Senior Writers Submit Your Entries Now Thru March 15

Guidelines for our 2019 Ageless Authors Writing Contest


Ginnie Bivona (left) congratulates Dallas writer Sherry Mills for her winning poem in a past contest.

Think you have a great story in the back of your mind that’s worthy of growing into a novella, novel or screenplay? Many senior storytellers have one or many works in progress that have interested them for a long time but just haven’t seen the light of day.

We want you to hit us with your best shot, your favorite stories or poems brought to life and written just for this contest from now through March 15, 2019.

The emphasis is on content, competing with your fellow senior writers age 65 and older. At stake are cash prizes and the honor of having your work in our 2020 anthology in four categories of stories and one of poetry.

Categories and Rules

The writing categories and buttons for submission are below. All entries must be made through Submittable.com. But before you submit an entry to this contest, be sure to read and absorb all the information on this page. Especially read the Do’s and Don’t’s near the bottom. A good writer begins as a good reader. Please read and follow the rules. A well organized submission is a step ahead of the others when judging starts.


This writing genre is a personal account of someone’s own life that is focused on a specific theme, event, or time period. Looking back at incidents in your life is one of the major amusements of getting older. Test your memory, especially for detail. These personal essays are often not just about chronicling events, but also get at the emotional experiences and feelings of the writer as well. Maximum length 3,500 words.

Q: What’s the difference between publishers and terrorists? A: You can negotiate with terrorists. Writing humor is often considered one of the most difficult forms available. Try your hand at it, though. It can be a fictional account or the telling of a true story. Maximum length 3,500 words.

Most people like to hear or read a good adventure story well constructed. This can be fiction or nonfiction. A good storyteller can make an adventure story come to life. Maximum length 3,500 words.

Romance is the #1 selling genre in mass-market fiction with readers clamoring for more! Try your hand at romance writing. Who knows? Our judges may offer suggestions to improve your overall writing. Your romance writing could start out as a story and could grow into a much-loved romance novel. Maximum length 3,500 words.

This category is open to the imaginations of our many fine poets. Compose about any subject matter you like. Maximum length 50 lines.

We wish you all Good Writing!


Anyone Age 65 and Older Can Enter

Senior writers who are 65 years of age or will be by March 15, 2019 are eligible to enter. Submissions to our contests come from every state, Canada and countries around the world. The quality of this year’s submissions was extraordinary.


Every submission is read by at least two of our outstanding judges. Submissions that make final judging are read by three or four different literature lovers. A major difference in the judging this year is that those who read your material will be asked to suggest one or two ways entrants can improve their works. Remember, not every suggestion is guaranteed to propel you to a bestseller. All suggestions are highly subjective.


In each of the five categories, winning submissions will receive cash prizes

First prize, a certificate and $100
Second prize, a certificate and $75
Third prize, a certificate and $50.
Honorable mentions will receive certificates

This year, we will inaugurate a new award — the Bivona Prize — for the entry best described as bold, inventive and audacious. This prize is awarded in memory of our late founder, Ginnie Siena Bivona, who was known for writing and editing in an audacious manner. She died earlier this year.

Winner of the Bivona Prize will receive a certificate and $250.


Some of the most outstanding stories will be reprinted on this website or on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages. These and other worthy submissions will be included in our next anthology due for publication in the fall of 2019.

Stories that make this list are finely crafted works, but that doesn’t mean only professional writers can expect to win prizes and be published. A few acclaimed writers have entered their works, but many winners have never made their careers in writing. They are simply talented seniors armed with experience.




Do’s and Don’t’s of Entering the 2019 Ageless Authors Writing Contest



Make all contest submissions on Submittable.com, preferably through this website.

Submit poetry of no more than 50 lines.

Make sure fiction or nonfiction entries are no more than 3,500 words.

Save your entry (or entries) on a Windows-based computer or MAC as a .docx or .txt file.

Enter as many submissions as you like, but each story or poem must be a separate entry with a separate entry fee.

Submit all entries in Microsoft Word, double spaced if possible.

Pay the $20 entry fee for each story or poem. Every short story, essay or poem represents a separate entry that must be entered and paid for separately.

Make sure the title of the entry is the same at the top of the first page of the file and when submitting.

Make sure the name of entrant is the same throughout.

Use nicknames or pseudonyms if you like, but use the same name throughout.

Provide a title page that includes:

Title of the entry
Word count of the entry
Name of entrant
Mailing address of entrant
Email address of entrant
Phone number of entrant
Bio of entrant

Make sure your bio is publication quality, no more than 100 words and written in third person.

Tell us about the entrant, not about the entry.

Pay attention to details, which are easily misplaced. In one story submitted to our first contest, five people were in a room. One by one, three of them left the room. What happened to the other two? We’ll never know. This was otherwise a very fine story that failed the test of detail.

Check your spelling before you submit your entry. All word processing programs, including every version of Word, contains a spell check. 

Check your grammar. Most programs have this built in.

Reread your dialogue to make sure it’s how people actually talk.

Understand that by submitting an entry, you permit us to reprint and publish entry to promote you and/or the work of Ageless Authors in anthologies, news stories or critical reviews. We will coordinate those kinds of uses with you.

Don’t… submit directly to Ageless Authors by email or regular mail.

Don’t… provide page numbers. No footers or headers, no endnotes and especially no footnotes. We just want your creative writing, not sources or explanations of your writing.

Don’t… enter with the idea that you can continue to work on your entry. Judging will be done throughout the contest.

All contact information supplied with submissions can be used to inform entrants about future contests, anthologies or any other activity of Ageless Authors. We will never sell your contact info to a third party.

If you have any trouble submitting, ask your kids or grandkids. After all, you taught them how to use a spoon.