Writing and Cover Design Contest 2021!

Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room is proud to announce our second annual writing and cover design contest. You know us as the oldest LGBTQ+ and feminist bookstore in the country, and now you can be part of our fabulous history! We are publishing an anthology of writing, bringing the community together in one book.

The grand prize winner of each contest will receive a $150 gift certificate to Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room. This year, our book will have a theme centering the stories and voices of queer & trans people of color — specifically, stories of coming out. All writing winners will be collected in an anthology released just in time for OutFest 2021! The winning artwork will be the cover art for the anthology.  We hope to celebrate the release with a reading from the published works in October 2021.

The contest opens March 19th, 2021 and closes at midnight (EST) July 1st, 2021. Send us your best poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and art. We cannot wait to see your work!

Contest Rules – Theme: Coming Out Stories

  1. We accept fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The word limit for fiction and nonfiction is 2,000. Please submit up to five poems on separate pages in the same PDF and .docx.   
  2. The dimensions for cover artwork are 6in x 9in (1800 x 2700 pixels) or 300 dpi. Images will only be used for the front cover.  
  3. To submit your work, there is an entry fee of $10 per submission. Your entry fee is a donation to Philly AIDS Thrift and will support people living with HIV/AIDS.
  4. Multiple submissions are allowed, as well as simultaneous submissions. Please let us know as soon as possible if the submission is accepted elsewhere. We will only consider previously unpublished work.
  5. All entries must be original works by the entrant. Plagiarism will result in disqualification. Excessive violence or sex, as determined by the judges, will result in disqualification.
  6. Each entry must have a cover page with the title of the work, the author’s name, pen name (if applicable), pronouns, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and a word count. Authors must include a brief bio statement of no more than 300 words. Every subsequent page, after the title page, must include the title and page number.
  7. To send your entry electronically, visit the submission page and pay the entry fee. Keep your receipt number for proof of purchase. Entries must be submitted digitally to writingcontest@queerbooks.com with your receipt number in the body of the email. Please send your submission as an attachment in both PDF AND .docx formats. All other formats will be returned unread. We will not accept any entries submitted via mail or in person (more submission instructions below)
  8. The contest starts on March 19, 2021 and all work must be submitted by midnight (EST) on July 1, 2021.
  9. All entries are final. No revisions will be accepted after the submission has been entered. Philly Aids Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room will make every attempt to recreate all submissions faithfully in the published book.
  10. Entries will be evaluated by booksellers and volunteers at Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room.
  11. Winners selected for publication will be individually notified of the results by phone or e-mail.
  12. The grand prize winner of the writing contest will receive a $150 gift card to Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room as well as publication in the anthology. The best entries will be selected for publication in the anthology.
  13. The grand prize winner of the art contest will receive a $150 gift card to Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room as well as publication as the cover art for the anthology. 
  14. All rights remain the property of the author.
  15. This Contest is void where prohibited by law.
  16. By submitting to the Contest, the entrant agrees to abide by all Contest rules.
  17. If selected for publication your work will appear in an anthology that we will sell to support our mission.

How to Submit Writing 

  • Visit the Submission Page and pay the $10 entry fee. Save your receipt number
  • Email writingcontest@queerbooks.com with your submission attached, making sure you copy and paste your receipt number into the body of the email. Read below for more information on what to include. We will not accept entries by mail or in-person. 
  • Make a cover page: Each entry must have a cover page with the title of the work, the author’s name, pen name (if applicable), pronouns, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and a word count The word limit for fiction and nonfiction is 2,000. Please submit up to five poems on separate pages in the same PDF. Authors must include a brief bio statement of no more than 300 words.
  • Number and title your pages: Every subsequent page, after the title page, must include the title and page number
  • Submit two copies of your document: one as a .docx (a Microsoft Word or Open Office doc) and one as a pdf. All other formats will be returned unread.

How to Submit Cover Art

  • Visit the Submission Page and pay the $10 entry fee. Save your receipt number
  • Email writingcontest@queerbooks.com with your submission attached, making sure you copy and paste your receipt number into the body of the email. Read below for more information on what to include. We will not accept entries by mail or in-person.  
  • Make a cover page: Each entry must have a cover page with the title of the work, the author’s name, pen name (if applicable), pronouns, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and a brief bio statement of no more than 300 words.  
  • Format: Artists must submit a  jpeg or png file, 6in x 9in (1800 x 2700 pixels), 300 dpi.  All other formats will be returned unread. Images will only be used for the front cover.

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