While spending more time at home, perhaps you've been working on the craft of creatively putting pen to paper.

The Missoula Public Library's annual writing contest is still accepting entries, but the deadline is a week from Friday, February 12. The contest is open to all full-time and part-time Montana residents. All ages.

The library is accepting fiction, non-fiction and poetry submissions. Prizes will be awarded for the top three submissions in each category and in four age groups: 8-10, 11-14, 15-18 and 19 and older. One entry per category per age group. Missoula Downtown Association gift cards will be awarded in each category for each age group: 1st Place - $100, 2nd Place - $50, 3rd Place - $25.

Your entry must be an original work not previously published. No pseudonyms are allowed and plagiarism will result in disqualification. Presumably to avoid inadvertently influencing judges, the author’s name must not appear anywhere on the entry or in the file name.

Prizes will be given to the winner or their authorized representative at an awards reception, or mailed to the winner. Winners’ names will be submitted to the local newspapers and published on the various Missoula Public Library social networking sites and webpage.

Fiction and non-fiction entries must be 2,000 words or fewer; poetry entries may be one to two pages. Entries must be typewritten and double-spaced (poems may be single-spaced). Writers competing in the 8-10 age group may handwrite their entries, but writing must still follow all other formatting requirements.

So if you feel the creative juices about to start flowing, you still have a little time. Or perhaps you have already written something that you feel is contest-worthy. The complete list of rules and entry instructions are here on the Missoula Writes Contest webpage.

Good luck all you wordsmiths out there!


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