Tempe Writing Contest

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Tempe Writing Contest & Cover Design Contest

Accepting Submissions January 7 - February 18, 2019

A publication of creative writing from the Tempe community.

Sponsored by Tempe Public Library and Arizona State University.


The Tempe Writing Contest accepts submissions of original works of fiction, creative nonfiction (including memoirs and essays) or poetry for the Tempe Writer's Forum. The writings of high school students, college students, and adults will be represented.

Writing Contest entries are judged by members of ASU’s creative writing community.

Cover Contest entries are judged by members of ASU and Tempe Public Library graphic design departments.

Winners will receive a copy of the Tempe Writers Forum V. 5 book and $50.

Hear testimonials from our previous nominees and winners.

Submission Guidelines

General Criteria:

  • One entry per person
  • Eligibility:
    • Tempe residents
    • Tempe Public Library cardholders
    • All Maricopa County Residents
    • High School students
      All schools within Maricopa County
    • ASU students
      All programs & majors eligible
  • Prior winners must wait three (3) years before being eligible to win again.
  • City of Tempe and Arizona State University employees, their families, and affiliates are not eligible to participate.

Writing Contest Submission Criteria:

  • Genres:
    • Poetry – a poem up to 100 lines
    • Fiction – a short story up to 3500 words
    • Creative Nonfiction – a work of creative nonfiction up to 3500 words (including essay, memoir, and literary journalism)
  • Categories – High School Student, College Student, Adult
  • Please double space, use 12 point Times New Roman font, and number the pages.

    IMPORTANT: Please do not include your name in the manuscript as entries will be read anonymously.

Cover Design Contest Specifications:

  • Submit entries to tempecovercontest@gmail.com
  • The cover design must include the following title, subtitle, volume, and date information:
    • Tempe Writers Forum (The title should fill 20% of the cover space)
    • Volume 5
    • April 2019
    • Writing From the Tempe Community
  • Submit as an EPS file (convert fonts to outlines and save as a legacy file for CS5) or high resolution JPEG, at least 300 ppi.
  • 9.5”h x 6.5”w (vertical) color design. Please note that the journals will be spiral bound on the left. Take this into consideration when creating your design.
  • Text must be within the safety line, at least .25” from the top, bottom and right edges, and .75” from left edge.
  • If design covers entire page, you must provide .25” bleed, meaning your design must actually be 10”h x 7”w so it can be cut to 9.5”h x 6.5”w.
  • Copyright note: If art or photography is used on the cover design, it MUST be the original work of the entrant or entrant must have documented permission from the creator.

Cover Design Specifications Diagram
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 Cover Design Specifications Diagram