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The premier writing organization on California's Central coast

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Golden Quill Writing contest


Get your words ready! SLO NightWriters Golden Quill Contest Director Harvey Ardman is pleased to announce the theme for this year’s writing contest: Memories.

The contest opens May 1st. Entries of short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry will be accepted. Detailed contest guidelines and more exciting announcements coming soon!

The final round of this year’s fiction entries will be judged by New York Times bestselling author Tod Goldberg.

Tod Goldberg is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen books of fiction, including the acclaimed Gangsterland quartet: Gangsterland, Gangster Nation, The Low Desert: Gangster Stories and Gangsters Don’t Die, which were named finalists for the Hammett Prize, the International Thriller of the Year Award, the Strand Critics Award, and The Reading the West Award and have been named an Amazon Best Book of the Year and twice awarded Southwest Book of the Year. He is also the author of the standalone novels The House of Secrets (which he co-authored with Brad Meltzer), Living Dead Girl (a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize), and Fake Liar Cheat; the acclaimed story collections Other Resort Cities and Simplify, which won the Other Voices Book Prize and was a finalist for the Southern California Book Sellers Association Award for Fiction; and five books in the popular Burn Notice series, three times a finalist for the Scribe Award. His books have been published in a dozen languages and around the world.

2023 Golden Quill Contest Results

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2023 SLO Golden Quill Writing Contest. 


First Place Judythe Guamera The Disappearing Spouse

Second Place Mathew Green Freezer Burn


First Place Michelle Turner And Tomorrow

First Place George Asdel With New Eyes

Thank you to all who submitted entries to the contest, judged the entries, or helped with the logistics of putting on the contest. And Congratulations to the winners!

Harvey Ardman

Director Golden Quill Contest Director

Presentation of the awards and winning readings at the General Meeting September 12th.

Click on image for video

2022 Golden Quill Writing Contest Winners

We are proud to list the winners of the 2022 SLO NightWriters Golden Quill Writing Contest. 

Links to the winning entries are provided for those authors who have given us permission to post their entries on our website.

Click on the title to open the work for reading.


First Place: Jana Marie Rose     The Voyager

Second Place: David Brandin Death and the Lion


First Place: Sarah Newfeld-Green Eclipse

Second Place: Emily Niebuhr Veneer


First Place: Colleen Craig The Unknowable

Second Place: Diane Parnell Dressing Up in Church Faces

Many heartfelt thanks to all who submitted entries to the contest, judged the entries, or helped with the logistics of putting on the contest! It was a terrific team effort!

Judith Bernstein

Contest Director

For questions: email

Mailing Address:
1126 Nipomo Ave
Los Osos, CA 93402

Meeting Address:
11245 Los Osos Valley Rd
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

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