In Laura Gilpin’s popular poem “The Two-Headed Calf” from her award-winning collection, The Hocus-Pocus of the Universe (Doubleday, 1977), hope is briefly found in the doomed life of a calf. In this moving, two-stanza poem, the juxtaposition of suffering and hope is distilled into a final moment in which the young animal can see “twice as many stars as usual.” Write a short story in which the protagonist is inspired by a unique animal. Whether it’s a prizewinning pig or an albino alligator, how does your protagonist see themselves in this rare creature?
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.