Dues-paying Galaxy members are invited to enter our annual contest. Enter as many categories as you wish, but only one entry per category.


Nonfiction Feature Article: 1,500 words maximum

Short Story (fiction): 2,000 words maximum

Rhymed Poetry: Any length

Unrhymed Poetry: Any length

Nostalgic Essay (personal): 1,500 words maximum

Children’s Fiction (for readers 8-12 years of age): 1,000 words maximum

(New Category) Flash Fiction: 500 words maximum

(New Category) Novel: first pages with a synopsis to a maximum of 15 pages


1.       In order to enter, you must be a dues-paying member of Norman Galaxy of Writers. Dues are $25. You may pay dues to the treasurer at any meeting or send a membership form and check, money order, or cash to the Norman Galaxy of Writers at P. O. Box 5581, Norman, OK  73070.

2.       Manuscripts may be entered as a hard copy or by electronic submission. Send your digital entry as an attachment to the contest chair ( on or before the deadline, October 12, 2019. Electronic entries must be sent in the form of doc (any version), PDF, or RTF. Include the word Contest and the name of the category in the email subject line. Example: Contest/Nostalgic Essay.  Send a separate email for each entry. A cover sheet must accompany each entry.

3.       Hard copy submissions may be hand delivered to the contest chair (Lisbeth McCarty) at any meeting or send by mail TO REACH the Norman Galaxy of Writers’ Contest Chair, P. O. Box 5581, Norman, OK 73070 on or before the deadline. We suggest mailing your entries two weeks prior to the deadline to ensure proper credit. All entries must be unpublished or unaccepted for publication at the time of submission.

4.       Any manuscript entered must be your own original work.

5.       No erotica or sexual assault.

6.       Previous money-winning manuscripts (1st, 2nd, 3rd or Crème de la Crème) may not be entered again in any Galaxy contest.

7.       A $2.00 entry fee PER MANUSCRIPT must be enclosed. If you are entering by email, send your check, money order, or cash to the treasurer before the deadline, or bring it to the October meeting.

8.       You may enter each category once. No manuscript may be entered in more than one category.

9.       Entries must be typed on 8 1/2” x 11” white, 20-weight printer copy paper and must be double-spaced, except for poetry and the novel synopsis. Every page is single-sided. On the first page, type the category in the upper right corner followed by the word count. If the entry is longer than one page, type the title of your entry in the top left corner of every succeeding page. Page numbers should appear in the top right corner (except for page one).

10.   A cover sheet must accompany every entry.  It must contain the name of the category, title of entry, word count, your name, your phone number and email address, as well as the amount of money accompanying your entry. For convenience, you may use the attached entry cover sheet (a copy to be found on the website) or you may make up your own to include the required information in the order given above. Attach the cover sheet to each manuscript with a paperclip or send it with your digital entry.  DO NOT STAPLE.

11.   The author’s name MUST NOT appear on any page of the manuscript.

12.   If you will not be attending the December awards luncheon, please arrange for someone at the luncheon to pick up your hard copy entries or enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.


·         Judges will be selected by the contest chairperson based on the judges’ experience in the genre and their willingness to write critiques. Judges’ decisions are final. There must be a minimum of three entries in a category before it will be judged and prizes awarded.

·         Awards will be presented at the annual December awards luncheon, December 14, 2019. Manuscripts will be returned at that time.

·         Certificates and cash will be awarded in each category. First place: $15; second place, $10; third place, $5. Certificates will go to honorable mentions. The Bonnie Speer Crème de la Crème Award ($30) will go to the best of the first place winners.         


1.       Before submitting, use spell check. Recheck your grammar and punctuation. No obvious corrections or dog-eared pages. DO NOT STAPLE. If submitting your manuscript(s) in hard copy, put them in a large envelope labeled with your name. 

2.       Follow the contest rules for the headers on page one and subsequent pages.

3.       Use industry standards for formatting. The font is generally Times New Roman or Courier.

A.  Poetry is in 12-point, single-spaced, and centered on the page.

B.  Manuscripts are in 12-point and double-spaced. On the first page, drop down 1/3 to 1/2 of the page before typing the title.  This gives the judge a place to make notes or for an editor to give instructions to his printer. All other margins are 1 1/4.”

C.  Novel category. Novels are in 12-point. The synopsis should be single-spaced. Manuscript pages must be double-spaced. Follow the standard format described in part B above.

4.   Our judges are all volunteers. Some of them may judge the same category more than one year in a row.


1.       Nonfiction Feature Article: This is a factual manuscript on any topic of general interest that might appear in a newsstand magazine, not a fictional or opinion piece. 1,500 words maximum.

2.       Short Story (fiction for adults): The story revolves around a protagonist with a goal or a problem to solve. The five key elements are character, setting, conflict, plot, and resolution. It is similar to a novel, only shorter.  2,000 words maximum.

3.       Rhymed Poetry: Poems use figurative language, sound, and rhythm to tell a story, or to evoke imagination or an emotion. A single line is called a verse. Verses grouped together make a stanza. Any length.

4.       Unrhymed Poetry: Free verse uses the effects of rhythm and sound to create a story, mood or emotion. Contains one or more stanzas. Any length.

5.       Nostalgic Essay (personal): This is a first-person narrative that focuses on one of the author’s real life experiences. 1,500 words maximum.

6.       Children’s Fiction (for readers 8-12 years of age): This is a short story focusing on a child protagonist having a goal or a problem that s/he works to solve with or without a sidekick. It has character, setting, conflict, plot, and resolution. 1,000 words maximum.

7.       Flash Fiction (for adults): New category. This is a short, short story that includes characters, setting, conflict, plot, and resolution. Maximum 500 words.

8.       Novel: New category. Manuscripts from a wide variety of genres (sci-fi, romance, historical, mystery, horror, mainstream, etc.) will be accepted. An interesting point-of-view character with a strong plot, conflict, and a satisfying conclusion are expected. Submit the first consecutive pages with synopsis, for a total not to exceed fifteen pages.



CATEGORY __________________________________________________________________

TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT _______________________________________________________

WORD COUNT _______________________________________________________________

NAME OF WRITER ___________________________________________________________

PHONE ______________________________________________________________________

EMAIL ADDRESS _____________________________________________________________

AMOUNT TENDERED ($2 PER ENTRY) __________________________________________