Our Timely Writing Contest For Writers 50 and Older


We are all caught in the jaws of a crisis, but no one has quarantined our creativity.

Coping With Crisis is the theme of this new writing contest, where the definition of “senior” has been expanded to include anyone age 50 and older. Submissions are being accepted through July 31 in the following categories:


Creative nonfiction (essay) — Limited to 3,500 words. Read our general submission guidelines below.


Fiction (short story) — Limited to 3,500 words. Read our general submission guidelines below.


Poetry — No limit to the number of lines. Read our general submission guidelines below.


Cash prizes will be awarded in each category as follows:

First prize — $500

Second prize — $250

Third prize — $125

Outstanding entries that don’t win a money prize will be judged honorable mention or recognized and certificates will be awarded.

Entry fee $20 per story or poem.

Here are some subject areas entrants can explore:

  • How this pandemic could turn out. What does the future hold?
  • What does this mean to the world’s population?
  • A rant about government action (but be clever, humorous or in some way more creative than TV pundits.)
  • Tell us about another crisis, how it compares to this one, how you or others survived it.
  • What does the virus do to a person? Possible first-hand accounts?
  • If the effect of this crisis on your family has been extreme or you have a twist, tell us. Is something good coming out of it?
  • What does it look like inside a hospital, nursing home, your home?
  • Tell us about a personal crisis in your life or someone else’s life. Can be a completely different kind of crisis.
  • What do we need to solve the coronavirus problem?
  • Outlandish solutions from your imagination.

The group also needs judges of all ages to read and evaluate the entries on a volunteer basis. To enter the contest or qualify as a judge, click on the Submit button. But first read the rules and guidelines below.




AGELESS AUTHORS WRITING CONTEST Is the only competition exclusively for older writers. Click on the category you want to read specific guidelines and submit an entry:
For this contest, all entrants must be age 50 and older. May enter as many times as you want, but each individual entry requires a separate entry fee. Give a 100-word bio written in third person, that you would be proud to publish with writing and publishing credits and other accomplishments. We intend to brag on you a little bit, so write this bio well.
Submissions should be original. They can have been previously entered in other contests and/or published before if they meet the other requirements of the contest.
Actual submission should be a Microsoft Word or PDF file prepared on a Windows-based or MAC computer. Word files (.doc, .docx, and .txt) are accepted but may appear scrambled or otherwise incomplete to the judges, and therefore difficult to evaluate.
Submission file should include ONLY title and copy, NOT bio, name or contact info. Material about author will be in Submittable files.
Make sure the title you submit to Submittable is the same as the title you place on the submission file. If we cannot discern the correct title of the piece, it will be declined for the competition.
The name of the author and that person’s contact info must be correct. If the person submitting the entry is not the author, understand that all communication will go to the person registered with Submittable or who placed the entry.
Don’t provide page numbers, footers, headers, endnotes or footnotes. Do not explain your work, just write.
Pay attention to details. Check your spelling. Check your grammar. Reread your dialogue, if any.
We ask all judges to make comments or provide any instruction on ways to improve the submission. Some judges simply say they like a submission or it can be improved. Others go into depth. These judges are all well qualified to comment, but not every one is moved to make comments in-depth on every submission. We do not guarantee these in-depth comments.



Do’s and Don’ts of Participating in Ageless Authors Writing Contests

Do… 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.

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

Do… check your grammar. Most programs have this built in.

Do… reread your dialogue to make sure it’s how people actually talk.

Do… 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. This makes editing easier if we select the work for publishing.

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

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.