Sledgehammer Writing Contest

On Saturday, July 26, the 2014 Sledgehammer Writing Contest kicks off its seventh year of writing hijinks. Intended to help writers break through their writer’s block and to celebrate the act of writing, the thirty-six hour writing contest features both team and solo competitions, four different writing prompts, to say nothing of the scavenger hunts—both online and through the streets of Portland. From the Sledgehammer press release:

This treasure adventure not only supplies writers with prompts to include in their stories, but it also puts writers in touch with contest sponsors. Working individually or in teams, the writers craft a short story using these found clues within 36 hours. Stories are due by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 27. Then they’re judged by a team of professionals, including this year’s celebrity judge, Ariel Gore, author of The End of Eve and All the Pretty People: Tales of Carob, Shame, and Barbie-Envy. […] Sledgehammer stories are judged in six categories—Team, Individual, Youth, Readers’ Choice, Judge’s Choice and Out-of-Towners—and winning writers amass prize packages collectively worth thousands, including a golden sledgehammer trophy.

The contest is the brainchild of Ali McCart, Ooligan alum and founder of Indigo Editing, an independent editing, design, and publication management firm based out of Portland, OR.

Ooligan Press has been a proud sponsor of the Sledgehammer Writing Contest for the past seven years. Good luck, Sledgehammer Writers!

Meet Our Non-Fiction Contest Winners!

We’re eager to introduce the three winners of our Write What You Know Non-fiction Contest. Our first prize winner gets a one-on-one pitch session with Betsy Amster of the Betsy Amster Literary Agency and our second prize winner gets a one-hour editorial consultation with Indigo Editing. Please congratulate them at Write to Publish this Saturday.

Third Prize Winner: Kase Johnstun, with his piece titled, The Drought of 2012

Kase Johnstun
Kase Johnstun teaches written communications at Kansas State University. His work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction Magazine, The Chronicle Review, Label Me Latina/o, and, as a regular contribution, in The Good Men Project. He is currently working on a creative nonfiction manuscript about the epidemiology, medical history, and affected lives of the birth defect Craniosynostosis (forthcoming from McFarland 2014/2015).

Second Prize Winner: Sarah Gilbert, with her piece, Penelope and Other Heroes

Sarah Gilbert
Sarah Gilbert is an award-winning memoirist, original mommy blogger, mother of three boys, and former investment banker. Sarah is Editor-in-Chief of Stealing Time magazine. She has been published in Oregon Humanities, United’s Hemispheres magazine, and received the 2011 Water~Stone Review Judith Kitchen Creative Nonfiction Prize, a ‘Notable’ mention in Best American Essays 2012, and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for her essay, ‘Veteran’s Day.’ She calls herself a domestic realist. Her husband, an Army Reservist, is spending a lot of time in Kuwait. Her home blog is

First Prize Winner: Lynn Larssen, with Campo Lopez

Lynn Larssen
Raised in sunny Southern California, Lynn Larssen never even owned a jacket, until her husband persuaded her to move, with three small children, to the coldest spot in Oregon. She is currently writing a book about her experiences, entitled Why is the Goat Wearing Lipstick? How a Southern California Girl Fell in Love with the Eastern Oregon Outback. She now owns several winter coats. Lynn has been published for her poetry, fiction, and non-fiction work.