“Poetry…is a form of salvation,” writes Najwan Darwish in his foreword to Chaos, Crossing (World Poetry Books, 2022), translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid, the English-language debut of Olivia Elias, a poet of the Palestinian diaspora. “It may not make the pain tolerable, but it keeps the pain from becoming trite, banal,” writes Darwish, pointing to the way artmaking can save, vivify, protect, commemorate, and dignify lives. Adopt this empowering perspective and think back to an experience that brought you pain—perhaps an insecurity or fear, a difficult relationship with a loved one, or a distressing loss—and turn that pain into art by writing a short story that explores the specific, idiosyncratic essence of that memory. How can you use fiction and storytelling to transform your memory, and at the same time, protect its emotional truth?
Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.