Seven Hills Literary Contest and Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest

The Seven Hills Literary Contest is in its twenty-sixth year. Penumbra is in its thirty-third year. Winners are published in the Seven Hills Review the following year, usually by the end of March. Please read and heed all the rules for the contests in general and for your submission category(ies).

Judging: All judging is blind by professional, published authors. Penumbra judges are published, recognized poets.

Eligibility: 

  • The Contest is open to writers of all skill levels.
  • All submissions must be the original work of the submitter.
  • The Contest does not accept work that has been previously published or that has been accepted for publication elsewhere. Notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • The Contest does not accept work which has received awards in other competitions. 
  • No adult-only content will be accepted. Adult content submissions will be rejected

Fees and prizes:

  • Submission fee for all prose categories is $15 for TWA members and $20 for non-members unless otherwise stated. Submission fee for poetry is $8 for TWA members and $10 for non-members per poem. Submission fee for haiku is $6 for TWA members and $8 for non-members per haiku.  
  • Cash prizes for all categories EXCEPT haiku are $100 first place winners, $75 second, and $50 third. Prize for haiku is $50 first place winner, $35 second, and $20 third.
  • All winning entries are published in the Seven Hills Review. First-place winners in each category receive one complimentary copy.

Notification:  Winners of all contests will be notified and posted on the TWA website by December 2020 at www.twaonline.org.

RULES FOR ALL ENTRIES

Submissions: All entries will be electronically submitted through Submittable.com.

Deadline: All entries must be received by August 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET.

Formatting: Submit a PDF or MSWord document formatted for 8½" x 11" paper with 1" margins, black Times New Roman font, 12-point type. Prose entries must be double spaced. Poetry and haiku entries must be single spaced. 

No illustrations or borders allowed. No website insertions allowed. No audio or video will be accepted. 

Identifying information: Author's name or other identifying information included in the submitted document will be cause for rejection.

Language: Only English-language entries are accepted. Occasional inclusion of words in other languages is acceptable if the meaning is clear from the context. For example, "Polo was her raison d'etre. Without her pony, Starr's world would be meaningless."

Cover letter: A cover letter is not required. If your submission is selected for publication, we will require a 250- to 300-word biography (NOT an extensive CV or listing of your prior awards or publications).

Seven Hills Literary Contest (Prose Entries) RULES
Deadline: August 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET

  1. DO NOT  PUT YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS ON MANUSCRIPTS. Remove your name from headers before you upload your entry(ies). Names or other identifying information will disqualify your manuscript.
  2. Entries exceeding maximum word counts are disqualified. See category descriptions for word count limits.
  3. Format all manuscripts in 12 point type, Times New Roman font with 1 inch margins, double spaced. Optional header information: Title and (page) of (pages).
  4. You are welcome to enter as many times in as many categories as you wish. Each entry requires a separate entry fee.

Contest Categories

  • 10-Minute Play: A ten-minute play has no maximum word length. It is a scene or generally one-act play that runs on stage in ten minutes or less. For guidelines, please see the E M Welsh Website, https://www.emwelsh.com/blog/10-minute-play. Submission fee for this category is $10 for TWA members and $12.50 for non-members.
  • Adult Novel Excerpt:  Submit the first 3,000 words (maximum) of a novel (fiction) intended for an adult audience, plus a 150-word (or less) synopsis that is included at the beginning of the document. Any fiction genre. The synopsis should state the genre (horror, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, etc.) so the judges have an idea what the writer wants to achieve. Include the word count of the entire novel on the synopsis. Follow all submission rules as stated in "RULES FOR ALL ENTRIES" and "Seven Hills Literary Contest (Prose Entries) RULES." Both the excerpt and the synopsis should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced. 
  • Flash Fiction: Submit a complete story, 500-word maximum, any genre. Submission fee for this category is $13 for TWA members and $15 for non-members.
  • Nonfiction/Creative nonfiction: The emphasis in Nonfiction/Creative nonfiction is on factually true yet elegant literary expression. Submit the first 3,000 words (maximum) plus a 150-word (or less) synopsis that is included at the beginning of the document. The synopsis should state the genre (memoir, food or travel writing, personal essays, new journalism, biography, nonfiction stories, self-help/inspirational, nature writing, etc.) so the judges have an idea what the writer wants to achieve. Include the word count of the entire work on the synopsis. Include the total word count of the complete work in the synopsis. Both the excerpt and the synopsis should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced.
  • Short Story: Submit a complete short story, 3,000-word maximum, any genre.
  • Young Adult Novel: A young adult novel may be any genre with a target audience between the ages of 14-18 or any age(s) within that range. Submit the first 3,000 words (maximum) plus a 150-word (or less) synopsis that is included at the beginning of the document. The synopsis should state the genre (horror, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, etc.) so the judges have an idea what the writer wants to achieve. Include the word count of the entire novel in the synopsis. Both the excerpt and the synopsis should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced.

Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest RULES
Deadline: August 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET

  • DO NOT  PUT YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS ON MANUSCRIPTS. Remove your name from headers before you upload your entry(ies). Names or other identifying information will disqualify your manuscript.
  • You may enter as many poems or haikus as you wish; however, each poem or haiku must be submitted as a separate entry. If more than one poem or haiku per entry is submitted, only the first will be considered. 
  • Entries should be single spaced. Because the Seven Hills Review is published in 6"x9" format, longer lines of winning entries may be subject to wrapping. 

Penumbra Contest Categories

  • Poetry: Up to 50 lines, single spaced (may include additional lines between stanzas). Any style or subject.
  • Haiku:  Haiku entries must adhere to the format of 17 syllables arranged in three lines containing five, seven, and five syllables, respectively. Any subject. Multiple entries encouraged, but each is a separate submission. If multiple Haiku are submitted in an entry, only the first will be judged. Poetry consisting of multiple stanzas of haiku should be submitted in Poetry. Titles are not considered in line count or in judging Haiku, but may be included for identification. 
Ends on $10.00 - 12.50
$10.00 - 12.50

A ten-minute play has no maximum word length. It is a scene or generally one-act play that runs on stage in ten minutes or less. For guidelines, please see the E M Welsh Website, https://www.emwelsh.com/blog/10-minute-play.  Follow all submission rules as stated in "RULES FOR ALL ENTRIES" and "Seven Hills Literary Contest (Prose Entries) RULES." Submission fee for this category is $10 for TWA members and $12.50 for non-members.
 

Ends on $15.00 - 20.00
$15.00 - 20.00

Submit the first 3,000 words (maximum) of a novel (fiction) intended for an adult audience, plus a 150-word (or less) synopsis that is included at the beginning of the document. Any fiction genre. The synopsis should state the genre (horror, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, etc.) so the judges have an idea what the writer wants to achieve. Include the word count of the entire novel on the synopsis. Follow all submission rules as stated in "RULES FOR ALL ENTRIES" and "Seven Hills Literary Contest (Prose Entries) RULES." Both the excerpt and the synopsis should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced.

Ends on $13.00 - 15.00
$13.00 - 15.00

For Flash Fiction, submit a complete story, 500-word maximum, any genre. Follow all submission rules as stated in "RULES FOR ALL ENTRIES" and "Seven Hills Literary Contest (Prose Entries) RULES."  
 

Ends on $15.00 - 20.00
$15.00 - 20.00

The emphasis in Nonfiction/Creative nonfiction is on factually true yet elegant literary expression. Submit the first 3,000 words (maximum) plus a 150-word (or less) synopsis that is included at the beginning of the document. The synopsis should state the genre (memoir, food or travel writing, personal essays, new journalism, biography, nonfiction stories, self-help/inspirational, nature writing, etc.) so the judges have an idea what the writer wants to achieve. Include the word count of the entire work on the synopsis. Include the total word count of the complete work in the synopsis. Both the excerpt and the synopsis should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced. Follow all submission rules as stated in "RULES FOR ALL ENTRIES" and "Seven Hills Literary Contest (Prose Entries) RULES."  

Short Story
Ends on $15.00 - 20.00
$15.00 - 20.00

Submit a complete short story, 3,000-word maximum, any genre. Follow all submission rules as stated in "RULES FOR ALL ENTRIES" and "Seven Hills Literary Contest (Prose Entries) RULES."

Ends on $15.00 - 20.00
$15.00 - 20.00

Submit the first 3,000 words of a young adult novel plus a 150-word (or less) synopsis that is included at the beginning of the excerpt document. The synopsis should state the genre (horror, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, etc.) so the judges have an idea what the writer wants to achieve. Include the word count of the entire novel on the synopsis. Both the excerpt and the synopsis should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced. Follow all submission rules as stated in "RULES FOR ALL ENTRIES" and "Seven Hills Literary Contest (Prose Entries) RULES."   

Ends on $8.00 - 10.00
$8.00 - 10.00

Up to 50 lines, any style or subject. Follow all submission rules as stated in "RULES FOR ALL ENTRIES" and "Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest RULES." Because the Seven Hills Review is published in 6"x9" format, longer lines of winning entries may be subject to wrapping. 

Ends on $6.00 - 8.00
$6.00 - 8.00

Haiku entries must adhere to the format of 17 syllables arranged in three lines containing five, seven, and five syllables, respectively. Any subject. Multiple entries encouraged, but each is a separate submission. If multiple Haiku are submitted in an entry, only the first will be judged. Poetry consisting of multiple stanzas of haiku should be submitted in Poetry. Titles are not considered in line count or in judging Haiku, but may be included for identification. Follow all submission rules as stated in "RULES FOR ALL ENTRIES" and "Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest RULES." Because the Seven Hills Review is published in 6"x9" format, longer lines of winning entries may be subject to wrapping.  

Seven Hills Review 2020