Posts Tagged ‘Kaitlin Marshburn’

Every month I send out an e-newsletter, and the past two years the January issue of that newsletter has been the “Reader Issue.” In the “Reader Issue,” I publish a poem, short story, creative nonfiction piece, or article from five different people. The past two years my friends, Claire Kaemmerling and Kaitlin Marshburn, have been co-judges to help pick the winning submissions.

The third annual “Reader Issue” writing contest is here, and I am currently accepting submissions. There will be five winners again this year, and each of those five winners will receive a $15 gift card as well as having his/her winning submission published in my January 2015 e-newsletter.

There are a lot of writing contests around, and many of them require you to pay an entry fee. THERE IS NO ENTRY FEE FOR MY WRITING CONTEST, so you have absolutely nothing to lose if you submit a piece.

If you already subscribe to my e-newsletter, then you received the rules for this contest in my July 2014 newsletter (sent out a couple of weeks ago). If you are not a subscriber and would like to be, please visit the homepage of my website,, to submit your email address and sign up. Regardless of whether you subscribe or not, check out the rules for the writing contest below! ūüôā

1. I will accept submissions beginning August 15, 2014, through October 15, 2014. If you submit something AFTER October 15, it is not a valid submission and will not be considered for this contest.

2. Whether you are five years old or 105, you are welcome to submit a piece for this contest. There are no age limits.

3. If you were one of the five winners who appeared in the January 2014 newsletter, you must take a year off. However, if you were one of the five winners the first year of the contest (meaning your winning submission appeared in the January 2013 newsletter), you are eligible to enter the contest again this year.

4. I will accept poems, short stories, creative nonfiction pieces, and articles for this contest. Whichever category you choose, your submission must be no longer than 4,000 words.

5. When you submit your piece, please send it to In the subject of your email, put “Reader Issue.” In the body of your email, list your name; home (or mailing) address; email address; phone number; and the title and category of your work (article, poem, short story, or creative nonfiction) and then provide the work as an attachment.

6. Each person may submit up to two pieces.

7. Before you email me your piece, consider the following:

A. How is the grammar and overall sentence structure of your submission?
B. Did you follow directions regarding how to submit your piece–including your name, address, etc. in the body of the email?
C. Is your submission 4,000 words or fewer? If you’re submitting two pieces, each piece can be up to 4,000 words.
D. Is your submission appropriate? If you would rate it worse than PG, there is a strong possibility that much of my e-newsletter audience (which covers a wide range of ages and belief systems) will be offended, and I most likely will not print it.
E. Is it well-written? Did you spend a significant amount of time on it, or did you just throw it together in a few minutes?
F. Entertainment value–I am looking for something that holds my interest and will make me want to keep reading after the first page (or in the case of a shorter piece, it will make me want to keep reading after the first few lines).

Have any questions? Ask me in the comments below, and I will gladly answer them. The five winners will be notified by email on or before January 1, 2015. I can’t wait to read your submissions, so start working on them and send them in soon! ūüôā

As I mentioned when advertising the “Reader Issue” writing contest, I am not the only judge for this contest. I thought you would enjoy getting to know the other two judges! Check out¬†Claire’s and¬†Kaitlin’s bios below. (Special note: If you submitted something for the contest, we are still determining the winners, but all contest winners will be notified on or before January 1, 2013.) Here we go, in alphabetical order:

Claire Kaemmerling is an experienced reader, writer, and editor. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Cedarville University, she moved to Mexico City, Mexico, and spent four years teaching junior high and high school English to ex-pats. Kaemmerling recently relocated to New Orleans to pursue a master of fine arts in creative writing and currently works as a referrals coordinator in a doctor’s office. Some of her favorite writers include Joan Didion, Nicole Krauss, and Anthony Doerr. You can visit her blog at

Kaitlin Marshburn graduated from Cedarville University in 2007 with an Integrated Language Arts Education major and TESOL minor and from California State University Stanislaus in 2011 with a Master of Education. She has been married to the love of her life, Justin, for three years. Marshburn loves to hike, run, scrapbook, read, cook, and be involved with church. Her latest hobby is renovating her 1935 house. She teaches American Literature and Essay & Creative Writing at a vocational high school to pay for all the renovations of the aforementioned house. You can visit her blog at

I will be publishing the submissions of the¬†winners of this year’s contest in the January 2013 issue of my free¬†monthly¬†e-newsletter, which you can sign up¬†to receive¬†on the homepage of

Wishing you had submitted something for the writing contest? You’ll get your chance! We stopped accepting submissions on November 12, but I am planning on holding this contest each year and will begin accepting submissions for the second annual “Reader Issue” writing contest in August 2013. Stay tuned to my blog and this coming summer for the rules!