Thank you for your interest in the annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid short story, essay and prose contest. Please visit our new guidelines page at http://www.winningwriters.com/tomstory.
GOOD NEWS! You no longer need a Kindle to read Kindle books. Instead, you can download the FREE APP, available on all Kindle pages! NOT SO GOOD NEWS: Most of the Amazon links formerly on this page are being upgraded, so please go to one that is working like the USA WRITE WAYS TO WIN WRITING CONTESTS script below - or go straight to your country's Amazon store and enter the book's title!
Free Days for some Recommended Writers' Handbooks:
Our number one recommended little handbook is "7 Solid Roads to Writing Success". This book will cost you all of 99 cents at Amazon Kindle. However, on October 8 and 9, 2016, this book can be downloaded from All Amazon stores absolutely FREE OF CHARGE!
Our number two selection and one of the recently retired Chief Judge's newest essential writing guides, is "How NOT To Write Short Stories: Seven Errors To Avoid". Normal price at Amazon Kindle is 99 cents. But this book will be FREE to all comers on October 8 and 9.
Yet another useful little e-book, normally priced at 99 cents, is "How Writers Win Favor with Judges and Editors". This book will be FREE at all Amazon Kindle stores on October 8 and 9.
"PEN NAMES & OTHER WRITING QUESTIONS ANSWERED" will be available FREE at all Amazon stores on October 1 and 8.
Another e-booklet, "CORRECT WRITING FORMATS for CONTESTS and PUBLISHERS", also normally priced at 99 cents, will be available free of charge at Amazon Kindle on October 8.
QUICK ANSWERS To WRITING CONTEST QUESTIONS will be available free of charge at Amazon Kindle on September 24, plus October 22 and 29. Normal price is 99 cents.
Finally, and NOW AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON KINDLE: "Poetry Pitfalls or What Makes Bad Verse Worse". Next FREE DAYS are September 24, plus October 1, 8 and 15.
To obtain these books, please go to Amazon and enter the titles. In the USA, you can use the quick link to "Write Ways To Win Writing Contests" below!
Alas, WRITE WAYS TO WIN WRITING CONTESTS was put out by a different publisher and thus it has no free days, but is available from Amazon Kindle for only $2.99. Barnes and Noble and other bookstores have a slightly more updated e-book edition on sale for only $3.99. For the $2.99 Kindle e-book, please click Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS What's $2.99 or $3.99 or even $12.50 compared to increasing your chances of carrying off the really big cash of a wonderful First Prize?
When entering a Writing Contest, it's a smart idea to take a look at entries that have won major prizes in the past. Many of the Tom Howard winners were published in a collection entitled "Watching Time". When the bookstore edition of "Watching Time" was out of print for a year or so, one store actually sold a copy for $145.00! Yet Amazon are still selling the book for only $12.95. Alas, it will NEVER be available at Kindle or NOOK in an e-book edition, as electronic rights are not available.
YOU ALSO NEED GOOD TITLES FOR YOUR ENTRIES. Titles must be attractive, of course, but they must also stand out and give all the right read me signals. Some titles hold little or no appeal to potential readers, and some are total turn-offs.
Until now, choosing the right title has been a hit-or-miss affair for everyone except movie studios. Any publicist for a movie studio can tell you straight away whether a title will attract people, leave them in an indifferent mood, or actually turn them away. In the book, "Hollywood Classics Title Index". you'll quickly identify not only the words that audiences have found so attractive that Hollywood has used them over and over, but the words that antagonized people to such an extent that the few movies using such words in their titles were withdrawn and re-named. Some of these words will surprise you! And, needless to say, these same words will also repel book buyers. The trick is to use positive words that often figure in movie titles, and sidestep negative words that Hollywood usually avoids. The Kindle edition of my source book, "Hollywood Classics Title Index to All Movies..." is at present available for only 99 cents.The printed edition runs to 343 pages!
The World's Best Short Stories!
My favorite short story is "The Amazing Adventures of Toby" which you can pick up at Amazon Kindle ENTIRELY FREE OF CHARGE on September 3 and 4, plus October 8 and 9.
I didn't write AMAZING ADVENTURES OF TOBY, but I translated it from the Greek. Other stories I'd recommend (all stories I had nothing to do with except for "A Hero for the People" by Arthur Powers which I was privileged to read in advance) include "A Pathetic Story" by Jerome K. Jerome (which you will find in my book "Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS", "Watching Time" by Fred McGavran (included in the anthology. WATCHING TIME), any of the stories in "Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town" by Stephen Leacock, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving (the author's equally famous "Rip Van Winkle" is not half as well written), "A Hero for the People" by Arthur Powers, "Address Unknown" by Kressmann Taylor.
I CAN'T RESIST ADDING "KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES" which was written by Amy Dunkleberger, and published in the 2009 anthology of that name (which I edited and which I think is still on sale all over the place!) My other favorites from this same anthology are "The King of Wales" by Stephen Reilly, "The Wizard" by Gordon Phipps, "Sold Down the Lane" by Christine Taylor, "The Tailor" by Nancy Christie, and "The Queenslander" by Wendy Dartnall.
What is my OWN favorite of all the stories I've written? Well, I would offer "Mexican Autumn" which is actually a book of inter-related short stories, plus a couple of extras, "The Zone of Silence" and "The Feast of Gonzaga", all of them set in Mexico -- that somewhat mysterious land south of the border!
If you're a fan of Hollywood's vintage movies. check out John Howard Reid's movie books at Amazon Kindle! Many of them also have FREE DAYS!