Registration is open for the 30th Annual Creative Writing Competition hosted by community members and the Bartlesville Public Library.
Organized by Bartlesville Friends of the Library, a community group that raises funds and runs programs for the library, this year’s competition features a new grand prize for poetry – in addition to the grand prize offered for short stories and smaller prizes. offered to first and second place winners in each category.
“It’s something that excites us and that we love to do every year. It’s kind of a fun service to the community, ”said Friends president Kathy Clear.
Writers can compete in several categories, broken down by age group. The first division, which is limited to eighth grade students, includes poetry and fiction. The second division, which includes 14 to 17 year olds, includes the poetry, fiction and non-fiction categories. The third division is for people 18 and over and includes poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature.
Word limits for each category vary by division. Participation is free for those 17 and under and $ 10 entry for those 18 and over. Participants can register in more than one category and must have a library card.
Clear said a $ 100 first prize and a $ 50 second prize are awarded in each category. While previously a global work had been selected for a grand prize of $ 200, this year’s competition will feature one grand prize for stories and one for poetry, each totaling $ 200.
“It’s hard to judge poetry against a short story. Poetry is such a different genre… some of the judges were in conflict. Because it’s such a different art form, we thought maybe it would be better to separate the poetry, ”she said.
The competition is open for registrations until March 1. Once judging is complete, the award-winning stories will be printed in anthology form, available in the library for people to read.
Clear, who got involved with Friends of the Library after entering the contest herself, said the community has come to appreciate it, with the Third Division becoming particularly competitive. The 2021 iteration attracted 40 entries.
The competition is funded by registration fees in the 18 and over category and by the library’s used book store.
“I really enjoyed it as a member of the Friends of the Library board of directors because it’s just nice to do it for the community and to encourage literature and people to write,” said Clear.