I read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own a few years ago. The book’s title came from my favorite line in the book: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
Her point is: Unlike men, women have not been traditionally allowed the luxury of uninterrupted thinking and writing. It’s hard as it is to be a writer; doubly so for women. This was true in 1929 when the book was first published, and it’s still true now. Any working woman—especially a working mother—who is trying to write these days can attest to this.
I was drawn to the Web site of a group called A Room of Her Own (AROHO) because of the Virginia Woolf connection. AROHO is a nonprofit organization that supports women writers by funding their works through a number of awards and prizes.
I’m planning to enter one of the contests below. How about you? If you’re unpublished, or if you’re published, but you want more exposure, consider entering any of these or other contests. Do it for Virginia Woolf! Most of all, do it for yourself. Make yourself heard!
Virginia Woolf-Inspired Contests
Here are the awards and prizes sponsored by AROHO:
To the Lighthouse Poetry Book Prize: A $1,000 prize for a woman’s unpublished poetry collection and publication by Red Hen Press. $20 fee. Deadline: April 1.
Clarissa Dalloway Book Prize: A $1,000 award for a woman’s “everything but poetry” manuscript and publication by Red Hen Press. Eligible manuscripts include novel, novella, memoir, biography, young adult literature, and graphic novel. $20 fee. Deadline: April 1.
Orlando Prizes: Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in The Los Angeles Review are awarded twice a year to a poem, a short story, a short short story (flash fiction), and an essay (creative nonfiction) written by women. $15 fee. The first deadline was Jan. 31. Next deadline: July 31. The Web page summarizing the prizes shows a June 31 deadline, but the application form says it’s July 31 (the month of June ends on the 30th).
Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship: A $10,000 award to help a woman playwright fund a new dramatic work. The award includes retreat attendance. No fee required. Deadline: July 1.
Gift of Freedom: A $50,000 grant designed to let a poet, fiction writer, or creative nonfiction writer focus on her writing. Deadline: TBD.
To learn more about the contests and grants, visit AROHO’s Web site.
Photo courtesy of Chess, Comics, Crosswords, Books, Music, Cinema blog.