Writing Contest

We are excited to announce the theme of this year’s Writing Contest!

“Full Circle”

Submissions will be accepted for this annual contest starting February 1, 2022 in the following categories:

  • Poetry – up to 3 poems
  • Short-Short Fiction – 1 or 2 submissions of up to 500 words each
  • Short Fiction – a single submission of 1,500-2,500 words
  • Creative Nonfiction – a single submission of 1,500-2,500 words

First-place winner in each category will receive a prize of $200 and publication on the Lake Superior Writers website. Runner-up in each category will receive a prize of $50.

We are looking for submissions that explore the “Full Circle” theme, and writers can interpret it as broadly as they wish. You might write about lives that follow a circle returning to the starting point but with new insights, or relationships that may follow this pattern, or the circle of nature.


The LSW Writing Contest is open to adults (age 18 and older). Graphic content that is violent or sexual in nature is prohibited.

Entry is free for Lake Superior Writers members; $35 for non-members, which includes membership in Lake Superior Writers. If you have any questions about your membership status, email us at writers@lakesuperiorwriters.org. You can pay the submission fee here, with your credit card or PayPal account. Membership benefits include the LSW monthly newsletter “NorthWords,” reduced fees for workshops/classes, and invitations to special LSW events. 

Manuscripts must be original and unpublished, including on personal blogs. We are only accepting email submissions. Stories should be formatted in 12-point font, double-spaced with one-inch margins and Times New Roman, Courier or a similar font. Your name MUST NOT appear on your manuscript. (See details below.) All stories will be read by a panel of judges. Submissions that do not comply with submission and formatting requests will not be considered. 

Deadline: April 11, 2022

Winners will be notified by May 11, 2022.

Submission Details

  • The email subject line should read Contest 2022.
  • In the email message, include Your Name, Email Address, Home Address, and Phone Number, Title(s) of Submitted Piece(s), Genre, and Word Count.
  • Save each submission in a separate .doc or .docx, and attach them to your email message. The document must be identified ONLY by the title of that submission. DO NOT include your name in the title of your document, or in the document itself. You my attach multiple documents to one email.
  • Email your submissions to lswcontest@gmail.com. You will receive a confirmation email within 72 hours of submitting your entry.
  • Submissions that do not comply with submission and formatting requests will not be considered. 

READING AT THE 2022 ANNUAL MEETING: Winners will be asked to read an excerpt from their work at the Lake Superior Writers Annual Meeting in late spring, which will be virtual. If you have questions, please contact Vickie Smith at lswcontest@gmail.com.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.