Archival Post: Instructions for Entering First Annual Peggy Dobbs Writing Contest

[This post was originally displayed as home page content at the beginning of the First Annual Peggy Dobbs Writing Contest in 2013. It is added here in the blog to preserve for posterity.]

DID YOU COME TO ENTER OUR CONTEST? [Read the latest entries and announcements]


“I swear, it’s not too late.”


I have procrastinated to sail to the edge of the world, for fear that I would drop off the edge into oblivion. But I have had to sail to the edge in search of a contest that will challenge your abilities to produce a brilliant and important piece to enter a new contest…

But I digress.

You, who are new to our site.  Let me give you a little background.

Peggy Dobbs.

She became everyone’s favorite: the lover/mother/sister/friend we wish we had always had.

About three years ago, when A Word with You Press materialized from the ether in cyberspace, we advertised a contest that would coalesce in the real world. The Coffeeshop Chronicles: Oh the Places I have Bean, was one of our first printed books. We asked that you send a story about anything in the world, as long as you could tie it back into a cup of coffee, and the response was not only phenomenal, it launched our site in a direction we had not at all envisioned: a community of writers united by a willingness to improve their writing through monthly competitions in which not only did we have absurd and coveted prizes, but a chance to get the feedback from other contestants who took an active interest in each other’s growth as story tellers.

One of our initial contestants was Peggy Dobbs, who at 77 years had just decided she might like to share her writing with others.

She had stories collecting mold in the bottom drawer of and Alabama dresser, and many more homespun stories to tell, mostly about her life and relationship with the man of her life, Homer, to whom she was married longer than I had even been on the planet.

At first, the tentative Mrs. Dobbs did not even know how to send an attachment to her emails to enter our contests and enlisted the aid of her daughter.

But once she got the hang of it, there was no stopping her, and Peggy not only entered (and eventual won one herself) our contests, but became everyone’s darling, offering commentary and encouragement to everyone who entered what she affectionately called “our playground”.

Peggy left us in June, and is no doubt editing the bible somewhere in heaven. She inspired us all-not just to write, but to love one another. It is in her honor that A Word with You Press proudly announces

The First Annual Peggy Dobbs Write-of-Passage contest.

The last three years of her life Peggy got immense pleasure and comfort by being an active and very fine writer. I love her. (Love is one of those rare verbs that can never enter the past tense). So many of us did. And this, though our only encounters were in cyberspace and the playground that is A Word with You Press.

Thinking about Peggy, I began to ponder the truism: “It’s never too late.”

And that inspires our prompt and our contest.

You may submit between seven hundred and fifty and a thousand words an original piece of fiction or non fiction that must contain the words, “I swear, it’s not too late.” (To everything, turn turn, there is a season, turn, turn)

Too late for what?  To stop the downslide, to get him/her back, to forgive or ask forgiveness, to embark on an impossible adventure, to love, to relinquish control/to regain control, to fix your entire life with a single act of atonement, to make amends or extract revenge.  The possibilities are endless. Up to you.

Submit up to THREE entries. Each entry must include the author’s name and email address (which we will not share except with Edward Snowden).  Entries should be sent to Entries should be submitted as a word doc attachment, double spaced and in twelve point Times-New Roman font. For those who have submitted an entry to previous contests there is no fee.  For all others there is a fee of *$10 per entry by Paypal. (also submitted to  However, once you have entered three of our contests you will be considered part of the family and there will be no additional fees to enter, except in extraordinary circumstances, such as a highly monetized prize. All new entries will get professional feedback on the stories we post. The other requirement is that for each entry you submit, you must provide commentary to at least two of the other stories that your fellow writers have submitted. By submitting (ahh! I never tire of them submitting!) you are authorizing us to publish your story but after publication all rights revert to the author). You also agree to name your first born after moi.

The contest ends Thanksgiving Day. At that point the editor-in-chief (moi) will select six finalists and give a new prompt for a write-off. Three finalists will be selected on merit and three randomly. While you may bribe the judge with sex, money, beer, coffee (I like Sumatran), chocolate, or something imaginative, the finalists will be judged by someone(s) beyond reproach. (Still looking into that).

Oh, and by the way…in addition to a kuhl trophy and bragging rights, this contest is offering a $500 cash prize. Prize money will be paid December 15th, just in time for Christmas and only slightly too late for the start Chanukah

Hope I got your retention—oops!—ATTENTION!

Best to all!


Editor-in-briefs (thong you very much!)

*GOOD NEWS! To help us celebrate our new digs on Main St, if you are living in Moscow the entrance fee is waived.


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