Submissions for Outcasts: An Anthology

Today is the day! We are accepting submissions for Outcasts: An Anthology! with special guest foreword by Dan Fogler of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Walking Dead. It is free to submit! Log into your account and click “Member Home.” Our member home page has a link to submit. 

Stories are already coming in, and we can’t wait to dig in and start reading. Will your story be in our next book?

Have questions? Please ask! Send us an email at publishing@ohiowriters.org

Outcasts Cover, lonely figure looking at clouds

Cover Reveal – Outcasts: An Anthology

We have big news! Our upcoming anthology has a cover, and we are excited to reveal it here!

We will begin accepting submissions on March 1, 2021. It’s just a few days away, and we can’t wait to read everyone’s outcast stories. What happens when we lose our connections? What new horizons await when we reach the edge of everything we know? Ladies and gentlemen, send us your stories.

You can find more information about the anthology here!  

Outcasts Cover

Workshop Materials Available

Workshop materials are now available for our upcoming online workshop on March 3, 2021 at 7 p.m. ET. Log into your Ohio Writers’ Association member account and click the link for Workshop Materials to access the stories for our March workshop. If you haven’t submitted anything, you are still welcome and encouraged to attend. If you would like to attend, you MUST RSVP by sending an email to workshops@ohiowriters.org. If you have already sent us an RSVP, you will receive a link to the meeting at 6:45 p.m. ET on March 3rd.

 Please come prepared to discuss all the submissions. Have questions about the workshop? Email us at info@OhioWriters.org.

We look forward to seeing you via Zoom on March 3rd!

kids cheering in front of a computer

Join Our Members Only Facebook Group

Want to get connected with other local writers? Join our Ohio Writers’ Association Facebook group for members only here! This is a place where we can share writing victories, publishing opportunities, and the struggles of the craft. Find inspiration and accountability by connecting with other writers. We grow in community.

Right now, the group is buzzing about the upcoming anthology. We are sharing our progress and keeping each other motivated as we approach the submission window. You can be part of the conversation.

Not a member of the Ohio Writers’ Association yet? It’s free and easy. You can sign up here.

Group gathered around computer

Writers’ Workshop: Live Online Peer Critique – March 3rd

We’ll host a live online writers’ workshop on Wednesday evening, March 3, 2021 at 7pm ET.

All are welcome to attend. There is no cost.You do NOT need to be a paid OWA member.

If you’d like peer feedback on your work at this workshop, please email it to us at workshops@ohiowriters.org no later than Monday morning February 22, 2021. You may submit a short story (up to 10,000 words), novel chapters (up to 5,000 words), essays, poetry, or whatever else you’re working on. Please submit your work as a PDF.

You MUST BE PRESENT (ONLINE) to receive feedback. Please only submit your work if you’re confident that you can attend.

We will meet via Zoom. Everyone who has submitted work will receive a Zoom link about 15 minutes ahead of the meeting on March 3rd. If you would like to attend but do not plan to submit work, please send an email to workshops@ohiowriters.org to be included on the invite list.

Only those who have been invited to the workshop will be able to view the meeting. It won’t be made available publicly.

As usual, we will make the work we’re discussing available for download one week before the workshop, so that everyone has a chance to download it and read it before the workshop.

If you have any questions, please contact us at workshops@ohiowriters.org. We’ll see you on the 3rd!

This is a great opportunity to workshop your anthology submissions!

workshop in black sharpie on white paper

Publishing Opportunity for Ohio Writers!

Your story could be in our next publication! We are opening submissions for our next anthology about outcasts, and we want to see what you can do. We want stories that explore what connects us and what happens when we lose those connections. We want to see humanity from the outside looking in. Submissions open March 1, 2021!

We have a very special guest for this anthology! Our foreword will be written by none other than actor, director, and writer Dan Fogler of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Walking Dead, Fogler’s Fictions, and so many more amazing projects!

The complete anthology will be released in the fall of 2021, to all major markets in print and digital formats.

Word Count: 1,000 to 10,000 words

Genre: Any

Submission Period: March 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021

Submission Cost: You may submit one story to this project for free!  “Writer” level OWA members may submit up to three stories for consideration.

Content Guidelines: Stories must not exceed reasonable content for a PG-13 rating.  Language, violence and sexual themes with a purpose are fine, however, gratuitous violence and graphic sexuality will not be accepted.

It is free to submit a story for consideration to this anthology.  Writer members of the Ohio Writers’ Association may submit two additional stories for consideration.

Submitting is easy! Beginning March 1, 2021, there will be a link on our homepage for submissions. Log into your account and click the link to submit. Not a member? Sign up for free today!

This is not a contest, it is an open call for submissions.  All stories will be fairly considered, and those deemed most appropriate for publication will receive an offer.

“Ohio Writer” Qualifications: If any one of the following items is true, then we consider you an “Ohio writer”:

You were born in Ohio

You graduated from a school in Ohio (high school, college, university, etc.)

You currently reside in Ohio

You are currently actively enrolled at a school in Ohio

Your current permanent address is in Ohio

You lived 5+ continuous years as a permanent resident in Ohio at any time

We’re sorry, but for this project we’re only accepting work from qualified “Ohio writers.”

Have questions? Please reach out to us at info@OhioWriters.org.

Book on Table, Outcast Anthology

Why Workshops?

I still remember my first workshop two years ago. We met at the Pizza Cottage in Pickerington. I didn’t submit anything. I was too nervous. I hardly spoke. I sat with my shoulders up to my ears as if I could fold into myself and disappear, but I listened, and what I heard was real feedback. People were diving into each other’s words, into each other’s worlds.

I had to know what I sounded like in someone else’s head, so I did it. I submitted, and it was amazing. I did not agree with every opinion and not every opinion was flattering, but all those opinions had value. The feedback I received at the workshop helped me hear myself differently, and I started to gain a better sense of my voice as a writer. 

I also found something else at the workshops, an incredible group of writer friends who challenged me and made me laugh.

It’s this simple: I submitted the piece to the workshop, and I got a lot of amazing feedback. I took that feedback, and I made the story better. Because of workshops, because of community, I submitted the story to an online magazine, and it was accepted. We become better writers when we support each other, challenge each other, inspire each other. Workshops give us a chance to be writers who do that.

Want to check out my published story? You can find it here!  

Open Member Meeting – January 20, 2021

Dear Ohio Writers,

The past year has been an interesting time for all of us.

Historically, much of what we’ve done as an organization has been contingent upon our ability to meet in person. I confess that I’ve been waiting for the Coronavirus situation to blow over so that we can get back to business as usual.

It doesn’t appear that’s going to happen any time soon.

And perhaps this is a good opportunity to reassess who we are and what we’re doing.

To that end, I have scheduled an open meeting for all members for Wednesday evening, January 20th at 7pm ET. We will meet via Zoom.

If you would like to attend, you must RSVP. Simply send an email to info@ohiowriters.org to let us know you’d like a Zoom invitation.

We’ve always prided ourselves on the fact that we don’t do all of the fluff and nonsense of many writers’ groups. We provide the hard stuff that actually, truly helps professional writers and emerging authors reach their goals.

I want to hear about your needs as a writer in this time, and your ideas for how our organization can continue to fulfill its mission moving forward. This will be an open forum, and everyone who would like to speak on the topics at hand is invited to do so. If you’d prefer, you may also come simply to listen.

If you’d like to attend, please email us at info@ohiowriters.org right now.

I hope to see you on the 20th.

-Brad Pauquette
President, Ohio Writers’ Association

The Great Novel Contest 2019: Mike Sieminski — Finalist

Mike Sieminksi’s fantasy novel Paralith was one of the top ten finalists in The Great Novel Contest 2019.

The Great Novel Contest 2020 is live! Find the details here.

Paralith is a coming-of-age story that follows two brothers as they seek a set of powerful stones on an epic quest. Along the way, they’ll encounter new allies, confront old wounds, and start to unravel a long-held family mystery. Paralith combines the fantastical with the growth of a sheltered teenager into a young man.

Mike Sieminksi lives in Westerville, Ohio, with his beautiful wife and wonderful six-year-old twins. He is a licensed dietitian with degrees in medical dietetics and communication from The Ohio State University. Mike knows that life is precious, so he’s always looking for ways to better himself whether it is at his job, with his family, or through his writing. 

As a kid, Mike didn’t like to read unless it was a Dungeons and Dragons manual, but he always knew that he wanted to write a book. As an adult, Mike finds inspiration in Harry Potter. He also enjoys classic stories by Isaac Asimov, H. G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Lovecraft, and Stephen King. He encourages writers to read things that inspire them. 

Mike heard about The Great Novel Contest during the Columbus State Writers’ Conference and decided it was a fantastic opportunity to get his writing out into the world. With the support of his wife

Prior to entering The Great Novel Contest, Mike struggled to find someone to read his work and provide objective feedback. Traditional publishing required him to summarize his 74,000-word book in a 200-word query letter, and then hope the agent requests the manuscript. “I liked that the OWA contest guaranteed a reading of each manuscript, giving each one a chance,” Mike said. He also thought it was a great chance to gauge the quality of his writing against other writers.

If you are struggling to complete your novel, Mike has some advice. “Don’t think. Write. Sometimes the brain can interfere with your writing. Let your hands and fingers be the unfiltered translators of your brain’s deep, dark thoughts. Also, enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy what you’re writing, stop.”

Mike is currently querying agents and publishers in hopes of being published. “I’ve always envisioned my book being sold at Barnes & Noble, featured on the bestseller rack as you walk in the store, then made into a blockbuster movie.” He is open to self-publishing and plans to look into it in the future if the traditional publishing route doesn’t work out.


We’d love to read your manuscripts! Submit them to The Great Novel Contest 2020 for a chance to win $1,000 and a publishing contract with Bellwether.

Still need to polish your manuscript? Check out some of our writing classes and workshops!

The Great Novel Contest 2019: Margaret Kirby — Runner-Up

Margaret Kirby earned the title of Runner-Up in The Great Novel Contest 2019 with her novel Becoming Nora.

Congratulations to Margaret Kirby for a well-crafted character-driven novel!

Learn more about The Great Novel Contest 2020 here.

Becoming Nora explores what happens when a seemingly ordinary and happy life spirals off on a different trajectory. After eighteen years of marriage and two children, Nora’s husband tells her he is unhappy and wants a separation. Nora’s journey through loss, fear, and uncertainty leads to freedom and self-awareness as she comes to recognize the constrictions in her marriage that she once accepted as normal.

From one of the contest judges: “Becoming Nora explores the intricacies and complexities of relationships. Through tight prose and exceptional character development, Margaret Kirby reveals how closely our identities are entwined with those we care about the most.”

Margaret retired in 2012 after working for thirty years for an organization that provides services to the homeless. And although she regularly did technical writing and editing throughout her professional career, it wasn’t until after retirement that she began to invest serious time and energy into pursuing creative writing. 

Margaret joined the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild and found a great support person in Maribeth Fischer, Executive Director of the Rehoboth Beach Writer’s Guild. It was through that mentorship that Margaret learned about The Great Novel Contest. 

At first, she didn’t know if the contest would be a good fit for her novel, but she thought it sounded like an interesting opportunity. She took a chance and submitted. Margaret was awarded $1,000 in credit with Columbus Publishing Lab for author development services. She now plans to use the contest credentials and author services from Columbus Publishing Lab to pursue literary agents and publishers.  

Great novels come easier with great support. Margaret has been supported throughout her writing journey by her daughter, Katherine, who patiently read her novel and the subsequent revisions. She was also cheered and supported by her husband, fellow writers from novel classes, and good friends. 

When Margaret isn’t creating her own stories, she likes to read a variety of genres and authors. She reads fiction and nonfiction, memoirs, poetry, and anything that inspires her own creativity. She has Joan Didion, Wallace Stegner, Anne Tyler, Colm Toibin, Flannery O’Connor, and Thomas Merton on her shelves at home. She loves reading, writing, and watching her grandchildren grow up.

Margaret has advice for writers out there who are struggling to finish their novels: Learn more about your characters as you revise—go deeper each time. Try to write every day, if only for ten minutes, and be patient with yourself when you can’t get into the flow. Read poetry and writing that inspires you. Attend workshops. But above all, be patient with yourself.

Margaret would love to see Becoming Nora published someday. She is querying agents and exploring small presses. Best of luck to you, Margaret, and congratulations!

The Great Novel Contest is back for 2020! Think your work might be a good fit for our contest? Learn more about The Great Novel Contest 2020 here.