Friday, April 4, 2008

Contest Update

Contests, Writing and The 2008 Challenge

It's already April, so just a reminder that the first quarter of the 2008 challenge ends April 30. For more information see our archived post on the 2008 Writing Challenge. Submit proof of entries to my email address, , with the challenge in the subject line. Because wouldn't a luscious box of Godiva be a lovely way to affirm all your hard work?

RWA Sponsored Writing Contests

  • 2008 Maggie Awards for Published Romance Novelists. All books must carry a copyright date between January 2007 and December 2007. All entries must be received by May 1, 2008. Categories include: single title, short contemporary, paranormal/fantasy, historical, long contemporary, and inspirational.

  • Saskatchewan Romance Writers "We Dare You!'. Unpublished authors. Final Judge: Tara Parsons, HQN Books. First 12 pages. Deadline: Postmark May 15. Postage return costs included in entry. No categories.

  • Southern Louisiana Romance Writers Dixie Kane Memorial Contest. Deadline: Postmark May 17, 2008. Unpublished. The first (5) pages double spaced and a synopsis (one page, single-spaced, not judged). Categories: Short Contemporary, Long Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, Single Title Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Inspirational, Novel With Romantic Elements. Top prize in each category: Top of the slush pile and a guaranteed reading by literary agent Pamela Gray Ahearn (The Ahearn Agency) and a certificate.

  • Toronto Romance Writers Original Golden Opportunity Contest-unpublished authors. Postmark Deadline: May 31, 2008 (No SASE required)Electronic Submissions: May 31, 2008 11:59 pm EST.**NEW THIS YEAR** The first place finisher in each category will be entered in the Gold Ticket competition, judged by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency. The Gold Ticket prize package includes a flash drive and a three chapter critique from NYT bestselling author Kelley Armstrong. First Chapter and Synopsis, up to 30 pages. Categories: Contemporary Series Romance, Contemporary Single Title, Romantic Suspense, Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic, Historical Romance, Young Adult and Romantic Elements.

  • 2008 Maggie Awards for Unpublished Romance Novelists.THREE (3) copies of the synopsis and THREE (3) copies of the prologue (if applicable) and first chapter(s), TOTAL NUMBER OF PAGES MAY NOT EXCEED 35 per copy. Entries must be RECEIVED by June 2, 2008. Categories include: Contemporary Single Title, Short Contemporary, Historical, Long Contemporary, Paranormal and Inspirational. Judges are encouraged to write their comments directly on the manuscripts and WILL NOT use score sheets, and scores WILL NOT be released to the entrants.

Miscellaneous Fiction Writing Contests

  • Family Circle 2008 Fiction Writing Contest-One grand-prize winner will receive $750, publication in Family Circle, a certificate for one online course (valued at up to $610), and a one-year AvantGuild membership ($49 value). Two runners-up will each receive $250 and a one-year AvantGuild membership ($49 value), and will have his or her story published on Deadline August 31, 2008. To enter, send an original fictional short story of no more than 2,500 words. More information at the Family Circle website.

  • WOW! SPRING 2008 FLASH FICTION CONTEST-Wow! hosts a (quarterly) writing contest every three months. Word Count: maximum: 500Minimum: 250 The title is not to be counted in your word count. We use MS Word's word count to determine the submitted entry's word count. OPEN PROMPT! Last quarter we enjoyed reading your diverse stories, so we’re doing it again! That’s right, this is your chance to shine, and get creative. You can write about anything, as long as it’s within the word count and fiction. Deadline: March - May 31st, Midnight (Pacific Time). Final Judge: Agent Wendy Sherman. More prizes: First Place: $200.00 cash prize, a WOW! Goodie Bag, your
    entry published on WOW! Women On Writing, $50 Gift Certificate to the WOW! Boutique, a 1 year Subscription to the Premium-Green Markets Community, and an interview on the WOW! Women On Writing Blog

  • The Robert A. Heinlein Centennial Short Story Contest. Published and unpublished authors are eligible. No entry fee. Electronic entry. Three prizes will be given for the best original short stories reflecting the spirit, ideas, and philosophies of Robert Anson Heinlein. $5,000 first prize-$2,000 second prize-$1,000 third prize. All entries must be received before 12:01 AM Pacific Daylight Time on June 1, 2008.

  • Pockets Magazine (Devotional Magazine for Children Published by Upper Room) magazine fiction writing contest. Submissions are accepted between March 1 and August 15 of the contest year. Unpublished stories 1,000 to 1,600 words -- 1,400 word manuscripts are the best length for our purposes. Stories are disqualified if they are shorter or longer by even a few words. Note accurate word count on the cover sheet. There is no entry fee. The winner, notified by November 1, will receive a $1,000 award.
  • Southwest Writer's Annual Contest. Sixteen entry categories including romance. Entries must be postmarked by May 1, 2008. Late entries must be postmarked by May 15, 2008 and accompanied by an additional $5. Romance Novel: 1st 20 pages double-spaced + single-spaced synopsis, 2 pages maximum. Entry fees vary but average 30 dollars. Finalist Judge for romance: Leis Pederson, The Berkley Publishing Group. Winners in each category are notified in August, 2008. 1st Prize, $150; 2nd Prize, $100, 3rd Prize, $50. 1st place winners are eligible for the $1,000 Storyteller Award.

  • Washington Post 2008 Valentine's Fiction Contest. AND YOU THOUGHT VALENTINE'S DAY WAS OVER!! "Write an original short story inspired by this photograph in 1,500 words or less. We'll publish the winning entry in next year's Valentine's Fiction Issue. The story should deal with love, the promise of romance, a broken heart or anything in between. All submissions should be sent as attached, double-spaced documents to Please include your name and daytime phone number on the first page. Submissions must be recieved by Friday, May 2, 2008. The winner will be notified by September 1. "

  • Photo by Claudia Kunin/Corbis.

A final note: if you are a contest diva then you must feel lucky. Lucky enough to bid on a chance at your dreams? Visit Brenda Novak's 4th Annual Online Auction to Benefit Diabetes Research.

The auction opens May 1, and goes through May 31. You can bid for things like reads with top agents and editors, professional editing, mentoring packages from bestselling authors, meet and greets with agents, editors and bestselling authors and best of will see books from Seekerville authors in the auction.


  1. Happy Friday.

    Here's hoping all your contest and writing dreams come true.

    Have a great day and a great weekend.

    Pass the struedel.

  2. I hope all who enter do well also.
    it Friday night and im off to bed.
    Mum is doing better she should be home tomorrow they still have some tests todo but hopefully shes over the worst now and we can go back to our normal routine.

  3. Glad to hear it AusJenny. Have a great weekend.

  4. Thanks for the great information! I'm glad I found your site!

    Beth Fehlbaum, author
    Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse
    Chapter One is online!

  5. HEADS UP!!

    If you click on the 2008 Writing Challenge it will appear, but it will appear below today's post.

  6. Okay, I know I said I was done entering contests a week or two ago, and when I said it, I really meant it! But the temptation is too great. I've found a couple more to enter (and you're tempting me further with today's post!!!) and I just can't resist.

  7. The Maggie is interesting.

    Judges are encouraged to write their comments directly on the manuscripts and WILL NOT use score sheets, and scores WILL NOT be released to the entrants.


    As a judge, would I like limiting my comments to the manuscript? Would I like not having a scoresheet as a rubric to score?

    As an entrant, would I like not getting to see my scores?

    What is the point of not giving the entrant her scores? Is that supposed to salvage her feeling from being hurt over an unfavorable score?

  8. Gina, right now I'd love it if my contest didn't have a scoresheet. I have to score strictly by the scoresheet, but I don't know how I'm going to do it with this entry I just read. (Okay, Mary, it's your turn to give me advice.) I'm aghast.

    I'd better not say anything else.

  9. I'll just say this: It's not a Christian contest or category. But I promise I'll be objective and fair.

  10. Newbie here. I'm very happy to see this list of contests. I see a couple that look right for me, and the many options remind me to keep writing and writing. If God gives me a story, then write. Let him bring the story and the reader together. Maybe a contest is his method for that connection. I love this blog!

  11. Katherine, that's our girl!!!

    Go get 'em, Tiger!

    Gina, you raised a heck of a point. Why do they do that?

    Maggie experts, give us some feedback, 'kay?

    And why would you enter?

    I'd love to hear some comments about that, too.

    Tina, it's Friday, the heck with strudel, let's head to happy hour.

    (shock wave passes through inspirational authors everywhere)

    Oh, okay, it's early. Coffee will do. And this strudel is to die for good. Home-made or German bakery?

    Amazing texture and just the right amount of crumbly goodness.

    Mel, go for it. Seriously. As long as the contests hold some promise for you and your work, and the money isn't a hold up (we can ALL relate to that, Cupcake) then do it.

    Got milk for the kids?

    Heck, who needs milk?



  12. And Beth, welcome aboard! Nice of you to stop in.

    I'll try and hop your way soon.


    Now I sound like a rabbit.

  13. Happy hour?!

    Well, Sonic has one, and I sure could go for a Route 44 cherry limeade.

    I like scoresheets and I don't like scoresheets. The simpler the better, but not too simple or I'm wavering in the "oh, I don't know." Whenever I've judged for the GH, I read the entry, not my intial reactive score. Then I wait until I've read them all, give it another day or two, increase the scores (usually a point), then send them back. I figure my initial gut reaction is far harsher than reality.

    But why not give entrants back scores? I keep hearing the teacher say, "No one in this class is stupid. Everyone is equally smart."

    I'm about to start spewing Battlestar Galatica curses, and that would be bad because I don't need any more nightmares.

    The truth is some people are stupid. Not everyone is equally smart.

    But let's not tiptoe around the truth because we're afraid to hurt someone's feelings. I doubt any Amazon reviewers tiptoe.

    If writers can't learn to manage a judge's score and comments, then how is she going to handle an editor's or a book reviewer's?

    In protest, I'm not entering the Maggie.

  14. Have you ever seen the Diederich scale? That's what the TARA contest is using, and I've never seen anything so confusing. Not that I'm criticizing. (I'm not bold like Gina.) I actually think the questions they ask are very good, but I just worry that the judges will get confused on how many points they're supposed to give for each thing.

  15. Gina said: But let's not tiptoe around the truth because we're afraid to hurt someone's feelings.

    Gina, that's not what you said earlier today. Something about Atila the Hun....

  16. Melanie, when I call someone Atila the Hun, I mean it with love and heartfelt affection. It's not my fault you and Tina relish bludgeoning my masterpieces. You bloodthirsty fiends.


    I should go look at the TARA scoresheet 'cause I was considering entering because of the final round judge. Then again, my agent could sub directly so why waste my $. I'd just enter for the potential of finaling. My ego needs stroking because none of my friends like to say nice things about me.

    I need new friends.

    Or I need nicer enemies.

    Maybe I should just head on over to happy hour with Ruthy. That way I could be happy and thirst-quenched.

    Oh my porkie pie. My word verification is the phonetic truckin'. Too cool.

  17. Sure, Cupcake, head on over to happy hour with me.


    Slight problem.

    I don't drink.

    Drat and double drat, but it SOUNDS like sooooo much fun.

    However, we COULD do Starbucks hour. Or Ice cream hour.

    I'm so in on those.


    And I'm going to check out those TARA scoresheets, get the scoop firsthand. They've got great final round judges.


  18. Drat! And I don't drink either, but I was considering thinking about it just to hang out with you. Unlike some other people who I won't name, you're always nice to me. In fact, you say the sweetest things.

    Of course, I won't mention that you call Melanie "cupcake" too. I feel a tad awkward sharing a term of affection.

    Now a Starbucks happy hours...

    Oh wait. I'm trying to break my addiction to Starbucks. I guess I cold order a frothed water.

    Great! My word verification this time kinda looks like the phonetic of sleeze yak.

  19. You guys are too funny.

    Katherine, there is a huge graph of contests at Stephie Smith's place--see the right column of Seekerville front page. I do the coming up ones and then the non RWA for our non RWA guests.

    Note many RWA contests do not require you to be a member, read the fine print.

    I miss Brahmn's ice cream stores in Oklahoma and Cherry Limeaides.

  20. Great post, Tina, and WOW, an online auction for reads with top agents and publishers? Pure genius!!


  21. Thanks for all the great info this week. Your blog is now a regular on my visit list.

  22. Gina, ruthy is nice to you???
    AND your word verification is talking to you?
    You don't have a dog that tells you to do bad things, though, right?

    No reason.

  23. Finally the Maggie judges are listed.

    2008 Unpublished Maggie Awards – Final Judges
    Single Title – Amy Pierpont, editorial director, Grand Central Publishing
    Short Contemporary – Diana Ventimiglia, associate editor, Silhouette Desire
    Long Contemporary – Wanda Ottewell, senior editor, Harlequin Superromance
    Historical – Rose Hilliard, associate editor, St. Martin's Press
    Paranormal – Heather Osborn, editor, Tor
    Inspirational – Melissa Endlich, editor, Steeple Hill

    ***Permission to forward***

  24. Although not a writer, I've gained more of an appreciation for writers and all they go through from this week's posts.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of Petticoat Ranch!

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  25. I just discovered this site and I'll be back. All the contest information is great.

  26. Welcome to Seekerville, Walt and Carole.

  27. I never knew there were so many contests to enter. Thanks for sharing. It gets my mind spinning on actually going for it. I haven't formally written anything and talk a lot, say I want to write, but don't make the time. I don't know, this list kind of gives me a "little" inspiration that there is something I could at least start with and get my feet wet. See, I can at least blabber on and on.

  28. You can do it Patty.

    Remember Jack Bickham said, "Writers write; everyone else makes excuses."

    Just start.

    Lawrence Block said, "Consider this: If you write one page a day, you will produce a substantial novel in a yar's time....And don't you figure you could produce one measly little page, even on a bad day? EVEN ON A ROTTEN DAY?"

  29. Wow there are so many contests out there for writers. I may have to keep those in mind someday if I ever get the bug to write a novel right now I can't quit reading long enough to focus on writing anything more than a review LOL!