The memoir contest is currently accepting submissions until May 31, 2019.

4th Annual Memoir Contest – 2019

April 1 to May 31, 2019


First $150

Second $75

Third $30


Winners will be notified in early July 2019

Award Ceremony will be held at the Club’s July 9, 2019 general meeting, 7:00 PM.

Pleasant Valley Parks and Recreations, 1605 Burnley St., Camarillo, CA  93010

Place-winning stories will be published in the upcoming Write Stuff Newsletter and VCWC Anthology.


Contest Rules

Entries should be first-person account of a memorable event or experience, filtered through the mind and heart of the storyteller. Either a stand-alone section of a larger work or a vignette is acceptable. Entries must be original and previously unpublished. Self-published and e-published works are prohibited. Enter as many memoirs as you like. First-place winners from the previous year are not eligible. Entrants may only receive one cash prize.

More questions? Email



Plot, theme reader interest, style/voice, grammar/punctuation and title will be considered. All decisions are final. Winners will be asked to provide a publicity head shot.


Format & Presentation

  • Memoir must be in English. Since this is a memoir contest and likely for the author to appear in the story itself, choose a nom de plume when referring to yourself or if other characters refer to you by name. Should you be one of the winners, you may then change the name back to your own for the ceremony, anthology, and newsletter.
  • Entries must be no longer than 1,250 words plus the title.
  • Title and page number should be on the top right of each 8.5 X 11 page with 1-inch margins and double spaced. Indent the first line of each paragraph.
  • Use Times New Roman 12-point font, Black font only. No pictures, drawings, or designs on the entries are allowed.
  • Submissions must be in .doc, .docx, or PDF format, entered as PDF, provide word count at the bottom of the memoir.
  • Author’s name, contact information, and brief bio (third-person, 75 words or fewer) should be provided as part of submission and is accessible only to the contest administrator.  
  • Author’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. The most frequent reason for disqualification is the name appearing on the page.
  • How did you hear of this Memoir Contest. (Note:  Do not forget to answer this question).


Submissions are only accepted online through user-friendly Submitted stories must be uploaded by midnight PST on May 31st. We strongly encourage uploading your entry before May 27th to take advantage of Submittable email support or VCWC support.


Submission fee:  $12.00 per memoir for VCWC members; $18.00 per memoir for non-members. PayPal, credit or debit cards are accepted.


Please note that by submitting a piece to our contest, you are giving the Ventura County Writers Club  one-time, nonexclusive publication rights to your winning entry to be published in our Write Stuff Newsletter, biannual anthology as well as temporary hosting on the club’s website,

Starting in 2015, VCWC established an annual memoir contest. We honor our past winners and are happy to encourage the craft with this popular genre.


First Place: The Brownie Pan by Judy Richardson

Second Place: Of Guns, Pigs, and Flies by Christina Steiner

Third Place: Money by Susan Jones

HM: I Can Do This! Or Can … I? by Shawn Simon

HM: Summer of Love? by Bob Calverley

HM: Boys and Girls by Gail Field

HM: Red Dirt Fistfight by Philip Brown


First Place: Barbie’s Dream House by Carol Malone

Second Place: Baker by Robb Geweniger

Third Place: The Catch by Wesley Ginther

Apple Daisies by Rob Loewe

Three Short Mean Men by Saxon Sitka

HM: Momma Didn’t Raise No Hero by Christian Spangenberg


First Place: Sinks and Cabbages by Karen Gorback

Second Place: Peak Attitude by Sunny Glessner

Third Place: Freedom by Peter Pohl

HM: Catechism by Louise Angeli

HM: Hide and Seek from The Secret Police by Joyce DuPuis

HM: The Topic Was Taboo by Barbara Fischer

HM: My Fourth Grade Baseball Career by Robb Geweniger

HM: Marching for My Brother by Thomas Pratt