Contests for Authors
A Resource for Writers

This is  by no means a comprehensive list of contests.
Rather this page spotlights contests I have entered,
some I have won won, and some are contests run by people I know
so I'm confident that they aren't scams.
It also includes some lesser-known contests which
may give new authors a better chance at winning.

Scroll down for a how-to article on contests
and and the short,
but valuable contest list.

Click Here for Recent Media Releases.
Use them as resources (some of them announce my contest wins).
Use them as templates for your own contest coups.

How-To Article
Contests as Valuable Promotion Aids

Everybody Loves a Winner

(This is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of
The Frugal Book Promoter: )

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson (c)

CONTESTS: Awards Set Your Book Apart But Ya Gotta Enter Contests to Get 'Em

I pity the poor reader these days. Reviews can’t be relied on for unbiased opinions, so a reader may have trouble telling which book is most likely to set her heart a’ beating. As she shops, she often turns to the blurbs or endorsements on the back of the book. She may read a few of the first pages. But a book that has won a contest for book awards from organizations like Jeff Keene’s USA Book News award ( or the New Millennium award ( or, yes, from universities like Columbia’s Pulitzer, will probably clinch a sale faster than many others.

Let’s take that one step farther. Authors who have won literary contests (contests run by journals, publishers and the like for poetry, short stories, novellas, novels and other literary entities) also gets bragging rights that might get inserted into their media kits, query letters, and Web sites. That makes it easier to sell a promotion idea (or a next book!) than someone who is new to writing. Gatekeepers—anyone from acquisition editors to feature editors at newspapers—can be influenced by a contest. Make that a contest win, place, or show. It may be what’s needed to set you apart from the many authors clamoring for attention. In fact on a slow news day, just about any award looks like a nugget of gold to a busy editor.

So why are authors so ready to hate contests? Fear of rejection is an easy answer. An article in the revered Poetry & Writers’ magazine mentions that writers often consider contests rigged and resent the fees (usually from free to $25 for literary contests and from free to $125. for book awards.). The magazine article pointed out that publishers and organizations become dependent on the fees they charge for contests and note that rarely does an unknown author win. I’m not sure the last part isn’t sour grapes; the point of many contests is to find delicious new voices that will keep the not-so-voracious appetite of publishers for new material well fed. If it is the truth, perhaps we should do something to hone our own skills to approximate those of more established authors.


Hint: There are other benefits to contests. Some offer critiques of entries—a value that cannot be overestimated in terms of learning more about the contest-winning process and one’s craft. Some publishers sponsor contests to attract submissions of great new manuscripts.


Regardless of the category (and there are some that don’t seem to fit neatly into either category), a contest win is a contest win is a contest win in terms of marketing.

Some contests only accept nominations from publishers. You may need to prod your publisher a bit if you know of a contest for which you think your book would be suitable.

Here are some guidelines for using contests to gain exposure and expand your credentials:

  • Choose contests that fit the size of your pocketbook. No-fee contests work well until you refine your contest IQ. Those include following submission guidelines to the nth degree and selecting contests that suit your material and your voice. Pick contests that impose fees at least as carefully as you might select a tomato from the produce department at your market. Sometimes journals that award prizes to the best work submitted for their pages in a given year are a good, frugal way to start.
  • Choose contests based on the kind of writing you do. Read up on past winners. Examine past winners for genre, voice, length.
  • Find contests from a source that lists less popular contests as well as those that have names attached to them like Hemingway, Faulkner, and Pulitzer. (See resources for finding some later in this chapter and some I like because even beginners have a chance at winning on my Web site at
  • Pay attention to the contest’s guidelines, except for the one that calls for no simultaneous submissions. This rule is patently unfair to the author. You know it and they know it. It’s a rule, not a law. It is a courtesy, however, to notify those contests or journals you have submitted to if your entry wins elsewhere.
  • To increase your chances and to keep you from worrying about each entry, submit work to several contests at a time.
  • Keep track of entries so you don’t submit the same material to the same contest twice.


Hint: Some journals still don’t accept online entries. Don’t recycle paper copies that have been returned to you. Editors complain about entries that look as if they have spent a night in the rain.


Find suitable contests on the Web, in books, and through organizations. Here are a few leads:

  • Use the “Deadlines” section of Poetry & Writers magazine to find reputable contests. Most are very competitive and charge fees. Check them out at
  • CRWROPPS is an announcement list for contests and calls for submissions. To subscribe send an e-mail to
  • A fat volume called Writer’s Markets ( publishes an updated edition each year. It lists contests, publishers, agents, and tons more. Buy the book and get online access to updates.
  • Check professional organizations like your local Press Women, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Wisconsin Regional Writers’ Association (WRWA).
  • Do a Google search on “writing contests” plus your genre.
  • Subscribe to Winning Writers newsletter at I love this one for finding free contests.

Once you’ve won a contest—finalist or first place—you are newsworthy:

  • Add this honor to the Awards page of your media kit. If it’s your first award, center it on a page of its own. Oh! And celebrate!
  • Write your media release announcing this coup.
  • Post your news on media release distribution sites that allow you to post your release yourself. Find a list of these sites at
  • Notify all your professional organizations.
  • Notify bookstores where you hope to have a signing and those where you have had a signing.
  • Notify your college and high school. Some have press offices. Most publish magazines for alumni and their current students.
  • Add this information to the signature feature of your e-mail program.
  • Add this honor to the biography template you use in future media releases—the part that gives an editor background information on you.
  • Use this information when you pitch TV or radio producers. It sets you apart from other others and defines you as an expert.
  • If your book wins an award, order embossed gold labels from a company like You or your distributor can apply them to your books’ covers. If you win an important award, ask your publisher to redesign your bookcover or dustcover to feature it a la the Caldecott medal given for beautifully illustrated children’s books? If you don’t know this medal, visit your local bookstore and ask to see books given this award.
  • Be sure your award is front and center on your blog, your Web site, your Twitter wallpaper, and your social network pages.
  • Your award should be evident on everything from your business card to your checks and invoices.


Robert W. Schaefer, one of the readers of the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter, wrote to tell me that he would appreciate a plan of attack for getting an award for a book:

§ First and foremost, write a great book. One with great content. One that is organized well. A reminder here. It’s almost impossible to do this without some personal guidance, which is why I recommend writers conferences (see the next section of this chapter), and well-vetted writing classes in your genre.

Caveat: When you change genres, take another class. Do it even if you have been supremely successful at writing in another genre. Authors who have achieved stature should be especially cautious about embarrassing themselves by launching into another arena without knowing all the new stuff they need to know. Poetry is not fiction. Writing a romance requires some skills science fiction does not, and vice versa. Journalists have a great start, but they’ll find knowing more about some elements of fiction like dialogue may inform their news stories as well as help them write a better novel.


§ Get your book edited by a professional editor. You’ll have an easier time of selling it if you do this before you begin the submission process, and because many publishers have cut their editing budgets, you’ll be more assured that the job is done well enough to have it qualify for an award. Read my The Frugal Editor ( to know more about editing and how to choose a qualified one.

§ If you are self publishing, hire an excellent book cover artist. Mind you, I didn’t say a graphic designer or fine artist. People like Chaz DeSimone ( know things about book cover design and marketing pitches that others may not know.

§ If you are self publishing, hire a good formatter or interior book designer, too, one that knows the intricacies of frontmatter, backmatter, headers, footers, and page numbering.

§ If you write nonfiction, learn the art of indexing. It isn’t as easy as the word processing programs seem to make it, but I think it’s one uphill battle that’s worth fighting on your own because no one will know your book—know what you feel is important for your reader to know—like you do. There are, of course, also excellent professional indexers who will work closely with you. If your publisher provides an index for you, check it to see if important categories or details have been overlooked.

§ Follow the guidelines above for finding the perfect contest, one that is a match for your book.

§ Attack this process with confidence and be willing to make an investment of time and some money.

As you can see, the more you know about publishing, the better equipped you will be to produce a product (and your book is a product!) you can be proud of—perhaps even a prize-winning book. You wouldn’t expect to become a computer programmer without knowing how the hardware worked, now would you?


Carolyn Howard-Johnson promotes her multi award-winning poetry and fiction using contests of all kinds. She also sponsors contests as a way to market her writing career. Learn more about her methods in any one of her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers: That series has won five awards and the marketing campaign for The Frugal Editor won the New Millennium award for marketing. Permission to reprint her articles on your blogs, in your newsletters or elsewhere is readily available at

Contests for Your Consideration

Scroll down for poetry contests.


The contests below are contests that accept entries for books in many categories, from traditional, small press, subsidy press and self-published books. The ones I've entered and won I can personally recommend but It is your responsibility to research contests that you pay to enter. Some are more prestigious than others. There is always a chance that a contest could be a scam. But winning any contest can be an opportunity for recognition and promotion (scroll up and down to see articles on this subject). 





Writers's Scintillating Starts Contest

This contest is rare in that it allows an author to enter (and win!) before her book is published. That means she can use the win to help her (or her agent) to sell her book to a publisher or use it immediately (on the cover of her book?)--even if she is self-published. The first chapter of my new novel This Land Divided won in 2016.  Writer Advice is headed by B. Lynn Goodwin.


Reader Views Annual Literary Award
The Reader Views Annual Literary Awards are granted in 20 fiction and 30 nonfiction categories, as well as 15 specialized, sponsored categories. The entries are judged by Reader Views reviewers, all avid readers with a wide range of experiences, considered experts in their respective fields.r

 Reader Views is an Austin, Texas, based company that publishes reviews and offers  publicity services to authors. Now they are a one-stop center for budding authors.  Please check for changes at

Feathered Quill Book Awards offers a low nomination feel, special awards for self-published books, and monetary prizes. It’s been advertised in IBPA’s (Independent Book Publishers Association) print magazine.

Book Contest Searches for Green . . . .
The 2009 Green Book Festival has issued a call for entries to its annual competition honoring books that contribute to greater understanding, respect and positive action on the changing worldwide environment.

The 2009 Green Book Festival will consider published, self-published and independent publisher works in the following categories: non-fiction, fiction, children's books, teenage, how-to, audio/spoken word, comics/graphic novels, poetry, science fiction/horror, biography/autobiography, gardening, cookbooks, animals, photography/art, e-books, wild card (anything goes!), scientific, white paper, legal and spiritual.

Entries can be in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese or Italian. Our grand prize for the 2009 Green Book Festival Author of the Year is $1500 and transportation to our April, 2009 Earth Day celebration in Los Angeles OR an equivalent amount donated in your name to the environmental charity of your choice.

A panel of judges will determine the winners based on the following criteria:

1) The overall writing style and presentation of the work;

2) The potential of the work to enhance understanding of the environment and its issues;

TO ENTER: Entry forms are available online at or may be faxed/e-mailed to you by calling our office at 323-665-8080.

The Green Book Festival is produced by JM Northern Media LLC, producers of the Hollywood Book Festival, New York Book Festival and DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books and is sponsored by eDivvy, Larimar St. Croix Writers Colony, Westside Websites and Shopanista.

The Clive Cussler Award
The Clive Cussler is for adventure writers: Here is the link.

The Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize
The Noble (Not Nobel!) a feature of, sponsored by Carolyn Howard-Johnson. It is her answer to the Nobel and is for poets and literary writers only. Learn more at Check the archives on the Back to Literature Column page for past winners and guidelines. This contest is free, but a copy of the book is required.. Anyone may nominate a book.


From one of the winners of the Noble (Not Nobel!):  "I can't tell you what an honor it is to have Healey's Cave up on your 9th Annual Noble (not Nobel!) Prize for Literature awards. I'm thrilled, I'm deeply honored, and I love what you wrote about it!  I'm about to send out a big email blurb with links to your site and thanks to you - and I am going to post about it all over creation. Natch. ;o) " ~Aaron Paul Lazaar, winner 2010.

Hollywood Book Festival Awards
The Hollywood Book Festival holds a contest in conjunction with its fair each year. Learn more at This contest should not be confused with the West Hollywood Book Fair events.

USA Book News Award

This one is a favorite of mine. The name carries clout for readers.

Contest Director, Jeffrey Keene


Military Writers' Society of America
A modest membership fee entitles your to have your book fairly reviewed and then nominated by the reviewers for awards. You need not be military or even write about military subjects to belong to this supportive group ( ).  Here is the slideshow they put out this year featuring their award finalists:

Global E-Book Awards 
This contest from Dan Poynter et. al. offers tons of benefits to the authors of nominated books and winners. Just following the process will help authors new to marketing understand the process--especially how to make awards work for them.

The Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA) Award
Books and illustrators may be nominated by publishers, booksellers or others in the publishing industry on SCIBA's site anytime, but there is a deadline each year. Those nominated must live in Southern California--from Morro Bay south to the Mexican border. Winners are featured in their annual holiday catalog. You can also subscribe to the catalog with a complete list of SCIBA's Southern California independent booksellers.

The Nebula Award
This is an award offers awards for different kinds of books (novella, novel, etc) in the science fiction and fantasy genres.

The Next Generation Indie Book Award
The HowToDoItFrugally Web site was part of the overall marketing campaign that won Carolyn Howard-Johnson the Next Generation Indie award for marketing.

Enter the Next Generation Indie Book Awards to have your book considered for cash prizes, awards, exposure, possible representation by a leading literary agent, and recognition as one of the top independently published books of the year!

Next Generation Indie Book Awards,  19 Horizon View Court, Calgary, Alberta, CA, T3Z 3M5

By the way, second edition of The Frugal Editor (e-book) came in as a finalist in this contest in 2014, only after the great academy award director Steve McQueen.


Steve McQueen, The Cooler King: His Life Through His Movie Career,

by Richard Sydenham (Big Star Creations) (ISBN 978-0992684808)



Biology Bytes: Digestible Essays on Stem Cells and Modern Medicine,

by Teisha J. Rowland (Self-Published) (ISBN 978-1304276261)

I've Got Some Good News and Some Bad News;

YOU'RE OLD Tales of a Geriatrician: What to Expect

in Your 60's, 70's, 80's and Beyond,

by David Bernstein, M.D. (Self-Published) (ISBN 978-1479122806)

The Frugal Editor:

Do-it-Yourself Editing Secrets for Authors:

From Your Query Letter to Final Manuscript to the

Marketing of Your New Bestseller,

by Carolyn Howard-Johnson (HowToDoItFrugally) (ISBN N/A)

Word Up! How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs

(And Everything You Build from Them),

by Marcia Riefer Johnston


The New North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Authors.
I love this one because it is new (which is often an advantage for entrants), because it offers career-boosting benefits for those who enter as well as those who win, and because it is sponsored by, a long-respected Web site.

Carolyn was a Sponsor of the First-Ever
North Street Book Prize
for Self-Published Authors

British Book Contest Offers Americans Awards
The London Book Festival offers a contest with a trip to London as a prize. Learn more at

Nautilus Book Awards
Nautilus Book Awards has 33 categories. For life and world-changing books. I love the purpose of this award--to highlight books that celebrate important subjects--but I don't recommend it for authors on a budget. The author gets nothing beyond what most contests offer for the $185.00 fee. No critique. No support beyond award stickers. Books that tackle important subjects may well win in other contests for less than half the price. 

Erica Hoffer Book Award


New or old, we want to read your book. … Each year, independent publishers release extraordinary books to little or no recognition. The Eric Hoffer Book Award recognizes excellence in publishing. A single submission gives you five ways to win: By genre, press, the Montaigne Medal, the da Vince Eye, and the Hoffer grand prize. There is a category for every book. (See submission guidelines below or check our listing in Writer’s Market or visit There is a $1,500 grand prize. Deadline is usually in January of each year.

* $1,500 GRAND PRIZE (the Eric Hoffer Award for Books)
* Winner of the Montaigne Medal for most thought-provoking book
* Winner of the da Vinci Eye for best cover
* Winner and First Runner-Up awarded for every category
* Honorable Mentions for every category
* Individual Awards for Micro, Small, and Academic Presses, as well as Self-Published Books
* Coverage in The US Review of Books ( and on
* Gold Seal Certificates
* Worldwide Exposure

CATEGORIES: Art, Poetry, General Fiction, Commercial Fiction, Children, Young Adult, Culture, Memoir, Business, Reference, Home, Health, Self-Help/Spiritual, Legacy Fiction, and Legacy Nonfiction.

In this tough economic time, your book is always a great value, and the Eric Hoffer Book Award is the most economical way to achieve publicity and recognition. Read previous contest coverage in the US Review of Books ( and view past winners and press releases at

Internet payment for entrance fee now accepted. (visit ) Also submission guidelines.


Moonbeam Children's Book Awards
  is open to authors, illustrators, and publishers of children’s books written in English. Go to:

Mom's Choice Awards for Children’s Books with Special Discount for HowToDoItFrugally Visitors
Are you using awards programs a part of your marketing and publicity strategy? If so, we hope you’ll consider the Mom’s Choice Awards®!  Their award winners represent the best in family-friendly media ... which includes books, ebooks, and apps. The Mom’s Choice Awards® is unique in many ways.  Three things set the MCA apart from other awards programs:

1) Your entry is matched with five evaluators, combining both subject matter experts and consumers. The product is judged from a parent/educator/consumer perspective – not by your industry peers.

2) Theirs is the only awards with an open cycle. That means you can submit your work when it fits with YOUR marketing, promotional, or launch schedule, not an arbitrary set of dates. Decisions are announced within 120 days from receipt of your product.

3) Honorees receive educational and promotional support for as long as they are marketing their work. Should your entry earn our seal, the Mom's Choice Awards becomes an extension of your marketing and promotional team — providing complimentary social media services and low-cost exhibit opportunities at shows like the ABC Kids Expo, Book Expo America, Int’l Toy Fair, and others.

I are also encouraged to take advantage of some of the information the Mom's Choice Awards® offers.

Comparison Chart that shows how they match up with other Awards Program

 List of the benefits that their Award-winners receive.

There is a fee to enter, but it is NOT a pay-for-award program. Judges use a strict protocol for judging entries, and not everything makes the grade. The fee helps offset operational costs of running a company - like matching your book with the best judges for it. The fee is normally $300 / entry (or series of up to three titles), but Terry Doherty has given me a promotional code that will allow you to take $100 off that fee.

To get the discount, simply enter the promo code "TD100" on the checkout page of your online application.


Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

  • All styles and themes
  • Submission period: September 15-April 30
  • Total prizes: $4,000
  • Accepts published and unpublished work


Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

  • All styles and themes
  • Submission period: April 15-September 30
  • Total prizes: $4,000
  • Accepts published and unpublished work
  • Special award for verse that rhymes or has a traditional style

Accessible Aid for Scholarships

UCLA Writers' Program Scholarship

Before I tell you about this new scholarship, let me tell you a little story about Phyllis Gebauer. When I went back to writing creatively, she was one of my first teachers in the art of writing a novel at UCLA. She was an amazing woman, fluent in English and Spanish, a member of Phi Betta Kappa and author in her in her own right.

As an instructor, she always went a step (or more!) beyond what the syllabus promised. The first class I took from her was a long weekend course and she went to the trouble afterward of suggesting that four of those in her class form a critique group because we wrote “in similar genres and had compatible goals.” Several years later when she was writing her memoir, she contacted us and asked if she could join our critique group. It was as if the tables had been turned and now we were helping her. Honestly, it was a bit intimidating but she assured us that by now we were as professional as she and knew as much about writing as she. Yes, we were a bit puffed up about it. 

She was with our group for several years and in the midst of a new cozy mystery when she died of lung cancer. It was a professional loss to us and to UCLA and I miss her terribly. And now I find that there is a new scholarship offered in her name. She was always interested in helping those who didn’t have the means to jumpstart their writing careers with the kind of vetted education required to speed along their progress. And now this! 

I hope you will apply for this scholarship if you qualify. If not, I hope you will spread the word about it on your social networks, your blogs, your critique groups and libraries—anyone who is in a position to spread the word to writers.

Learn more about it at

Advice on Contests from a New Fiction Writer

By Janet Kay Jensen

I recently published my first novel. Because my publisher is a small regional publisher and I am a virtual unknown in the fiction writing world, I was anxious to prove myself as well as and sell some books, so I entered it in some published book competitions. And I also needed the personal validation. There. I said it.

There are many positive aspects to entering writing contests for published and unpublished works. Preparing work for a competition can challenge you to improve and try a new genre. Learning professional manuscript preparation is another skill you can learn by entering contests. Judges notice every typo or other error, and that can make the difference between winning or not placing at all, so it’s an incentive to turn in the cleanest manuscript you can produce.

Some contests offer publication as part of the prize. Consider this carefully before you enter. If you’re eager to publish with that organization and you’ve checked them out, it can be an excellent opportunity to launch or further your writing career. Some competitions offer monetary awards, and that’s always a plus.

It’s a good idea for a budding writer to enter local contests sponsored by art councils, state writing organizations, schools, etc. Usually these contests have no or minimal entry fees and provide valuable feedback on their judging forms. Recognition from doing well in a competition can lead to good publicity and further opportunities, as well as a boost in self-esteem. Placing in writing contests also looks good on your resume when you’re looking for an agent or publisher.

Some writers organizations advise against entering contests that charge any entry fee at all. From my experience, it costs money to run a contest. Judges deserve honorariums, though they are often embarrassingly modest. Awards, even simple certificates, cost money. Postage costs money, too. Many legitimate contests charge small fees to pay for their expenses and do not make a profit.

So, before you enter any contest, research it carefully. Fortunately, you can learn a great deal by studying all the rules thoroughly and reading feedback from contestants, all of which can readily be found on the web.

Writer Beware: Beware of contests that are more expensive to enter, as they may only be moneymakers for the organizers. They can be a front for vanity presses to hook unsuspecting writers into then buying the books that contain their “winning” entries. The truth is, in a vanity publisher’s contest, most entries are “winners.” No matter how distinguished the name of the organization may sound, it may still run scams

An excellent resource to consult is Do be cautious about recommendations. Many who offer input have an agenda of their own and some are downright scammy.

Entering published works: Google “awards for published books” and you will find many contests for published books. Use the same criteria above to evaluate the pros and cons of entering a particular contest. Find competitions that seem to fit your book and its subject. Consider your budget. Costs can mount quickly when they include entry fees and sending multiple copies of your book at your own expense. Choose the competitions that suit you and your work.

Use your own good judgment in entering any writing contest. The benefits can be career-changing. There’s nothing like writing “award winning author” before your name in a media release, under your email signature, on your Web site and blog, or in any other publication.


Janet Kay Jensen is the award-winning author of Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys (Bonneville Books, Cedar Fort Press, 2007). She is also co-author of The Book Lover’s Cookbook, Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature and the Passages that Feature Them (Wenger & Jensen, Ballantine Books, 2003). In addition to receiving numerous awards from the League of Utah Writers, she is first runner-up in the prestigious Best New Writers: Eric Hoffer Award in Commercial Fiction contest, and was named a finalist in religious fiction by both USA Best Books 2007 and ForeWord Magazine. Visit her web page at and her blog at

Editor's Note: This is what Janet's e-mail signature looks like (see below). It includes contest wins that will impress her readers! Those interested in learning more about promoting with e-mail signatures will find information on them and hundreds more in The Frugal Book Promoter.

   First Runner-Up, Best New Writing: The Eric Hoffer Award
Finalist, USA Best Books 2007 (religious fiction)
Finalist, Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year (religious fiction)
Semi-Finalist, Reader Views Critics Awards(religion/spirituality)
Whitney Award Nominee for LDS authors
Honorable Mention, Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel Award
The Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature and the Passages that Feature Them (Wenger & Jensen, Ballantine, 2003)

 Carolyn's Mini Biography Contest Biography

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel, This Is the Place, won eight awards. Her second book, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, creative nonfiction, won three. An instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program, her book The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won’t is recommended reading for her classes, was named USA Book News’ “Best Professional Book" and was given the Irwin Award. Her second book in the How To Do It Frugally series for writers is The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. It won USA Book News and Reader Views Literary Awards and the campaign and was honored by the New Generations Millennium Award.  It won New Generations Marketing Award. Her chapbook of poetry Tracings, was named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads list and was given the Military Writers' Society of America's Silver Award of Excellence.  Her Celebration series of chapbooks with Magdalena Ball are also garnering awards.

Her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for retailers is also garnering awards. A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions was a finalist in the USA Book News contest.

She is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community's Character and Ethics Committee awarded her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly's list of 14 "San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen." Visit her awards page for a more extensive list of her awards.

If you'd like more information find Carolyn's focused media kits in her media room.

Media Kit for Program Directors for Radio, TV, Conferences, Radio Shows

Media Kit for Book, Entertainment and Feature Editors

Media Kit for focused on Carolyn's Poetry and Literary Work

Media Kit for Reviewers

Media Kit for Retail Professionals

Recent Media Releases


Other Writers' Resource Categories


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Main Writers'
Resources Page

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Author-Oriented Newsletters

Small Publishers

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Quickie Page for finding services you need and want.


Buy Links for Carolyn's Books

Great Fiction
HARKENING at Amazon in their new and used feature.
Both of these books are out of print. They are available only on Amazon's New and Used feature for about $1.

Great Poetry
Purchase TRACINGS (Finishing Line Press) at Amazon.
IMPERFECT ECHOES: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters,
lie and oppression with Small

Give the gift of poetry with a chapbook from Magdalena Ball's
My Celebration Series

CHERISHED PULSE: Unconventional Love Poetry
IMAGINING THE FUTURE: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions
SHE WORE EMERALD THEN: Reflections on Motherhood
BLOOMING RED: Christmas Poetry for the Rational
DEEPER INTO THE POND: Celebration of Femininity
SUBLIME PLANET: Celebrating Earth and the Universe

HowToDoItFrugally Series for Writers
Second Edition

Survive and Thrive Series of HowToDoItFrugally Books for Retailers

Most of Carolyn's books are also available for the Kindle reader.
Did you know that with the Free app, Kindle can be adapted to any reader--even your PC!

"Careers that are not fed die as readily as
any living organism given no sustenance." 
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Studio photography by Uriah Carr
3 Dimensional Book Cover Images by iFOGO
Logo by Lloyd King

To subscribe to Carolyn's FREE online newsletter send an e-mail.

Learn more about Carolyn's newsletter and blog.

Read past issues of Carolyn's Newsletter.


Frugal E-Book Tip

Kindle E-Books Aren't
Just for Kindle Anymore

Did you know that Amazon’s Kindle e-books are a low-cost/no-cost way to access books even if you don’t have a dedicated Kindle reader? You can read Kindle's e-books on smartphones, desktop computers and any e-device in between. You can even store the books on the Amazon cloud.

~ Quote from Diana Schneidman, author and marketer


Most of Carolyn's books are also available for the Kindle reader.
Did you know that with the Free app, Kindle can be adapted to any reader--even your PC!

 "Careers that are not fed die as readily as
any living organism given no sustenance." 
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Studio photography by Uriah Carr
3 Dimensional Book Cover Images by iFOGO
Logo by Lloyd King

To subscribe to Carolyn's FREE online newsletter send an e-mail.

Learn more about Carolyn's newsletter and blog.

Read past issues of Carolyn's Newsletter.


Frugal E-Book Tip

Kindle E-Books Aren't
Just for Kindle Anymore

Did you know that Amazon’s Kindle e-books are a low-cost/no-cost way to access books even if you don’t have a dedicated Kindle reader? You can read Kindle's e-books on smartphones, desktop computers and any e-device in between. You can even store the books on the Amazon cloud.

~ Quote from Diana Schneidman, author and marketer


Other Links


Carolyn's Commercial Acting


 Celebration Series of Poetry Chapbooks


This is the Place, a novel



Tracings, a chapbook and memoir in one

Harkening, true short stories

Carolyn's Poetry

Helps For Retailers

Helps For Writers

Full Published Works Almanac

Travels and Poetry

Published Books


Quick Links to Buy the Celebration
Series as E-Books or Paperbacks
She Wore Emerald Then
Sublime Planet
Cherished Pulse Blooming Red
Deeper into the Pond Imagining the Future
Quick Links Learn More About Other Chapbooks in the Celebration Series
She Wore Emerald Then Imagining the Future
Cherished Pulse Blooming Red
Deeper into the Pond Sublime Planet




Subscribe to
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Sharing with Writers Newsletter

and get a FREE copy of
Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers

"I have been a professional writer 40 years, and am also a tenured full professor of journalism. Carolyn's Sharing with Writers newsletter is  most useful for me--and for my students. I emphasize to them that while research is 90% of writing, and the actual writing is about 10%, there's another 100% out there called promotion. Carolyn shows numerous ways to get the message to the mass media."
~Walter Brasch, author and educator

"A decade of bettering writers' careers with how-tos, tips, and publishing news."

Find Carolyn on the Web

  writers retailers

Carolyn's Blogs

Sharing with Writers
All things publishing with
an emphasis on book
promotion. Named to
Writer's Digest
101 Best Website list.

The New Book Review
Great way for readers, authors, reviewers and publicists to get more
mileage out of
a great review.

The Frugal Editor Blog
This is the Frugal, Smart
and Tuned-In Editor blog.
Covers editing, grammar, formatting and more.
Get the answers you need.

Carolyn's Media Kits

Download Carolyn's  general media kit  kit that includes presentations for writers' conferences, book fairs, tradeshows, and other speaking; acting experience; and information on available seminars and workshops.

Best New Writing 2013, 2015

My short story “Love Story” is included in 
Best New Writing 2013
"Dr. Pena's Lesson on
Culture" is included in

Best New Writing of 2015

Both are published by Hopewell Publications.

Other Author Helps

Media release disseminators, content providers, and sites that accept book and author information at no cost: Click Here

 How-to books for writers, reference books and books of inspiration for writers only! Any one will make a great companion to The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor!  It includes a list of helpful free e-books and some CDs you can learn tons from, too! Click Here

Contests you can count on, and articles on how to promote with contest.Use this page.

 List of book fairs, tradeshows, conferences and conventions. Your aid to planning ahead. Click Here

 Writers' Conferences: The Big and the Cozy. A list of book fairs, tradeshows, conferences and conventions. Your aid to planning ahead. Click Here

Writers' programs at US universities. (New Master of Science in Publishing listed!) Click Here

Digital (print-on-demand) printers. Click Here

Major review journals--some that review POD-published books. Click Here

While You Browse...

...find at least one promotion, writing, or tech tip on every page on this site. Sometimes you'll find two or three! Happy browsing and collecting!

Proud Member
Honorary Member

ABWA is a group of highly skilled networkering women in business.

Military Writers' Society of America

Also, honorary member of Publishers and Writers of San Diego, Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS), IWOSC, and Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA)

Book Publicists of Southern California (BPSC)  Pix: Proud Irwin Award Winners
Carolyn and Janet Goliger.

Published Works Almanac

Other Interests



Carolyn's Poetry

Imperfect Echoes
Celebration Series

Carolyn's Literary Works

This is the Place
Published Shorter Works

Carolyn's How to Do it Frugally Series

For Writers
For Retailers

Carolyn's Awards

A Selection of Carolyn's Past Speaking Engagements

National Stationery Show May 17-20, 2009 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY Consider this a business essential.

Presenter 2009, 2010

Presenter, 2008, 09, 10, 11

Panel moderator, 2007

National Span College
presenter 2002

Fellows presenter, 2007, 08

Co-sponsor and presenter,
2007, 08, 09, 10, 11

University of Dayton Erma Bombeck Writers' Conference, 2006, 2008

Sisters in Crime,
Pasadena, 2009

On the Los Angeles Valley College Campus 2012, Rancho Library 2013,
Valley College Spring 2014

Wisconsin Regional Writers Association
Presenter, Keynote 2010

Book 'Em, NC,
Three Panels 2013

Presenter, 2013

Seminar Speaker, 2014

Keynote, 2013; 2014

Secrets of Great
Dialogue, 2015

Digging Up Memories and Bringing the Dead Back to Life

Frugal Book Promotion.
Judith Briles' Extravaganza,
Denver, CO, 2016

Learn more about Carolyn's conferences.

Carolyn's Awards

Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More

The New Book Review
Named to
Master's in Online Universities'

101 Essential Sites for Voracious Readers

Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
Sharing with Writers blog.


Best Book Award for The Frugal Book Promoter (2004) and The Frugal Editor (2008) and the Second Edition of The Frugal Book Promoter (2011).


Reader Views Literary Award for The Frugal Editor

New Generation Award for Marketing and Finalist for The Frugal Editor

Book Publicists of Southern California's Irwin Award

Military Writers Award of Excellence for
Tracings, A Chapbook of Poetry.

A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotion wins author Military Writers Society of America's Author of the Month award for March, 2010


Gold Medal Award from Military Writers Society of America, 2010. MWSA also gave a nod to She Wore Emerald Then, a chapbook of poetry honoring mothers.

The Frugal Editor Named #! on Top Ten Editing Books list.

Finalist New Generation Book Awards 2012, The Frugal Book Promoter; Finalist 2010 The Frugal Editor;
Winner 2010 Marketing Campaign for the Frugal Editor

The Oxford Award
the alumna who exemplifies the Delta Gamma precept of service to her community and who, through the years, devotes her talents to improve the quality of life around her.

The Frugal Book Promoter is runner-up in the how-to category for the Los Angeles Book Festival 2012 awards.

Glendale City Seal
Winner Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts
Glendale California's Arts and Culture Commission and the City of Glendale Library,

And more than a dozen other awards for Carolyn's novel, short story collection and poetry. See the awards page on this site.


Making Contests Work for You

Contests can be great ways to promote. They don't have to be famous contests like the Pulitzer. They don't have to be wins. If you are a runner-up or a finalist, you can still use that because it is news. Why enter if you're not going to utilize it when you get that recognition!
This Web site is full of leads to resources like The Frugal Book Promoter that will help you put your award to good use. Note the left column of this page. Note that some awards are well known and others not so. But all are there--proudly. That's because when I promote a contest I benefit--but so does the contest. The better known it gets, the better for me. That's a nice little cycle of doing for others
Find at least one tip on writing, promotion or tech on every page of this Web site. 

Website Sponsor

As Featured in Publishers Weekly

This unique book is a multi award-winning book. It paints a revealing picture of America for those foreigners who will benefit from a better understanding of America. Endorsed by ambassadors, teachers and editors, it even examines our culture, customs and language.

Available on Amazon bookstores worldwide, at Vroman's in Pasadena and other fine bookstores.

Proud to Support

World Wild Life

with Sublime Planet
book of poetry
Earth Day

Featured in
Pasadena Weekly
Arts and Entertainment Section

All Proceeds to be donated to the World Wildlife Fund

Carolyn's Awards

Awards for Carolyn's aid to
better writing and

The Frugal Editor


  • Winner Reader Views Award for Best Professional Book

  • Winner USA Book News Award

  • Finalist Next Generation Book Awards

  • Winner Next Generation Book Awards for the Marketing Plan for that book

  • Honorable Mention from Dan Poynter's Global E-Book Awards

  • Book Publicists of Southern California (BPSC) coveted Irwin Award


Yes You Can Get Reviews

Find Carolyn on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Authors! I repin your books to my boards when you repin mine to yours!

Editing Booklet

Like Carolyn's Great First Impression Book Proposal, Great Little Last-Minute Editing Editing Tips for Writers, is also only $6.95. Each of them take less than an hour to read.