COVID-19 updates: We are excited to announce that the 2021 Writers' Institute will take place April 8-11, 2021. See the UW–Madison Smart Restart website for information on how the university will welcome students back to campus in fall 2020.

Do You Wanna be a POPSTAR? Tall Poppy Writers Hosts PopStar Contest

Tall Poppy Writers Hosts PopStar Contest to Shine Light on New Talent

Contest opens February 29 for aspiring fiction and non-fiction writers of all genres


MADISON, WI (Feb. 24, 2020) – The Tall Poppy Writers (TPW) is pleased to announce the launch of PopStar, its debut writing contest for aspiring fiction and non-fiction writers of all genres. Through the contest, which opens for submissions on Feb. 29, TPW members will share their collective experience as bestselling, award-winning authors to help other writers as they advance in their publishing journeys.


“We know how hard it can be for writers to stand out in the publishing crowd,” says TPW founder and USA Today bestselling author Ann Garvin. “We have the experience, influence, and connections that could be helpful to others. Through PopStar, we’re excited to find talented new writers, offer them feedback and recognition, and reward talent that shines in hope that this experience will help advance their writing careers.”


About PopStar

For those interested in entering the PopStar contest, complete guidelines can be found on In summary, each entry should include no more than the first 4,250 words of a book-length work of fiction or non-fiction (full book length minimum of 55,000 words), and a synopsis of no more than 250 words. Both will be judged. The contest will accept electronic entries only via the Tall Poppy Writers PopStar submission form on the TPW site.


Key Contest Dates

February 29:                Open for entries

April 13:                      Closes for entries at 11:59 p.m. CST

June 1:                         Finalists announced

June 30:                       Winners announced


  • For each qualified entry received by 11:50 p.m. CST on April 13, a team of three TPW authors will read, evaluate, and provide written feedback. The TPW will then select four finalists.
  • The four finalists will be notified by email and announced on June 1 via the TPW site, newsletter, the TPW Facebook group “BLOOM,” and all TPW social media platforms.
  • The finalist entries will be judged by four experienced literary agents.
  • The judges will then select the 2020 PopStar winner, whose name will be announced on June 1 via the TPW site, newsletter, the TPW Facebook group “BLOOM,” and all TPW social media platforms.
  • In addition to connecting with four literary agents, the winner will receive a full critique of their submission from one of our New York TimesUSA Today, or Washington Post bestselling Tall Poppy authors.

Literary Agents Serve as PopStar Judges

TPW thanks the following literary agents for serving as 2020 PopStar judges:

  • Liza Fleissig – Liza Royce Agency
  • Rachel Ekstrom – Folio Literacy Agency
  • Melissa Jeglinski – Knight Agency
  • Melanie Castillo – Root Agency

The Tall Poppy Writers is the only author-driven marketing cooperative in the U.S. exclusive to female authors, all of whom publish in a variety of genres. The organization elevates the work of female authors, connects directly with readers, engages with the publishing industry, and supports domestic and international nonprofit organizations that foster literacy. For more information, visit



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Media Contact:

Kerstin March

Tall Poppy Writers