Contest Two: “Una Mujer”

Contest Two: “Una Mujer” ran from May 2, 2013 to June 1, 2013. Winners were selected by a panel of nine judges, plus the editor-in-chief, Brian Lewis.

Check out our full list of quarterly contests for past winners and current or upcoming themes!



Grand Prize: Barbara Black for “Sister Eugenie’s Wonderful Glass Eye”
Second Place: Beatriz Fernandez for “Very Truly Yours, Irene Norton, née Adler”
Third Place: Dwight Gray for “Sleepless on Medicine Creek”

Honorable Mention

Stewart Baker for “Profiled”
Eaton Rue for “Dientes de león”
Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan for “Protagonist”



Grand Prize: Janet Irvin for “A Brief Theory of Triangular Scale”
Second Place: Catherine Evleshin for “Slow Dance/High Stakes”
Third Place: George Wells for “Lucía”

Special Mention by Guest Judge

Brittany Howard for “The Painter”

Honorable Mention

Jennifer Castello for “In Memory of the Last Earthling”
Hunter Liguore for “The Girl Who Cried Witch”
Ryan Hollins for “They Said He Sat on Flowers”


  • Guest Judge: Author James Bernard Frost
  • Guest Judge: Mark Vanderpool of Port Cities Review
  • Judge: Emily Hilbert
  • Judge: James E. Lewis
  • Judge: Wyatt Winnie
  • Judge: Justin Mitchell
  • Judge: D. Laserbeam
  • Judge: Amy Lewis


A fee of US$10 must accompany each entry.


Grand Prize

We will award one Grand Prize for poetry, and one for prose. Each of the two Grand Prize winners will receive:

  • US$500.00
  • Publication in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume III
  • Lifetime Premium Membership at Scribophile, the online writing group for serious writers
  • Six-Month Scribe’s Forge Ultimate Writer’s Passport
  • Complimentary print & digital copies of Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volumes I through IV
  • Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland (2013 Kindle or Nook edition)

Second Place

We will award one Second Place prize for poetry, and one for prose. Each of the two Second Place winners will receive:

  • US$100.00
  • Lifetime Premium Membership at Scribophile
  • Complimentary digital copies of Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volumes I through IV
  • Complimentary print copy of Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume I
  • Print subscription to American Poetry Review
  • Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland (2013 Kindle or Nook edition)

Third Place

We will award one Third Place prize for poetry, and one for prose. Each of the two Third Place winners will receive:

  • One-year Premium Membership at Scribophile
  • Complimentary digital copy of Spark: A Creative Anthology Volumes I through IV
  • Digital Subscription to American Poetry Review
  • Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland (2013 Kindle or Nook edition)


Your writing prompt for this contest is the artwork Impresión del perfil de una mujer by Rodney Artiles, which will be featured on the cover of Spark: A Creative Anthology Volume III. Entries are not required to adhere to this prompt, but you are encouraged to let it inspire your creativity. 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 Two 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

  • Publication Rights remain with the author or poet. Grand Prize winners are not obligated to publish their winning entry in Spark, but if our publication offer is accepted, the cash portion of the prize serves to purchase First Publication rights as outlined on our Rights & Rates page. All other entrants retain full rights to submit and publish their entries as they wish.
  • Prose limits: We are looking for excellent writing and storytelling, not length. A compelling and well-written “flash fiction” piece has equal chance against a novelette. Prose must be less than 12,000 words.
  • Poetry limits: 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. Poetry must be less than 150 lines.
  • 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 contest judges and their immediate families are not eligible.
  • Because entries are blindly judged, authors and poets who have previously had work accepted for any volume of Spark: A Creative Anthology may enter this contest. In the event that a Grand Prize winner is an author or poet whose work has been accepted for Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume III, we may choose to postpone or decline publication of either the previously-accepted work or the winning contest entry.
  • 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 are 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.

About the Guest Judges

James Bernard Frost is the author of the novels A Very Minor Prophet and World Leader Pretend, and the award-winning travel guide The Artichoke Trail. His fiction and non-fiction writing has been published in many places, including the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Wired. He lives in Portland, Oregon with the author Kerry Cohen, their four children, the rain, the freaks, and the trees. His bike is currently in disrepair.

Mark Vanderpool has spent the last decade helping writers to develop better skills and to launch or improve careers in creative writing. He did much of this work in online environments such as and Most recently, Mr. Vanderpool founded Port Cities Review, a themed literary publication focused on great port cities—not only as centers of human commerce and interaction, but also signifying transition, liminality, and the space between reason and emotions. Mark adds, “The places where land and water meet are symbolic for us as well as actual. But even more important than the aesthetics is our guiding mission: to provide top quality articles and short fiction to readers while paying writers a competitive rate.”

About the Awards

Scribe’s Forge courses are designed and conducted by Tracy and Laura Hickman, who have been writing science fiction and fantasy professionally for over a quarter of a century. Tracy is the New York Times Best-selling author of “Dragonlance”, “The Death Gate Cycle” and “Dragonships” (with Margaret Weis) as well as the upcoming “Drakis” trilogy and “The Immortals.” Laura is the author of “The Bronze Canticles Trilogy” and the original ‘Ravenloft’ adventure game (with Tracy). Both have been teaching seminars and workshops in Speculative Fiction for much of their professional lives. Learn more at

Scribophile is the largest online writing workshop and discussion group, boasting over 202,000 peer critiques written by community members ranging from amateur writers to professional authors and editors. Learn more at


Cash prizes were donated by Brian & Amy Lewis.

The Lifetime and one-year Scribophile Premium Memberships were donated by Scribophile, the online writing group for serious writers. Learn more at

The Scribe’s Forge Ultimate Writer’s Passports were donated by Tracy & Laura Hickman.

The Kindle editions of Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland were purchased on April 10, 2013, as part of the “Book Bomb” to support Ben Wolverton. Nook editions of the same book will be purchased and provided instead if requested by the prizewinner.

Spark: A Creative Anthology is administered and published by the Empire & Great Jones Creative Arts Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.


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