisdiction. In the event that a younger winner is ineligible for any non-cash prize because of age, an equivalent cash prize will be substituted.
- Spark: A Creative Anthology staff, contest judges, and their immediate families are not eligible.
- Authors and poets whose work has already been accepted for publication in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volumes I or II are not eligible.
- You may enter multiple pieces in this contest, and you may enter both poetry and prose, but each entrant can win at most one prize, no matter how many entries were made.
- Contest entry fees are non-refundable.
- All proceeds after prizes are awarded will be applied toward publication costs of Spark: A Creative Anthology at the sole discretion of Empire & Great Jones Creative Arts Foundation, a registered non-profit corporation.
- Because this contest is judged blindly—that is, the author’s name is withheld from the judges—please omit personal information from the manuscript. Your name and contact information will be attached to the entry form.
- Judges will be unable to provide feedback on specific pieces.
This contest is not endorsed, sponsored by, or affiliated with Duotrope. This prize was selected by Spark as a tool we admire and feel would be useful to contest winners, as it has been to us. However, we were able to purchase these subscriptions at a discount.
The one-year subscription to Poets & Writers Magazine was donated by Poets & Writers.
The Lifetime and one-year Scribophile Premium Memberships were donated by Scribophile.