The Best Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

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Showing 384 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, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Annual Flash Fiction Competition

Flash 500

This quarterly open-themed competition has closing dates of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December. The results will be announced about six weeks after each closing date and the three winning entries each quarter will be published on the website.

Top prize

£300

Additional prizes

£200, £100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $7

Deadline: March 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Annual Novel Opening Competition

Flash 500

We are looking for an opening chapter up to 3,000 words, plus a one page synopsis outlining the balance of your story of any genre, so long as it's unpublished.

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

2nd Place: £200

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $13

Deadline: October 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Novel

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Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Writer's Digest

Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.

Top prize

$8,000

Additional prizes

A feature in Writer's Digest

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $125

Deadline: May 02, 2022


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult, Novel

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Writer's Digest Poetry Awards

Writer's Digest

Calling all poets! We’re on the look out for poems of all styles–rhyming, free verse, haiku, and more for the Annual Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards! This is the only Writer’s Digest competition exclusively for poets. Enter any poem 32 lines or less for your chance to win $1,000 in cash.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Writer's Digest

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: June 06, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Gabriele Rico Challenge for Nonfiction

https://www.reedmag.org/gabriele-rico-challenge-for-nonfict

The Gabriele Rico Challenge for Nonfiction recognizes outstanding works of nonfiction. We are looking for creative nonfiction, such as personal essays or narratives, not scholarly papers or book reviews. All works should be stand-alone essays, not chapters of a longer work. Please limit prose submissions to 5,000 words.

Top prize

$1,333

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: November 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Non-fiction, Short Story

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Maggie Award for Prepublished Writers

Georgia Romance Writers

The purpose of the Prepublished Maggie Award for Excellence is to encourage, recognize, and reward the mastery of romance writing by Prepublished authors of romantic fiction. The Maggie Award is a symbol of achievement given by the Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) to bring special attention to these writers. Opens February 14th.

Top prize

Silver Medallion

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: April 30, 2022


Genres

Romance

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Henshaw Short Story Competition

Henshaw Press

We are a small group of writers, editors, lecturers and of course readers who wish to actively support creative writing. We run quarterly competitions throughout the year with closing dates at the end of March, June, September and December. Our aim is to encourage as wide a range of writing as possible and competitions are open for any subject and any style.

Top prize

$260

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: March 31, 2022


Genres

Christian, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, LGBTQ, Mystery, Suspense, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Travel

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Cricket Magazine Contest

Cricket Magazine

’Tis winter, and the cold wind doth blow. But it can be fun to frolic in the ice and snow. So, bundle up! For our January contest, everybuggy would love to read your best wintry tale. Welcome to an opportunity to get published in Cricket Magazine! Your contest entry must be your very own original work. Ideas and words should not be copied. Your entry must be signed by your parent or guardian, stating that it is your own work, that no help was given, and that Cricket has permission to publish it in the magazine and on our website.

Top prize

Publication in Cricket Magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: January 25, 2022


Genres

Children's, Short Story

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Solas Awards

Travelers' Tales

Extraordinary stories about travel and the human spirit have been the cornerstones of our books since 1993. With the Solas Awards we honor writers whose work inspires others to explore. We’re looking for the best stories about travel and the world funny, illuminating, adventurous, uplifting, scary, inspiring, poignant stories that reflect the unique alchemy that occurs when you enter unfamiliar territory and begin to see the world differently as a result.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: September 23, 2022


Genres

Travel

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FHL Readers' Choice Awards

Faith, Hope, Love Christian Romance Writers

The FHLRCA is open to all writers, members of FHL as well as non-members, who are published in Christian fiction. Books entered in the FHLRCA must be written from a Christian worldview.

Top prize

Certificate and engraved box

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: March 01, 2022


Genres

Christian, Romance, Novel, Novella, Short Story, Suspense

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Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards

Edward Stanford

In 1853 Edward Stanford established his map-making business in the heart of London and at the height of the British Empire. Over 160 years later, the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards exist to celebrate this most exciting of genres and encourage more travellers to put down their selfie-sticks and pick up their notebooks.

Top prize

£2500

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: January 16, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Travel

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Maggie Award for Published Writers

Georgia Romance Writers

The purpose of the Published Maggie Award for Excellence is to recognize the achievements of Published authors of romantic fiction. The Maggie Award is a symbol of achievement given by the Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) to bring special attention to these authors. Opens February 14th, 2022.

Top prize

Medallion

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: March 31, 2022


Genres

Romance, Novel

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Inkitt Thriller Contest

Inkitt

Submit your mystery, thriller, suspense, or horror novel for the chance to become a published author and win huge cash prizes!

Top prize

$20,000

Additional prizes

2nd prize: $10,000 3rd prize: $5,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: February 28, 2022


Genres

Novel, Thriller

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CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition

Crime Writers' Association

Every year since 2014, the CWA and the Margery Allingham Society have jointly held an international competition for a short story of up to 3,500 words. Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery, and not only that, but one which fits into Golden Age crime writer Margery Allingham’s definition of what makes a great story. Entries are invited from all writers, published or unpublished, writing in English.

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

Two weekend passes to CrimeFest

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $16

Deadline: February 28, 2022


Genres

Mystery, Short Story

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C. P. Cavafy Poetry Prize

Poetry International

We are looking for chapbooks with consistently strong poems—poems that speak to one another lyrically and thematically. A review of the finalists and winners from recent competitions has revealed that the strongest chapbooks are typically the shortest; as a result, we have changed the page limit and invite you to send a gathering of your strongest work to be considered for Poetry International's Tiny Chapbook Competition.

Top prize

$0

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: February 28, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Poetry

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Oxford Flash Fiction Prize

Desirae Murray

Write yourself into history and become one of the greats with the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize. For centuries, the greats have come to Oxford to ink masterpieces. Now, in one of the oldest towns, where the history of the English language can be traced back to its ancient streets, we want to celebrate one of the newest forms in literature – flash fiction.

Top prize

£1000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: January 31, 2022


Genres

Flash Fiction

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Free Verse Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Write a free verse poem. This is a method of writing poetry, which does not essentially follow any structure or style. There is no fixed meter and no structure regarding rhyme and lines in each stanza.

Top prize

$100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: August 22, 2022


Genres

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Create The Future Climate Writing and Solarpunk Competition

Create the Future

Create The Future is running a free global writing competition to help us imagine a better earth for all. All winning entries will be published in a global anthology alongside experts and changemakers. We’d like you to answer the question “What does a sustainable future look like to you? What happens when we dare to dream?” Submissions are open for short fiction (up to 2,000 words) and poetry (up to 40 lines).

Top prize

£50

Additional prizes

Eco lifestyle bundles and publication in global anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: February 13, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Desperate Literature Prize for Short Fiction

Desperate Literature

The aim of the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize is both to celebrate the best of new short fiction and to give winners the most visibility possible for their writing. We value fiction that pushes some boundary or another, that wakes us up and shows us something vital and surprising about the world. We are a bookshop and organization based in Madrid, Spain, but our contest welcomes English-language fiction from around the world. There are no geographical limits to enter, but stories must be previously unpublished, and under 2,000 words. Judges for the 2022 prize are Ottessa Moshfegh and Joanna Walsh. Sponsorships and discounted entry fees available; see our website. 1st place: a week's residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, consultation with a UK literary agent, manuscript consultation. One shortlister is offered an additional residency or opportunity at the Writers’ House of Georgia, Tbilisi. Top 11 stories are published in our magazine and in our partner journals.

Top prize

€1,500

Additional prizes

2nd and 3rd place: €750

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $23

Deadline: April 15, 2020 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Take a Photo Poetry

FanStory.com Inc.

Go out for a walk and take a camera, smartphone or tablet with you. Snap a picture of something interesting and write a poem about it when you get home. Post the photo along with the poem.

Top prize

$100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: August 31, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Haiku Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

For this contest you are challenged to write a Haiku poem. Haiku is a form of poetry that only uses three lines. A popular format is to have the first line contains five (5) syllables, the second line seven (7) syllables, and the third line contains five (5) syllables but a strict syllable count is not required.

Top prize

$100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: August 26, 2022


Genres

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Sadie Tells Stories

Sadie Tells Stories

Are you an author who loves magic? Do you have an idea for a super short story that needs to be shared with the world? If you answered yes to both of those questions this contest is for you! The story can be about anything magical. Maybe it’s something that you’ve experienced in real life or it’s something you’ve created. Maybe it’s the start of a great idea. Maybe it’ll be the thing that inspires you to finally publish your book.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication on website and in newsletter

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: March 31, 2022


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Short Story

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2022 Short Memoir Competition

Globe Soup

We’re looking for the best Short Memoir of no more than 3,000 words. A short memoir is a piece of creative nonfiction in which the writer explores a single episode of their life or a small selection of vignettes, connected by a common theme. The theme for this year’s competition is 'Places that have made me, changed me, or inspired me'. All participants can get extensive feedback on their entry and take part in our free Monthly Micro Writing Contests.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $16

Deadline: May 17, 2022


Genres

Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction

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Anthology Short Story Award

Anthology Magazine

Writers of short fiction are invited to enter the Anthology Short Story Award. Established to recognise and encourage creative writing and provide a platform for publication, it is open to original and previously unpublished short stories in the English language. Stories submitted must be on the theme of ‘Memories’ and not exceed the maximum of 1,500 words.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Publication in Anthology Magazine, one-year subscription

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: August 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story

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Writer's Digest Short Short Story Competition

Writer's Digest

We’re looking for short fiction stories! Think you can write a winning story in 1,500 words or less? Enter the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition for your chance to win $3,000 in cash, get published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference! One 1st Place Winner will receive: $3,000 in cash, their short story title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s September/October 2022 issue, a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, including a coveted Pitch Slam slot The 2nd Place Winner will receive: $1,500 in cash, their short story title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s September/October 2022 issue The 3rd Place Winner will receive: $500 in cash, their short story title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s September/October 2022 issue 4th - 10th Place Winners will receive: $100 in cash, their short story titles published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s September/October 2022 issue 11th - 25th Place Winners will receive: A $50 gift certificate for writersdigestshop.com

Top prize

$3,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: January 17, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction

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The Masters Review Short Story Contest

The Masters Review

Welcome to our Short Story Award for New Writers, bi-annual contest that recognizes the best fiction from today’s emerging writers. Judging this year’s contest is Ye Chun, author of Hao, a collection of stories recently longlisted for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence. Entries must be under 6,000 words.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Second and third place prizes ($300 / $200, publication, and agency review)

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: January 31, 2022


Genres

Flash Fiction, Short Story

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20 Syllable Poem

FanStory.com Inc.

Write a poem using only 20 syllables. Write any type of poem. Any format. Any topic! Just keep the syllable count to 20.

Top prize

$100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: September 10, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Romance Anthology Contest: Love Is Blind

Bardsy

From classical Rome to Shakespearean England, and even the present-day La-La Land of reality television, the notion of blind love has resonated through the ages. Write a story where a romantic connection goes beyond the surface. Off-prompt entries will not be considered. All finalists will be published in Bardsy's 2022 Romance Anthology. The winner will also receive a six-month Elite membership that includes a facilitated writing group and monthly one-on-one coaching sessions with a Bardsy author-educator. Finalists will receive $50 and a three-month membership. US and 18+ only please. Word count: 1,200 to 3,000.

Top prize

$399

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: February 10, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Romance, Short Story

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Screenwriting Battle

Writing Battle

Writing Battle is a screenwriting competition for writers, by writers. Light on battle. Heavy on fun and friendship (but still somewhat battle-like). Receive prompts, write a script, then judge each other's stories. Win cash and get feedback from your peers. Join the battle!

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Feedback by industry professionals. Guaranteed feedback by at least 5 of your peers.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: May 03, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Script Writing

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Flash Fiction Battle

Writing Battle

Writing Battle is a creative writing competition for writers, by writers. Light on battle. Heavy on fun and friendship (but still somewhat battle-like). Receive prompts, write a short story, then judge each other's stories. Win cash and get feedback from your peers. Join the battle!

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Feedback by industry professionals. Guaranteed feedback by at least 5 of your peers.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: February 04, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story

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Anthology Poetry Award

Anthology Magazine

Entries are now invited for the Anthology Poetry Award. Established to recognise and encourage excellence in the craft of poetry writing and to provide a platform for publication, it is open to original and previously unpublished poems in the English language. Poems submitted must be on the theme of ‘Freedom’ and should not exceed 40 lines.

Top prize

€500 and a one year subscription to Anthology magazine

Additional prizes

Publication in Anthology Magazine, one-year subscription

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $17

Deadline: October 31, 2022


Genres

Poetry

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Wild Atlantic Writing Awards (WAWA)

Ireland Writing Retreat

Welcome to the fifth ‘Wild Atlantic Writing Awards’ (WAWA) competition to welcome the New Year which we hope will provide challenge, diversion and enjoyment for you over the holidays and into next year as well. As with all our competitions, there will be two separate categories - flash fiction and creative nonfiction. And we’ve decided on an intriguing theme for both - TIME. ​

Top prize

€1000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $11

Deadline: March 31, 2022


Genres

Flash Fiction, Non-fiction

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Season Themes

HAVOK Publishing

HAVOK is a constant flash fiction contest, with rolling deadlines. Each season is split into monthly competitions with thematically connected prompts in a range of genres.

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Publication in an anthology. Potential for larger gift card wins.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: January 31, 2022


Genres

Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

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Inkitt's Writing Contest

Inkitt

Inkitt’s Writing Contests regularly give authors the opportunity to share their books with readers around the world and showcase their talents. Their monthly cash prizes give you the chance to win money and exclusive book badges for your writing! Each month one grand prize winner, and two runners up will be selected.

Top prize

$300

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: January 31, 2022


Genres

Fiction

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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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