lITERARY FESTIVAL

Click Here to read this year’s winning submissions in the Writing Contest!

Writing Contest &

Events

 
THE 2019 WRITING CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. PLEASE CHECK BACK NEXT YEAR!    SCROLL DOWN FOR A COMPLETE LISTING OF OUR LITERARY EVENTS.

THE 2019 WRITING CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. PLEASE CHECK BACK NEXT YEAR!

SCROLL DOWN FOR A COMPLETE LISTING OF OUR LITERARY EVENTS.

All Massachusetts writers are invited to submit their best work to this year’s Marblehead Festival of Arts writing contest. An annual tradition for over 50 years, our festival celebrates the best of the arts in a weeklong series of events and arts competitions honoring our state’s cultural traditions. The literary component of the festival celebrates Massachusetts-based authors of distinction through lectures, panels, and other initiatives.

By entering our writing competition, you are supporting the festival’s mission to promote and foster the arts in Marblehead and surrounding communities. As in years past, the contest will recognize the strongest submissions, as deemed by our esteemed judges, with first and second place cash prizes and honorable mentions in each category (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry).

We reserve the right to publish winning works on the Marblehead Festival of Arts website and/or other Festival publication, but copyright belongs to the author.

While the theme of this year’s Literary Festival is “The Importance of Place,” writers do not have to write or submit work fitting this theme.

ELIGIBILITY

This contest is open to all Massachusetts residents who are writers of fiction, creative nonfiction (including memoir and personal essay), and poetry. Submitted work may NOT be previously published unless on a personal blog, personal website, or other self-produced publication. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us immediately, via email, if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Submission fee is $15 PER WORK, and you may submit as many works as you like. For example, if you submit two poems, your submission fee is $30. The same is true for all categories. You may submit in multiple categories.

The Literary Festival welcomes and encourages entries from writers of all backgrounds, groups, and identities who are 18 and older. 

By entering the Marblehead Festival of Arts Writing Contest you agree that:

(1) The work is your own original work

(2) No one else owns the rights to publish said work

(3) If you are one of the winners (including Honorable Mention), you grant Marblehead Festival of Arts the right to publish said work, unless you withdraw your work prior to our announcement of winners.

Marblehead Festival of Arts does NOT retain rights to your work after we publish it.

PRIZES

Grand prize for each category (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry): $125, plus electronic and/or print publication

Second place (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry): $50, plus electronic and/or print publication

Honorable mentions (number will be determined by judges): Certificate of recognition, plus electronic and/or print publication.

All winners will be invited to the Marblehead Festival of Arts Awards Ceremony to be held during the evening of Weds., July 3, 2019, location TBA. Attendance is encouraged, but not required to receive award.

If you are submitting work to our contest, please consider joining us for the Marblehead Arts Festival, including our full roster of literary events. Details will be posted at www.marbleheadfestival.org as they are confirmed.

SUBMISSION RULES & GUIDELINES

Please read carefully! Submissions that do not follow these guidelines will be rejected.

We will be opening up registration soon at users.marbleheadfestival.org

Entries must be submitted online on or by June 19, 2019 (Eastern time) by midnight. (Entries time-stamped June 20 or later will be rejected.)
All entries MUST have paid their entry fee of $15 per entry. If for some reason you are unable to make a payment online, PLEASE EMAIL US. We will help you make arrangements to pay by mail and/or in person.

Length of entries:

Poetry: Each poem should be no greater than 32 lines

Fiction: Short stories or novel stand-alone chapters/excerpts no longer than 3,000 words. Any genre or subgenre is welcome (literary fiction, speculative fiction, young adult, etc.).

Nonfiction: Essays, brief memoirs, etc., of no longer than 3,000 words

Formatting requirements:

  • Entries for all categories (except poetry) to be double-spaced, one-inch margins, Times New Roman or other standard 12-point font. We ask poets to use a standard 12-point font, but do not require standard margins.

  • PLEASE INCLUDE your name, address, phone number, and email address on your cover page, along with the TITLE of your submission, CATEGORY of work, and number of words. Please also include a short (2-3 sentence) bio about yourself. Do NOT describe your submitted work. The writing should stand on its own without need for explanation.

Cover Page Example:

Jan Doe

123 Four Street

Marblehead, MA 01945

(781) 111-2222

janemail@mail.com

Title of work: THE TEMPEST

Category: FICTION

Word count: 2,700

Bio: Jane Doe is a nature writer based in Gloucester. She grew up on a commune west of the city with her parents and seven siblings. When she’s not writing, she’s tending to her llamas, rock climbing, or helping out at the Farmer’s Market.

HOW TO ENTER

  1. Pay your entry fee via this link https://users.marbleheadfestival.org/

  2. Email your cover page and writing entry as an attachment/attachments in these formats only: PDF, Word, or Google doc, via email: literaryfestival@marbleheadfestival.org

You will receive a confirmation email when your entry has been received and logged into our system. Thank you for entering the 2019 Marblehead Festival of Arts Writing Contest!

 
AUTHOR TALKS & CLOSING PANEL      RACHEL SLADE   Friday, July 5, 11:00 a.m.  Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead, 28 Mugford Street  In her bestseller and multi-award-winning book,  Into the Raging Sea: Thirty-three mariners, one megastorm, and the sinking of El Faro , author Rachel Slade recounts the day Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole, resulting in the deadliest American shipping disaster in 35 years. In addition to talking about how she came to write the book, Slade will discuss the disaster and its larger implications, including New England's key role in the rapidly changing US maritime industry. Among other awards, Into the Raging Sea was named one of NPR’s best books of 2018, a New York Times notable book of 2018, and Amazon’s best non-fiction book of the year. Rachel Slade began her journalism career as the design editor at Boston magazine, eventually becoming executive editor. She left in 2016 to become a full-time freelance writer. She is currently the interim editor of the Ideas section at the Boston Globe. Book sales and signing to follow.    JENNA BLUM    Saturday, July 6, 2:00 p.m.    Abbot Public Library meeting room, 235 Pleasant Street   Jenna Blum’s first novel,  Those Who Save Us , explored how non-Jewish Germans dealt with the Holocaust and was a  New York Times  bestseller, the #1 bestselling novel in the Netherlands in 2001, and the 2005 winner of the Ribalow Prize, awarded by Hadassah Magazine and adjudged by Elie Wiesel. Her second novel, The Stormchasers, was similarly acclaimed. Blum will speak today about her recently-released book, The Lost Family, and discuss the importance of place in fiction as part of her presentation. In addition to her own writing, Blum leads novelists as part of Grub Street in Boston, the nation’s largest creative writing center. Book sales and signing to follow.         CLOSING PANEL: A SENSE OF PLACE    Sunday, July 7. 2:00 p.m.    Marblehead Arts Association, King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper Street   This afternoon’s panel will close out this year’s literary festival with a lively discussion among three prize-winning North Shore writers of poetry, plays, and creative nonfiction on the ways place and community influence and lend authenticity to their work.   Panelists    Eric Jay Dolin  (nonfiction) Eric Jay Dolin is the author of thirteen books, including  Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America , which was chosen as one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by the  Los Angeles Times  and the Boston Globe , and also won the 2007 John Lyman Award for U.S. Maritime History. His most recent book before  Black Flags, Blue Waters  is  Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse , which was chosen by  Classic Boat  as one of the best maritime books of 2016. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he received his PhD in environmental policy, Dolin lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his family.   J. D. Scrimgeour  (poetry) holds a BA and MA in English from Columbia University and an MFA in poetry and a PhD in American literature from Indiana University. He has published three collections of poetry,  The Last Miles  (2005),  Territories  (2013), and  Lifting the Turtle  (2017); and two books of creative nonfiction,  Spin Moves  (2000) and  Themes For English B: A Professor’s Education In and Out of Class  (2006). The latter won the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Award for Creative Nonfiction. His poetry has appeared in magazines such as  Poetry, Ploughshares, Colorado Review, River Styx, Tar River Poetry, Connecticut Review , and  Diner , and has won awards from the National Society of Arts and Letters and the Academy of American Poets. Philip Swanson, he released a CD blending poetry and music,  Ogunquit & Other Works  (2010). Scrimgeour’s nonfiction has appeared in such publications as  The Boston Globe magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Creative Nonfiction, Thought & Action , and  Organica . His essay, “My Outfield,” won  Creative Nonfiction ’s Writing about Baseball contest and appeared in the anthology,  The Anatomy of Baseball.    Shari Frost  (playwrighting/screenwriting) is a screenwriter, playwright, consultant and teacher on Boston’s North Shore. Shari's plays have been produced at the Boston Theater Marathon, the Warner International Playwrights’ Festival, the New Works Festival, and Our Voices. I JUST LOVE THAT KEITH URBAN is published in Smith & Kraus’  The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017 . BANG FOR THE BUCK is published in Smith & Kraus’  The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2015  and was a regional finalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. TWO LEFT(IST) FEET, ONE LAST DANCE was a national finalist for the Playwrights’ Center’s Core Apprentice Program. Shari’s monologues include THE DRIVING LESSON, published in New World Theatre’s  A Solitary Voice: A Collection of Epic Monologues  (2018) and MY GIRL, was published as a short story in  Awkward Two, A Collection of Micro Short Stories  (2010). Shari’s screenplays include LOW AND OUTSIDE (2015 quarterfinalist: Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowships, Austin Film Festival & Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competitions) and GAP YEAR (2014 Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition). Shari is currently a reader for the Austin Film Festival, a member of Proscenium Playwrights, a Boston-based playwright collective, and a former member of the Board of Directors for Marblehead Little Theatre where she is also the creator of, and continues to produce, MLT's annual TNT! - Totally New Theater playwrights' Collective and Festival. She received her MFA in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Writing for Stage & Screen, from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, where she is now a member of the adjunct faculty. Shari is also an instructor at Grub Street where she teaches writing for TV and screenwriting.

AUTHOR TALKS & CLOSING PANEL

RACHEL SLADE

Friday, July 5, 11:00 a.m.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead, 28 Mugford Street

In her bestseller and multi-award-winning book, Into the Raging Sea: Thirty-three mariners, one megastorm, and the sinking of El Faro, author Rachel Slade recounts the day Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole, resulting in the deadliest American shipping disaster in 35 years. In addition to talking about how she came to write the book, Slade will discuss the disaster and its larger implications, including New England's key role in the rapidly changing US maritime industry. Among other awards, Into the Raging Sea was named one of NPR’s best books of 2018, a New York Times notable book of 2018, and Amazon’s best non-fiction book of the year.
Rachel Slade began her journalism career as the design editor at Boston magazine, eventually becoming executive editor. She left in 2016 to become a full-time freelance writer. She is currently the interim editor of the Ideas section at the Boston Globe. Book sales and signing to follow.


JENNA BLUM

Saturday, July 6, 2:00 p.m.

Abbot Public Library meeting room, 235 Pleasant Street

Jenna Blum’s first novel, Those Who Save Us, explored how non-Jewish Germans dealt with the Holocaust and was a New York Times bestseller, the #1 bestselling novel in the Netherlands in 2001, and the 2005 winner of the Ribalow Prize, awarded by Hadassah Magazine and adjudged by Elie Wiesel. Her second novel, The Stormchasers, was similarly acclaimed. Blum will speak today about her recently-released book, The Lost Family, and discuss the importance of place in fiction as part of her presentation. In addition to her own writing, Blum leads novelists as part of Grub Street in Boston, the nation’s largest creative writing center. Book sales and signing to follow.

CLOSING PANEL: A SENSE OF PLACE

Sunday, July 7. 2:00 p.m.

Marblehead Arts Association, King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper Street

This afternoon’s panel will close out this year’s literary festival with a lively discussion among three prize-winning North Shore writers of poetry, plays, and creative nonfiction on the ways place and community influence and lend authenticity to their work.

Panelists

Eric Jay Dolin (nonfiction) Eric Jay Dolin is the author of thirteen books, including Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America, which was chosen as one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by the Los Angeles Times and theBoston Globe, and also won the 2007 John Lyman Award for U.S. Maritime History. His most recent book before Black Flags, Blue Waters is Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse, which was chosen by Classic Boat as one of the best maritime books of 2016. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he received his PhD in environmental policy, Dolin lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his family.

J. D. Scrimgeour (poetry) holds a BA and MA in English from Columbia University and an MFA in poetry and a PhD in American literature from Indiana University. He has published three collections of poetry, The Last Miles (2005), Territories (2013), and Lifting the Turtle (2017); and two books of creative nonfiction, Spin Moves (2000) and Themes For English B: A Professor’s Education In and Out of Class (2006). The latter won the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Award for Creative Nonfiction. His poetry has appeared in magazines such as Poetry, Ploughshares, Colorado Review, River Styx, Tar River Poetry, Connecticut Review, and Diner, and has won awards from the National Society of Arts and Letters and the Academy of American Poets. Philip Swanson, he released a CD blending poetry and music, Ogunquit & Other Works (2010). Scrimgeour’s nonfiction has appeared in such publications as The Boston Globe magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Creative Nonfiction, Thought & Action, and Organica. His essay, “My Outfield,” won Creative Nonfiction’s Writing about Baseball contest and appeared in the anthology, The Anatomy of Baseball.

Shari Frost (playwrighting/screenwriting) is a screenwriter, playwright, consultant and teacher on Boston’s North Shore. Shari's plays have been produced at the Boston Theater Marathon, the Warner International Playwrights’ Festival, the New Works Festival, and Our Voices. I JUST LOVE THAT KEITH URBAN is published in Smith & Kraus’ The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017. BANG FOR THE BUCK is published in Smith & Kraus’ The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2015 and was a regional finalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. TWO LEFT(IST) FEET, ONE LAST DANCE was a national finalist for the Playwrights’ Center’s Core Apprentice Program. Shari’s monologues include THE DRIVING LESSON, published in New World Theatre’s A Solitary Voice: A Collection of Epic Monologues (2018) and MY GIRL, was published as a short story in Awkward Two, A Collection of Micro Short Stories (2010). Shari’s screenplays include LOW AND OUTSIDE (2015 quarterfinalist: Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowships, Austin Film Festival & Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competitions) and GAP YEAR (2014 Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition). Shari is currently a reader for the Austin Film Festival, a member of Proscenium Playwrights, a Boston-based playwright collective, and a former member of the Board of Directors for Marblehead Little Theatre where she is also the creator of, and continues to produce, MLT's annual TNT! - Totally New Theater playwrights' Collective and Festival. She received her MFA in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Writing for Stage & Screen, from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, where she is now a member of the adjunct faculty. Shari is also an instructor at Grub Street where she teaches writing for TV and screenwriting.