Logo, MacQueen's Quinterly
Listed at Duotrope
MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature

Ekphrastic Writing Challenge:
Magician [2001] by Aggie Zed

[Now closed]

Entry fee:
$3 (USD) per piece (max 3 entries)
10 April 2020
25 April 2020
Announced in mid-May 2020

Entries must be written in response to our visual prompt:

Magician [2001] by sculptor and painter Aggie Zed
(PDF includes two views of ceramic sculpture + artist’s bio.)

For a chance to win $100 (USD) and publication online in our third issue: Submit an unpublished ekphrastic work no longer than a thousand words—whether poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or a poetic hybrid. A max of three entries will be considered from each person, and each entry of one piece must be accompanied by an entry fee of $3 (USD). To reiterate, each piece must be no longer than a thousand words, including the title.

In addition, three Finalists will receive $50 (USD) each, plus publication online in Issue 3 of MacQ.

Only one cash prize will be awarded per person.

Clare MacQueen, founding editor of MacQueen’s Quinterly (aka, MacQ), will select the Winner and Finalists in May 2020. Results will be announced at the end of May, with the publication of Issue 3 of MacQ online.

(For clues about the kind of ekphrastic works we like to publish, be sure to see our tips for word artists, Ephective Ekphrastics: A Guide to Verbalizing Art.)

Magician Contest Guidelines:

Submission Period: From 10 April 2020 through 25 April 2020 (closing just before midnight). No entries will be accepted or considered after 11:59 p.m. PST on the 25th of April.

Electronic Submissions Only: Entries in the English language will be accepted from writers worldwide, via Submittable.

Entry Fee: $3 (three USD) per piece. Up to three separate entries will be considered from each person, and each entry must include a separate entry fee. Submission files must be in .doc or .docx format. Again, a max of three entries will be considered from each person.

Submission Documents Must Be “Anonymous”: Do NOT include your name, address, and other identifying info within your document(s). The same is true for the name of your file(s): NO author info. Instead, please name individual files with the title of the piece in that particular entry. This will help ensure that all entries will be considered “blind” and as impartially as possible.

Author name, contact info, and bio should be entered in the boxes provided at Submittable.

Basic Formatting: 11- or 12-point, easy-to-read-onscreen font such as Verdana. At least one-inch margins. Double space most prose works; prose poems, haibun, and tanka prose may be single-spaced. Please single space lineated poems, with line and stanza breaks as you wish them to appear on-screen.

Please, No Simultaneous Submissions! We’re committed to announcing results as soon as possible, which will be about four weeks beyond the closing date of the contest.

Original Works Only: Entries must be unpublished, and must NOT have been chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest. Works that have appeared on an author’s website or blog, and/or on social media and sites such as Fictionaut, are considered published, and thus not eligible for this contest.

Word Count: No more than 1,000 words per piece, including a mandatory title which is at least one word in length, and any footnotes from the author. The thousand-word max per piece applies to all genres, including hybrids and poetic works, since we do not count lines and line breaks, but words only.

Cover Letters: None needed, since we have so little time to read or respond to letters. We dislike letters that explain the works upfront or give away any surprises—we strongly prefer that works speak for themselves. If you have specific questions or concerns about this contest that are not addressed in these guidelines, then please leave us a brief note at Submittable.

Genres: We’re looking for polished and evocative literary works that balance “music and meaning” (to borrow from poet Richard Hugo) within a max of 1,000 words (including the title and any author notes), and using forms such as these:

* Prose poetry
* Micro-fiction (up to 500 words)
* Nonfiction (essays, CNF, memoir)
* Flash fiction (501–1,000 words)
* Poetry (structured, as well as free verse)
* Poetic hybrids such as haibun, haibun stories, tanka prose, and tanka tales

For this ekphrastic challenge, we will also consider individual micro-poems such as haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, and cherita, as well as sequences and hybrid combinations of such poems. Please note that we do not count lines and line breaks, but only words. Each poem, or sequence of micro-poems, must be no longer than a thousand words, including the title and any author notes.

Tip: As we consider submissions to our journal, awards such as the Pushcart, Best Small Fictions, Best Microfiction, and Best of the Net loom over the decisions we make. We look for works that Knock Your Socks Off, that is, prize-worthy material. Regardless of the genre, we cherish a unique voice, fresh language, and the sly use of literary devices such as metaphor and irony. We hope to be side-swiped, poked in the ribs, and otherwise smitten by an arresting idea, a compelling narrative, an exquisite lyric, or a moving account—all of which thread the perfect line between the personal and the universal.

[And for more clues about the kind of ekphrastic works we like to publish, be sure to see our tips for word artists, Ephective Ekphrastics: A Guide to Verbalizing Art.]

Restrictions: For this ekphrastic challenge, we cannot accept visual artworks, works in translation, and collaborations. (But we would be happy to consider such works under our General Submissions category.) Other restrictions:

  1. No gratuitous violence (remember, less is more).
  2. No gratuitous obscenities; judicious usage is acceptable.
  3. No children’s stories, but we will consider fables or fairy tales for adults.
  4. No pornography, although literary erotica and works containing sexual themes will be considered.
  5. No political screeds and/or religious rants—however, literary works from all spiritual traditions are welcomed.

Publication Rights: Authors whose works are selected will be asked to approve an agreement which grants exclusive first-time worldwide publication rights to MacQueen’s Quinterly.

By entering this contest, you certify that: the work(s) you’re submitting are your own original writings, they have never been published in print or electronically (including on social media), they have not been submitted nor accepted for publication elsewhere, and they are not in the public domain.

Results: Winners of the MacQ Magician Ekphrastic Challenge will be notified by email just before results are announced officially, which will be at the end of May 2020. All decisions by the judge(s) are final.

Payment of Prizes: Winners and Finalists will receive electronic payment via PayPal in USD (United States Dollars). Only one cash prize per person. Any taxes due on contest winnings are the sole responsibility of the prize winners.

This competition is void where prohibited by law.

Thanks so much for considering MacQueen’s Quinterly! We look forward to reading your entries. Best wishes!

[Previously linked to Submittable here. See Issue 3 of MacQ for Background and Results: The Magician Ekphrastic Writing Challenge.]

Copyright © 2019-2024 by MacQueen’s Quinterly and by those whose works appear here.
Logo and website designed and built by Clare MacQueen; copyrighted © 2019-2024.
⚡   Please report broken links to: MacQuinterly [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡

At MacQ, we take your privacy seriously. We do not collect, sell, rent, or exchange your name and email address, or any other information about you, to third parties for marketing purposes. When you contact us, we will use your name and email address only in order to respond to your questions, comments, etc.