Welcome to MockingOwl Roost’s first-ever Writing Contest! We are excited to be able to offer this new opportunity, and eagerly anticipate your submissions to this contest’s theme: Fairy Tales & Mythology.

Submissions will open on May 15 and will close on or by June 15. Each category (detailed below) is subject to pre-determined quotas, and submissions per category will close once we hit that quota. Submit early to make sure you get in!

Sponsored By Songs of Life Creativity Coaching and Editing

The sponsor for this year’s contest comes from our own staff – our editor-in-chief, Rita Mock-Pike. With years of experience as an editor, professional creative, and now nutrition/fitness/wellness coaching, she’s eager to help authors and creatives find balance, well being, and delight in their creative pursuits.

Writing Contest Categories

For this contest, we are accepting themed submissions from three distinct categories:

  • Haikus or Tankas: Please submit a sequence of three to seven haikus or tankas. They should be connected in some way to each other, and each individual poem must follow the traditional syllabic format unique to their poetic structures in order for the sequence to be considered. Please see haikus and tankas for additional information on these structures if necessary.
  • Flash Fiction: Please submit a fictional story that is no more than 500 words long. An ideal flash fiction piece will have solid plot elements and characters as in a longer story, but in a condensed form.
  • Micro-Essays: Please submit a non-fictional essay that is no more than 500 words long. Micro-essays should expound on a single concept or event and offer a unique insight based on your perspective.

Entries

We will accept only ONE entry per writer (not per category), as we wish to give as many as possible an opportunity to participate. No additional submissions will be considered.

Submit using this form.

Writing Contest Judging and Judges

Judging will take place between June 16 and July 19 over the course of 4 rounds. Winners will be announced on July 20.

Your Judges

Cynthia Ann Lublink

Writing has been a part of Cynthia’s life since she was nine. In the early 2000s, she became editor-in-chief, layout designer, and writer for her motorcycle club magazine. From 2005-2010, her column, Gracie’s Heart, in Christian Biker Magazine, inspired bikers across the United States. She has contributed to various secular biker magazines and newsletters. Cynthia edited and published a cookbook with an online group of women she has known for over 20 years. For the past 3+ years, she has been a commissioning editor, contributing writer, and part of the creative team of MockingOwl Roost.


Soren Porter, USA

Soren is a writer with experience in copywriting, editing, and content creation for games. Since 2007, he’s participated in NaNoWriMo annually, and assisted numerous writers as a writing mentor to both reach their writing goals and develop their potential as writers. He has been a commissioning editor with the MockingOwl Roost since 2021 and looks forward to putting his writing and commissioning skills to use as a judge in the MockingOwl Roost’s first writing contest.


Rita Mock-Pike

Rita has been writing professionally since 1999 when she had her “big break” from stumbling across Olympic equestrian competitors and earned her first high profile bylines at age 19. She has been writing professionally off and on since, which led her to co-found the MockingOwl Roost with Soren Porter and Annali Carmel. She has held editing roles in multiple scenarios, with multiple publications, and loves the challenge of assisting writers to produce their best work. She looks forward to reviewing the submissions for the first contest from the MockingOwl Roost and “crowning” winners of this fairy tales and mythology competition this July.

Writing Contest Guidelines

  • NO multiple submissions.
  • NO simultaneous submissions.
  • No AI-assisted or generated submissions.
  • NO unedited works. We do not expect perfection, but we will automatically reject anything that has more than a few typos, misspellings, etc. Send your best work if you want to win!
  • NO MockingOwl staff or immediate family may submit.
  • ONLY submit a piece that has never been published or made public (including on your personal blog, website, or social media).
  • ONLY include your name and information on the submission form. Do not include your name and information anywhere else on your work. This contest will be judged blind, so that only those handling the incoming submissions will know your name until the winners are chosen.
  • Your entry must be submitted via this form. Note that you will need a gmail account to submit, but you do not need to have a gmail email. You can sign up for a gmail account using whatever email you prefer.
  • We claim First Rights and Non-Exclusive Archival Rights. This means that A) we are the first to publish your winning story; B) no one may publish it elsewhere for a 60-day period after its first publication; and C) we may keep a copy of your story on our website/magazine in perpetuity. You will maintain all other rights to your piece.

Automatic Rejections

We will NEVER publish — and will automatically disqualify from this contest — the following:

  • Anything disparaging toward a person, group, nation, etc., or that is hate-related or bigoted (racist, sexist, anti-religion or anti-religious group, anti-political party, anti-LGBTQIA+, etc.).
  • Anything containing graphic violence, excessive blood, or gore.
  • Anything containing erotica or rape. A piece may reference such topics to make a point or share a personal experience, but nothing shall be fleshed out in graphic physical or emotional detail. If such content is necessary for the story, it should happen “off page” or in allusions only.
  • Anything objectifying of human beings.
  • Anything that has been published by another publication or publishing house, or on your personal blog, website, or social media.

If you do not follow these guidelines, your entry will be automatically rejected from consideration for the contest.

Writing Contest Prizes

All contest winners will be published in our special Winner’s Circle Issue coming out in September 2024! First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in each category.

First Place Winners will receive:

  • A MockingOwl First Place Winner Badge to use on their webpage or other material.
  • A 1,000-word artistic spread on who they are; other works they’ve published; and details on what they write, read, or enjoy most about literature. This will be published in the Prized Issue in conjunction with their winning entry.
  • Their choice of a free one-hour one-on-one editing or coaching session with our Editor-in-Chief, to be completed within four months of the Winner’s Circle Issue publishing date.
  • Free entry to one MockingOwl Roost workshop, to be completed within six months of the Prized Issue’s publishing date.

Second Place Winners will receive:

  • A MockingOwl Second Place Winner Badge to use on their webpage or other material.
  • A 500-word artistic spread on who they are, other works they’ve published, or details on what they enjoy most about literature. This will be published in the Winner’s Circle Issue in conjunction with their winning entry.
  • Free entry to one MockingOwl Roost workshop, to be completed within six months of the Prized Issue’s publishing date.

Third Place Winners will receive:

  • A MockingOwl Third Place Winner Badge to use on their webpage or other material.
  • A 250-word artistic spread on who they are, other works they’ve published, or details on what they enjoy most about literature. This will be published in the Winner’s Circle in conjunction with their winning entry.
  • Free entry to one MockingOwl Roost workshop, to be completed within six months of the Winner’s Circle Issue publishing date.