“The strangest question I ever received about my first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, came from a woman who attended one of my readings. ‘Did you write the book yourself?’ she asked. I had no idea what she meant, but it flashed through my mind that she’d taken one look at me and thought: this woman couldn’t possibly write a novel. I imagine this occurred to me because I’d spent a good bit of time thinking the same thing. I began writing at 30, focusing on nonfiction. It was a surprise when the desire to write fiction surfaced. As I worked on The Secret Life of Bees, it was hard to say which was greater—my desire or my trepidation. Honestly? I’m not sure the novel would have happened without Poets & Writers. Being selected for its Writers Exchange offered me opportunities I could only dream about. Few things are more necessary to writers than opportunities and resources, advocacy and community, hope and bravery. Poets & Writers offers writers all of these, helping to make the possible, possible.”
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.