CALLING ALL WRITERS AND POETS — Regulus Press invites you to enter the 2022 Literary Taxidermy Writing Competition for your chance to win up to $500 in cash as well as publication in the next Literary Taxidermy Anthology. Our previous competitions were such a success, we couldn’t wait to come back!
For our fifth year, we’re shaking things up a bit. First, participants have been asking for more choices of first/last lines, and so we thought we’d give it a try. We’re offering four different authors this year— two poets and two fiction writers—and we can’t wait to see what sort of inspiration strikes as a result. Also, for the first time, we’re offering personal feedback for all the participants who make it to the Honorable Mention level. Finally, we’re running this year as a fundraiser for Ukraine. You can read the details here. We’re a small organization, but we believe we can make a difference in the world.
Some things, of course, are staying the same. To enter this year’s international competition, you must produce an original story or poem of up to 2000 words. Your work can be any genre, and in any style; but here’s the catch: We provide your opening and closing lines chosen from a classic work of literature. You provide the rest. This year, writers will create stories and poems inspired by the words of Agatha Christie, Langston Hughes, A. A. Milne, and Edgar Allan Poe.
Your story or poem must satisfy the following basic requirements: (1) it must start and end with the same sequence of words as the opening and closing lines, (2) it must be no longer than 2000 words, and (3) it must be formatted correctly.
Terms and Conditions
The Literary Taxidermy Writing Competition (LTWC) is open to everyone.
Authors may not submit their LTWC stories or poems anywhere else during the duration of the LTWC.
Your story or poem must be a new and original work that has not been previously published.
Your story or poem must include the opening and closing lines as your opening and closing lines.
Your story or poem must be in English.
Your story or poem must be no more than 2000 words in length. (That includes the title, as well as the opening and closing lines.) There is no minimum length.
There are NO GENRE REQUIREMENTS for stories or poems. Everything’s fair game: satire, tragedy, science fiction, fantasy, suspense, detective, romance, hyper realism, magical realism, plain old realism, speculative fiction, flash fiction, meta-fiction, meta-meta-fiction, et cetera.
There are NO FORM REQUIREMENTS for poems. Everything’s fair game: free verse, limericks, sonnets, haikus, ballads, et cetera
Your submission must be easy to read.
We prefer double-spaced 12 pt Times (or a similar size and typeface). Your text color should be black; your page color should be white. If you deviate from this basic format, there better be a clear and compelling reason. (For example, if you’re writing a concrete poem, you might need more flexibility. That’s OK.)
Judges do not look kindly upon arbitrary format changes that make their lives more difficult!
Your submission must be page-numbered and include the story name on the top of each page. (For example, “My Story Title – Page 5.”)
Your submission must NOT include your name nor any contact details. (We require authorial anonymity for our judges.)
Your submission must be a Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or plain text document. Authors are encouraged to use one of our Manuscript Templates. Templates are available for Microsoft Word and Apple Pages. (The templates are more for stories than poems. You may format your poem in whatever way works best, so long as you use a reasonable font and font size.)
A USD $10 Entry Fee is required for each story or poem submitted to the competition.
The Entry Fee must be paid via PayPal.
You can find our PayPal link towards the bottom of this page: The Current Competition
How to Submit Your Work
Your submission will be accepted in digital format only.
Your submission must be sent to our competition email address (email@example.com) as a single document attachment. It must arrive before the competition deadline.
The filename of your document should derive from the title of your story. Do NOT use your name as any part of the filename.
If you are submitting multiple stories or poems, each must be sent in a separate email.
If you are submitting multiple stories or poems, each requires its own USD $10 Entry Fee.
Any error in submission format may mean that your entry will not be considered, so please double-check.
Learn more about submitting your story or poem here: The Current Competition
Regulus Press, with the input of the Competition Judges, will determine the winning, finalist, and honorable mention stories and poems for the Competition.
Regulus Press, with the input of the Competition Judges, may determine no winner, finalists, and/or honorable mentions for the competition if they find no submission that, in their estimation, merits award.
All decisions made by Regulus Press regarding the winners, finalists, and honorable-mentions are final.
The group of Competition Judges may be changed at any time without notice.
All submissions must be received before the competition deadline at 12:00 PM PDT. Late entries will NOT be considered.
You have 69 days, 2 hours, 43 minutes, and 53 seconds remaining to submit your work.
Winning, finalist, and honorable mention entries will be announced on the Literary Taxidermy website and via the Literary Taxidermy mailing list. Winners and finalists will also be contacted by email.
The author of a winning story or poem in the Competition will receive a USD $500 cash prize.
The author of a finalist story or poem will receive a USD $50 cash prize.
All winning and finalist stories and poems will be published in a forthcoming Literary Taxidermy Anthology.
The author of a winning story or poem will receive a complimentary copy of the forthcoming Literary Taxidermy Anthology.
Those authors whose story or poem received honorable mention will be listed on a special page in the Literary Taxidermy Anthology.
Authors’ Rights and Responsibilities
Authors retain the rights to the stories or poems they submit to the LTWC.
Winning and finalist authors, in exchange for aforementioned LTWC awards (prize money and/or a copy of the Literary Taxidermy Anthology), grant first English-language publication rights to Regulus Press. Winning and finalist authors will receive no additional compensation for participation in the LTWC or for publication in the Literary Taxidermy Anthology.
Winning and finalist authors will be required to sign and return any applicable documents sent by Regulus Press related to the LTWC, which may include but are not limited to a letter of award acceptance, waiver of liability, and an affidavit of eligibility within three (3) days of notification.
By participating in the LTWC, each author represents and warrants that: (i) the submission is original to the author, and all right, title and interest (including but not limited to copyright) therein and thereto is exclusively owned and/or controlled by the author to the full extent necessary to enable Regulus Press to use the submission as contemplated by these Competition Rules; (ii) the submission does not contain any material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the submission is created; (iii) the submission does not infringe upon the intellectual property or other statutory or common law rights of any third party (including but not limited to copyright, trademark, personality or privacy rights); (iv) Regulus Press’ use and re-use of the submission in accordance with the terms set out herein will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party (including copyright), or require any payment to or consent/permission from any third party; and (v) the submission has not been previously exploited or published in any form, and no rights in or to the submission have been granted, pledged, or assigned to any third party which would interfere with or derogate from the rights granted to Regulus Press as described in these Competition Rules.
By participating in the LTWC, each author grants permission for Regulus Press to use their submission for editorial, advertising, and promotional purposes without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law.
By participating in the LTWC, each author agrees to hold Regulus Press, their advertising and promotion agencies and their affiliates, partners, representative agents, successors, assigns, officers, directors, and employees harmless for any injury or damage caused or claimed to be caused by participation in the LTWC or acceptance or use of the awards.
Expenses not specifically included in awards description, including but not limited to all taxes, are the sole responsibility of the winning and finalist authors
After publication of this year’s Literary Taxidermy Anthology, the winner and finalist are free to publish their stories or poems anywhere, so long as credit is given to Regulus Press and the Literary Taxidermy Writing Competition.
By participating in the LTWC, each author grants to Regulus Press the right to use his/her/their name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address (collectively, “Personal Information”) as follows: (i) for the purpose of administering the LTWC, including but not limited to contacting and announcing the winners; (ii) for publicity and promotional purposes relating to the LTWC, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, without further compensation unless prohibited by law, such use shall only be with respect to the author’s name, city and country, state, province or territory of residence; and (iii) for the purpose of contacting an entrant with respect to the submission of additional literary works.
Regulus Press will use the author’s Personal Information only for identified purposes, and will not sell, rent or otherwise transfer the author’s Personal Information to any third party.
By submitting to the LTWC, you are agreeing to all competition rules.
Competition rules are subject to change.
This competition is not open to minors under the age of majority in their country of residence without the express consent of a parent or legal guardian.
This competition is void where prohibited by any law, regulation, rule, or authority.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Further information available here.