Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Contest Update, Auld Lang Syne and the Kitchen Sink

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

Auld lang syne...a lovely song of past remembrances,

but when I hear this tune, I think of that final scene in

When Harry Met Sally.

What about you? What memories does Auld Lang Syne bring to your mind?

Here in Seekerville, we'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year!


We're very excited to share the results of several running contests in Seekerville.

First the winners of Cheryl Wyatt's Plotsorming Sessions

are Avily Jerome and Vincent Mooney!!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2008 Writing Challenge.There were five entries.Five friends of Seekerville who submitted full manuscripts to editors or agents in 2008. We are soo proud of you. And since you are all winners, each of you will receive a surprise writing gift from Seekerville.

Congratulations to those five:

Pat Jeanne Davis

Tami Holden

Jessica Nelson

Anne Barton

Linda Cacaci

Janelle S


The two winners randomly drawn for Godiva and $50 cash are:

Jessica Nelson is the winner of Godiva, and

Anne Barton is the cash winner.Congratulations again!!

(I need all five of these writers to send your snail mail address to


Kitchen Sink Alert!

I stumbled across this great book

and ordered it from the Barbour web site the old-fashioned way.

Emily Johannson discovers a cranky man living in a derelict house in the woodland behind her ranch. When she orders him off, Jake Hanson tells her he bought this wreck and is planning to live there. He's filthy, starving, and furious that Emily found him. He wants to be left alone. And she would if she didn't keep needing to save his worthless life.

Turns out it was written by a Seeker! Who knew?

Attention all Seekerville Divas and Divos!

It's Time for the New Year Contest Update.

It isn't too late to enter the Marlene and join the friendly competition between Vince and I. (Don't tell Vince that I am still putting my entry together)

  • Marlene Awards:Deadline January 15, 2009 for hardcopy or electronic. Each entry will be read by three judges and scored using a 50 point scale. The lowest score will be dropped. The winner of each category will receive a Marlene Medallion and a detailed critique of her or his submission by a published author. Entry is synopsis and the beginning of the manuscript up to 35 pages total.

  • The Winter Rose Award of Excellence-January 24, 2009 - Deadline for all print and electronic submissions. Enter the opening twenty-five (25) pages of romance novels of all above sub-genres (projected length of at least 50,000 words. Categories include:
    Contemporary Single Title: Hilary Sares, Kensington
    Historical (Includes Regency): May Chen, Harper Collins
    Mainstream w/ Romantic Elements: Elaine Spencer, Knight Agency
    Paranormal: Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester
    Romantic Suspense: Esi Sogah, Harper Collins
    Series Contemporary: Johanna Raisanen, Harlequin
    Young Adult: Allison Brandau, Berkley
  • The Merritt Magic Moment-Deadline February 14, 2009. Entry Fee: $25 SARA members; $30 RWA members; $35 non-RWA members. Submission: 30 pages total, including a maximum 5-page synopsis. Finalists will have the opportunity to incorporate preliminary judges’ comments before their entry is sent to the final Editor. Contemporary: Patience Smith, Silhouette--Historical: Tessa Woodward, Avon--Romantic Suspense: LaToya Smith, Grand Central--Paranormal: Rose Hilliard, St. Martin’s Press--Mainstream With Romantic Elements: Megan McKeever, Pocket
    Grand Prize:Highest point earner as determined by first round judging will have a partial MS read by Kate Duffy of Kensington Books.(NICE!!!)
  • The Duel on the Delta-Entries must be post marked by February 14, 2009 and received by February 18, 2009.The first chapter, up to 25 pages, including prologue, if applicable. You may include an optional one-page, single-spaced synopsis. The synopsis will not be judged, but may be used as a reference to answer questions that arise during judging. Categories: Paranormal, Inspirational, Young Adult, Mainstream/Single Title, Historical, Contemporary, and Mystery/Romantic Suspense. (Inspiration Final Judge- Tina Colombo, Senior Editor, Love Inspired Historical and Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin )
  • The Sandy-From The Friends of the Crested Butte Library. All entries must be received by midnight February 17, 2009. Electronic entries only: send the first 20 double-spaced pages of your novel and up to a 2 page double-spaced synopsis for a total page count of 22 pages. Finalists will have one week to edit their entries before they are submitted to the final judges. Categories & Final Round Judges:Romance — Adam Wilson, Assistant Editor, MIRA Mainstream Adult Fiction — Katherine Nintzel, Editor, William Morrow/Harper Collins Suspense/Thriller — Alex Logan, Editor, Grand Central Fantasy/Science Fiction — Cameron McClure, Agent, Donald Maass Agency Children’s & YA — Kaylan Adair, Associate Editor, Candlewick
  • PNWA Literary Contest Deadline: February 20, 2009. Maximum length: 28 pages. The 28 page limit includes the synopsis and the first and consecutive chapters (beginning with ch. one or prologue). The entire entry must be double-spaced, in 12 point Times New Roman or Times (Mac).Synopsis: no more than five pages, must be double-spaced.Categories: Mainstream, Inspirational Genre, Romance Genre, Mystery/Thriller Genre, Science Fiction/Fantasy Genre, Young Adult Novel,Non-Fiction Book/Memoir. Fees: PNWA member: $35.00Non-member: $50.00 (OUCH!) Winners are given the opportunity to attend the Agents and Editors Reception at the PNWA Summer Conference. Awards will be given as follows:First Place: $600.Second Place: $300 Third Place: $150

Just For Fun

  • Dame Lisbet Throckmorton Fiction Writing Contest. Deadline: Your short fiction entry must be postmarked by or received via email before midnight on January 31, 2009.Your submitted story must be an original work of which you are the sole author. Your entry must not exceed 3,500 words. Entry fee is $17.00. First Place$500.00-Second Place$125.00-Third Place-$75.00-Fourth Place-$50.00

And finally, from Walrus Magazine:

Dear Brave and Thoughtful Walrus Reader,

In celebration of the Canadian paperback launch of Four Letter Word, the acclaimed collection of fictional love letters edited by Joshua Knelman and Rosalind Porter, The Walrus magazine and Vintage Canada are begging and pleading and down on their knees, hoping against hope that you will consider writing an extraordinary love letter, so that you may enter it in this incredible contest of love letters from across the nation.

But don't worry, darling, the rules of the contest aren't nearly as complicated as love. Just follow these simple instructions:

1. Write a love letter.

Choose a person, object, or even an abstract idea that you believe deserves a love letter. Then let your heart race, and put pen to page.

Your love letter may address someone you know, or perhaps that illusive stranger you've pined for in desperate silence all these years. Your letter may be a dazzling work of fiction or real events disguised as thinly veiled fiction. Maybe you need to confess your love to Britney Spears, or to the Prime Minister of Canada, or to your favourite pair of designer jeans. Perhaps a sonnet to your trusted neighbourhood tailor who so carefully patched the hole in your football jersey from high school. Or the girl you never had the nerve to actually talk to in high school. Maybe it's a love letter to Free Market Capitalism. No one will judge you (Actually, we will. This is a contest after all).

There are so many ways to write a love letter, so surprise us: it could be a formal letter, a quick note, a short text message, or an email. (An enterprising young writer might even pen a letter to one of the wonderful authors who contributed to Four Letter Word, say Margaret Atwood or Douglas Coupland.) And remember -- don't be nervous, be yourself, and write something inspiring.

2. Your love letter must be devastatingly sincere, true to your heart, and LESS THAN 500 WORDS.

3. Once you have finished pouring your heart's deepest and most secret desires onto a Microsoft Word document (and then painstakingly editing your heart's desires over and over again), you should harness the necessary courage and send your love letter to

4. Translating those pent up feelings onto the page or screen takes time. Do not fret. You have a few months to work it out. Kindly deliver your letter to us before the CONTEST CLOSES ON VALENTINE'S DAY, 2009.


The winning love letter will be announced on March 1, 2009. The letter that wins the judges' hearts will earn a $1,000 GRAND PRIZE, as well as another $1,000 in prizes from Deutsche Grammaphon. The letter will also be published on the Walrus website.


Tina M. Russo said...

Happy New Year. Apologies to those subscribed who may get a few versions of this. Blogger was very bad this am.

I am singing auld lang syne in memory of my youthful figure today. So with that in mind and since my big "lifestyle change" starts tomorrow I offer you a plate of holiday treats this am.

French Toast on the warmer with bacon on the side. Lamar's donuts and apple fitters to go.

Someone should be here soon with the fancy drinks. Until then we have plenty of Joe, hot and without a surname (sorry no lattes-venti, grande and tall).

Again--Happy New Year to you all and congrats to all those who won a contest and my personal utmost respect and kudos to those who submitted this year.

lynnrush said...

Wow... Now that's a post! Congrats to all the winners. And I hope to see some of you in those contests. I have plans to most of those you have listed. It's a fun time of the year with all the contests going on out there:-)

Happy New Year, everyone.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Tempting me with contests again, eh? Oh well. You only live once, right?

Ann said...

I like an older song called "Teh Parting Glass" better than Auld Lang Syne because I can sing this tune better.

Here are the words -- I think it's public domain:

"Of all the money that ere I had, I spent it in good company/
And of all the harm that ere I've done, alas was done to none but me.\
And all I've done for want of wit, to memory now I cannot recall/
So fill me to the parting glass. Goodnight and joy be with you all/"

You all are good company.

I'll have a donut. There's always room for another donut, to fill in the cracks left by the healthier foods.

What fun contests you've listed!

I really, truly hope my WF -- pudumpo -- is not an omen for 2009

Audra Harders said...

Good morning on this last day of 2008!! Tina, your posts just keep getting better and better : )

I'm right with you, sister in bemoaning my youthful figure -- actually, I've always been blessed with *curves*, so maybe I'm mourning the lower pants size : )

Congratulations to all our winners! Thanks for joining us here in Seekerville.

I love regular coffee with a dollop of 2% milk. I have blueberry muffins topped with streusel fresh out of the oven. Enjoy!

Glynna Kaye said...

WOW. Waving good-bye to 2008. Seems like just yesterday I woke up to the first day of it. But with an unmapped 2009 just over the horizon, I'm not sorry to let 2008 go.

And now I'm raising my hot chocolate mug to all the Seekers and our many guests and visitors who've warmed our hearts the past 12 months. Who knows what a year from now will bring? Contest wins? A new agent? A contract?

I wish all of you the very best of God's blessings for a VERY happy new year.

Tina M. Russo said...

Ann, that is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Here's to contracts all around.

By the way, Madam Zelda returns January 29, with her New Year predictions and a little extra fun. We can expect Jack Sparrow to pop in too.

Jessica said...

Congrats on your book Mary! It sounds hilarious.
Yay! I LOVE Godiva!!!! THank you so much guys. Your blog is so helpful to us writers and I really appreciate everything y'all do!

Janet Dean said...

Happy New Year!!! 2008 ended on a sad note for me, but I'm very hopeful that 2009 will be a better year. Wishing the same for all of you.

Congratulations winners!

Here's to friends. To writers, the best kind of friends. God bless you, each and every one!

Hugs, Janet

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Happy New Year everyone!

Auld Lang Syne reminds me of the Podeiden story. I watched it once when I was a child and the song was playing as the boat was sinking. Very strange the memories that stick in a child's mind. LOL!


Cheryl Wyatt said...

I have various mixed drinks in the corner as well as home made hot cocoa.



Mary Connealy said...

Hi, from Texas. I went to mEXICO today. I'm on a borrowed laptop so I'm writing like an drunken thrid grader. Sorry.

For some reason all day today I'd tell people, "We're going to Mexico so, Arrivderci."'s adios, right? I now need to leave the state quickly and quietly, right???


Mary Connealy said...

Oh, also, someone just told me Gingham Mountain got 4 1/2 stars on Romatnic Times magazine. Yay! Coming in February.

Tina M. Russo said...

Congratulations on the RT review, Mary.

Just nod and smile while in Mexico. No table top dancing and don't drink the water.

Audra Harders said...

Congrats on the review, Mary. Don't eat the Lime soup while in Mexico, either.

Tina M. Russo said...

Oh, by the way...8 months and 16 days until Seeker Reunion. ACFW DENVER.

Mary Connealy said...

too late for warnings. We eat and drink in Mexico. NO ill effects. In restaurants full of Americans also eating and drinking.

My husband especially is fearless.

Seeker reunion.

VincePlato said...

Happy New Year!

Make 2009 the Best Year Ever.


Missy Tippens said...

Happy new year, everyone!! Thanks to all those who've visited us this past year. I hope you'll keep hanging with us in 2009!

Oh, and congrats to all the winners! Nice work!!

Tina, thanks for a great post. At first I thought the Walrus magazine thing was one of your brainchildren (is that a word like brainchild?). But I saw you had put a link. Hmmm... Maybe I should check that link before assuming it's real! LOL


Missy Tippens said...

Yep it's real unless Tina went to a whoooolllee lot of trouble to come up with a website. :)

Tina M. Russo said...

Happy New Year!! I spent my morning filling out my weekly anal retention planner.

And you?

KellyMarstad said...

Happy New Year, Seekers. What a wonderfully complete listing of upcoming events! Thanks for posting it.

Tina M. Russo said...

In 2009 will Kelly tell us if those are really her eyes or if she used an "eye double"?

More mysteries to solve!

I still have company sleeping in my office so I get to play and surf and don't have to be a good little writer until next week.

Tina M. Russo said...

Congratulations to Janelle S who also subbed a full to an editor or agent.

Sorry I missed her, totally my error. She will be receiving a special writer care package from the 2008 Challenge. WOOHOOO!!!

Congrats again.

Cathy S. said...

Thanks to the Seekers for making such a great blog. I'm hooked.

Now then, I've been looking for the Woman's World with Tina's story. No can do or are you writing under a pen name?

Tina M. Russo said...

Cathy, it is the January 5 issue so I think it comes out this weekend. As Tina Radcliffe.

Cathy S. said...


Okay, I read your story. So, do you and your kids ice skate/play hockey, or is this total fiction :)

If you don't mind my asking, how are you submitting--snail mail?-- and how long does it take for them to respond? If you mind my asking, then ignore the question. :)

My aunt had one published several years ago and she sent another one in about a year and a half ago. On the recent one, they responded and said they liked it up until about 3/4 of the way finished. They didn't take her revised one, though.


Tina M. Russo said...

Cathy, you are in luck. Saturday January 10, I am doing a post on writing romantic fiction for Woman's World.

It's fiction. But I am from Buffalo, NY and I grew up on the ice.

Tina M. Russo said...

By the way, I missed the part where you say,I am a genius. The story is the best thing since Hemingway.

Tina :)

Cathy S. said...


Please ignore my last post. I didn't want to make you blush in front of everyone. Also, since you have info. I'm interested in, I feared you would think any compliments I gave were insincere.

So thanks for giving me a second chance to show my true feelings. Here goes:

Your story was smooth and gentle. I loved the "twist" where the guy has to eat his own words. (
Don't want to spoil it for others, so am being vague). The subtlety with which you introduced the idea of how early children begin sports these days was, uh, well, it was pure genius :)

Is your real name F. Scott Fitzgerald, by any chance?


Tina M. Russo said...

LOL. Cathy, the check is in the mail :)