Writing Competition 2019

Entry Requirements

The annual Public Safety Writers Association Writing Competition is open to any paid member in good standing of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA). This years’ coordinator will be Michelle Perin-Callahan, PSWA President and previous Competition coordinator.

All entries must meet the following criteria:

  • Be the original work of the entrant. Entries in the categories listed below will be judged by published authors in the public safety writing field.
  • Be published or substantially revised in the calendar year 2018.
  • Other rules may be posted here by December 1, 2018.

Entries will be returned if a stamped, self-addressed envelope is enclosed with the entry.

Submission Instructions

  • All entries must be accompanied by a completed entry form, available by December 15, 2018. 
  • To qualify for entry, an original copy of the work must be submitted:
    • For published works: a copy of any book in which the entry is the entire work or a portion of a work. A tear sheet from a newspaper, magazine or other publication will be accepted, although the publication in its entirety is preferred.
    • For unpublished work: a copy of the work in its entirety.

Submit a hard copy of the work to the physical address in the form, and either an e-mail or CD copy. Include a link or URL where your work can be viewed or purchased, or to your personal website. Details will be available by December 15, 2018.

The Process

Entries, winning or non-winning, may be accompanied by a short critique by the judges. Awards will be given at the annual PSWA conference. Entrants need not be present to win.

Entry fees

$10 per entry
Checks should be made payable to Public Safety Writers Association.


Awards of first, second, third and honorable mention will be available in each category, although not all places in a given category will necessarily be awarded. The awarding of places will be at the discretion of the judges. All winners will receive a certificate and five (3) PSWA “Award Winner” labels (upon request) to place on the award winning work. Additional labels can be purchased from PSWA for $1 each.

Competition Categories

All entries in the competition must be somehow related to public safety subjects or issues. Both published and non-published works are eligible for entry in the competition, but will be judged in separate categories. Contestants may enter in more than one category and submit up to three entries in each category. The categories are:

  • Fiction: Books, Short Stories, Flash
  • Non Fiction: Books, Creative-Non-Technical, Creative-Technical, Technical Manual
  • Poetry
  • Screenplay


All entries must be postmarked by May 1, 2019, to be eligible but may be submitted anytime after January 1, 2019.


2018 Writing Contest Winners Posted