Kay Snow Writing Contest

When I was discouraged about my first novel I submitted a chapter to the Willamette Writers Kay Snow Contest and won a prize. That award gave me just the boost I needed to start a new novel… It gave me credibility, enough credibility to convince quite a few agents to take a look at my next novel. …I believe submitting one’s best work to contests is well worth the effort.”Maryka Biaggio, author of Parlor Games (Doubleday, 2013)

The purpose of this annual writing contest, named in honor of Willamette Writer’s founder, Kay Snow, is to help writers reach professional goals in writing in a broad array of categories and to encourage student writers. The deadline for the next contest is April 23rd, 2014.

This annual writing contest awards one first prize of $300, one second place prize of $150, and a third place prize of $50 per winning entry in each of the five categories; fiction, nonfiction, juvenile, poetry, and student writer. Student writers are awarded $50 for first place in three grade divisions, $20 for second place, and $10 for third place.

Entries cost $10 for Willamette Writers members, $15 for general public. Student entries are free.

Find out more by reading the Kay Snow Writing Contest GuidelinesGo to the printer-friendly Kay Snow Awards entry form.

Submit as PDFs to awards@willamettewriters.com. To pay online, use the links below. Note: Entry fee for online submission includes $2.00 for handling and printing submissions.

Winners of the Kay Snow contest are invited to an awards banquet at the annual Willamette Writers Conference held August 1st-3rd, 2014. The Gala Awards Banquet is August 2nd. The conference offers a variety of workshops, opportunities to meet agents, editors and film producers, and many resources for writers.

For more information, please contact our Awards and Scholarships Chair, Lizzy Shannon, at awards@willamettewriters.com.

The winners of the 2013 Kay Snow Writing Contest are:


1st place – “God is Pleased to Hear the Children Pray” by Ruby Murray

2nd place – “Coyote Calls Down the Gods” by Bruce Campbell

3rd Place – “The Bones of Pele” by Bonnie Dodge


1st Place – “Your Bed’s Too Small” by Ann Gudger

2nd Place – “Learning Chutzpah” by Diana Harris

3rd Place – “Seeing and Not Seeing” by Chrys Buckley


1st Place – “There Are No Seekers” by Melissa Reeser Poulin

2nd Place – “Mermaid at World’s End” by Darcy Scholts

3rd Place – “Ripe Orgasmic Earth” by Kate Marsh

Honorable Mention “Our Paths” by Kristen Storer

Writing for Young Readers

1st Place – “Winter in My Heart” by Gibron Perrone

2nd Place – “Sampson Leaves Home” by Marilyn Owen

3rd Place – “Any Dreams Won’t Do” by Kelly Garrett


1st Place – “Love Judge” by Amy Fredericks

2nd Place – “The Kids from Nowwhere” by George Guthridge and Deborah Schildt

3rd Place “Perfect Guy for Hire” by Waka Brown

Student Awards

Students, Grades 1-5

1st Place – “Getting Steve” by Joey Lieberman

2nd Place – “Down Under” by Abby Clark

3rd Place – “Cookie” by Noah Tai

Students, Grades 6-8

1st Place – “Nowhere to Go” by Sarah Hogan

2nd Place – “A Buddy” by Deenee Freeman

3rd Place – “A Squirrel Story” by Sahalie Pittman

Students, Grades 9-12

1st Place – “Flying Free” by Kalin Swift

2nd Place – “Wanted” by Nichole Parks

3rd Place – “Going Back” by Ana Maria Villaveces