Friday, May 2, 2008

Contest Update

We're already one-third through the contest year.

Where are you? Are you achieving your writing and contest goals?

How many contests have you entered as of April 30th? I'm at 10 contests and 13 entries. Winner of the quarter gets Godiva. Check out 2008 Challenge. The Godiva winner will be announced this evening. Seekerville sisters are welcome to enter the contest. Just send me a list of contests you entered. The second contest period is May 1-August 31 and is for manuscripts completed. Published or unpublished authors.

RWA Contests:

  • Pasic Book of Your Heart Contest. "..a one-of-a-kind contest for material that is unpublished and non-contracted. The contest is open to both published and non-published authors. All authors may enter as many categories as desired, whether or not the author is published in one or all of the categories. The preliminary judging will be done by booksellers and librarians across the United States with published authors used if needed; the final round will be judged by top editors." Deadline May 15, 2008.

  • Utah/Salt Lake Romance Writers, Heart of the West. "Enter the opening twenty (20) pages of romance novels of all sub-genres (projected length of at least 50,000 words). Contest is open to published and unpublished authors. Unpublished authors are ranked separately from published authors." Deadline, June 14. Cash prize, no synopsis and they drop the lowest score!!! Plus there is a stellar judging line up which includes:Tessa Woodward, Avon Books/Harper Collins;
    Historical, Caren Johnson, Caren Johnson Literary Agency;
    Paranormal, Jacky Sach, Book Ends, LLC;
    Mystery/Suspence, Natashya Wilson, Harlequin/Silhouette;
    Inspirational, Rachelle Gardner, WordServe Literary;
    Published, Elaine Spencer, The Knight Agency.

  • Colorado Romance Writers, Heart of the Rockies. This is one of my home chapters and this contest is well run and is known for the feedback they provide. "The entry fee also includes one separate, typewritten critique discussing the manuscript’s strong and weak points and suggestions for improvement. Entries are limited to the first 215 received." Deadline June 15. New this year, an all electronic contest. Categories include:Spicy, Long Contemporary, Short Contemporary, Contemporary Single Title, Romantic Suspense, Inspirational, Paranormal/TimeTravel/ Fantasy, Mainstream with Romantic Elements and Historical Romance. "ONE copy of the first two chapters and one copy of the complete 1-5 page synopsis, total entry is not to exceed 35 double-spaced pages, excluding the cover page."

  • The New Jersey Romance Writers, Put Your Heart in a Book. Cash prizes and an editor and agent AND multi-published author finalists judges distinguish this contest from the rest. An electronic contest, entry deadline is June 15. Entries consist of a synopsis and first chapter. Categories include: Short Contemporary, Single Title Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal and Romantic Elements.

Other Writing Opportunities:

  • The Hillerman Prize-Co-sponsored by St. Martin’s Press. Seeking unpublished mystery novels in the Hillerman tradition. The book-length manuscript must include a murder or another serious crime or crimes at the heart of the story, and place emphasis on the solution rather than the details of the crime. The story’s primary setting must be the Southwestern United States. Deadline: July 1, 2008 Prize: $10,000 and publication by the Thomas Dunne imprint of St. Martin’s Press

  • The Life Before Her Eyes Poetry Contest. Please submit a poem that captures a moment in your life in which you had to make difficult choice and how that choice impacted the course of your life. Please email entries to Enter your poem by May 8th to win the grand prize $500 gift card or be one of five runners up to win a $100 gift card! "Starring Academy Award®-nominee UMA THURMAN and EVAN RACHEL WOOD The Life Before Her Eyes is the new film from Vadim Perelman, the acclaimed director of House of Sand and Fog. The Life Before Her Eyes is an intense and visually evocative drama about the loss of youth, investigating how a single moment in time can define an entire life. Based on Laura Kasischke’s visionary novel, the story hinges on a pivotal confrontation: two high school girls held captive by a gunman and forced to make the terrifying choice as to who will live and who will die."

  • The Delacorte Press Novel Contests are open! The Sixteenth Annual Delacorte Dell Yearling Contest for a First Middle-Grade Novel with a deadline of June 30, 2008 and The Twenty-Sixth Annual Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel, opens October 1, 2008 and ends December 31, 2008. Both contests offer the prize of a book contract (on the publisher’s standard form) covering world rights for a hardcover and a paperback edition, including an advance and royalties. The award consists of $1,500 in cash and a $7,500 advance against royalties.

  • WRITERS’ Journal Write to Win! Short story contest.First prize: $150.00, Honorable Mention winners receive a one-year subscription to WRITERS Journal. First prize winner will be published in the WRITERS’ Journal. Not to exceed 1,500 words, only previously unpublished stories, no profanity, manuscript format, cover sheet, must use starter phrase: "The cellar was open, but," Follow guidelines precisely: details at the website. Deadline June 20. This is a great place to jumpstart your writing. I won this contest years ago and went on to resell the short story to a magazine. They also have a romance short story contest with a deadline of July 30.


  • The Debbie Macomber Make Your Wish Come True Contest. Tell Debbie Macomber and Mira Books in fifty (50) words or less what your wish is and why you would like to make it come true. A prize consisting of Ten Thousand dollars ($10,000.00 USD) cash will be awarded to the contest winner. One (1) winning entry will be selected by a panel of judges consisting of author Debbie Macomber and a representative from the Sponsor based on the following criteria: Creativity – 40% Grammar – 30% Word Count – 30% . BTW to get to the contest page you have do the ENTER YOUR WISH HERE and BLOW portion. That is not the contest. :)

  • Carla Neggars, LIVE YOUR ADVENTURE Contest. "New York Times best-selling author, Carla Neggers thrives on adventure and it shows in every book she writes. Now, the author is offering one lucky reader a chance to seek out and experience his or her own adventure. To win Carla's Live Your Adventure contest, readers need simply tell Carla and Mira Books in 50 words or less about the new adventure they would like to experience. Once entrant will win $1,000 to bring his or her own next adventure to life."
    Online entries must be received by 11:59 PM (ET) on July 31, 2008. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by July 31, 2008 and received by August 7, 2008.

    "Grand prize: a year of books by great new storytellers and a Bantam Discovery tote bag. Ten first prize winners, too! Sometimes the right book is just waiting for the right time to be discovered. Bantam Discovery presents entertaining, intelligent and lively books by fascinating storytellers you won't want to miss. Win a complete set of Bantam Discovery novels! One grand prize winner will receive a set of 12 Bantam Discovery titles and a tote bag. Fill out the form below and click submit. Ten first prize winners will receive a set of three Spring 2008 Discovery novels. To enter, fill out the form and submit. "

And a last note for the week--I don't know about you, but free is one of my favorite words. I'm giving away a free pound of Bald Lady coffee.

For details see my webpage:


Debby Giusti said...

Hi Tina! You're always such a source of great contest info! Thanks for providing us with a handy reference today.

May I add one more contest? The Maggie Award of Excellence, sponsored by Georgia Romance Writers, is open for submissions with a June 2 deadline. Melissa Endlich will judge the final round in the unpublished inspirational category.

New this year: Book submissions for the published Maggie are open to all authors. (In prior years, the pubbed award was limited to Region 3 authors.)

For more info go to:

Julie Lessman said...

Oh man, Tina, this post has me chomping at the bit to get some contest action. Everytime I see a listing, I get a tick in my eye because I am having contest withdrawals. But alas, I cannot enter ANY contest until 2009 because they require a copyright date the year prior. And possibly winning your coffee prize (are Seekers eligible???) won't help a bit with the twitch, I'm afraid, so maybe you better count me out ...

Katherine Harms said...

I'm new to all this, so I have only entered one contest, but I submitted a total of 7 entries across 3 categories. I entered the Writers Digest annual writing contest, which is still open for entries through May 15, with a late submission at higher fee until June 2. See the website at
I plan to follow up on a couple of the contests you listed. This blog has made me highly aware of the value of entering contests. I plan to use that information. Thank you for sharing the treasure trove you have found.

Tina M. Russo said...

Thanks Deb. I love the Maggie. I actually mentioned it in the last Contest Update. But it's good to mention it again. We discussed the Maggie's unique scoring system.


Katherine, I am keeping a list through my other email. But will jot you down. A total of 7 with Writers Digest right??

I posted late last night and slept in today. Glorious. This week I had 9 blog posts and I made them all on time. Yippie for me. Small milestones you know.

Janet Dean said...

Tina, You're a wealth of information! What would we do without you in Seekerville? Congrats on making all those blog post deadlines!


Mary Connealy said...


Her hair didn't go IN the coffee did it???? I mean...why mention it otherwise???

So this reminds me of a joke.

An old Saturday Night Live skit about Smuckers Jelly. Someone says, "With a name like Smuckers it HAS to be good."

Then someone comes in with "Mangled Baby Duck" Jelly.
"Wow, with a name like Mangled Baby Ducks, it HAS to be good."

People keep coming in with progressively more horrible names for their jelly.

The punch line is, "Ten Thousand Nuns and Orphans."
"What's so bad about that?"
"They were all eaten by rats."
"Ummmmmmmm...that must be good jelly."

So, "With a name like Bald Lady Coffee it HAS to be good."

Tina M. Russo said...

Okay, Mary. This is a G rated site so I can't say you are a smart tart. But gee, it's good to have you back in Seekerville ANYHOW.

Mary Connealy said...

Bald Lady Coffee
This is very nice and I regret my earlier unpleasantness.

Linda Larsen, a breast cancer survivor, and her husband own Café Cartago, a specialty coffee roaster in Denver, Colorado USA. Together they developed Bald Lady Coffee from which all profits are donated to support women-in-need during their treatment.

Tina M. Russo said...

All is forgiven. Post a comment and get a chance for your own bag of java.

ooh, I am envious of your lovely link..note to self


I did learn how to put a badge on my webpage in code. Does that advance me to the next round?

Betty Woods said...

Thanks for the contest info. The Heart of the West contest sounds great, especially since they drop the lowest score. I know I'm not alone, but I could tell some tales about what one low score can do to your chances of finaling. Ugh!
Y'all are a great group.

Tina M. Russo said...

Thanks, Betty. And welcome to Seekerville.

Yeah, I'm pretty psyched about the Heart of the West myself.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Awesome, Tina!

Thank you for compiling all this info!


Lorna said...

Thanks, Tina, for getting all that information together, and it's nice to know some of the unique qualities of the contests.

Mary, I think I remember that SNL bit.

I've only entered three contests so far.Guess I'll have to pick up the pace.

Debby Giusti said...

Tina, sorry I must have missed the earlier contest update. I knew you couldn't forget the Maggies since you and I both finaled the same year. As I recall, you won and I got honorable mention! Congrats again!

BTW, I do love your Battling Cancer site. Seeing your face on the masthead (what's it called on a blog? Border, maybe?), made it seem like home!

Tina M. Russo said...

Ha is a lesson for us all about contests.

I won and Debby finaled. She sold and I did not.


I happen to have a HUGE sense of humor, I was just telling God this today.

Ausjenny said...

Wow there are lots of contests. good luck to all who enter.
thanks for the info on the coffee also. I am a non coffee drinking (for which i may be banned!)

Ann said...

One of the contest pages had a check list that got me started thinking ... if the Heroine and Hero don't interact in the first 20 pages, is it really a romance ...

So ... if I could do Scooby-Doo's "huh?" bark here, I would. Because, maybe I need to *wince* cut the whole first big beautiful chunk. Or else change its category ...? I don't know. I'm confused.

I've been working over this idea for months and it's just not gelled.

I wish Sure-Jel made a product for fiction!

Gotta admit this is an educational site!

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Tina! I just realized I read your post today, got totally sidetracked with the coffee contest, clicked over to your cancer website, then never returned here to comment!! :)

So here I am now, too tired and zoned out to make much sense. But thanks for the contest info!! You're amazing.


Missy Tippens said...

Ann, you might need to decide what the genre is. Is the romance the main plot? Does it have a happy, romantic ending? Then it's probably a romance. And depending on the length of the final book, the characters might need to at least think of each other earlier in the story. But that does vary some, especially if it's a longer book.

If the romance isn't the main plot, if the main plot is the personal growth in the main character, or if it's a family saga or friends relationship story, or if it's suspense, or a mystery, or something else, then you don't need to worry about it. The romance may just be a secondary plot.

I hope that helps some. If it's as clear as mud, as my mom says, then just holler and maybe we can help you figure it out. :)


Melanie Dickerson said...

I keep trying to email you back about my contest entries but aol hates knology, apparently. Everytime I try to email someone with aol, it gets returned as undeliverable. Got any other email accounts?

Tina M. Russo said...

Melanie, I got your emails and emailed back.

You won the Godiva dear. Do you want to reveal how many contest entries you had? I don't want to embarras you.

I need your snail mail addy. You could email it to Mary to forward it to me to make sure I get it.


Melanie Dickerson said...

Yes, I entered nine contests with fifteen entries. Ridiculous, isn't it? I just didn't know when to stop. It was like an addiction once I started. Not as expensive as some addictions, maybe, but still expensive. I've put the brakes on now, though. At least, I hope I have.

It will really be embarrassing if I don't final in any. So far, I've been going down in flames.

Mary Connealy said...

Tina's address keeps bouncing me too.

And I'm Hotmail not knology.

Let's blame TINA.

No wait, AOL...blame them.

Tina M. Russo said...

You can also send me mail to my cancer blog address

tinaradcliffebc at

bc is for battling cancer

It is set to forward to me