Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Contest Update

Contest Update

Featuring Valentine's Day Contests

RWA Unpublished Writing Contests

  • Show Me The Spark-March 1 deadline. "This year the focus of Show Me The Spark! is the “spark of interest” your first chapter generates.Enter the first chapter of your completed manuscript, not to exceed 25 pages. Entry must also include a 1-5 page synopsis explaining the hero and heroine’s goals, motivation and conflict. The synopsis will not be judged or included in the page count." Multiple categories including inspirational. Industry professionals judge the final round. http://hera.romance-central.com/ContestActive.htm

  • CONNections Contest, March 1 deadline. Enter: First 30 pages and optional 1 page synopsis (which will not be judged). Categories: series contemporary, single title, romantic suspense, historical, and paranormal. Connections contest award-best first meeting between the hero and heroine. Great judging line-up! http://www.ctrwa.org/index.html

  • Bold as Brass, March 1 deadline. Any scene up to 10 pages maximum showing your heroine at her boldest or feistiest (plus optional 1 page set-up, not judged). No categories, final round editor, agent with a cash prize. http://kyowaromance.tripod.com/contest.html

  • Four Seasons Awards, March 1 deadline. Up to the first 25 pages of your manuscript. No synopsis required. Final-round judges: One editor and one agent for each category. Scores from both judges are averaged to determine the winners. Awesome judging line-up! http://www.scribesworld.com/windycityrwa/fourseasons.html

Non-RWA Contests

(Courtesy of Donna Caubarreaux, Contest Alert-All the news on upcoming contests, plus Finalist & Winner listings, questions, etc. Sign up now! ContestAlert-subscribe@yahoogroups.com)

  • The PNA Literary Contest-Pacific Northwest Writers Association
    Postmarked by February 22, 2008. Twelve categories and cash prizes.
    Twenty eight pages, which includes a synopsis. http://www.pnwa.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=6

Essay Contests

And Just for fun...Valentine's Day Contests

  • Red Robin Fool For Love Contest, *ends February 10. "At Red Robin, we know that true love is a treasure. We want to reward the couple with the most amazing love story with a 7-night trip with Funjet Vacations to the Bahamas! So send us your love story for a chance to win!" http://www.redrobingourmetburgerscontest.com/Default.aspx

  • Dove Chocolate, Expressions of Love, ends March 15. "Enter by sharing the romantic, original, and creative ways to say "I love you" in 51 characters or less. Prizes are diamonds and Dove chocolate. http://www.mydovechocolatecontest.com/

  • Your Perfect Valentine’s Date Contest- Deadline February 11. Now is your chance to win some cool prizes just because you can imagine an awesome date. If singer Sara Bareilles decides your date is the most perfect, you'll win the "Ultimate Elegance Four Dozen Roses" bouquet to send to whomever you wish. You'll also win a Red Sony Cybershot Digital Still Camera so you can capture all your Valentine's Day memories. To enter simply: 1. Become Sara Bareilles' friend 2. Post a comment on her profile describing your perfect Valentine's Day Date. P.S Her music video is fun! http://www.sarabareilles.imeem.com/

And don't forget the 2008 Challenge going on here in Seekerville. First phase ends April 30. How's your contest spreadsheet looking so far this year?


  1. My contest spreadsheet?

    I must have been napping during that Seeker post. ;-)

    Actually, I don't have one. Why? You're so sweet for asking.

    1) The number of inspy categories is decreasing, which leaves me the option of not entering or entering my mss in the historical category.

    2) In my two polished mss, my leads don't either meet or interact much in the first 25 pages, and most contest scoresheets are written with the expectation that they do.

    3) I'm cheap so I have to be selective on where to spend any possible contest funds.

    4) I'm scared of the Ruth-meister kicking my literary boo-tay.

    Anyhoo, thanks for posting the list of upcoming contest. Good info to have.

  2. Tina, thanks for the update and reminders.

    Gina, come on, Sweet-cakes, I was employing literary license when I threatened you, honey.


    I am somewhat competitive.

    When I'm not polishing my halo and praying for world peace. You understand.

    It's a curse, I know.

    And I empathize with cheap. Or frugal. Budget-minded...

    Naw, cheap works.



  3. I have entered a five so far this year. But really there have been some awesome judges out there for ST and Series LC.

  4. Contest spreadsheet? Oh, yeah...

    Thanks for the update. (May want to update the contest links in the right column too.) :smile:

  5. You are spot on, Patricia.

    But here are the guru ladies of maintaining contest update sites.

    Stephie Smith http://www.stephiesmith.com/contests.html

    Contest Diva Blog http://contestdivas.blogspot.com/

    Charlotte Dillon http://www.charlottedillon.com/RWA-Contests.html

    What are your contest strategies in the new year??

  6. Contest strategies? Hmm.

    I'm seriously considering Genesis and FHL's TBL. Beyond those, not sure. At this stage, entering for me is for the purpose of finalling so I can get my work before the final round judge. Thus, I must take in consideration who the final round judge is.

    Of course, I'm hoping my sweet agent sells my ms before the contest entry deadlines. And since I finally typed THE END on the booger not but an hour ago, I really ought to e-mail it to her so she can read it and be awed at my brilliance. Or at least enjoy a good laugh...in the good laugh kinda way.

    And I'm not talkin' football. Ever since the bimbo J-Simp placed a curse on us, things haven't been the same. Wonder if Queen Ruth has a voodoo doll I could use.

    What makes the Giants win great is that it showed the Pats for the true losers they are.

  7. I love how you can seque so smoothly from contests to football. That takes talent :)

  8. Now there you go talking all footbally on me. But I ain't gonna cave and muse on about demi-god-wannabe Belichuck-'em-up and jerk-meister Brady.

    I have standards.

  9. This entire conversation has disintegrated into footballisms that boggle the mind.

    And since I love Brett Favre (Green Bay) and Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia), I'm just pleased that New York has the Vince Lombardi on the streets of Manhatten because my beloved Yankees (Derek Jeter---are ya' kiddin' me? Total two thumbs up kind of guy, and then some...) didn't get the job done in the fall.

    But spring training is around the corner.

    Oh, writing.

    Ah, yes.



    Segue... Segue... Football and writing, football and writing, football has cute guys, ah...


    Football plays a big part in my new series set in Wisconsin, coincidentally the home state of the Green Bay Packers led by the aforementioned Brett Favre.

    And gals, Tina made a HUGE good point, which I should have mentioned earlier so that Gina could breathe easier about her "boo-tay"...

    There are awesome judges out there in ST and LC. Gina, that might be something that could work for you. In both Superromance and Special Edition (Harlequins both) the authors don't have to include intimate scenes. Check 'em out. I'm convinced that there's room for those of us who don't necessarily fit the niche of one brand or the other, and I'm determined to stick my foot in my mouth (a family trait, unfortunately) until I find that place.

    Gina, you might want to shop around independently, see who's buying what.

    And, my dear, it's entirely possible, if not probable that it will be MY bootie getting kicked around.

    But I'm Irish. We bounce.


  10. Great lineup of contests!

    Tina....LOVE that list.


  11. In both Superromance and Special Edition (Harlequins both) the authors don't have to include intimate scenes.

    Thanks, Ruthy, for the suggestion. I've considered SupR and SE, but my writing doesn't fit in the mold of those lines. Plus I'm not sure I'd be good writing for a line I don't read.

    I do, however, believe it's good for Christian writers not to avoid the non-steamy category lines. Makng an impact on the genre and readers goes beyond not writng sex. It includes having a biblical world view.

    I remember judging a contest several years ago and reading an entry clearly written for Blaze or Desire. In the opening scene, the hero enters his bedroom to find the heroine asleep in his bed. (She thought her god-mother still lived there.) Needless to say, it'd been raining and the heroine had no dry clothes to change into, so she crawled in bed naked.

    Sheesh, everyone knows it's okay to crawl into bed naked if you have no dry clothes.

    Anyhoo, the hero happens upon her, wrestles her until he subdues her, then turns on the lamp beside the bed and takes his leisurely time admiring her...(can we say breasts on this blog?)...her bajonkers. I remeber him commenting on them being Hooter size. Whew, this thread is getting racy.

    Now how did the heroine respond? She had no serious problem with his gawking. And that bothered me becasue clearly the author had no problem with how disrespectful her hero was in his treatment of the heroine. Fine, the room was dark and he didn't realize she was in her birthday suit, but once he'd turned the light on, he should have at least turned away or allowed her to cover up. Even if he paused first, I'd have been fine, but to stare for several minutes is vulgar.

    Or at least it's vulgar to me.

    That author didn't think it was says to me she has a different standard as to what's heroic and what's not. And as long as authors are perpetuating this degrading behavior as acceptable sexual tension, then slowly the readers are going to start buying into it.

    A guy doesn't have to be a wimp to be a godly man, a respectable man. But when he's so lust-driven, then I have some serious qualms regardiing his hero status. And that's why I think it's important that Christian women don't abort writing for non-inspy category lines.

    I just can't write category despite my attempts to.

  12. I totally understand and that's why it's so nice that there's a wealth of publishers out there, and publishing opportunities.

    And I agree that sex just for the sake of sex isn't my cup of tea, but I'm a big fan of gentle or light inspirationals that tweak a person's thoughtfulness by drawing them in, fisherman style.

    And respectful heroes? I'm right with you there, my friend. Absolutely. Respect is a huge part of a sexy hero in my opinion. And that goes both ways, but in a different style.

    And Gina, obviously you and I are the long-winded ones today...

    Good thing I have to leave for work, huh???



  13. Yeah, Ruthy, we are rather longwinded. But I'm thinking that's because in light of our genius comments, everyone else is speechless. :-)

    Since Tina's got me all thinking about football, I just gotta share a quote I ran across today.

    "I think people hate sports criminals more than they hate real criminals," said Na'Shan Goddard, practic player for the Giants. "Sports is like an American thing and if people feel you cheated on it, you might be through with America."

    Now you're probably thinking, "Uggh, football." Well, don't run off too quick.

    As writers, we need to recognize the trust the American public has in authors. It's similar to sports heroes. Think about how many people were distraught to learn James Fry's Million Little Pieces wasn't true. What about when Janet Dailey stole Nora Roberts' words and passed them off as her own? And recently with Cassie Edwards' plagerism charges.

    Remember the uproar back last summer on the ACFW loop about ghostwriting being deceitful. Prominent pastors not writing their own books yet taking credit?! For shame.

    Writers are just as responsible to play fair as athletes and coaches.

    Not only that, but if you're an established author, your readers have certain expectations. So if you're going to go outside your norm, then isn't it fair to duly inform your readers that your new book isn't a romance despite that all your past ones were?

    And if your book's genre is listed as a romance, don't you think it oughta have more than 9% sexual tension?

    In fact, I'd go as far to say that publishers who list a book as a romance and yet the characters don't have any physical attraction for each other than an occasional butterfly in the stomanch and the hero never struggles with his wanting to kiss the heroine are effectively cheating the reader.

    Cheaters may win games.

    Cheaters may sell lots of books.

    But they're still cheaters.

    Let the congressional hearing begin!!! I'd much rather waste my tax dollars on Spygate than on Gore's Global Warming hoax.

    Great, I hope I didn't kill this thread. ;-)

  14. I'm backing up a few comments to say, "Congrats on typing The End, Gina!!!" That's so exciting and something I love to do!


  15. from the comments i get football and writing have something in commen (not sure what)
    Oh before you come over and hit me i guess you were not going for the giants?
    i know little about american football except i am told i support the chicago bears but i really dont understand it.

    sounds like there are quite a few contests out there. Good luck to all entering.

  16. Quite a list of contests for you writers and it seems that list only scratches the surface from what some of you are saying and some of the other contests I've seen mentioned in different places.

    I'll have to forward this list to a friend who just had her first novel published in November.

    Please enter me in this week's drawing.


  17. Thanks for the contest list. It has a variety of genres and appeal!