2024 AZ Authors Literary Contest


AZ Authors Association Literary Contest and Awards

Unpublished                                                                 Published                                                                              

Poems                                                                                                Fiction
Short Stories                                                                                     Nonfiction
Essays/Review                                                                                  Children (Under 12)
Novel, Novella                                                                                  Teen/Young Adult
                                                                                                          Oldie but Goldie Fiction
                                                                                                          Oldie but Goldie Nonfiction
                                                                                                          Oldie but Goldie Youth

One Grand Prize of $500

Three First Prizes of $200
Three Second Prizes of $100
Three Third Prizes of $75
Three Fourth Prizes of $50
Eleven Best-of-Category Prizes $25

Unpublished Poetry and Short Story Best of Category will be 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


Two-page evaluations available for

unpublished works and

self-published novels and memoirs!

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, 2024<<< 

Deep Editing #3 Opens Jan 15th


Happy New Year! 

To celebrate the coming of 2024 I have a gift for you. I’m so excited about this third Deep Editing webinar. I’ve put a lot of work and research into this one.

It contains three videos: One on using motifs or “series” to enhance your story elements like setting or characters. Another video on how many iterations and the timing of your iterations. And one on less often seen plot structures that can still be useful for some stories. These videos include four exercises to help you solidify the information in your memory.

Then I take you on an optional four-video deep dive into Rowling’s use of eleven story structures, layered one on top of the other, that created the amazing world of Hogwarts and the depth of texture in her Harry Potter series. One of the videos is about her now famous Ring Writing structure. Another will introduce you to her incredible take on Literary Alchemy.

As usual, I have included handouts with the slides and script so you can read along or take notes. Includes exercises to help you get acquainted with other local writers and improve your writing skills. I have scheduled three Ask Me Anything Sessions. And you can contact me any time for more help with these concepts.

The best part? The course is free!

The course starts 1/15/24 but you can register now.  




C. Alex Smith started her writing career as a political blogger in 2008. She was invited to be one of three editors of a well-researched weekly blog concerning economics, politics, environmental concerns, medicine, and science. She was instrumental in getting the blog reposted on several political news sites and maintained the blog's social media presence. 

She moved on in 2014 and became 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 its internet presence, host the local Critique Circle, and provide occasional workshops and courses on writing and the publishing industry.

Since 2008 she has been writing science fiction and alternate history. She has seven complete manuscripts. Two of her manuscripts took second place at the Arizona Authors Association Literary Contest. One of the manuscripts is currently a finalist in the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Contest.

Slam! Slam! Slam!

Flagstaff Poetry Slam (FlagSlam)

Poets compete using their unique performance/storytelling style to recite their poems on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month.

  • Each poem must be of the poet's own creation
  • A Slam bout will usually last 3 rounds so poets need 3 poems each
  • Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to read one poem, if the poet goes over, points will be deducted from the total score
  • The poet may not use props, costumes, or musical instruments
Five people picked randomly from the audience judge the poems on a scale of 0-10. The high and low scores are dropped and the rest are added together.

2nd and 4th Wednesdays 
Starting the End of Jan.
Signup 7:30 pm
Competition Starts at 8:00 pm

Not Quite Ready to Compete?

Every Monday at 7:30, Lily Davan hosts an open mic for poets at the Awa Kava bar218 S San Francisco St Flagstaff. This is a really relaxed space, with folks sitting on couches sipping kava or coffee and passing a microphone around. Open to all!

Sign Up at 7 pm
Readings Start at 7:30 pm

  • Flagstaff Brewing Co. has an open mic for poets and prose writers every Tuesday without the pressure of being a feature or in a competition. Improve your skill at reading in public.
16 E. Route 66
Sign-ups open at 7 pm
Show starts at 7:20 pm

Flagstaff's current Youth Poet Laureate Micaela Merryman hosts a curated reading series of local writers, mostly poetry.

Second Friday of the Month
Starts at 6 pm

Want Even More Poetry?

The Cinder Skies Reading Series (formerly The Narrow Chimney Reading Series) offers a hybrid online/in-person reading series from MFA students in Creative Writing at NAU and "established" authors. All genres. Free to access. 

For authors, Cinder Skies is a chance to try new ideas and see how they land with an audience. For listeners, it’s a chance to become inspired by others and engage authors directly, a chance that evades the solitary reader. The people brought together under Cinder Skies are primarily authors, but they come from various places. While the readings have traditionally been in-person, COVID demanded the format expand to include virtual events as well. Recent online forums showcased readers from California to Carolina. Still, Cinder Skies consistently draws on the inkwell of NAU talent.

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.

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 Lydia Gates.  You can talk to other Flagstaff authors participating in NaNoWriMo at Flagstaff Forum. 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 20% 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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Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Next Generation Indie Book Awards

The largest international awards program for indie authors and independent publishers.

Entry deadline: February 14, 2024 

ENTER NOW - Early Bird Special by September 30, 2023 
and your second category selection is free!

  • Exposure to a leading New York literary agent for the top 80+ books
  • More than 80 Categories
  • Cash Prizes

1st place in fiction & non-fiction

$1,500 cash prize and trophy

2nd place in fiction & non-fiction

$750 cash prize and trophy

3rd place in fiction & non-fiction

$500 cash prize and trophy

Winner of each of the 80+ categories

$100 cash prize and gold medal

Up to five finalists in each of the 80+ categories

Finalist medal

Awakening the Creative Spirit


Learn and practice strategies to jumpstart your creative process, whether you are just starting out with artistic expression, experiencing art block, or want to rejuvenate your journey of self-development.

In CCC’s art studio, we will create mandalas, journey circles, and ensos as methods of calming, reflection, creative meditation, and self-definition. You will also learn techniques for centering and focusing to find and harness the flow in your creative process.

Register for $55

Every Wed from Jul 12 - 26th2023 

3:45 - 5:45 pm
@ Lone Tree Campus

Dr. Michelle Gray has over 40 years of experience in Expressive Arts and Coaching. She has used Depth Psychology and Mindful Living practices, both professionally and personally in her adult life. She has recently retired from her Psychology and Marriage and Family practices and is now focusing on bringing health and well-being coaching practices to those making transitions (retirement, kids launching, divorce, new career, new environs). Michelle is a member of the International Coaching Federation, which is the Gold Standard for Coaches.