Registration for Iron Pen 2021 is Open!

The fastest writing contest in the Quad Cities is back and taking registrations now!

The Midwest Writing Center is taking registrations for its 13th annual Iron Pen Contest. MWC will supply a prompt to all contestants at 5 p.m. on Friday, February 26th and contestants have 24 hours (entries are due Saturday, February 27th by 5 p.m.) to write and submit their best fiction, non-fiction, and/or poetry pieces. Writers are welcome to enter into as many categories as they like with a paid registration for each entry.

The cost to enter the Iron Pen contest is $10 per entry, per category. Anyone can enter! Contestants do not need to be from or reside in the Quad City area. Contestant entries will be judged blind in genre categories—Poetry, Fiction and Non-Fiction (please note there is a 2,000 word limit for fiction and nonfiction entries). The Iron Pen contest is open to all ages.

Registration forms can be found via the link below or at the Midwest Writing Center, c/o RIPL, 401 19th St., Rock Island, IL 61201.

Iron Pen 2021 Registration Form (jpeg)
Iron Pen 2021 Registration Form (pdf)

**Everyone that participates in the 2021 Iron Pen Contest will have a chance to win a paid-in-full tuition with a value of $300 for the 2020 David R. Collins Writing Conference in June 24-26, 2021 at St. Ambrose University.**

This year all winners and finalists will have the opportunity to publish their work in the MWC’s annual Writers Block e-magazine, which will be released to MWC members in the fall of 2021. Winners and finalists will also have the opportunity to publisher their work on the MWC website.

Contest Timeline:

On Friday, February 26 at 5 p.m. contestants will receive an email from the MWC that includes: a topic, an opening line, or a specific character. The prompt will also be announced on our website www.mwcqc.org and on the MWC voicemail message.

On Saturday, February 27, contestants must email or bring their work to the Midwest Writing Center no later than 5 p.m. – please do not mail them.

The winners of this 24-hours contest will be announced by email and online on Wednesday, March 10. On Saturday, March 13 at 2 p.m. during a virtual event (available on Facebook Live and Zoom), the winners and finalists will be invited to read their work. All awards and prizes will be sent by mail or can be picked up at the MWC offices.

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Register for the 2021 Iron Pen Contest via PayPal today:


Iron Pen 2021 – Contest Registration (per entry)
Number of Categories:
Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction: