Castlemaine Word Mine 2015 Writing Competition

This Creative Non-fiction Writing Competition opens Sunday July 5th and closes at midnight Sunday September 20th 2015.

Open to all ages.

Entries may be by post to: Writing Competition Castlemaine Word Mine PO Box 568 Castlemaine, Vic 3450

or by e-mail to

Please include ‘CWM Competition’ in the subject line.

Prizes:                  First: $250                            Second: $100                     Third: $75

What is creative nonfiction?

The words “creative” and “nonfiction” describe the form. The word “creative” refers to the use of literary craft, the techniques fiction writers, playwrights, and poets employ to present nonfiction—factually accurate prose about real people and events—in a compelling, vivid, dramatic manner. The goal is to make nonfiction stories read like fiction so that your readers are as enthralled by fact as they are by fantasy.’

Creative nonfiction can be an essay, a journal article, a research paper, or a memoir; it can be personal or not, or it can be all of these.

The Building blocks of creative non-fiction, writes Lee Gutkind, ‘are scenes, or little stories, that are pieced together in such a way that tell a larger story.’ The questions the judge will ask of each submission will be:

  • What is the STORY – the overt one and the deeper one?
  • What is the writer’s unique way into this story, his/her special take on this story?
  • Has the writer brought this story to life by using CNF literary devices?
  • Does my piece have texture – does it work at least a couple of levels – the ostensible and the sub-textual – what is its deeper meaning and how might it relate to a wider audience other than be cathartic for the writer to write?
  • What’s the engine or the central question driving the piece?
  • Is the research and information incorporated seamlessly and elegantly into the piece or are there just chunks followed by chinks of information?’

Writing Submission Guidelines, Rules and Regulations

No entry fee is required.

All rights to the essay remain the property of the author.

Entries may not have been previously published in professional media.

To be eligible, entries must be works of prose to 1,500 words in length.

Entries must be received by midnight Sunday September 20th.

All entries must be 1.5 spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt, with numbered pages. Electronic submissions must be in MS Word. All other formats will be disqualified.

Each entry must be accompanied by an Entry Form with the title of the work, the author’s name, full mailing address, telephone number and email address. Each page must carry the title and a page number, but NOT the author’s name (to facilitate fair judging).

Download Entry Form here: CWM_Writing_Comp_Entry_Form

Each entrant may submit only one essay per contest.

All entries are final. No revisions are accepted.

The decisions of the judges are entirely their own, and are final.

Winners will be announced at the Castlemaine Word Mine rooms on Wednesday October 14th. Results will be published on the website.

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