Four On 400

Welcome to FOUR ON 400, a MONTHLY CONTEST that provides ONE LUCKY KIDLIT writer with feedback from FOUR of The Winged Pen’s contributors on the writer’s opening 400 WORDS! This contest is open to middle-grade and young adult writers.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog to make sure you don’t miss an entry deadline!

Q: How do I enter?

A: We’ll post a contest announcement on our blog at 4PM on the FOURTH day of every month. To enter the contest, all you need to do is comment on the post. Exactly 24 hours later (that would be on the 5th) at 4pm (EST), one winner will be randomly drawn from the Triwizard Cup. The winner will be notified and given 24 hours to submit his or her opening 400 WORDS (MG or YA). On the FOURTEENTH of the month (at 4AM), the winner’s 400 WORDS, along with the title and genre of the work, will be posted to our blog with feedback from FOUR of our members.

Q: Can I enter my picture book?

A: Sorry, no. This contest is designed for longer works.

Q: I commented, but my comment didn’t show up. What do I do? 

A: Our comments are moderated, which means they have to be approved by a Winged Pen member. If your comment hasn’t shown up, it means we haven’t been at our computers recently. But we promise all comments will be approved before the 4pm drawing. Don’t worry!

Q: What about 8 on Eight? Will that also run each month?

A: No, we’ve decided to replace 8 on Eight with Four on 400, but we hope to bring other exciting opportunities to our PB writers throughout the year. Stay tuned!

Q: What should my comment include?

A: Anything polite you’d like to say. Often entrants say “Thank you for the opportunity!!” Be sure to provide us with your current email address, and make sure your SPAM filter will allow emails from!

Q: How will I know if I’m a winner?

A: We’ll email you with instructions on how to submit your material. And if you include a Twitter handle, we’ll announce there, too.

Q: I’m a winner! But I have several works in progress. Which one do I send?

A: That’s up to you––we’re happy to see MG or YA material.

Q: Do I have to submit my opening 400 WORDS, or can I submit any 400 WORDS?

A: You must submit your opening 400 WORDS (yes, even if it’s a prologue).

Q: What if the 400 words end in the middle of a sentence?

A: Please end with the previous sentence. We will not post more than 400 of your words on the blog.

Q: Am I assigning you any rights to my work?

A: Your work remains your own. We claim no rights to any portion of the writing, but in entering, you acknowledge our right to post your opening 400 words on our blog.

Q: Will I receive any other feedback?

A: The blog post will include feedback from FOUR of our members. Readers are encouraged to share their thoughts and suggestions (in a respectful, supportive manner) in the comments section of the blog post.

Q: Does my work have to be posted to the blog if I win?

A: Yes. As writers, we learn as much from studying other writers’ works as we do getting feedback on our own. In exchange for getting feedback from our group, we ask that you share what you learn by allowing other writers to study your entry.

Q: I got mixed feedback on my opening. Some members said they loved it, others thought it needed a lot of work. What do I do?

A: Writing is a subjective business. Our aim isn’t to tell you how to “fix” your writing. Our objective is to provide feedback from a group of dedicated writers, whose opinions on any given piece of writing may or may not agree. It’s up to you to determine what feedback best resonates with your vision for your work.

Q: If I win, does that mean I can’t enter ever again?

A: You may enter as often as you like, but you must submit material from a new WIP each time you win.

Q: I didn’t win.

A: Okay, so this isn’t really a question, but we’ve got an answer anyway. First, we’ll hold this contest every month. So you’ve still got plenty of chances! Second, although you might not have won, there’s still a tremendous amount to be learned by studying the winner’s material and learning from the feedback they received. 

We hope to see your entry!