I’m excited to start gearing up for the annual story-writing contest. It’s a lot of work, and the first step is creating the cover and title for the 12-story collection. I don’t usually do this myself. I prefer that you young writers have a chance to choose a title and cover.
This is how it works. Readers may suggest any title they like. We usually end up with quite a long list! I run the list of a dozen or more titles through my own mind and also by a couple of trusted author friends. The list is narrowed down to the top four. Then you get to vote on which of those four will be the title of the book. We do the same thing with the cover image for the book.
Current contest book titles
- Way Out West (2013)
- Beneath the Western Sky (2014-2015)
- Along the Western Trail (2016)
- Into the Sunset (2018)
- Western Sunrise (2019)
- Lassoing Adventure (2020)
- Beyond the Rising Sun (2021)
Past title suggestions to get you started
These are a few suggested titles from past contests. You can suggest anything you want in the comments. If you like one of these, let me know which one and that will weigh heavily when we are narrowing it down to only four. After that, you can vote on which one you like the best. The title with the most votes will be the 2023 title for the contest book.
- Across the Foothills
- Under a Painted Sky
- Under a California Sky
- Chasing the Wind
- Chasing the Dawn
- Under a Summer Sky
- Western Breezes
You may submit one (or two) fun images for a possible cover, but no more than two (I prefer not to be flooded with hundreds of photo links). Go to DepositPhotos.com to find a photo you like. Copy the URL link of the photo and paste it in the comments. It would be nice (but not required) if you tell me why a certain photo appeals to you. If you have time, you are welcome to click on other commentors’ links and reply to them if you like them.
Do not find photos on Google Images or anyplace else (images are copyrighted and I can’t use them). I use photos only from DepositPhotos, where I have an account. See covers already published: Annual Contest >>
Below are random covers and titles from past contest suggestions. Any cover can be used with any title. I have posted these to give you an idea. If you like any of the images below, tell me in the comments.
You may submit title and image possibilities September 6 – 12 (one week). Then I’ll put up the top 5 titles on Tuesday, September 13. You will vote, September 13 – September 19. Once I have the winning cover, you will then vote for the cover design you think best fits the cover that “won” the vote. You will have four days to vote on the cover design (September 20- 23). The final cover for the 2023 annual contest will be posted on Saturday, September 24.
I know I changed things around a bit from the original post. I was going to have you vote for the title and the cover at the same time, but it seems to me you should vote for the title first, and then vote for the cover that best matches it. So I have revised the dates a bit.