*Hustle Alert: Feb. 28/March 1, 2010 Deadlines!*

Hey Good People, I’m trying to come back slowly here, and thank y’all so much for your patience. I just appreciate all y’all so much.

The end of the month deadlines always get me going, whether I want to or not. You know how I feel about paying those bills. I’ve got few pieces of advice before I present the deadlines, and forgive me if you already know these things, or if I’ve said them before.

First, if you’re snail mailing, be sure to include a business-size self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) in your packet of materials, whether the prize guidelines ask for one or not. I like to do this even if it’s not part of the guidelines because sometimes, you get little extras back, like a note of encouragement on the piece of paper listing who actually won the prize. And most times, let’s face it, the person who won is not you. That’s just the numbers game, and you can’t let the numbers intimidate you and stop your flow. Sooner or later, it WILL be you who wins.

So the little note of encouragement from someone taking the time to be nice, when the prize committee had five thousand submissions to trudge through could be just the high point your day needs. You never know.

I always include a self-address stamped postcard as well, because that way I have proof that my submission was received. And I put a little note down at the bottom listing the particular prize before I include it in my prize packet, because you NEVER receive a receipt back from these prize places, listing how much you paid for the entry fee. And so, when you get your postmarked postcard back, that will act as your receipt, in case you don’t have a canceled check or money order receipt. Then all you have to do is look up the prize name online and print out the guideline page, staple it to your postcard, and that counts as a receipt.

You know, one year I must have spent $2000.00 on prize entry fees. I’m not exaggerating. This was back in the day. But I didn’t know how to be organized then, so I didn’t have check carbons, and I had forgotten to save my postal receipts. And this was before you could look up everything online. This was back when you had to first send in one self-addressed stamped envelope to get the prize guidelines, and then send in another one with your prize packet. Talk about some worked nerves.

So, I never got credit on my taxes. Don’t get me started on that, and don’t be no fool like I was, ok?

Keep all them little pieces of paper connected to your hustle, even if you just throw them in a shoebox. A good accountant (or even just your first cousin who does your taxes) will be able to help you get a little refund back come tax time. Prize entries are what are called “self-employed business expenses.” And you are self-employed if you work as a writer and even just get $100 a year from a reading you did at a coffee-shop and only five people showed up and two of them were your parents.

If you believe in a higher power, it don’t hurt to lay on some hands before you give your prize packet to the postal worker, either. And if your postal worker believes in God, have him or her lay on some hands, too. Don’t laugh at me, please. I used to have a special mojo lady who worked at the post office who won me FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS in prize money over the years.

I loved that lady so strong. I would stand in line and if some other postal worker became available, I would wave the people behind me forward to that other postal worker and say, “You go ahead. I’m waiting on her,” and point to my mojo lady. I’d pray a few seconds and give my packet to her, and she’d say, “I’ve got a feeling about this one.”

Next thing you know, my prize check was in the mail. Let me tell you, it was a sad day for me when that lady retired from the post office.

If you don’t believe in God, you can always get your friends who do believe to pray. That’s what all my atheist friends do, and it seems to be working out quite nicely for them. I don’t think atheists have a union or anything, so you can’t get in trouble for cheating.

Finally, you need to check the prize guidelines–it’s too late to send a SASE for guidelines, so just check the website—to make sure whether your entry MUST BE RECEIVED by the deadline or POSTMARKED by the deadline.

There’s a serious difference, because if you are sending in something for a February 28th deadline and it must be received by that time, you need to send in your submission by like, tomorrow by priority mail, because the 28th is on a Sunday.

Ok, here are the deadlines–and here’s some virtual mojo laying on of hands for y’all!

Association of Writers & Writing Programs Award Series (book publication)
Deadline: February 28, 2010
Entry Fee:  $25
Web site: www.awpwriter.org/contests/series.htm
E-mail address: chronicle@awpwriter.org

Dream Horse Press American Poetry Journal Book Prize (book publication)
Deadline: February 28, 2010
Entry Fee: $25
Web site: www.dreamhorsepress.com
E-mail address: dreamhorsepress@yahoo.com

Fence Books Modern Poets Series (book publication)
Deadline: February 28, 2010
Entry Fee: $25
Web site: www.fenceportal.org

Fourth Genre Michael Steinberg Essay Prize (journal publication)
Deadline: February 28, 2010
Entry Fee: $15
Web site: www.msupress.msu.edu/journals/fg
E-mail address: genre4@msu.edu

Glimmer Train Press Short Story Award For New Writers (journal publication)
Deadline: February 28, 2010
Entry Fee:  $15
Web site: www.glimmertrain.org

The Ledge Fiction Award (journal publication)
Deadline: February 28, 2010
Entry Fee: $10
Web site: www.theledgemagazine.com
E-mail address: tkmonaghan@aol.com

Summer Literary Seminars Unified Literary Contest (conference)
Deadline: February 28, 2010
Entry Fee: $15
Web site: www.sumlitsem.org/slscontest.html
E-mail address:  mike@sumlitsem.org

University of Wisconsin/Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellowships (residency)
Deadline: February 28, 2010
Entry Fee: $45
Web site: creativewriting.wisc.edu

Ahsahta Press Sawtooth Poetry Prize (book publication)
Deadline: March 1, 2010
Entry Fee: $25
Web site: ahsahtapress.boisestate.edu
E-mail address: ahsahta@boisestate.edu

Binghamton University Book Awards (book publication)
Deadline: March 1, 2010
Web site: english.binghamton.edu/cwpro

Del Sol Press Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize (anthology publication)
Deadline: March 1, 2010
Entry Fee: $16
Web site: www.delsolpress.org
E-mail address: robcontestdsp@gmail.com

Gulf Coast Writing Contests (journal publication)
Deadline: March 1, 2010
Entry Fee: $20
Web site: www.gulfcoastmag.org
E-mail address: editors@gulfcoastmag.org

James Jones Literary Society First Novel Fellowship
Deadline: March 1, 2010
Entry Fee: $25
Web site: www.wilkes.edu/pages/1159.asp
E-mail address: jamesjonesfirstnovel@wilkes.edu

PEN Northwest/ Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency
Deadline: March 1, 2010
Entry Fee: $15
Web site: www.johndaniel-author.net/mdb-res.php
E-mail address: johndaniel48@yahoo.com

One thought on “*Hustle Alert: Feb. 28/March 1, 2010 Deadlines!*

  1. Thank you Honoree! (I’m going to learn how to do the accent mark soon!) Just in case nobody has shouted this from a mountain top lately: you are greatly appreciated – your writing, mentoring and tell-it-like-it-isness. Fo sho!

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