The Best Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 466 contests


The Reedsy Prompts Contest

Reedsy

Respond to one of Reedsy's weekly writing prompt newsletters with a short story for the chance to win $250 and be featured on the Reedsy Blog!

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Publication on Reedsy Blog

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: December 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Caledonia Novel Award

Caledonia Novel Award

Now in our ninth year of competition, we are an Edinburgh-based, international award for unpublished and self-published novelists in all genres for adults and YA. This year's judge is Charlotte Seymour, literary agent at Johnson & Alcock. On top of the £1,500 top prize, the best entry from the UK and Ireland will receive a place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.

Top prize

£1, 500

Additional prizes

Free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: November 01, 2022


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult, Romance, Suspense

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First 5 Pages Prize

Stockholm Writers Festival

SWF is proud to launch the First 5 Pages Prize to mark our 5th anniversary. Dazzle us with your brilliance. Delight us with your wit. Deceive us with your dastardly plot-twists. There will be one Grand Prize winner chosen from all entries. The winner will receive: $1000 cash, a ticket to SWF22, a pitch meeting with an agent conducted over Zoom, two night’s accommodation at a boutique hotel, and a full developmental edit donated by Reedsy, the industry’s leading platform for writing services.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

A full developmental edit donated by Reedsy & pitch meeting with an agent

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: January 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition 2020

InterAct Stroke Support

InterAct Stroke Support is a UK charity dedicated to supporting stroke recovery by using professional actors to deliver hospital readings and community projects. InterAct's competition asks writers to write a piece in any genre in no more than 1000 words. Stories must be suitable to be read in the sensitive environment of a hospital setting.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: December 02, 2019 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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2nd Annual WCWF Writing Contest

Wine Country Writers' Festival

Fire up those pens and get those unpublished stories and poems submitted to WCWF 2nd Annual Writing Contest. Three winners in each category, publication in Anthology, and your own copy. Entries: $15 or two for $25. See the contest rules and enter now. Blind Judging.

Top prize

$150

Additional prizes

Publication in an anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: July 29, 2022


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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7 Day Story Writing Challenge

Globe Soup

Register now for our next 7-day story writing challenge. A secret theme, a randomly assigned genre and just 7 days to write a story of no more than 2,000 words. Our 7 day story writing challenges take place throughout the year. The challenges are free and you can even get feedback on your story. Take part in one challenge or take part in all of them!

Top prize

£500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: June 01, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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International Amy MacRae Award for Memoir

Memoir Writing Ink

Original, unpublished works of memoir writing to a maximum of 2000 words are accepted. Submission guidelines are available on our website: www.amyaward.com. Winner receives $1000, plus an additional $1000 off a Mindful Memoir Writing Retreat in southern France with award-winning author, playwright, and writing coach Alison Wearing. Shortlisted stories will be published in the annual Amy Award Anthology and featured in the Memoir Writing Ink program. This award has been created in celebration of the life of Amy Macrae and in support of her living legacy to improve the outcomes of women with ovarian cancer.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

$1,000 US towards a Mindful Memoir Writing Retreat in Southern France with award-winning author, playwright, and writing coach, Alison Wearing

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: June 21, 2022


Genres

Memoir

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Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition

Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition

The Literary Taxidermy Writing Competition invites writers to create original stories and poems using the opening and closing lines of classic works of literature. In previous years, participants have tackled works by Lewis Carroll, Dorothy Parker, and Dashiell Hammett, crafting stories and poems in every genre, from science fiction to meta-fiction, and from sonnets to free verse. For its fifth year, in addition to monetary prizes and publication, the competition offers personal feedback for all honorable mentions. The competition is also a fundraiser for Ukraine. Sarah Waits, one of the competition editors, says, "We're a small organization, but we believe we can make a difference in the world.” Learn more about the 2022 Literary Taxidermy Writing Competition on our website: www.literarytaxidermy.com. Take the creative challenge—and join the fun! The competition begins on May 1st. We can’t wait to see what you stitch together!

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in 2019 Anthology of Literary Taxidermy

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: July 11, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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As Bright as the Moon

Tales

Can’t decide between the headstrong alpha or the hunky omega? Us either. We’re seeking stories featuring steamy werewolf romance, perfect for reading under a full moon. Whether you’re Team Jacob Black or Team Alcide Herveaux…we’re all Team Awoooo. Works up to 3,000 words will be considered.

Top prize

$600

Additional prizes

2nd place: $300; 3rd place: $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: May 31, 2022


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

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ElegantLiterature's Fiction Contest

ElegantLiterature.com

We help new talent go pro, award life-changing prize money, and promote fiction writers worldwide. Each month we hold a contest based on a short fiction prompt. You write a wonderful story and enter the contest. We choose the winner who receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors above-professional rates, and publish them in our magazine. Anyone can submit work to the magazine for free, but you must be an Elegant+ Member to enter the contests and win prizes. Membership is $10/month.

Top prize

$3000 USD + $0.10/word for publication

Additional prizes

Publication in online monthly magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: May 31, 2022


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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The Poetry.com Contest

Poetry.com

Poetry.com offers monthly contests for poets worldwide to gain motivation, inspiration and exposure, while building passion and enjoyment for the written creative process! How are winners chosen? Our contest boasts a clever twist: poems remain anonymous whilst applicants vote on what they believe should be the winning entry.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd place: 300 USD | 3rd place: 200 USD | Runner up personalized Poetry.com mug

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: May 31, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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The Paz Prize for Poetry

The National Poetry Series

Miami Book Fair will award one $2,000 prize every other year for the publication of a previously unpublished book of poetry originally written in Spanish by an American resident. The prize will recognize book-length manuscripts of poetry written in Spanish. Translations, works of literary criticism and scholarly texts do not qualify. The next Paz Prize competition will open in May, 2020.

Top prize

$2,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: May 31, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Drue Heinz Literature Prize

University of Pittsburgh Press

The Drue Heinz Literature Prize recognizes and supports writers of short fiction and makes their work available to readers around the world. The award is open to authors who have published a book-length collection of fiction or at least three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals.

Top prize

$15,000

Additional prizes

Publication in University of Pittsburgh Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: June 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers

Nimrod

The Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers honor the work of writers at the beginning of their careers. Open only to writers whose work has not appeared or is not scheduled to appear in more than 2 publications in the genre in which they are submitting.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in the Spring issue of Nimrod

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: July 15, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Seán O'Faoláin International Short Story Competition

Munster Literature Centre

The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer. The story can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.

Top prize

€2,000

Additional prizes

Residency at Anam Cara Retreat, Featured reading at the Cork International Short Story Festival, Publication in Southword

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $22

Deadline: July 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Story

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George Dila Memorial Flash Fiction Contest

Third Wednesday

The editors of Third Wednesday wish to honor the memory of George Dila, friend of Third Wednesday and the editor who originally brought fiction to 3W. To this end, we proudly announce the opening of The George Dila Memorial Flash Fiction Contest. We accept entries of previously unpublished stories of under 1000 words in length (including title).

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Publication in Third Wednesday magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $6

Deadline: August 15, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction

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The Writer's Games

The Writer's Workout

The Writer's Games is a two-month competition where writers receive an Event (prompt) each Friday and have 72 hours to write a short story that fits the prompt. A group of judges read and give feedback to each entry. The top 5 winners of each Event are published in our Games anthology. There are also prizes for the top 3. One of the prizes is an interview that's posted on the Writer's Workout blog. Registration for the Games starts in June and the Games begin in July.

Top prize

Publication in the Games anthology

Additional prizes

An interview on the Writer's Workout blog

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: May 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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TWFest One-Act Play Contest

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

Plays should run no more than one hour in length (one act or approx. 60 pages.) This contest is for emerging or previously unpublished playwrights.

Top prize

$1,500

Additional prizes

VIP all-access pass to the next festival, where there will be a professional staged reading of your play.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: October 15, 2022


Genres

Script Writing

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TWFest Fiction Contest

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

A submission is one original short story, written in English, up to 7,000 words. This contest is open only to writers who have not yet published a book of fiction. Published books include self-published books with ISBN numbers. Those who have published books in other genres besides fiction remain eligible.

Top prize

$1,500

Additional prizes

Airfare, accommodation, and all-access pass to the next Festival, where you will give a public reading.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: October 15, 2022


Genres

Fiction

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TWFest Very Short Fiction Contest

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

A submission is one original short story, written in English, up to 1,000 words. This contest is open only to emerging writers who have not yet published a book of short fiction with an ISBN.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

VIP all-access pass to the next festival, where you will give a public reading.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: October 15, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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TWFest Poetry Contest

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

Submit a collection of 2-4 original, unpublished poems of any style or theme, written in English, with a combined length of up to 400 lines. This contest is open only to emerging writers who have not yet published a book of poetry with an ISBN. Those who have published books in other genres besides poetry remain eligible.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

VIP all-access pass to the next festival, where you will give a public reading

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: October 15, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Quill Prose Award 2020

Red Hen Press

Queer literature is often found in the side stacks, in the back of the bookstore, under “Gay and Lesbian.” These authors are put into a genre that barely fits them, excluded from mainstream funding, and more. Red Hen Press seeks to work against the politics of labeling while honoring and empowering authors who identify as queer through this contest.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by Red Hen Press

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: November 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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Saints and Sinners Short Story Contest

Saints and Sinners

The winner will be selected from submissions of original, unpublished short stories between 3,000 and 7,000 words with LGBT content on the broad theme of “Saints and Sinners.”

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Two second place prizes of $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: October 01, 2022


Genres

LGBTQ, Short Story

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Saints and Sinners Poetry Contest

Saints and Sinners

The winner will be selected from submissions of original unpublished poems by LGBTQ+ writers on the general theme of RAIN.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Two second place prizes of $100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: October 15, 2022


Genres

LGBTQ, Poetry

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2022 Character Anthology & Contest: A Novel Idea

Bardsy

Prompt: write a short story featuring a character that will inspire a novel. Focus on the protagonist of your next novel. For example, create a compelling narrative from a defining moment in their backstory, an out-of-character action that foreshadows a key conflict, or an important or problematic relationship that constrains or empowers them.

Top prize

$299

Additional prizes

Publication in anthology, Bardsy Elite membership

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: June 26, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Page Turner's Short Story Contest

Clumsy Spider Publishing

Page Turner is looking for your short story that teens will read in one sitting because they can't stop!

Top prize

$50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: July 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Young Adult

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Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

Carve Magazine

The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is one of the most renowned fiction contests in the world. Featuring prominent guest judges and offering $3000 across five prizes, the contest delivers exciting new fiction from writers all over the world. The contest opens each year April 1 - May 15 and prizewinners are published in our annual fall issue in October.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Carve Magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $17

Deadline: May 16, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Bacopa Literary Review

Writers Alliance of Gainesville

We seek unusual perspectives, passionate voices, compelling work. This includes poetry, creative non-fiction, and short stories.

Top prize

£300

Additional prizes

£100 second prize

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: May 23, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Contest

The Comstock Review

Here 's how it works: our editorial staff chooses approximately fifty to sixty finalists. The highest scoring finalists (25 or so) are considered Special Merit poems. Special Merit poems go to the judge. The judge determines the top three prize winners. The entire editorial staff then selects the Honorable Mentions from the remaining Special Merits.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication by The Comstock Review

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: July 15, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Winchester Poetry Prize

Winchester Poetry Festival

We will hold a special prize-giving event on Saturday 9 October 2021. We are planning for this event to be a live event in Winchester. However, if there are restrictions still in place which prevent this, the event will move online. Winning and commended poems will also be published in a competition anthology.

Top prize

£1,000

Additional prizes

2nd £500, 3rd £250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $7

Deadline: July 31, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition

Cranked Anvil Press

Our quarterly short story competition is open for entries all year round. The competition is open to any theme or genre, but your story must be a maximum of 1,500 words (not including the title). You can enter up to three stories in each quarterly competition.

Top prize

£150

Additional prizes

£75 for 2nd, £30 for 3rd

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $7

Deadline: July 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Fischer Prize

Telluride Institute

This annual award is open to poets of all ages living in the US. Deadline for submissions is August 31st, 2021.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Attendance at Telluride Literary Arts Festival

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: August 31, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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UNO Press Publishing Lab

UNO Press

We are looking to publish the best novel/short story collection written this year. The selected author will receive a ten thousand dollar ($10,000) advance on royalties and a contract to publish with UNO Press.

Top prize

$10,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $28

Deadline: August 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Short Story

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The Hal Prize

Peninsula Publishing & Distribution

The Hal Prize offers publication to a readership of more than 25,000 and cash awards for winners. The contest is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and to photographers throughout the United States. Prose should be no more than 4,000 words and poetry no longer than a page. The annual literary and photography contest is presented by the Peninsula Pulse and Write On, Door County.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place, publication in 8142 Review, and a handmade mug

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: September 15, 2022


Genres

Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Surrey International Writers ' Conference Writing Contest

Surrey International Writers ' Conference

The contest will be judged by Diana Gabaldon and Jack Whyte. Story length: 2,500 — 4000 words.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: September 15, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Discover the finest writing contests of 2022 for fiction and non-fiction authors — including short story competitions, essay writing competitions, poetry contests, and many more. Updated weekly, these contests are vetted by Reedsy to weed out the scammers and time-wasters. If you’re looking to stick to free writing contests, simply use our filters as you browse.

Why you should submit to writing contests

Submitting to poetry competitions and free writing contests in 2022 is absolutely worth your while as an aspiring author: just as your qualifications matter when you apply for a new job, a writing portfolio that boasts published works and award-winning pieces is a great way to give your writing career a boost. And not to mention the bonus of cash prizes!

That being said, we understand that taking part in writing contests can be tough for emerging writers. First, there’s the same affliction all writers face: lack of time or inspiration. Entering writing contests is a time commitment, and many people decide to forego this endeavor in order to work on their larger projects instead — like a full-length book. Second, for many writers, the chance of rejection is enough to steer them clear of writing contests. 

But we’re here to tell you that two of the great benefits of entering writing contests happen to be the same as those two reasons to avoid them.

When it comes to the time commitment: yes, you will need to expend time and effort in order to submit a quality piece of writing to competitions. That being said, having a hard deadline to meet is a great motivator for developing a solid writing routine.

Think of entering contests as a training session to become a writer who will need to meet deadlines in order to have a successful career. If there’s a contest you have your eye on, and the deadline is in one month, sit down and realistically plan how many words you’ll need to write per day in order to meet that due date — and don’t forget to also factor in the time you’ll need to edit your story!

For tips on setting up a realistic writing plan, check out this free, ten-day course: How to Build a Rock-Solid Writing Routine.

In regards to the fear of rejection, the truth is that any writer aspiring to become a published author needs to develop relatively thick skin. If one of your goals is to have a book traditionally published, you will absolutely need to learn how to deal with rejection, as traditional book deals are notoriously hard to score. If you’re an indie author, you will need to adopt the hardy determination required to slowly build up a readership.

The good news is that there’s a fairly simple trick for learning to deal with rejection: use it as a chance to explore how you might be able to improve your writing.

In an ideal world, each rejection from a publisher or contest would come with a detailed letter, offering construction feedback and pointing out specific tips for improvement. And while this is sometimes the case, it’s the exception and not the rule.

Still, you can use the writing contests you don’t win as a chance to provide yourself with this feedback. Take a look at the winning and shortlisted stories and highlight their strong suits: do they have fully realized characters, a knack for showing instead of telling, a well-developed but subtly conveyed theme, a particularly satisfying denouement?

The idea isn’t to replicate what makes those stories tick in your own writing. But most examples of excellent writing share a number of basic craft principles. Try and see if there are ways for you to translate those stories’ strong points into your own unique writing.

Finally, there are the more obvious benefits of entering writing contests: prize and publication. Not to mention the potential to build up your readership, connect with editors, and gain exposure.

Resources to help you win writing competitions in 2022

Every writing contest has its own set of submission rules. Whether those rules are dense or sparing, ensure that you follow them to a T. Disregarding the guidelines will not sway the judges’ opinion in your favor — and might disqualify you from the contest altogether. 

Aside from ensuring you follow the rules, here are a few resources that will help you perfect your submissions.

Free online courses

On Writing:

On Editing:

Blog posts

Bonus resources

After you submit to a writing competition in 2022

It’s exciting to send a piece of writing off to a contest. However, once the initial excitement wears off, you may be left waiting for a while. Some writing contests will contact all entrants after the judging period — whether or not they’ve won. Other writing competitions will only contact the winners. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind after you submit:

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