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talkwrite
01-29-2008, 09:36 PM
A couple of us are developing memoir short stories to submit to contests as we compile our respective books. Hunting through all sorts of contests neither of us see any specific mention of this genre and I am worried memoirs may not stand up to novel entries. Can anyone tell me if there are contests specific to this genre ? Also can memoirs ( if well written and following the contest guidelines) compete with fiction short story entries?

kellytijer
01-31-2008, 12:24 AM
I am curious about this too...

Shwebb
02-03-2008, 07:44 AM
Good question!

I know of markets that take short memoir/essay--the one that immediately comes to mind is the "Chicken Soup" sort of books. But contests? Hmm. I'll take a look to see what I can find out. And hopefully someone else might weigh in on this, as well.

memoirsink
02-05-2008, 03:42 AM
Hi, I intern at a company called Memoirs, Ink. that holds writing contests twice a year. Since the maximum length is 1500 words, people have even submitted individual chapters of their memoirs, of you could submit stand-alone pieces. I've posted the information below, if you'd like to take a look. Or visit our website directly at www.memoirsink.com/docs/contest.html (http://www.memoirsink.com/docs/contest.html)

Memoirs Ink is looking for original, well-written personal essays, memoirs, or stories that are based on autobiographical experiences. The narrative must be in first person, other that that, the contest is open to any type, genre or style of story. It is open to any writer, any age, writing in English--that means Canadians, Brits, Australians, Ugandans and anyone else anywhere can enter.

Entry must be previously unpublished (this includes websites and blogs).

Entry fee: $15. (Please make check or money order to Memoirs, Ink.)

First Prize: $1100. Second Prize: $550. Third Prize: $275.

Length: Less than 1500 words.

Deadline: February 15, 2008 (postmark).
Late Deadline: February 29, 2008 ($5 procrastination fee)

Winners will be announced April 15, 2008.

Send entries to:
Memoirs Ink Writing Contest
10866 Washington Blvd, Suite 518,
Culver City, CA 90232

Note: Your name should appear only on the contest submission form.

For full guidelines and submission form, please visit Memoirs Ink's contest info website at www.memoirsink.com/docs/contest.html (http://www.memoirsink.com/docs/contest.html)

talkwrite
02-05-2008, 04:36 AM
Thanks for responding Memoirsink; I checked the website and it says " the winning entry will be published" but I see no link to a magazine or publication, or a book ( as in compilation of winning entries) or a sponsoring publishing house. So my question to you is- where are the winning entries published? If my work is going to be published- I want to know where and by whom and what size audience it will have. Plus would you please explain the assignment of rights listed was for " temporary rights" and electronic archival rights" This ties in to the answer of where it is published, I'm sure.

Also how many years has this contest been running and where can I read the past winners? I scoured your website to no avail....
Thanks

kellytijer
02-05-2008, 08:03 AM
Hi, I intern at a company called Memoirs, Ink. that holds writing contests twice a year. Since the maximum length is 1500 words, people have even submitted individual chapters of their memoirs, of you could submit stand-alone pieces. I've posted the information below, if you'd like to take a look. Or visit our website directly at www.memoirsink.com/docs/contest.html (http://www.memoirsink.com/docs/contest.html)

I was actually tipped off to the Memoirs, Ink. contest through FirstWriter.com. I was totally jazzed about it and ready to submit a short until I read further and found some misspellings. Copied from the actual web page:
Other Info

Manuscripts will not be returned. Memoirs, Ink., is not responsible for manuscripts lost in the mail, etc. Memoirs, Ink cannot confirm receipt of your entry unless you provide a self-addressed stamped postcard.
Winners must sign a contest winner agreement form that certifies your writing is original and assigns us temporary rights and electronic archiving rights.
If you win, we will publish your story. If you do not want your story published please do not submit it.
We reserve the right to mention or not mention anyone honorably.
Winners will be contacted between April 1-15, 2008. This contest will be judged by a panel of judges including:
1) Someone good yet to be detimined- the extent of thier coolness will go here.
2) Felice Austin, president and senior writer of Memoirs Ink. Ms. Austin has judged many contests in the past. She says who needs a bio when there's google.


It seemed unprofessional to me, and I decided not to enter the contest. I'd also rather not have to Google Felice Austin to find out what her qualifications are...

memoirsink
02-13-2008, 08:24 AM
Kellytijer,
I understand your skepticism in regard to our contest, but I assure you that it is legitimate. It started in 2004 as an annual contest and we held it in 2005, 2006 and then in 2007 we decided to separate it into a half-yearly and yearly contest, which is what we are doing in 2008 as well. The winner of the inaugural contest in 2004 received a book deal in part because of the contest.

Talkwrite,
what we mean when we say the winning entries will be published is that they will be published on our website. As the company grows, we hope to compile the winning entries in a book to be published. Memoirs Ink believes that everyone has a story that should be told and heard. Sometimes this means that prize money from a contest is the incentive you need to start writing, although this may not be the case for everyone. This is not the contest for everyone, but if you feel like you have a chance to win some money, I encourage you to enter.

The main premise of our company is not only to hold writing contests, although that is another way to promote the memoir genre and a way to motivate people to write the stories they have always meant to write. We are actually a company commissioned by people to write personal memoirs to be published privately for family and friends. We are currently working on updating our website to include our new services, which are not listed on our website at the present. I should have included a link - sorry about that, talkwrite.

Visit us at memoirsink.com

I apologize for the spelling errors on the contest page. I understand it appears to lower the credibility of the contest, but I would like to reiterate that past winners have used their success in our contest to further their writing careers. Each past entry located on our website includes a blurb about the author. At the very least it is another way to get recognized in the writing world, while also being compensated for your talent. I hope this clears things up for everyone. We are a small company and oftentimes that comes across as the equivalent of an unprofessional company. As you can see we have increased the amount of prize money as the contests have gained popularity over the years. If you would like to read past winners, go to memoirsink.com, then click "writing contest", then "contest archives," and you will see a link to winning stories divided by year.

Thank you for your time.

talkwrite
02-13-2008, 08:55 PM
Hi Memoirsink;
You can't blame a writer for being cautious about a contest that leaves questions unanswered especially since there are other competitions out there that do provide the information we need to know.
Your site did not mention the potential book nor the points you had to add in your response. You also fail to tell us what rights you retain. And as you stated As the company grows, we hope to compile the winning entries in a book to be published. the words "we hope to" may not be the guarantee some writers need as to what will happen to their work if submitted. There are scam contests out there that are people just trying to get their hands on writing to create a book to sell without paying a fair fee to writers. So on your site, the spelling mistakes and the omitted details are a red flag.
I am just saying that we writers are held to certain standards and we work hard to write well so we can meet those standards-we suffer through critiques and editing; the contests and publishers should be held to the same standards. Don't you think?
Regarding prize money: prize money is not half as important as being judged by a prominent author or editor, a critique and the added notice your work gets from editors, agents and publishers if it wins or places in a prominent competition. Of course the writing grants when offered as competition prizes are pretty attractive.
I have found several excellent competitions out there and have learned how to scrutinize them.

Shwebb
02-13-2008, 10:21 PM
Writersink,

Thanks for posting about the contest and giving us more information--all of it very helpful. I read the news releases regarding the company, and it sounds like you provide a wonderful service to people who want to preserve life stories but don't have the local resources to do so. The entry fee looks reasonable, and the prize money is certainly an incentive for some people! With the limit of only word length and not subject or genre, I can't imagine how hard it would be to judge which entries are the best, though. (As an aside, I wish Felice Austin would put up a short bio. I know it sounds sorta clever to say that about Google, but it comes off as being a bit insincere. I hope she changes her mind about it.)

Good luck with the contest and with the business!

kellytijer
02-14-2008, 08:26 PM
Kellytijer,
I understand your skepticism in regard to our contest, but I assure you that it is legitimate.

I apologize for the spelling errors on the contest page. I understand it appears to lower the credibility of the contest, but I would like to reiterate that past winners have used their success in our contest to further their writing careers. Each past entry located on our website includes a blurb about the author. At the very least it is another way to get recognized in the writing world, while also being compensated for your talent. I hope this clears things up for everyone. We are a small company and oftentimes that comes across as the equivalent of an unprofessional company. As you can see we have increased the amount of prize money as the contests have gained popularity over the years. If you would like to read past winners, go to memoirsink.com, then click "writing contest", then "contest archives," and you will see a link to winning stories divided by year.

Thank you for your time.

I have no doubt it's legit. Just kinda disappointing seeing errors like that given the gut-wrenching amount of work I put into making sure my submissions are error-free.