The annual Public Safety Writers Association Writing Competition is open to any paid member in good standing of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA). The Coordinator is Barbara M. Hodges, PSWA Board Member.
All entries must meet the following criteria:
- Be the original work of the entrant.
- Have a public safety element (plot, character, etc.).
- A completed entry form and entry fee must be submitted for each entry.
- Use the link at the bottom of this page to download the form.
- Send entry and fee to 187 Alyssum Circle, Nipomo, CA 93444
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. Published means published by the close of the contest, March 31, 2023.
- For unpublished work: a copy of the work in its entirety.
All submissions, except published books, will be blind judged. Please do not have your name on the entry, only on the entry form.
Each published book will be judged by four professional authors.
- Except for published books, an E-format for submission is preferred.
- Please email your entry as an attached file to firstname.lastname@example.org
Awards are given at the annual PSWA conference award luncheon. We encourage you to attend, but entrants need not be present to win.
- $20 for your first entry
- $10 for each additional entry
Checks should be made payable to Public Safety Writers Association.
Awards of first, second, third, and honorable mention are available in each category, although not all places in a given category will be awarded. The awarding of places is at the discretion of the judges. All winners receive a certificate and three (3) PSWA “Award Winner” labels to place on the award-winning work. Additional labels can be purchased from PSWA for $1 each.
All entries in the competition must be 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. The categories are:
Long Form: Over 25,000 words
- Non Fiction: Books, Technical Manual, Memoir
- Fiction Books: All genres, including young adult, middle grade, and picture books
Short Form: Under 25,000 words
- Non-fiction that isn’t technical (people and events more than technical details)
- Non-fiction that is technical (equipment or processes more than people or events)
- Fiction Short Stories
- Individual poem
- Flash Writing: Fiction and Non-Fiction (500-word maximum, excluding title)
Judges have the discretion to move an entry into a different, more appropriate category. The entrant will be advised of this move.
All entries must be postmarked by March 31, 2023, to be eligible but may be submitted anytime after January 1, 2023.
If you have any questions, contact email@example.com