Time to Write Now By Julaina Kleist-Corwin

About Writing Plus

Writer's Digest is Great! (Why I didn't win 5th place)


I woke up this morning, still thrilled that I had won 5th place in the Mainstream/Literary Category of Writer’s Digest 82nd Annual Competition for my short story. But a memory that they had rules about simultaneous submissions sent me to their website.  I checked and emailed the staff to tell them that the story had been published this year in the California Writers Club Literary Review. I realized that probably disqualified my 5th place win.

 The staff, especially Cris, took a thorough look at the dates of the two submissions to see if I still could be eligible. For a while, it seemed possible. After several emails back and forth, we concluded that yes, I would have to be disqualified.

 I appreciated and was pleasantly surprised at how personable Cris is in these situations. It isn’t the first time they’ve had to disqualify people after announcing their win. I was told that they appreciated my honesty, that it was refreshing. I sensed they really wanted me to be able to keep the award. Cris encouraged me to submit again in the future.

 In my mind, I feel rewarded to know that I placed 5th out of 1000 entries even if, in the end, I couldn’t reap the awards.

 I caution you all to be better at record keeping than I am. To keep track of which stories you send where, what date, and the date of the result, whether it’s acceptance or rejection. In the end, it all comes down to dates.

I also encourage you to submit to Writer’s Digest’s competitions. My experience with them today increases my appreciation for all they do in our writing community.

(Special thanks to Cris.)



  1. blakeheitzman says:

    It’s more about being appreciated than about the award for the prize. My record keeping is terrible, too. I don’t think it will change. Too many things to do and not enough time. Congratulations anyway. 5th is excellent, prize or not.

  2. Congratulations – you moved up to 1st place in my estimation. You didn’t have to own up to the previous publication and might have been able to slide. You are indeed a champion Julaina.

  3. Gary Lea says:


  4. Julaina, this is one of the classiest things I’ve ever heard of in regards to a writing contest — you and Cris both behaved like total professionals. Congratulations on coming in so high!

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