What is the BATTLE of the BARDS?

The BATTLE of the BARDS is a pop-up Summer Writing Contest with 8 categories:

Submissions NOW Open
thru August 14, 2019
(Enter here)

The Spirit of the Contest

We are not
the darers, are we?
And to take a chance we’re loath.
It’s better to be safe than sorry….
but it’s the devil when you’re both!

Kathryn Kay, Song of the Timid Souls

This summer, you are invited to embrace the spirit of daring — to be unsafe and not sorry — while competing in a writing contest inspired by the legacy of Kathryn Kay.

Read a quick bio here

How does the contest work?

Step 1 – Choose your category
Step 2 – Submit your work
Step 3- Connect & get feedback
in the judging phase

Step 1 – Choose from the 8 categories

Note: Maximum word count 1,500 words. No minimum.

Step 2 – Use the form to submit your work

One submission per form, $10 per entry, submit up to 8 times.

Enter here

Step 3 -Get feedback from judges, starting August 15, 2019

This contest is all about education and growth. Judges include writers, performers, and others tasked with bringing words to life every day.

You may win for academic reasons, or you may win based on performability. Whatever the case, you will know what the judges were looking for, what they loved in what they saw, what they would caution again, best practices they want to share, and more.

Everyone who tunes in to the judges’ Twitter feeds will get great tips and tricks for winning the next time around.

And, in that way, we hope everyone wins a bit, even if only a shortlist walks away with physical prizes.

Start following Sheralyn on Twitter now to not miss a thing.

Winners announced September 23, 2019

Winners win trophies.



Age requirements

All ages welcome.

This is an old-school competition with a focus on feedback, education, and prizes. Anyone of any skill, status, or caliber may enter to compete on their merits alone.

Blind Judging

All entries will have names removed before being passed on to the appropriate judges. Your judges will only know your work by its submission number.

Your work will solely be judged on how well you string words together.

Want to join the fun? Here’s how to participate:

Remember the word limit

Create a submission in 1,500 words, or less. DO NOT EXCEED THE WORD LIMIT.

If your submission is 1,501, you will be disqualified for the lamest of reasons and no one wants that. (Although, to be clear, your entry can be much shorter than 1,500 in the categories like poems and lyrics.)

In addition, make sure you are the sole creator of your work. This is not a class project and there are no group submissions. All work should be your own, with no co-authors or plagiarized sources.

All submissions are final

Question your use of profanity

This is an all-ages competition.

Keeping that in mind, all non-essential profanity and vulgarity should be removed from your submission, unless absolutely necessary. Think of community standards when it comes to radio and TV and ask yourself if your submission would be edited for public airwaves.

If the answer is yes, consider revising.

In the end, the judges decide if uncouth language is necessary. And their decision is final.


Each submission requires a $10 entry fee. Any entry without payment is disqualified.

Keep your entry a secret

You can tell anyone you want that you entered the contest, just don’t tell them which entry is yours.

Why not? Because if a judge finds out who an entry belongs to, the entry is disqualified. Period. Even if the judge doesn’t know you.

All submissions processed by your host, Sheralyn Pratt

Hi, I’m Sheralyn. This is my website and I’m running this contest. When I get your entry, I will remove your name, assign your submission a number, and pass your entry on to the correct judges as a numbered entry.

Only I will have the Master List revealing which number belongs to which writer, which means your submission remains entirely anonymous during the judgment process.

You’re welcome.

The Judging Process

When it comes to choosing winners, there are no rules for how judges must judge. They are professionals. They know what they’re doing and have their own process for screening.

They will judge how they judge and choose their winner.

Fun detail: The judges’ profiles will be revealed only AFTER all the submissions have been received and their identities (should they choose to reveal them) will remain hidden until winners are announced.

This way, you won’t know who they are when you write, they won’t know who you are when they read, and no one can harass them in between.

Can’t get fairer than that, right?

revealing winners

Once the judges pick their winners on September 23rd, winning submissions will be published with the author’s name on with full attribution.

But there is something for everyone in this contest. You’ll just have to cross the finish line to discover what that is.

keep your rights

Your work is your work. All rights remain with you. This contest only demands that:

  • your submission not be previously published (if we can find it somewhere else, you’re disqualified)
  • you do not claim your work until the contest is over (because claiming it before judging is complete is also a disqualification)

If your work catches the eye of an agent or scout, there is no finder’s fee or negotiation of rights with this contest. You’re free as a bird and your work is your work.

This is a platform of peers, not a publishing company. We hope you catch someone’s eye and that it leads to great things. All the best to you and we wish you luck!

Permissions you give to Sheralyn Pratt

While you will be giving me, Sheralyn Pratt, the right to post your work to my site as part of the contest (and fair use to cite it in the future), you keep all rights for future use and profit.

In addition to posting selected entries online, you also give me royalty-free permission to quote up to 100 words of your work in a published, commemorative product celebrating entry.

Have fun!

This is a contest of summer fun. Singers, dancers, and other skills have their TV shows seeking talent, but it can be a bit harder for writers to be seen.

This competition is great because you will get to see ALL the competition (just like singers get to hear each other and dancers see who beat them out), which will allow you to both pat yourself on the back for your strengths while also learning from others.

It will also allow you to meet new friends and possibly establish great relationships with people who like your work.

So use this competition to have fun, make friends, and network!

Do not Identify Your work

Anonymity is often talent’s best friend. It takes all your excuses, tosses them out the window, and allows your work to speak for itself.

If you want to know if your writing has what it takes to stand out in a crowd, temporary anonymity is really the only way to go. Things like your wealth (or lack thereof), credentials, and looks disappear. So does your sex, your gender, and everything else.

There’s really only one question: Can you pull people in with your words and take them on a ride?

That’s what this contest is about, which is why anyone skirting that hurdle by leveraging their identity to try to garner favor has to be hardline we draw in the sand to remove entries from consideration.

Play by the Rules

This is a contest by artists for artists. We all have lives and no one is looking for more random stranger drama.

The rules are intended to keep things fun, fair, and headache-free for everyone.

Read them here. Heed them. And let’s have a blast!

Want a flyer with all the basic info?
Click here.

Enter Contest Here

Learn about prizes



Did I miss something? Hen-peck me on Twitter about it (@SheralynPratt) and I’ll clarify with answers to your questions in the section below.


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