Invent a Word Contest—2021

Invent a Word Contest—2021

We invite you to invent a word. Not just any word. A word you think will greatly enhance the English language.

Interestingly, there are words that mean “invented words”; the fancy word is neologism (invented by Thomas Jefferson) and the informal word is sniglet (invented by Rich Hall).

The word you invent might be…

  • Adopted for the times. Such as COVID-19 or doomscrolling.
  • Sprung from politics. Such as muckraker or Obamacare.
  • Formed by merging two previously existing words. Such as bootylicious or blog.
  • Related to the worlds of science fiction or fantasy. Cyberspace was invented by William Gibson for the novel Neuromancer. Muggle was invented by J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter books.
  • Just a good sound. Such as chortle or persnickety.
  • Or just a word that we need. Such as zonked or neologism.

Nobody invented more words than Shakespeare. To name a few: articulate, bandit, bedazzled, besmirch, bump, clangor, corroborate, domineering, ensnare, eyeball, frugal, hobnob, incarnadine, intrenchant, lackluster, majestic, mimic, moonbeam, obscene, rant, suspicious, swagger, uncomfortable, vulnerable, zany

Though it’s an honorable practice, we discourage simple morphing (itself a fairly new word). For example, turning a noun into a verb, as in googling, or a noun into an adjective, as in flowery. Those probably won’t wow us enough to win.

So, here’s the deal. Give us the word, a one-sentence definition, and use the word in a sentence. For example…

Cyberspace – an alternate reality that exists solely inside the digital world of computers.
Maurice cruised through cyberspace in search of the perfect answer.

The inventor of the best word gets a free Gotham class of his or her choosing.

The Details:

  • Submit an invented word, along with a definition and sentence
  • Entry must consist of no more than 70 words. Longer entries will be disregarded.
  • Entries must be submitted online by 11:59 pm Eastern Time, February 28, 2021.
  • Only online entries will be accepted.
  • Entry is free. Limit one entry per person.
  • Entry must be original and unpublished.
  • Entries will be judged on originality, quality, spelling, and grammar.
  • Gotham will post the winning entry at GothamWriters.com
  • The winner will be notified by March 16, 2021.