2019 Lakes Area Writers Alliance Writing Contest
Submissions Are Open


This contest is open to all writers who are residents of Minnesota. Open for submissions March 15, 2019.


Fiction: 2500 word limit.

Tips: Stories need a strong hook to get the reader into the first scene; good development of character and scene interwoven with action; clear rising action to a turning point and resolution; consistent point of view; theme or story idea is clear by end.

Creative nonfiction: 2500 word limit.

Memoir stories use fiction guidelines above but are based on actual events.

Essay should concern an issue but still have a hook and be developed using examples, narrative, cause-effect, or comparison-contrast; rising action to a climax – _arguments get stronger to the turning point; and come to a clear conclusion.

Poetry: 3 poem limit (each poem limited to maximum 40 lines).

Poems need strong imagery that enhances the theme or emotion. Robert Frost said, “Poems should begin with delight and end with wisdom.”


Nonmember: $15.00
Lakes Area Writers Alliance Member: $10.00

You may submit one entry in fiction, one entry in nonfiction, and up to three poems for one entry fee.


Contest is open to writers who are residents of Minnesota. Work must be the submitter’s original, not previously awarded, and unpublished work.


Entries must be accompanied with payment no later than August 1st, 2019.

Winners will be notified by September 1st, 2019.


Pay your submission fee by going to:

Nonmembers: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lakes-area-writers-alliance-writers-contest-submission-nonmember-2019-tickets-64128659547



  • A cover letter, separate from your entry, which must include your name, postal address, phone number, & email.
  • List entry titles with category and word count.
  • Example: “Olivia” —creative nonfiction—2,455 words.
  • Two (2) typed copies of each entry title (if submitting by postal mail)

Submission must be:

  • Email your entry to brainerdwriters.contest@gmail.com.
  • All entries must be typed on standard 8 ½ x 11 paper, if submitting by postal mail
  • Use 12 pt. Times New Roman font (or similar), double spaced. Poetry may be single, or double spaced.
  • Fiction and creative nonfiction: include title, category, and word count in the header of each page – DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME.
  • Poetry: Include title at the top of the page – DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME.
  • Submit no later than August 1st, 2019.
  • Entries made my postal mail should be mailed to: Carissa Andrews, c/o Brainerd Writers Alliance, 12238 Shadywood Street, Crosslake, MN 56442
  • Entry fees must be paid in order to be considered. Pay online at our website (brainerdwriters.com) or via postal mail with your entry to the address listed above. Write checks out to: Lakes Area Writers Alliance
  • Entries must be postmarked no later than June 22nd, 2019. (Entries received after this date will be ineligible.)


Prizes are $100 for first place and $75 for second place winners. Winners also receive free entry to Lakes Area Writers Alliance 2019 Conference and one conference buffet lunch. (Does not include Book Fair space.)

Winners will be notified by September 1st, 2019.

1st place winners are invited to read a portion of their winning entries during the conference, with an introduction by the judge in their category. Prizes will be awarded on conference day or mailed to winners the following day.


1st and 2nd place winners, along with honorable mentions and a selection of other entries (per the discretion of the judges) will be published in our first annual Brainerd Writers Alliance publication.

Our judges are skilled in the writing craft. We encourage them to attend the conference and give comments on the winning entries.

All contest entrants are encouraged to register to attend the Lakes Area Writers Alliance 2019 Conference and Book Fair.

Download the PDF version of our poster here.

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