Friday, April 6, 2007

A Literary Saint

Author/editor Allison Joseph runs a wonderful list-serve for literary contests —CRWROPPS—that is free, well organized, reliable, comprehensive, and useful. If you’re sending your work out to journals and contests, you should look into it. Every day you’ll get a list of legitimate contests (she seems to weed out most of the scams), complete with all the rules and guidelines.

Not all contests are equal, in my view, so I’m cautious about what I enter. But I do enter a number of contests each year, and have won several in the past, which is an undeniable ego boost and a boost to the checking account. (Oddly, the electric company doesn’t seem to like it when I try to pay my bill with contributor’s copies.) My favorite was getting a special delivery envelope that included a letter announcing I won the contest; a check for $500; and a copy of the journal with my published piece. Talk about instant gratification! (Though it did not escape my notice that this particular story had been rejected 23 times. And this story ended up as the first chapter of Pears on a Willow Tree.)

I can’t promise you fame and fortune—just a daily list of contests, prodding you to get off your duff and send your work around.

To join the list send a blank e-mail to: crwropps-subscribe AT OR go to and click on "Join This List."

Note: Certain internet providers tend to block all messages from,,,, and are some of the internet services that tend to block all messages received from as spam. If you have a Spam blocker on your e-mail account, messages will be blocked. So you might want to switch to CRWROPPS-B, which has the same postings as the original CRWROPPS list, but is hosted on (The two lists are identical.)

To join CRWROPPS-B: Go to and click on "Join This Group." Or send a blank e-mail to crwropps-b-subscribe AT

CRWROPPS is also available in "daily digest" format--meaning you can receive one long posting of all of a single day's messages. Contact the moderator at crwropps AT and she will switch your subscription to digest format if you prefer to receive only one long message per day.(This is what I have.)

If you want to look before you leap—or your inbox is too cluttered—you can access the list at:

Finally, if you are an editor or contest organizer who would like to post an announcement on the list, send it to the list moderator at crwropps AT .Please send the announcement in the body of an e-mail message; do not send attachments. No live links in the announcements, and do not use fancy fonts, bold and/or italic lettering, or color in the body of the announcement. Do not send anything other than calls for submissionsor literary contest announcements--anything other than calls for submissions/literary contest announcements will not be posted.

I’m not greedy: I only expect a five percent finder’s fee off anything you win from this list!


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.