Writing contests increase

July 14, 2005|By CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Writing contests are getting richer and bestowing their largesse on a growing number of authors, most new to print.

Last week, Kirkus Reviews launched an annual competition for unpublished first novels and short-story collections. The winner receives a book contract with publisher Little, Brown. In May, two arts groups in the United Kingdom announced the New Writing Ventures Awards that, each year, will distribute $104,000 in prize money to unpublished authors.

Kevin Larimer, who tracks contests for the Poets & Writers magazine, says $9.8 million in prize money was awarded last year in the United States, Great Britain and Canada, an increase of more than $900,000 from the previous year.

The beneficiaries were 1,071 writers, up from 904 in 2003. And 152 books were published as a result of the contests, a jump from 121 the year before.

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