SAWG Annual Contest 2014

Winners of the 2014 San Antonio Writers' Guild Annual Contest

First Chapter of a Novel
First Place - David L. Miles - Chupacabra
Second Place - Stewart S. Smith - Manhattan Archipelago
Third Place - Hellen Kalmans - Co-Parenting Madness
Honorable Mention - James Henry Frazar - Captives
Honorable Mention - Robin Hostetter - Band of the Amulet

Flash Fiction
First Place - Kenneth Bennight - The Butler Couldn't Have Done It
Second Place - Stewart S. Smith - Stamps
Third Place - Lauren O'Neal - Voodoo Mirror
Honorable Mention - Robin Hostetter - To the Victor Goeth the Spoils
Honorable Mention - Francis Hicks - Clarity 2

Memoir/Personal Essay
First Place - Monica Berry - Camp Counselor
Second Place - Francis Hicks - Dream Girl
Third Place - Janet Alyn - Tehuacan
Honorable Mention - Stewart S. Smith - The Begonia War
Honorable Mention - Susan Chandler - Trust in the Lord

First Place - Jean Jackson - HEB, six in the evening
Second Place - Scott Moulthrop - Windmill
Third Place - Hilary Davies Shelby - Whale-Sond of the Cash Register
Honorable Mention - Debs McCrary - A Poem in Waiting
Honorable Mention - Charlene Plover - Woods

Short Story
First Place - Stewart S. Smith - Pages
Second Place - Kenneth Bennight - Whiskey's for Drinking
Third Place - Cannandra Cridland - Lost Souls
Honorable Mention - Debs McCrary - The Legend of Fat Boy
Honorable Mention - Scott Moulthrop - Bobby

Contest Details

The 2014 San Antonio Writers' Guild Annual Contest featured categories in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The contest was open to all writers, both SAWG members and non-members. The deadline for entry was the first Thursday in October of 2014. The rules for 2014 are posted below; however, changes may be made in February for the 2015 contest.

Cash prizes are given in each category. Authors retain all rights to their works.

Please read the rules carefully. Entries that do not meet the submission guidelines or do not fit the contest categories will be disqualified, and the entry fee(s) will be forfeit. Entry fees are non-refundable.

All entries must be the original work of the contestant. Entries must not be previously published in any medium prior to submission of the work to the contest. A work may be submitted for publication at the time it is entered in the contest, but if the entry is published prior to October 2, 2014, the individual must notify SAWG to withdraw the entry from the contest.

Contest Categories

  • Novel: First chapter or up to the first 5,000 words
  • Short Story: limit of 4,000 words
  • Flash Fiction: limit of 1,000 words
  • Memoir/personal essay: limit of 2,500 words
  • Poetry: any style, with a limit of 40 lines total (including blank lines) and a limit of 80 characters per line (including spaces)


In each of the five categories:

  • First place $150
  • Second place $75
  • Third place $50

If the number of entries in any category is fewer than ten, SAWG retains the right to limit the number of prizes awarded in that category.

A writer may enter all five categories but may receive only one award per category, including Honorable Mention.

Number of Entries

An individual may submit a maximum of
4 poems,
2 first chapters,
2 short stories,
2 flash fiction entries, and
2 memoirs or personal essays
for a total of 12 possible entries per person.

Contest Submission Guidelines

For all entries:

  • Submit two copies of each entry, typed in black ink on white 8.5 x 11 paper.
  • The font must be Times New Roman 12-point or Courier 12-point.
  • The author's name or identifying information must not appear anywhere on the entry, only on the entry form.
  • Do not fold or staple the entries.

For poetry entries:

  • Single-space poems.
  • Margins must be one inch or greater.
  • Each poem must be on a separate sheet of paper.
  • The first page of the poem should provide in the upper left corner
    • The title (if any)
    • The type of poem (haiku, Spenserian sonnet, blank verse, free verse, etc.)

For prose entries:

  • Double-space the entry.
  • Use one-inch margins.
  • Number the pages.
  • The category, title, and word count must appear at the top of each page, including the first page.

Contest Entry Fees

Payment must be made via check or money order only, payable in U.S. funds, to the San Antonio Writers' Guild. Membership in SAWG must be current in order to qualify for member rates.

  • For poetry entries:
    The entry fee is $5 per entry for members and $10 per entry for non-members.
    An individual may submit up to four poems, with an entry fee for each poem. For instance, for members one poem will be $5 and four poems will be $20.
  • For prose entries:
    The entry fee is $10 per entry for members and $20 per entry for non-members. An individual may submit up to two works per category, with an entry fee for each submission. For instance, one short story will be $10 for members. Two short stories will be $20 for members, etc.

Contest Entry Forms and Payment

Contest entry forms are available for download here, on the SAWG website, or at the September or October monthly guild meetings.

An individual may submit one check or money order for all his or her entries. In the case of multiple entries, the individual must provide a list showing the name of the author, the titles of the entries by category, and the total amount of money submitted.

Membership Status

Membership dues must be current and up-to-date or entries will NOT be accepted at the member rate. Please contact the SAWG Treasurer, if necessary.

Submission of Entries

Entries may be either

  • submitted to the designated individual at the general membership meeting on either September 4, 2014, or October 2, 2014.
  • or mailed and postmarked by October 2, 2014, and received by the following Thursday, October 9, 2014, at the following address.
	San Antonio Writers' Guild
	P.O. Box 100717
	San Antonio, TX 78201-8717

Multiple entries may be mailed in a single envelope.

The San Antonio Writers' Guild is not responsible for lost, misdirected, or undelivered manuscripts. Late entries will not be accepted.

Contest Judging

There will be two rounds of judging. The first round will be blind judging conducted by a panel of trained SAWG members.

A SAWG member is not eligible to judge a category he or she has entered.

The five entries with the highest preliminary scores go on to the final round.

The final judges are professional authors.

Winners will be announced at the December meeting and posted on the website shortly afterward. Winners will be invited to attend the January meeting to read their works aloud.

Manuscripts will be available for return at the December or January meetings. Individuals will receive their score sheets and entries at that time.

Individuals who are unable to attend those meetings but wish to receive their score sheets should provide a self-addressed #10 envelope with first-class postage.

Archival Copies - The guild will retain one copy of each of the entries that earned a prize. These archived copies will be available in case a claim of plagiarism is levied at a later date.

Other entries not claimed by the February meeting will be recycled.


First Chapter of a Novel: Ron Franscell has proven to be one of the most versatile writers working today, traversing the open range of journalism, fiction and nonfiction with extraordinary success. He is the bestselling author of the modern true-crime classic The Darkest Night and the USA Today bestselling literary novel Angel Fire, listed by the San Francisco Chronicle among the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century West.

Short Story: Joe McKinney has been a patrol officer for the San Antonio Police Department, a homicide detective, a disaster mitigation specialist, a patrol commander, and a successful novelist. His books include Quarantined, Inheritance, Lost Girl of the Lake, Plague of the Undead, St. Rage, Dead World Resurrection: The Complete Zombie Short Fiction of Joe McKinney, The Savage Dead, Crooked House and Dodging Bullets. His short fiction has been collected in The Red Empire and Other Stories and Dating in Dead World. In 2011, McKinney received the Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel. For more information go to

Poetry: Barbara Lazar's poems are published in the Texas Poetry Calendar 2014, Dreamcatcher, Aurorean, San Antonio Express News, and many others. Her historical novel, Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai, set in 12th century Japan, contains over 40 original tanka. She teaches poetry in San Antonio and her website is

Flash Fiction: Lyle Rosdahl earned his MFA from Goddard College and has been published in Tarpaulin Sky, Art Voice, and Press 1. He facilities and writes for Postcard Fiction Collaborative, a monthly collaborative of flash fiction based on photos. You can see some of his writing on

Memoir/Personal Essay: Nan Cuba is the author of Body and Bread (Engine Books, 2013), winner of the PEN Southwest Award in Fiction and the Texas Institute of Letters Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction; it was also listed as one of "Ten Titles to Pick Up Now in O, Oprah's Magazine, and was a "Summer Books choice from Huffington Post.  She is the founder and executive director emeritus of Gemini Ink, a nonprofit literary center (, and teaches in the MA/MFA Program in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice at Our Lady of the Lake University, where she is writer-in-residence.  Her website is