Overview

This contest highlights the personal essay. We want 1,500 of your best words to describe an event you personally experienced. Can be funny, sad, encouraging, thought-provoking or more. You choose. Just make sure to bring us into the experience (show, don’t tell, and make good use of dialogue) and leave us feeling like we’ve walked a moment in your shoes.

Submit your document using all the usual formatting rules (12 point, Times New Roman, one-inch margins, double spaced, 0.5″ indent for paragraphs, and no extra spaces between paragraphs). Remember that the judges mark in three categories: Formatting, editing, AND content, so you want to make sure great content doesn’t get obscured by poor editing and formatting!

Basics

What: ‘Memories’ Writing Contest.

Categories: Entries must be nonfiction.

Max Wordcount: Maximum total word count is 1,500 words (as determined by Microsoft Word’s Review>Word Count feature).

Entry Fee: FREE to Inspire Members, $15 for Non-Members per entry.

Max Entries: We will accept a maximum of THREE submissions per person. If you submit more than three, we will only accept the first three submitted.

Criteria: 75% of the score will be based on how compelling your piece is. 25% of the score will be based on mechanics (structure, spelling, formatting, grammar, punctuation, editing, etc.).

Note: All entries will be blind judged, and must be consistent with Inspire’s Statement of Faith.

Submissions: Word docs ONLY (PDFs will not be accepted), submitted through the official submission form on inspirewriters.com (which will be available from this page.). Open for submissions from April 1 – April 30, 2021. Winners will be announced May 15, 2021.

Note: All submissions must be compatible with Inspire’s statement of faith. No nudity, foul language, sexual content, racism, graphic or unnecessary violence, etc.

Formatting

As with most magazines and publishing houses, there is always a standard set of submission guidelines you must adhere to. This contest is no exception. Your Word doc must be formatted with the following specifications:

    • Do not put the author name in either the document itself or the filename
    • Standard letter-size pages
    • Filename should be your title, or the first several words
    • Times New Roman font
    • 12 point
    • One inch margins
    • Double-spaced
    • 0.5″ indentation for paragraphs
    • No extra space between paragraphs beyond double spacing. (Extra spacing is permitted between sections or scene changes.)
    • And 1,500-word maximum. No exceptions. As determined by MS Word’s word count feature.

Scoring

Entries will be blind judged by three individuals whose scores will be averaged by the contest administrator. 75% of those scores will rate how compelling and well-written your piece is. 25% of the final score will be based on your adherence to the formatting guidelines, editing, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and proper use of sentence structure and vocabulary, etc. Tip: edit, edit, ask someone to edit, and then edit again. A GREAT piece content-wise will not win if it’s full of spelling errors, poor punctuation, and missing words.

Submission Window

We will accept submissions via our website from April 1, 2021-April 30, 2021.

Results

Winners will be announced on May 15, 2021.

Prizes

First Place

  • Choice of $50 Amazon Gift Card OR free annual membership to Inspire Christian Writers
  • Announcement across all Inspire social media and in our newsletter
  • And … Publication of winning entry on our award-winning blog

(Members will need to be logged-in to submit entries)

Submit Your Entry

OR

Non-Members, Purchase Your Contest Access HERE