Foster City Writers Contest
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Foster City Writers Contest

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The Foster City Parks and Recreation Department has announced the start of another exciting International Writers Contest will begin January 1, 2017.  Prizes will be awarded in Fiction, Personal Essay, and Poetry categories for works submitted now through March 23, 2018 at 5 PM

The Foster City International Writers Contest is well respected for the high quality entries it receives.  Past winners of the contest have gone on to become professional writers. 

You can have fun and win awards for doing something you enjoy!  First prize in each category is $250 and second prize is $100.  Winners will also have their names and pictures published in the local newspapers.  Each winner will be required to complete a W-9 Form that, in part, requires a social security number or tax ID number to claim a prize.  The entry fee is $10 per manuscript.  

Prizes will be awarded in the following three categories:

FICTION: Personal experiences developed as fiction, have proven to be popular favorites in this category.  Not to to exceed 3000 words in length.

PERSONAL ESSAY: A personal essay should reflect the writer's personal outlook on life as gained through personal experience but it must not be an editorial/opinion piece, a proposal to solve an existing geopolitical problem or a dogmatic expression of opinion.  Stories in these categories may be written in any narrative point of view, and must not exceed 3000 words in length.

POETRY: Submission to the Poetry category may be rhymed, metered or free verse on any topic desired by the writer. Poems may be written in any narrative point of view.  Typed manuscripts must use double-spacing between lines, quadruple-spacing between stanzas and must not exceed 500 words or two double-spaced pages using a 12 point font.

MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION GUIDELINES: Manuscripts must be original, previously unpublished, and in English.  They must be double spaced on 8.5 x 11 inch white paper with the pages numbered at the top right hand corner.  Contestant's name must not appear on the manuscript.  No graphics or illustrations on manuscripts, please.  Judges reserve the right to place manuscripts in more appropriate categories.  Manuscripts not conforming to said guidelines will be reviewed only at the judging staff's discretion.  Contest judges are not eligible to participate in this contest. 

ENTRY FORMS AND FEES: Download the Entry Form here(PDF). 
A non-refundable entry of $10 must be submitted for each entry.  Checks are made payable to "City of Foster City."  If submitting multiple entries, please remit only one check.  International entrants (including those from Canada and Mexico) must submit an international money order in US Funds.  No credit card payments will be accepted.  Mail your completed entry form and manuscript to:

Foster City International Writers Contest
c/o Foster City Parks and Recreation Department
650 Shell Boulevard
Foster City, CA 94404

Online Entry Submissions will be accepted by sending it as an attachment (RTF, Word, PDF. or TXT format) to  In the email subject line, please include: Writers' Contest Entry, category, and your name.  Please retain copies of manuscripts as they cannot be returned.  Please mail the check along with your completed entry form to City of Foster City.

Deadline to submit manuscripts is March 23, 2018.  Manuscripts without fees will not be accepted. Winners must provide a social security number in order to receive the cash prize, as the award amount may need to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service.  For any general contest information, please email with the Subject: Writers Contest.


City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200