"Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand." 

                                                                                          -- Mark Twain

Welcome to the second annual Mark Twain House & Museum’s "Royal Nonesuch" Humor Writing Contest for writers of all ages from all corners of the globe! 

Recognizing that Samuel Clemens (aka: Mark Twain) began writing at an early age and to encourage other young authors, we welcome submissions for two categories: 

  • Adult (age 18 and over at time of submission) at $22 per submission, and
  • Young Author (age 17 and under at time of submission) at $12 per submission.
  • Submissions fees go towards the preservation of The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, CT. This contest is a whole new way for Twainiacs to support Twain's legacy-- we thank you for it!

Celebrity Judges will be announced soon.

Your deadline is July 10th, 2015. Word limit is 7,000 words. Further guidelines and the submission portal will be released on February 1st.

Submit your original humorous essays and stories for a chance at a cash prize, and best of all - bragging rights! Last year's winners took home over $3,000 in prizes.

"If Mark Twain were alive, he'd be happy about this contest, because he'd win it." - Andy Borowitz

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$22.00 USD, $12.00 USD

Ends on 7/10/2015

  •  Submit 7,000 words (or fewer) of any original work of humor writing. (Entries longer than 7,000 words will be disqualified.)
•  Previously published work is acceptable; please do not submit work that has won other humor prizes.

•  Submissions must be in English.

•  Submissions are not required to be in the style of Mark Twain or about Mark Twain. We want to hear your voice. And we want you to make us laugh!

•  Submissions will be judged by our Mark Twain House staff and scholars, Trinity College faculty, and celebrity judges (to be announced).

•  Submissions are due by July 10, 2015.

•  Winners may be asked to provide age verification regarding submission category.

•  You may submit more than one entry; a separate fee is required for each entry.

•  Winners will be notified by September 10, 2015.

•  Winners will retain ownership of their work. The Mark Twain House & Museum reserves the right to publish winning pieces in a public forum with credit to the author. 


PRIZES (winners in both categories):

•      1st Prize: $1,000 (Adult), $600 (Young Author)

•      2nd Prize: $500 (Adult), $400 (Young Author)

•      3rd Prize: $250 (Adult), $200 (Young Author)

•      Three Honorable Mention Prizes: $100 Gift Certificate for the Mark Twain Museum Store (Adult & Young Author). 

•  Staff and immediate family members of the Mark Twain House are not eligible.

The mission of The Mark Twain House & Museum is to foster an appreciation of the legacy of Mark Twain as one of our nation’s defining cultural figures, and to demonstrate the continuing relevance of his work, life and times. The Mark Twain House & Museum operates as a non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation. Mark Twain built the house in 1874 and lived here with his wife and children until 1891. This is where he wrote such masterpieces as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and is located at 351 Farmington Avenue in Hartford, CT. We appreciate your participation in this inaugural writing contest as it supports our preservation efforts.

By clicking ‘Submit’ you acknowledge that this is your original work and you agree to all contest rules and guidelines.

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