Iron Pen 2023 – Registration is open for the 15th annual Iron Pen Contest!

Registration for Iron Pen 2023 is Open!

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

The Midwest Writing Center is taking registrations for its 15th annual Iron Pen Contest. MWC will supply a prompt to all contestants at 5 p.m. on Friday, February 24 and contestants have 24 hours (entries are due Saturday, February 25 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 Iron Pen 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 2023 Registration Form (jpeg)
Iron Pen 2023 Registration Form (pdf)

**Each paid registration for the 2023 Iron Pen Contest will have a chance to win a full registration to the David R. Collins Writing Conference on June 22-24, 2023, valued at $400**

The winners in each Iron Pen category will receive $50 and a medal, and the 2nd and 3rd place winners will also receive prizes. Winners and honorable mentions in each category will also have the opportunity to publisher their work with MWC Press in the annual Writer’s Block e-magazine and/or other publications.

Contest Timeline:

On Friday, February 24st 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 Facebook page, our website and on the MWC voicemail message.

On Saturday, February 25nd, contestants must email their work to the Midwest Writing Center no later than 5 p.m. – please do not send entries via mail.

The winners of this 24-hours contest will be announced by email on Wednesday, March 8th. Awards will be given out on Saturday, March 11th at 12 p.m. at the Midwest Writing Center, where the winners in each category will receive medals, and the winners and finalists will be invited to read their work.


Register for the 2023 Iron Pen Contest via PayPal today:

Iron Pen 2023 – Contest Registration (per entry)
Number of Categories:
Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction: