Do you follow The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest? This is an annual whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.
Here is the 2008 winning entry by Garrison Spik of Washington, D.C. Congrats Garrison.
Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped "Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J."
We have lots of contests this month and if you can't find at least one tasty contest that you can enter, we need to talk--and I am bringing Ruthy and Mary to the chat. So tell us...what looks good?
- Enchanted Words. The Perfect Pitch 2008, all electronic entries. Deadline November 1st. Enchant us with your submission packet, and send us your query letter, synopsis (up to 7 pages), and the first five pages of your unpublished romance novel. Published authors may enter, provided they have not had a book published by a non-vanity/non-subsidy publisher in the past three years. Categories, historical, contemporary and paranormal. Finalists will be notified in February, 2009. Winners will be announced in April, 2009.
- Gotcha! All electronic. Received by November 12, 2008, 5:00 p.m. PST. Entries open October 1, 2008. First 15 manuscript pages. Top 4 winners in each category are sent to an editor. Winners have 2 weeks to revise the 15-page entry prior to editorial review. Lowest score is dropped and 3 highest determine final score. Categories and judges:
- Short Series Contemporary:
Susan Litman, Silhouette
- Long Series Contemporary:
Keyren Gerlach, HQN Books
- Mainstream Contemporary:
Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks
- Single Title Mystery/Romantic Suspense:
Christopher Keeslar, Dorchester
- Series Mystery/Romantic Suspense:
Allison Lyons, Harlequin Intrigue
- Historical (Before 1945):
Hilary Sares, Kensington
- Regency Historical/Sweet to Spicy:
Hilary Sares, Kensington
- Paranormal (Specialty/Time Travel/Fantasy):
Jessica Wade, Berkley/Jove
Emily Rodmell, Steeple Hill
- The Linda Howard Award of Excellence. A paper and electronic contest with a November 22 deadline. Finalists have the option to revise. Entries consist of the first 25 pages. Categories include: Inspirational, Series Short & Long Contemporary, Single Title, Historical, Unique Genres, Suspense, Sensual & Sizzling (Erotica) and Young Adult.
A great line up of editors and no synopsis!
- For our published authors, The National Readers Choice Awards! Deadline: December 1, 2008 Enter: paper-published romance novels with copyright date of 2008 or “First US Printing” date of 2008. Judges are romance readers from across the US. Categories: Erotica, Historical, Inspirational, Long Contemporary Series, Mainstream with Romantic Elements, Novella, Paranormal/Futuristic/Time Travel, Romantic Suspense, Short Contemporary Series, Single Title Contemporary, Traditional and Young Adult.
Non RWA Contests:
- 2009 St. Martin’s Minotaur/ Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition Sponsored by St. Martin's Minotaur and Mystery Writers of America (MWA) All manuscripts submitted: a) must be original, previously unpublished works of book length (no less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60,000 words). Request for entry must be postmarked by November 14 and manuscript deadline is November 30th. An attempt will be made to notify the Competition winner, if any, no later than March 31, 2009. The winner will then be recognized at the Edgar Awards Banquet in New York City in April 2009.
- The Paul Gillette Awards, Pikes Peak Writers 2009 Fiction Writing Contest. Contest opens for entries September 1, and closes November 1st. Includes short story and book length categories. Entry is 15 pages and synopsis. Editor and agent judges. Final round entrants do not get their entry returned.
A prestigious contest with a hefty entry fee of $40 dollars for the basic no critique entry.
- Coffee House Fiction and the Fifteenth Dame Lisbet Throckmorton Writing Contest. "Fiction is our pursuit. Your writing can be historical, fantastic, contemporary or futuristic. We don't care. Our only requirement is that it be disarming and original. We delight in your talent and take joy in promoting your genius. Contest open for entries now and entry deadline is, January 1, 2009. Entries must not exceed 3,500 words.
- WOW! Women On Writing is proud to partner with skirt! books to bring you a whole new sizzling contest. We’re thrilled to have skirt! books as a sponsor for their Fall 2008 Essay Contest which ends November 30th at midnight. In less than 750 words, tell us how recreating your personal space has changed your life, or how by making changes in your life, it has moved you to express yourself and recreate your home. These can be personal stories of love, loss, moving to a new area, or anything that has affected or inspired you to recreate your life and your home. Only stories that have the Prompt incorporated in them will be accepted. See the site for the Prompt for this contest. Cash and goody bag prizes. Guest judge is Jennifer DeChiara, of the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency.
- Suspense Magazine First Annual Writing Contest. All entries must be in the suspense/mystery/thriller genre. Writers retain all rights. Awards: Winner will receive 12 Bestselling Books (many or all of them autographed by the authors). Second and Third places will receive Amazon.com gift cards. No entry fee. Deadline: December 31, 2008.
- Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards. A short story competition with five categories: Romance, Mystery/Crime Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense, Horror. Entry Fee is $12.50. All entries must be 4,000 words or fewer. Entries must be postmarked by Monday, November 03, 2008. Cash prizes.
A special contest from Bethany House:
Win a digital camera! Bethany House What Is Beauty? Contest.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—so show us what's beautiful to you by entering our What Is Beauty? photo contest for your chance to win a new camera today! Photos may be of people, animals, nature, still life objects, etc., but obviously we ask that you keep all photos appropriate and respectful. Otherwise, be creative! We don't want to give too many guidelines that might limit the range of submissions. Although we are certain that all photos will represent beauty, a panel of judges will be selected to determine one winner. Contest entries may be received through December 31, 2008.*
To enter, simply upload a photo to a Flickr account (it's free to set one up if you don't have one already), and tag the photo with "what is beauty contest" (use the quotes). The winning photo will be selected from all photos available on Flickr with that tag, and the winner will be notified via his or her Flickr account.
Don't miss our other contest for A Constant Heart and other new releases—win a free gift basket! Visit bethanyhouse.com/giftbasket for more information.
And Just for Fun Contests:
- Avon continues their Book in A Bag Sweepstakes. Check out the sweepstakes for a chance to win free books from Avon A and a stylish new bag!
- Finish this sentence: "Kozy Shack is so good that..." in fifty words or less (not including those 6 words). Win a grand prize of $10,000 and four second-place finishers will each receive $2,500. Note: need the 10-digit UPC code from a Kozy Shack pudding package. Try 7349109300, 7349109500, 7349102000,7349152000. Ends October 15, 2008.
- Win Free Chocolate! Asher's Chocolates.