The writers Festival

The Festival offers writers from all over Massachusetts an opportunity to submit their writings, win awards and share their experience with other writers. 

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Electronic only, via Submittable


Marblehead Festival of Arts "Golden Cod Awards" For Unpublished Writers (self published authors are welcome!)

Open for submissions: March 26, 2018

Deadline for submissions: Midnight on Thursday, May 31, 2018

Entry Fee: $10.00 per entry

Contest Categories:  We are accepting submissions in the following categories:

Mainstream Adult Fiction: This contest category encompasses what is generally known as Literary Fiction (for example, THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt), Women's Fiction (for example, BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty), and Suspense/Thriller (for example, ORIGIN by Dan Brown). ALL genres of adult fiction are also welcome.

Adult Non-Fiction: This includes nonfiction works such as memoir, biography, travel narratives.

Young Adult Fiction: This contest category is for works of fiction in any subgenre generally aimed at, and appropriate for, a readership between the ages of 15 and 21 (for example, THE HUNGER GAMES by Susan Collins and THE HATE U GIVE by Angela Thomas.) Submissions in this category that judges agree are not clearly intended for this readership will be disqualified and not reassigned to another category.

Children's Fiction: This contest category includes works of Middle Grade (for ages 9 - 14), Chapter Book (also known as Easy Readers for ages 6 - 9), and Picture Book level fiction. All submissions text only, no illustrations; this is a writing contest.

Poetry: This contest category includes poetry of no more than 32 lines in length.

See submittable website for more details on submission requirements. 

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Awards: In each category:

Winning submissions will be read and judged by a Literary agent or in some cases a nationally published author in each category. Winners will be presented the "Golden Cod Award" at the Sunday July 1st Writers Panel and Reception.

The “Essex Award for Literary Promise will be awarded to a single Essex County writer of  great promise, selected from across all categories.