General Guidelines
Welcome to Winning Writers, established in 2001. Our contests are recommended by Reedsy.

Writers of all ages may enter. The works you submit should be in English. You may submit simultaneously to our contests and to other contests. Please do not submit work that has previously received recognition at Winning Writers.

Your privacy is assured. We will not rent your information to third parties.

Winning Writers has engaged Tracy Koretsky to provide expert private critiques of your poems, stories, and essays. Her work has been widely published in literary magazines and has earned more than 50 prizes, including four Pushcarts and three Best of the Net. She has two books available, Ropeless, a novel about possibilities, and Even Before My Own Name, a memoir in poem.

"I will offer practical, actionable options specific to your poem, short story, or essay. Approaching your work from a variety of angles, I aim to reflect back to you new ways to think about it. My goal is not to complete or rewrite your work, but to give you fresh ideas about how you might move it forward." You can view samples of Tracy's work by reading her public poetry critiques at

Submit one poem up to 250 lines long or one work of prose up to 6,000 words long. It is acceptable to leave identifying information on your document. We will keep your submission private, and we will provide your critique for your personal use (i.e. please don't publish our critique without our permission).

You can expect your critique to be 750-1,250 words long. Please allow 2-4 weeks for Tracy to complete it.

Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If our critique does not deliver value for you, you can request a prompt refund from

Please do not submit work that is under active consideration in a Winning Writers contest. Work submitted to past contests is acceptable after the results have been announced, and you may submit a work to one of our contests after it has been critiqued. Tracy does not participate in the judging process for any of our contests.

Submit stories and essays on any theme, up to 6,000 words each. The winning story and essay will each receive $3,000. Ten Honorable Mentions will receive $200 each. The top 12 entries will be published online. Final judge to be announced, assisted by Mina Manchester. This contest is proudly co-sponsored by Duotrope, which will award two-year gift certificates to the top two winners, a $100 value.

For this contest, a story is any short work of fiction, and an essay is any short work of nonfiction. You may submit published or unpublished work. This contest accepts multiple entries (submit them one at a time). Please omit your name from your entries. We prefer 12-point type or larger. Please avoid fancy, hard-to-read fonts. Double-spacing is recommended.

No restriction on age of author. All countries eligible except Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Crimea (due to US government restrictions).

Winning Writers