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    Our Biggest Writing Contest Ever!

    October 18, 2018

October 18, 2018

Our Biggest Writing Contest Ever!

Sweekers – the time has finally come!

Last year, we held our most successful writing contest ever – SweekStars. With over 9000 entries in more than 9 different languages, SweekStars pushed the limits of the technical skills and creativity of the Sweek community. Now, we think it’s time to do so again.

The idea is simple. Everything that hasn’t already won a previous writing contest on Sweek is eligible for entry. Old or new, poetry or prose, micro fiction or full-blown novel – we want it all. This is the contest that decides the best of the best work on Sweek, so pull out all the stops! There’ll be four categories to compete in: Micro, Short Story, Novel, and Poetry. You can submit an old story, write a brand new one, or both – there are no limits to the number of entries per person.

That’s the short version, anyway. Read through this post to get a full overview of the rules, prizes and the duration of the contest. This is going to be big, ladies, gentlemen, and non-binaries – we hope you’re ready.

 

DATES

Launch date: 18th of October
Closing date: 21 January
Judging period: 22nd January – 25 February
Announcement of the winners: 18 March

 

 

Categories

 

Poetry  (10 finalists)

Micro-fiction –  250 words max (10 finalists)

Short story – 5000 words max (10 finalists)

Novel – over 10,000 words (10 finalists)

1 popularity prize

Honorific mentions will be awarded to the most original, most inspiring and most addictive stories.

 

Red Hen Press

 

Red Hen Press

We’re extremely proud to introduce our sponsor for SweekStars 2018 – Red Hen Press. Based in Pasadena, California, Red Hen Press is committed to publishing works of literary excellence, supporting diversity, and promoting literacy in local schools. They endeavour to keep the fundamentally human practice of creative literature alive, and are actively pursuing this goal through their writing schools, various publishing series, and writing contests. They’re an extraordinary organization that you should definitely check out!

Also, if you participated in our #SweekPride contest, you might be interested in their imprint, Arktoi Books – which publishes fiction and poetry by lesbian authors – or their publishing series Quill, dedicated to queer authors.


the writer magazine logo

The Writer instructs, informs, and inspires writers, providing practical coverage of the craft of writing and of the publishing industry. Founded in 1887, it is one of the oldest continuously published magazines in the United States and is the preeminent publication on the craft of writing.

Subscribe to The Writer and visit writermag.com for:

  • Writing prompts for inspiration
  • Tips on getting published from industry professionals
  • Interviews with both emerging and established authors
  • Writing contests
  • MFA program preparation
  • Book recommendations

You can also subscribe to their weekly newsletter to get curated content from The Writer delivered right to your inbox.

Don’t delay – join their community today!

 

Prizes

 

What follows are the prizes which will be awarded to the winner of each category, generously provided by our fantastic sponsors, Red Hen Press and The Writer Magazine:

Poetry

1. A written manuscript evaluation

2. A genre-relevant book bundle

3. Publication online through The Los Angeles Review*

4. A year-long subscription to the digital edition of The Writer Magazine

Flash fiction 

1. A written manuscript evaluation

2. A genre-relevant book bundle

3. Publication online through The Los Angeles Review*

4. A year-long subscription to the digital edition of The Writer Magazine

Short story

1. A written manuscript evaluation

2. A genre-relevant book bundle

3. Publication online through The Los Angeles Review*

4. A year-long subscription to the digital edition of The Writer Magazine

Novel

1. A written manuscript evaluation

2. A genre-relevant book bundle

3. Publication pack, provided by Sweek**

4. A year-long subscription to the digital edition of The Writer Magazine

In addition, all finalists of each category will receive a SweekStars Finalist Badge, to place on their story covers and promote their work.

*To be published, the winning entry must be an individual piece. Hence, if an entry is e.g. an anthology, a single entry will be selected for publication.

**A publication pack will include an ISBN, cover, promotion of the work via Sweek channels, and assisstance with formatting the script.

 

HOW DO I ENTER THE COMPETITION?

Video tutorial:

 

Step by step:

Step 1: Download the Sweek app or use our website:

Website: https://sweek.com/

Android app: http://bit.ly/SweekforAndroid

iOS app: http://bit.ly/SweekforiOS

Step 2: Create an account or log in

Step 3: Upload your story by going to ‘My stories’ and ‘Start a new story’

Step 4: Publish your story with one of the hashtags listed below (depending on which category you’re competing in)  in either the title, description or the tags section of the Story Details screen:


#SweekStars2018novel

#SweekStars2018shortstory

#SweekStars2018micro

#SweekStars2018poetry

 

Promoting your story

Once entered, you can promote your story on Sweek or in the fan group on Facebook. Also, remember that an interesting cover attracts more readers! You can learn more about designing a cover for your Sweek story by checking out this blog post we wrote a while back.

 

Rules for SweekStars Contest

 

  • Read these rules carefully before joining SweekStars 2018!
  • You need to be 13 years or older to participate. Younger participants need their parents’ permission.
  • There is no limitation by country of residence or nationality.
  • You must tag your story with #SweekStars2018novel, #SweekStars2018shortstory, #SweekStars2018micro or #SweekStars2018poetry in story details.
  • Only stories submitted before January 21th 23:59 CET will be eligible for participation.
  • No topic restrictions.
  • The story doesn’t have to be new or exclusive. So, Sweekers, you are very welcome to join with your already existing work!
  • Stories that have won previous Sweek contests are ineligible for entry into the contest (other contests outside of Sweek are fine).
  • The story meets Sweek community guidelines.
  • You must be the author of the work that you’re submitting. In case you’re writing with a friend, please keep in mind that you’re going to have to share the prize with each other. It’s just one prize per story.
  • You can participate with multiple entries, as long as they all meet our guidelines.
  • You can edit your entry until the submission deadline. After the deadline, you can no longer modify anything in your story.
  • You can win only one cash prize, but you can win multiple other prizes.
  • The popularity prize is determined by the number of likes it manages to gain by the 25th of February, 23:59 CET.
    Falsification of likes will lead to disqualification. The most popular story needs to meet quality requirements determined by the Sweek team. You can only win one popularity prize as a writer.
  • To participate in the Popularity Prize you have to have submit your story after the 18th of October.
  • Spamming on Sweek or falsification of your followers will lead to disqualification of your story with a prior warning
  • By entering in this competition, the author gives Sweek the right to publish your story in a book. In case the author does not agree, he/she must state in the short description that Sweek cannot publish the story in print.
  • By participating in this contest the user acknowledges that he/she is aware of and accepts the rules of SweekStars 2018.

SweekStars Jury

We wouldn’t be able to make this contest happen without our amazingly talented and wonderfully dedicated jury. Meet the people that are going to be evaluating your work!

camille di maioCamille Di Maio
Camille Di Maio is the bestselling author of several works of historical fiction. She has lived all over the United States and currently calls Virginia home, along with her husband, four children, dog, and cat. Her travels inspire her writing and she is often planning her next trip. Weekends find her at farmers markets and the beach.  Her books include The Memory of Us, Before the Rain Falls, The Way of Beauty, and The Beautiful Strangers.

 

 

Mike Jansen
 Mike Jansen writes and publishes Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror stories since 1991. He won the King Kong Award in 1992, Fantastels in 2012 and the ‘Baarn literary prize in 2012. He’s the founder of the EdgeZero Award. His stories, in both Dutch and English, have been published in various literary magazines.

 

 

Woman sitting on ground writing competitionMica Scotti Kole
Mica is a developmental editor and the curator of Free Writing Events, a website calendar and Twitter account dedicated to promoting free writing and poetry contests, agent pitching events, conferences, and more. In 2018, Mica won third place in Writers of the Future, and second place in both the True North and Sapiens Plurum story contests, all for science fiction. Mica also writes YA novels in the fantasy genre.

 

 

Woman with flowersResh Susan

Resh Susan eats words and creates stories. When she isn’t reading, writing, editing or clicking pictures, she advocates her love for food to anyone who crosses her path. She is usually in a world of her own, engrossed in creative pursuits where she tries to find the magic in the ordinary. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter. She blogs at The Book Satchel.

 

 

Young woman with coffee and book judging writing contestNicole (Woolfswhistle)

Nicole is a 20-something lover of magical, romantic and adventurous books. She believes that skillful storytelling is the best way to make yourself be heard. When she’s not reading she’s crafting fantasy worlds, filming videos for her youtube channel or enjoying a candlelit dinner with her cat.

 

 

blond woman judging writing competitionCat Friesen

Cat is a writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction living in the rain forest that is British Columbia. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking coffee, baking cakes, reading books, or getting lost in the forest.

 

 

Smiling girl with glassesAbbie Walker

Abbie is a modern foreign languages graduate from the North-east of England, and is currently writing for a lifestyle magazine. In her spare time she’s a voracious reader, and documents her reading journey over on her Instagram page, @ab_reads. She’s always up for discovering new authors, and some of her favourites include Margaret Atwood, Stephen King and Zadie Smith!

 

 

 

SWEEKSTARS 2018 FAQ

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY STORY IS PARTICIPATING? DO I GET A CONFIRMATION EMAIL?

You do not get a confirmation email when publishing your story. As long as your story is tagged correctly, it is participating. If you go to your reading screen and see the tag in the tags section, you’re all good!

HOW AND WHERE DO I PUT THE TAG?

The last step before publishing a story is filling in your story details (category, rating, etc.) You need to put the tag #sweekstars2018X (where X is the category your story is participating in) in the ‘tags’ section (don’t forget to press Enter!). If it is already a published story, you need to go the 3-dot menu in your story dashboard, select story details and add #sweekstars2018X in the tags section. You can also add the appropriate hashtag in the title or description of your story.

DOES MY STORY HAVE TO BE NEW ON SWEEK?

No it doesn’t – if you want to enter a previously published story, all you have to do is add the appropriate version of the #SweekStar2018 hashtag (see the “Hashtags”-section above).

CAN MY STORY BE PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED IN PRINT OR ON ANOTHER PLATFORM?

Yes, sure! That’s no problem.

I AM NEW TO SWEEK. IS IT FAIR THAT OLDER STORIES ARE PARTICIPATING?

The jury members are going to judge all of the participating stories, and as such, previous interaction on the story is not taken into consideration – only the quality of your work.

DOES MY STORY NEED TO BE FINISHED?

Yes. Your story should be complete.

CAN I ENTER WITH A CO-AUTHOR?

Yes, you can, but if you win, you have to split the prize amongst yourselves.

CAN I STILL EDIT MY STORY AFTER I SUBMITTED IT?

You can edit your story any time until the submission deadline, but after the deadline you can no longer make any changes to your story (this also includes the description, details, etc.)

WHO WILL BE JUDGING MY STORY?

The Sweek editorial team as well as other external juries with expertise in various genres will be judging your stories. During the contest, we will be revealing the jury members!

HOW CAN I SHARE MY STORY?

You can share your story in two ways: 1) In your story dashboard there is an option ‘Share my story’ in the 3-dot menu. 2) On the reading screen of your story, there is a Share button via which you can share your story on all different social media channels.

WHERE CAN I PROMOTE MY STORY/HOW DO I GET NEW FOLLOWERS?

You can promote your story via your own network, different reading and writing groups and also within the Sweek community. Be sure not to put the link on other writers’ stories, but on the ‘promote your SweekStars story’ story on Sweek. If you follow other writers on Sweek or leave valuable feedback on their story – they might return the favor!

You can also share your story in Sweek Facebook group.

CAN I SUBMIT POETRY?

Yes, definitely 🙂

I WON PREVIOUS SWEEK CONTESTS, CAN I STILL JOIN?

Yes, you are very welcome to join! However, please be aware that you cannot enter a story which has already won a contest on Sweek.

WHAT IS THE SWEEKSTARS 2018 EDITION?

We will create a special edition book which includes the stories of all the winners and finalists of the contest (both as a paper book and e-book). Depending on the length of the stories, there will be multiple editions per language. We’ll inform all participants once the book is available. The book will be published via Sweek self-publishing. Contact us at support@sweek.com if you would like to know more about publishing your work yourself!

HOW WILL THE WINNERS BE ANNOUNCED?

We’re going to announce the winners on social media, on our website and via email. Do you want to be the first to find out? Follow us on Facebook or Instagram!

Head over to Sweek to get started!

 

 

 

38 Comments
  • Monika, October 30, 2018 Reply

    Wow great opportunity

    • Monika, October 30, 2018 Reply

      Great opportunity of starting to live dreams

  • Yudila, November 2, 2018 Reply

    I guess it's time for all the stars to shine.

  • Francesco Kuias, November 3, 2018 Reply

    Sounds interesting.

  • Moutushi Bhattacharjee, November 10, 2018 Reply

    Excited to post my write ups

  • Agnieszka, November 11, 2018 Reply

    Hello,
    I had the most original story, but it was in a Polish competition (I mean - Polish version of Sweek). Can I public my histories in this competition?
    Another question, I must write it in English, yes?
    Will be this competition in a Polish version?
    Yes, I know. I have many questions, but I want to know it.
    Kind regards,
    Agnieszka

    • the Sweek team, November 12, 2018 Reply

      Hi Agnieszka,

      No worries, ask as many questions as you want! Regarding the story you want to enter - if it was the winner of the "Most Original"-category, then it cannot be entered into the Sweekstars 2018 contest, no matter what the original language was. This would be unfair to other users. If you enter a story in the English version of SweekStars, then the story must indeed be written in English, and we are sorry to say that we'll not be able to launch a Polish version of the contest this year.

      If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask us. We'll try our very best to help.

      Best,
      the Sweek team

  • Laurel, November 14, 2018 Reply

    Hi,
    So, can I enter with fanfiction? The story is mine but the only thing that makes it a fanfiction are the names used. Also, must the story be finished already to enter?

    • the Sweek team, November 15, 2018 Reply

      As long as your entry conforms to one of the four categories, you're free to write whatever you'd like! And you can enter your story whenever you'd like, as long as it's complete by the deadline. :)

  • Dee, November 15, 2018 Reply

    Hi,
    Can I post two: poetry and a short story?

    • the Sweek team, November 15, 2018 Reply

      Absolutely - you can submit as many entries as you like! :)

      • Dee, November 16, 2018 Reply

        Thank you 😁

  • Neriah, November 17, 2018 Reply

    Okay. I'm new here. I don't know what you are referring to by 'post them'? Where am I supposed to do that?

    • the Sweek team, November 20, 2018 Reply

      Hi Neriah,

      We're assuming that by "post them", you're referring to your entry to the competition and how to publish it? We've added some step-by-step instructions on how to join Sweek in the blog post, and if you want to know more about publishing a story on the platform, you can check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=678cN58AL68

  • Ankita Naidu, November 22, 2018 Reply

    Hi
    I am hindi blogger.Can I write in hindi language.

    • the Sweek team, November 22, 2018 Reply

      Hi Ankita,

      While you're free to write and publish content in Hindi on Sweek, we don't have the possibility to read and evaluate Hindi entries in the SweekStars 2018 contest.

      Best,
      the Sweek team

  • Roberto, November 23, 2018 Reply

    Hi,
    I would like to know if an story writen in Portuguese can participate?
    Best,
    Roberto

    • the Sweek team, November 26, 2018 Reply

      Hi Roberto!

      We do indeed have a Portuguese version of the contest! If you go to https://blog.sweek.com you ought to be able to switch the language of the page to Portuguese, and from there access the right version of SweekStars 2018. :)

  • Shubhangi, November 27, 2018 Reply

    You can promote your story via your own network, different reading and writing groups and also within the Sweek community. --> Is promotion necessary? Will that be a deciding parameter to win?

    • the Sweek team, November 27, 2018 Reply

      No, promotion is not necessary, unless you want to win the "Most Popular" badge. The jury will be judging all stories equally. It's more if you want to develop a following, gain more reads, and achieve more exposition as a writer on Sweek. In other words, completely up to you! :)

  • Sourasree Chakraborty, November 28, 2018 Reply

    Hi...I'm from India...am I eligible to participate in Sweek contest? I want to submit poetries.☺️

    • the Sweek team, November 29, 2018 Reply

      Hi Sourasree,

      As stated in the rules, there are no geographical restrictions when it comes to participation in the contest, so you're free to join as long as your submissions are in English!

  • Ayushi Pandey, November 29, 2018 Reply

    Hello,
    I didn't see a mention of a cash prize in the prizes but there are rules for recieving them, so will there be cash prizes or not? :)

    • the Sweek team, December 6, 2018 Reply

      Hi, at the time of writing, there are no plans to introduce cash prizes in addition to the existing prizes, but we're not ruling anything out yet!

  • Mehzabin Bano, November 30, 2018 Reply

    Is this competition going to be only online ?

    • the Sweek team, November 30, 2018 Reply

      Hi Mehzabin,

      We're not sure what you mean by "only online", but we're not going to be meeting in person if that's what you're wondering! :)

  • Dee, December 9, 2018 Reply

    Hi,
    Is there any number of words restriction for poetry and short story?

    Thanks in advance.

    • the Sweek team, December 10, 2018 Reply

      Hi Dee,

      As stated in the "Rules" section of this post, the word limit for short stories is 5000, and there is no word limit for poetry!

      Best,
      the Sweek team

  • Yume, December 19, 2018 Reply

    I was wondering for the novel contest, can I have more than 10,000 words or is the maximum word of the contest 10,000 words only? Just to also double check, can I submit more than 1 novel story or does it have to be a different contest, such as the short story contest?

    • the Sweek team, December 27, 2018 Reply

      Hi Yume,

      As stated in the rules of the contest, the novel category requires a minimum of 10,000 words, not maximum. Hence, you can go over 10,000 words if you wish. And you can submit as many entries as you want - there is no limit!

  • Ava, January 10, 2019 Reply

    Hi, I have a question! I want to enter my story, but I don't want to leave the cover blank. However, I don't own any images I could use, so would I be disqualified for taking a picture from the internet? Do you even look at covers when judging?
    So that was more than one question, oh well.
    Thank you! Please get back to me soon!

    • the Sweek team, January 10, 2019 Reply

      Hi Ava,

      If you're using a picture from the internet, just make sure that you're not infringing any copyright. We will remove any identified copyright-infringing material on the platform.

      We've compiled a list of sites which provide free-to-use images here: https://blog.sweek.com/sweektips-story-cover-tells-story/
      This should help you find a usable image for your cover! :)

  • Tanya Bose, January 13, 2019 Reply

    Hello, I just wanted to ask if there's any age limit because I am less than 18 years. And is it mandatory to have a cover picture?

    • the Sweek team, January 16, 2019 Reply

      Hi Tanya,
      Sorry for our delayed response! You're free to participate if you're 13 or older; if you're younger, you'll need parental permission. Profile and cover pictures are not mandatory at all! :)

  • Quiero Perderme, January 22, 2019 Reply

    Wow great opportunity

  • Neha Varadharajan, February 9, 2019 Reply

    When are the finalists going to be announced? Is the judging period for the deciding of finalists or the winners themselves?

  • Neha Varadharajan, February 25, 2019 Reply

    Hey,
    Are the finalists gonna be announced today? It's 25th Feb:)


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