For the past twenty years, Poets & Writers Magazine has delivered a reliable, comprehensive guide to writing contests through the print version of our Grants & Awards  section. This year we launched a Grants & Awards database  that users can search with ease, and now, we introduce G&A: The Contest Blog.
G&A is the place to visit for weekly posts about the awards we include in our magazine and database. Here we’ll announce new awards that didn’t make it into our pages, changes to upcoming deadlines, news of awards that have been suspended, interviews with frequent winners, plus many more behind-the-scenes glimpses into how the writing contest process works—and, sometimes, doesn’t work—all in an effort to help you discern which awards have the most value to you and your writing.
We thought we’d begin with a look back at the literary statistics of the past year to get a sense of the writing contest environment. In 2008, based on the information included in our Grants & Awards section, $11,337,228 was award to a total of 1,012 poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Of those, 562 were women and 450 were men. To add a little perspective, in 2002, $6,757,101 was awarded to 904 writers, 494 of whom were women, and 410 of whom were men. That’s an increase of over $4 million over six years!
Let’s hope the new year brings more rewards for writers. Check back next week, and every week going forward, for another dispatch from the world of literary competitions. And post a comment letting us know what you’d like to hear about in this blog.