The 2024 Contest is now open!
Entries for the $1000 for 1000 Words contest will be accepted from December 1, 2023 through February 1, 2024.
Five Hopes for the Writers
Tom Newkirk, Professor Emeritus of English, University of New Hampshire and our 2023 Guest Judge, offered these suggestions at our 2023 awards ceremony:
- Keep writing. Gather a group of friends or attend a writing camp.
- Read fiction. Get inspiration, discover strategies, and study the use of dialogue. Find authors you like. (Stravinsky once said, “I steal from Mozart because I know Mozart.”) Read!
- Find other writers to share work with—online or in person. Learn to be a good responder. Be alert to what’s working. Be specific: dialogue, voice, humor, etc. Be positive and specific: where were you engaged? How can we be generous, but specific and not focus on the negative? Be kind and attentive.
- Don’t play it safe. Fiction is about people in trouble; choices are not always good ones. Home in on tough issues. Take on stress, anxiety, violence. Invent characters who aren’t you! Play with new characters. Experiment.
- Use storytelling in all writing you do. It’s the way we understand the world. Storytelling brings a human dimension to everything in life. It’s persuasive writing. It makes it personal—with facts, etc.
1,000 Word Creative Writing Curriculum
The principal authors of this curriculum unit are David Susman and Karen Tiegel. Their very useful curriculum document for educators is available to help guide classroom topics related to creative writing. Curriculum is available here.