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The 30th Golden Quill Writing Contest 2020

Open to all

  • SLO Nightwriters 30th Golden Quill Writing Contest

     2020 Contest Rules

    Call For Entries:   Entries accepted beginning May 1, 2020

    Deadline:             All entries and payment must be received by 11:59 p.m.,  

                                August 1, 2020

    Theme: The theme of the 2020 Contest is (TBD).  All entries must depict this theme, originally interpreted.  It is not necessary to include the word.


    Fiction: Up to 1,000 words

    Creative Non-Fiction/ Up to 1,000 words

    Poetry:                            Up to 40 lines

    Fiction must comprise a complete story within the word limit. 

    Creative Non-Fiction/Memoir must be a true story and may include personal stories, memoir or personal essays. 

    Contestant Eligibility: The contest is open to all except for Contest administrators and judges. Contestants may not win for the same story in more than one category.

    Entry Eligibility:  Entries must be the original unpublished works of the authors and not previously accepted for publication.  Entries that have previously won a contest prize are not eligible.  Non-published pieces written on-line that are not for sale, e.g. a blog site, are eligible.  

    Prizes:  First and second place winners will receive cash prizes.  The amount of the prizes will depend on the number of entries received.   

    Submission, Fees and Payments:

    Entries may be submitted by email or mail.  Email submission should be sent to:


    Entries submitted by mail should be sent to:

             Golden Quill Writing Contest 

             PO Box 2986

             Paso Robles, CA 93447

    Applicants may enter more than one category and submit more than one entry in any category.  An entry fee must be paid for each entry.    Entries will not be returned.  Payment of contest entry fees confirms you have read, understand and agree to the terms of all contest rules.

    Entry Fee:            $10.00 per entry

    Payment:  Payments may be made online (credit card needed) or by check.  To pay online, go to and go to the GOLDEN QUILL CONTEST 2020 page.  At the bottom of this page, click on the payment logo.

    If paying by check, mail the check to: 

    Golden Quill Writing Contest

    PO Box 2986

    Paso Robles, CA 93447

    Deadline: The contest deadline is August 1, 2020, 11:59 p.m.  All entries must be received prior to midnight on this date to be eligible.  All entries must be paid in full by this date to be eligible.

    Judging:  Contest Judges will score each entry.  Judging will be blind – the contestant’s name will not be included with the entry.  A standardized quantitative scoring sheet will be used by each judge.  The decisions of the judges are final.

    Formatting Instructions:

  • All entries must follow this formatting.  Submissions that do not comply with these instructions will be disqualified.
  • Use 12-point size Courier, Times New Roman or Arial type font only.
  • PDF or Word .doc or .docx formats are preferred.  
  • Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction/Memoir must be double-spaced with a minimum of 1” margins all around, and include page numbers.
  • Poems may be creatively spaced and formatted; include page numbers if needed.
  • The header of each page must include the title, entry category and word/line count only.
  • A cover page indicating the author’s name, entry category and entry title should be included with each entry.  DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON THE ENTRY ITSELF.

Notification: The first and second place winners in each category will be notified by September 1, 2020.  

Announcements: Winners will be announced at the SLO NightWriters meeting and Awards Ceremony September 10, 2020.  Winners will be given an opportunity to read their entries at the meeting.  

Publication: All rights belong to the authors.  Winning contestants will be announced on the SLO Nightwriters Golden Quill Writers Contest and SLO NightWriters websites.  Winning contestants will have the opportunity to publish their submission in the Wordsmiths newsletter.  



SLO Nightwriters Golden Quill Writing Contest

Steve Derks - Contest Director

Janice Konstantinidis - President, SLO NightWriters


Be sure to attend the September 10th General Meeting to see our winners receive their certificates and to hear them read their winning entries.

To enter the contest - see below:

Credit Card Payment

Select Entry Category

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