27 August 2009

Do you know a teen writer who wants to hang out with the pros?

EPIC’s 5th annual New Voices contest opens, and plans are unveiled for this year’s youth writing track at the annual convention

It’s August, and that means big changes for your average middle or high school student: new teachers, new class schedules, sometimes new schools… It also means the opening of the 5th annual New Voices contest, e-publishing’s premiere youth writing contest.

What makes the New Voices contest different than other writing contests? Several things.

New Voices is a worldwide contest, just for middle school and high school students (or the country of origin’s variation thereof). The contest is intended for students aged 11-18 years old, writing in the English language. In previous years, students from as many as sixteen US states, four Canadian provinces, and several foreign countries have won places in the contest.

The contest is split into middle school and high school divisions, then further split into poetry, essay/non-fiction, and fiction short story categories in each division. Contestants may enter one piece of work in each of their division categories.

There’s no entry fee for the contest. At the same time, sponsors and EPIC (The Electronically Published Internet Connection) underwrite the contest to provide prizes for entrants. Prizes range from gift certificates and cash to PDAs and/or e-book readers. And all winners are included in the yearly New Voices anthology.

Entrants never need to pay a dime. Unlimited copies of the e-book anthology are provided to winners. A CD copy and a print copy are provided to each of the winners and their schools. Additional print copies may be purchased at cost, but no one is required to purchase anything.

This contest is ideal for students with an interest in writing. All entrants, win or lose, receive feedback from published authors, editors, publishers, and other industry professionals.

For those with a serious interest in publishing, EPIC provides a youth writer’s track at the yearly convention, EPICon. This year’s convention will be held at the Sheraton (New Orleans, LA) from March 4-7, 2010. The youth track is scheduled for Saturday, March 6th. The youth track costs $40 and includes lunch, where contest winners in attendance will receive their awards. Non-attendee winners will receive their awards by mail. For an additional $27, youth track attendees can have breakfast while several established independent press publishers answer questions about their businesses and submissions.

But time stands still for no young writer. Anyone with an interest in entering the contest has until midnight October 20, 2009 to get an entry in. Anyone with an interest in attending the youth writing track at EPICon has until February 5, 2010 to register.

Any questions about the contest can be addressed to the New Voices chairs at newvoices.competition(at)gmail(dot)com. Any questions about the convention can be addressed to the EPICon chair at cjparker1(at)att(dot)net For more information on them, please visit http://www.newvoicesyoungwriters.com/index.html or http://www.epic-conference.com

Feel free to pass along!

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