AZ Authors Literary Contest


AZ Authors Association Literary Contest and Awards

***Entry Form***

Unpublished                                                                 Published                                                                              

Poems                                                                                                Fiction
Short Stories/Essays/Narrative                                                          Nonfiction
Novel, Novella                                                                                   Juvenile/Young Adult
                                                                                                          Childrens Picture Book
                                                                                                          Oldie but Goldie

One Grand Prize of $300

Three First Prizes of $150
Three Second Prizes of $75
Three Third Prizes of $50
Three Fourth Prizes of $25
Eight Best-of-Category Prizes

Unpublished Poetry and Short Story Best of Category will be 
Nominated for the Pushcart Prize

All winners will be featured in the 2024 Arizona Authors Literary MagazineSince it began in 1978, the Arizona Literary Magazine has launched the careers of many authors.

>>>DEADLINE: June 1, 2023<<< 

Northern AZ Book Festival

March 31-April 2 of 2023

Creating Effective Critique Groups Workshop

Sunday, April 2, 2023

11 to Noon

Flagstaff Coconino County Public Library 
300 West Aspen Avenue

A Panel Presentation/Q&A 
Barbara Shovers and C. Alex Smith 
(FWC Co-Founders)
  • How to Form a Group
  • Group Models  & Guidelines

(928)779-6368 for more information

Book Fest Highlights:

Friday, March 31

3pm: Author Meet and Greet

Downtown  Flagstaff Public Library

Saturday, April 1

10am-5pm: Booths & Readings All Day!

Heritage Square

2pm: Spoken Word & Slam Poetry: Roundtable & Preformance

Downtown Flagstaff Public Library

3pm: Literary Editing & Publishing Panel featuring Local Presses

Liminal @ Flagstaff

3pm: Hands-on Bookmaking by Wasted Ink Zine Distro

Heritage Square

5pm: Literary Editing & Publishing Panel featuring Local Presses

Liminal @ Flagstaff

7pm: Sedona Poetry Slam featuring Mary D. Fisher

Theater, Sedona

7pm: Explore Translation

What is your relationship to the land you live on? Share a brief response to be added to a multilingual, community poem hosted by Thousand Languages Project. Responses collected by March 15th will be presented during the Explore Translation with Thousand Languages Panel. 

  Submit here.

  Luminal, Flagstaff

8:30pm: That Needs Work: Humor Writing 

Hosted by NAU MFA students


Sunday, April 2

        11am: Create Effective Critique Groups

Hosted by Flagstaff Writers Connection

Downtown Flagstaff Public Library

1pm: Youth Poetry Council

For Younger Writers (14-24 years)

Late for the Train, Flagstaff

Volunteer Opportunities

Announcing the Deep Editing Series

The Deep Editing Series is Back

Do you have a completed or nearly completed first draft manuscript?


You're Amazing

Two hundred million Americans (81%) say they want to write a novel or screenplay. But only 10% actually do.

After I finished my first manuscript, I tried to edit it on my own. I moved or changes some of the words, but it didn't feel like the story was getting any better. So I started going to webinars and reading books until ten years later when I finally developed a method for revisions.

In 2019 I gave a year long series of workshops on revision. Since then, many people asked me to repeat the series. But we were in the middle of a pandemic that presented us with something we’d never seen before—Long Covid.

For 2023, I decided to commit the live presentations to video, so I can share them with you safely.

I am offering two ways to enjoy these presentations. 

On Your Own each workshop comes with

    • on a private website
    • several videos you can view when it’s convenient for you 
    • handouts 
    • writing exercises. 

With a Cohort of Other Writers on my schedule. This option includes 

    • the private website 
    • videos
    • handouts
    • writing exercises. But you also get 
    • three Ask Me Anything (AMA) internet meetings to go over writing exercises and to meet other writers 
    • 5 pages (1500 words) of your current manuscript edited by me.

The first two workshops are free to everyone so you can make sure my teaching style works for you. After February each monthly course will cost $25 On Your Own and $50 with the Cohort. If you choose to pay for the entire course at once, you get a $150 break and pay only $400 in the Cohort group, or you save $75 in the On Your Own group and pay $200 for all 13 mos of workshops.

We’ll take a top down approach so you don’t waste your time editing words on an entire chapter you end up deleting from the project. 

We’ll cover:







Everything you need to do BEFORE you dig in to the real editing. Computer programs and apps you might want to consider. Story Drivers, Story Structures, Main Plot Points, and introduction to “Series” (Motifs).

    • Class starts 1/9/23
    • AMA 1/16/23 11:00-12:30pm
    • AMA 1/21/23 1:00-2:30 pm
    • AMA 1/28/23 10:30 am-12:00 pm



Focus Your Story

Making your MS more manageable and focused by cutting the excess. Finding "series" in your work. Writing your Synopsis.

  • Class Starts 2/19/23
  • AMA 2/23/23 5:30-7:00 pm
  • AMA 3/4/23 1:00-2:30 pm
  • AMA 3/18/23 10:30 am-12:00 pm



Story as a Whole

Working with “Series” (motifs), Themes, different Story Structures.

Cohort $50

On Your Own $25



Working with Scenes/Sequels, Special Scenes, making a “Character Driven” Scene, Linking scenes.

Cohort $50

On Your Own $25



Choosing a POV and a Narrative Distance, Deep POV, Causality, and Motivational-Reaction Units.

Cohort $50

On Your Own $25



Conflict, Emotion, Pacing, Suspense.

Cohort $50

On Your Own $25



Dialogue, Attribution, Compression, Euphonics.

Cohort $50

On Your Own $25



Movement, Goals, Body Language, Subtext.

Cohort $50

On Your Own $25



All six senses, Active vs. Static description, Visceral Response, Mood.

Cohort $50

On Your Own $25



Internal monologue, Back Story, Exposition.

Cohort $50

On Your Own $25


Color Analysis

Margie Lawson’s Color Analysis, White Space

Cohort $50

On Your Own $25



Darlings, Rhetorical Devices, Originality

Cohort $50

On Your Own $25


Final Polish

Word Searches, Backloading, Tight writing, Cadence, MS Conventions, Submission

Cohort $50

On Your Own $25




C. Alex Smith started her writing career as a political blogger on the Daily Kos in 2008. She was invited to be one of three editors on a well-researched weekly blog concerning economics, politics, environmental concerns, medicine, and science.  There, she cultivated far left celebrities to guest post on the blog including Robin Upton (host of  Unwelcome Guests), Gar Alperovitz (author of Beyond Capitalism), Roger Rothenberger (author of Beyond Plutocracy), and Prof. Richard D. Wolff (Economic Update, The New School in NY). She was also instrumental in getting the blog reposted on several political news sites and maintained the blogs social media presence. 

She moved on in 2014 to being the host of Spec Fix Pix, a podcast for fans of Sci Fi, Fantasy and Horror. 

After moving back to Arizona in 2018, she became a co-founder of Flagstaff Writers Connection. She continues to work for FWC to maintain their internet presence, host the local Critique Circle and Publishing Club, and to provide occasional workshops and courses on writing and the publishing industry.

Since 2008 she has been writing science fiction and alternate history. She has five complete manuscripts and three partial manuscripts. Two of her manuscripts took second place at the Arizona Authors Association Literary Contest.

Write Your Novel in November

Want to be inspired to write that novel you've been planning, but feel like you don't have the time? Trying to overcome a huge case of writer's block? Want to meet other writers? NaNoWriMo  or National Novel Writing Month is your chance.

Each year on Nov. 1 about half a million writers from all over the world converge on the internet and at local Write-In locations to work toward the goal of creating a 50,000 word novel by 11:59 PM on Nov. 30. That's a novel about the size of Catcher in the Rye.
The event began in 1999, and in 2005, National Novel Writing Month became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. NaNoWriMo’s programs now include National Novel Writing Month in November, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Young Writers Program.

Even as the Pandemic raged in 2020, NaNoWriMo had: 


  • 383,064 participants, including 97,439 students and educators in the Young Writers Program, started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.
  • 906  volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 671 regions on six continents.
  • 448  libraries, bookstores, and community centers opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program. (Down from 1200 due to Covid)
  • 71,832 Campers tackled a writing project—novel or not—at Camp NaNoWriMo.
  • In past surveys, 86% of respondents said that NaNoWriMo helped them learn what they can accomplish when determined. 89% of respondents said that NaNoWriMo made them more excited about writing and 87% of student participants in our Young Writers Program said that it made them more confident writers.
  • Hundreds of NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Elizabeth Acevedo's With the Fire on High, and Julie Murphy's Side Effects May Vary.
  • Each year, authors offer mentorship to our participants through pep talksPast author mentors have included Gene Luen Yang, Roxane Gay, John Green, N. K. Jemisin, Andy Weir, Veronica Roth, Ann Lamott, and Brandon Sanderson.

Become a Participant

To get started in NaNoWriMo, use this Step by Step Guide:
  1. Fill out a Profile so other writers with similar interests can find you.

  2. Brainstorm a story for your Novel with Flagstaff Writers Connection.
  3. Announce your Novel to the world. This will help you stay the course when things get tough.

  4. Plan the plot for your Novel with NaNoWriMo, or NaNo Prep or C. Alex Smith. Or don't. Pantsers welcome!
  5. Select Flagstaff AZ as you home region. 

    Each region has Liaisons who schedule meet and greets and writing sessions which usually take place at coffee houses or bookstores. Our incredible Liason is Cory.  You can talk to other Flagstaff authors participating in NaNoWriMo at Discord. These Write-In sessions encourage writers to collaborate and share ideas. If you’re not into the idea of writing in public, the NaNoWriMo website also has numerous message boards so you can talk to writers from all over the world.
  6. Come November, WRITE! And earn Badges for reaching milestones.
  7. Get help when you get stuck. The encouragement that you receive is unparalleled. The website even e-mails inspirational quotes and messages to your WriMo inbox daily.
  8. Update your word count until you get to 50,000 words or more.
  9. About 13% of participants "win" and get to 50,000 words. Claim your Win by pasting the full text of the novel into the NaNo word counter. Winners can also claim prizes. You can even get 50% off on Scrivener for winning!
  10. NaNoWriMo also hooks you up with people who can help you find out what to do with your novel once it’s been completed. FWC is also planning to start a series of revision workshops this Jan.
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