Friday, February 6, 2009

Contest Update: February 2009

Let's review.

What have we learned since our last contest update?

Happily-Ever-After isn't just for your manuscript. It's for your writing life too.

Seeker Glynna Kaye sold based on a request from a contest win.

Okay, people, here are the upcoming contests. Let's get busy!!

RWA Contests:

  • SARA's 2009 Merritt Contest: Deadline for entries: Feb 14, 2009. Submission: 30 pages total (the beginning of your novel), including a maximum 5-page synopsis. Finalists will be given the opportunity to incorporate preliminary judges’ comments before entry is sent to Editor who ranks the final round. Final Round Judges include: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 .

  • 18th Annual Duel on the Delta Contest: Postmarked 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. Judges: Mystery/Romantic Suspense - Keyren Gerlach, Associate Editor, Silhouette Romantic Suspense
    Contemporary (series) - Wanda Ottewell, Senior Editor of Harlequin Superromance
    Young Adult - J.L. Stermer, Asst. Agent, Donald Maass Literary Agency
    Paranormal - Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks, Inc
    Historical - Deborah Nemeth, Editor, Samhain Publishing, LTD
    Mainstream/Single Title - Margo Lipschultz, Associate Editor, Harlequin
    Inspirational - Tina Colombo, Senior Editor, Love Inspired Historical and Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin .

  • The Sheila: Electronic Only for 2009. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EST) February 15, 2009. The manuscript and synopsis may not exceed 35 total pages. Final Round Judges:Single Title Romance - Adam Wilson, MIRA/Red Dress Ink
    Historical (short or long and Regencies) - Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks
    Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal - Latoya Smith, Grand Central Publishing
    Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements/Chick Lit - Chris Keeslar, Dorchester
    Romantic Suspense - Danielle Poiesz, Pocket/Simon & Schuster .

  • CONNections Writing Contest: Deadline March 1, 2009. First 20 pages and an optional 1 page synopsis that will not be judged. Final round judges include: Chris Keeslar, Dorchester (single title); Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Literary Agency (young adult); Tara Gavin, Silhouette Nocturne (paranormal), May Chen, Avon (erotica), Keyren Gerlach, Harlequin Silhouette (romantic suspense); Leanne Burroughs, Highland Press (historical).

  • Fabulous Five: Deadline midnight March 1, 2009. An all electronic contest. Entry consists of the first ten pages.Young Adult: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Agent, Trident Media Group,Historical: Kerry Donovan , Associate Editor, New American Library,
    Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel: Latoya C. Smith, Grand Central Publishing, Romantic Suspense: Julie Keenan, Editor, The Wild Rose Press,
    Series Contemporary (Long/Short): Keyren Gerlach, Associate Editor, Harlequin Enterprises, Single Title: Danielle Egan-Miller, Agent, Browne & Miller Literary Associates, Women's Fiction: Paige Wheeler, Agent, Folio Literary Management.

  • Four Seasons: Deadline: received by 5:00PM CST on March 1, 2009. Entry consists of the first twenty-five pages. And Editor AND Agent final judge in each category! Single Title Contemporary: Editor, TBA Agent, Melissa Jeglinski, Knight Agency--
    Short/Long Contemporary: Editor, Diana Ventimiglia, Harlequin Agent, Cori Deyoe, Three Seas Literary Agency--Historical: Editor, Rebecca Vinter, Penguin/NAL Agent, Pam Strickler, Pam Strickler Author Mgmt.--Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal: Editor, Leah Hultenshmidt, Dorchester Publishing Agent, Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Agency.--**NEW** Erotic Romance: Editor, Hilary Sares, Kensington Agent, Roberta Brown, Brown Literary Agency.

  • Romance Through the Ages: Deadline: March 1, 2009.All first-round entries are now e-mail submissions only.The contest entry shall consist of ONE (1) copy of the opening of the manuscript (including any prologue) not to exceed 30 pages. The contest entry shall also include a 1-2 page unjudged synopsis.The Best of the Best Award is now a $100.00 cash prize. The Legend, A Man for all Reasons Award is now a $50 cash prize. Each First Place Historical Category Winner will receive a gift certificate good for one HHRW Campus Workshop of winner’s choice.
    Final Round Judges:
    The category finalists and Legend award entries will be ranked by the following:
    Ancient/Medieval/Renaissance: TBA
    Georgian/Regency/Victorian: TBA
    Colonial/Western/Civil War: Nicole D'Arienzo, The Wild Rose Press
    Post-Victorian-World War 2: Faith Black, Avalon Books
    Time Travel/Paranormal: Alicia Condon, Dorchester
    Historical Erotic: TBA
    Legend Award: Esi Sogah, Morrow/Avon Books

  • The Inland Empire's Picture This Contest: All electronic this year. Deadline is midnight March 1, 2009. Enter the best scene from your book, 10 pages maximum, with an additional one page setup .The setup will will be evaluated, but not scored. The contest is limited to the first 50 entries. Entry categories: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal or Other. The three top scoring entries, regardless of genre, will be judged by Harlequin Senior Editor Tina Colombo:
    First place prize: $100.00
    Second place prize: $50.00
    Third place prize: $30.00

Non RWA Contests:

  • The Sandy Writing Contest 2009: All electronic contest. Deadline is February 17, 2009. Length of entire manuscript for adult categories is between 90,000-110,000 words, children’s 40-60,000 words. Send 1 copy of 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. 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.

  • The Pacific Northwest Writer's Association ZOLA Awards: Deadline: February 20, 2009. 12 categories, including romance. For romance:Maximum length: 28 pages. The 28 page limit includes the synopsis and the first and consecutive chapters. Synopsis: no more than five pages, must be double-spaced.
    $12,000 in total prize money
    Every qualified entry receives two critiques
    Finalists critiqued by an agent or editor
    Winners invited to attend the Agents & Editors Reception

Published Author Contests:

  • The Lories, Best Published Contest: Deadline received by February 20th. Final Judging- A bookseller will rank the winning books from each category. Overall grand prize is Registration Fee paid for RWA, RT, or the writing conference of your choice, up to $400 value. Or a cash prize of $200.

  • The Lories, Best Proposal Contest for Published Authors. Deadline received by February 20th. An all electronic contest. There are no categories. All entries will be judged together and scored based upon their individual merit. The first place winner will receive a 1/3 page ad in the RWR issue of their choice to promote the book of their choice or an alternate cash prize of $100.

  • Beacon Contest for Published Authors: Postmarked by March 1, 2009. Open to RWA members with first print romance novels published January 1, 2008 – December 31, 2008. Final Round Judges: Booksellers! First place per category - Beacon Lapel Pin, and .gif for website.

  • Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards:From the FHL Chapter of RWA: Deadline, March 1. The contest is open to all published inspirational writers whether they are members of RWA or not. These authors must be published by RWA approved publishing houses. We will not be accepting POD or self published books. Novels/novellas entered shall be inspirational romances or inspirational novels with romantic elements and published in standard book form (no e-books at this time). An author may enter as many inspirational novels as she/he desires; however, they must have a 2008 copyright.The winner in each category will receive an engraved box. Winners will be announced at the 2009 National RWA Meeting.

  • More Than Magic: The deadline for entry is March 01, 2009, and the grand prize is the cash equivalent of the RWA national conference fee - $300-plus. New for this year: we’re accepting e-book entries as e-books!

Just For Fun:
  • Bookreporter . com: The countdown to Valentine's Day is on! From January 23rd through February 6th, readers will have the chance to win one of our five Valentine's Day baskets. They are filled with one copy of each of our featured books. Whether you are looking for a humorous tale, a heartwarming love story or an escape into the world of paranormal romance, our Valentine's Day suggestions are sure to satisfy whatever you're craving to give on this holiday. All you have to do is answer this question: With what character in a book would you want to share a Valentine moment?

  • Valentine's Day Contest: D.C. Metromix will be giving away 20 DVDs of the movie to lucky readers. All you have to do to enter is send us your best or worst Valentine's Day story. Got a warm and fuzzy tale to melt our icy hearts? How about an unbelievable first hand account of St. Valentine horror? Whichever way the holiday has made an impact on you, email and you could win big! The authors of the twenty best stories will each get a copy of "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and the person with the best overall story will win a Blu-Ray copy of the movie, along with a Blu-Ray player. Entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. on February 13. All stories will be posted here on the contest page as we receive them. Comment below to let us know which ones tugged at your heartstrings or turned your stomach!(Jason Adams, Metromix)

  • Ms. Green, Heat's Up Valentine's Day Contest from M& M's. Ms. Green is the center of the promotion, which asks people to explain in 150 words or less why they need Ms. Green’s help to put love back in their hearts. Visitors can enter their pleas online. The author with the top reply will receive a trip for two to Paris, including airfare, hotel accommodations and $1,500. On the site, people can learn more about the green mystique and the spokescandy behind the legend. Visitors can also select different countries and learn how Ms. Green says, “I love you” in the native tongue. The “Ms. Green Heats Up Valentine's Day Contest” runs through Feb. 12 .

  • Win A Year's Supply of Chocolate! The San Francisco Chocolate Factory has changed our name to Bridge Brands Chocolate™.To commemorate our new name and our 9th anniversary, we want to give one lucky winner a year’s supply of chocolate. Bridge Brands Chocolate wants you to send us your own 600 word or less true account of how you have used chocolate to “bridge the gap” between friends, lovers, or even enemies. Gave a box of chocolate on a first date? Shared a slice of chocolate cake on a 50th wedding anniversary? Made peace after an argument with a glass of chocolate milk? We want to hear about it! We will select the best story by February 12th and will announce the winners on February 14th Valentine’s Day. Runner’s up will receive gift-sets of Bridge Brands chocolate. If we select your story it will be published on our website along with your photo and you will also receive a year’s supply of chocolate. Contest winners will be notified by February 13th.

  • Wise Bread: Living Large on a Small Budget: There’s no excuse to avoiding a great gift, just because you’re a little strapped this holiday. If in doubt, a modern version of the mix-tape is always a great idea. To help you out, we’ve teamed up with Walmart and Nestle to give one of you lucky readers an 8GB iPod Touch – perfect for uploading your favorite tunes from We’ll even throw in a gift card for your first 10 songs! To be eligible to win, comment on this post with your favorite frugal V-Day tip. You have until February 10th to enter. (Winner will be announced on February 14th!) U.S. and Canada only. Must be 18 or older to enter.

And this one is for the reader in you!

  • Enter for a chance to win the newest titles from Avon Books! The Avon Books Ultimate Women's Lit Reading Collection continues! You have the opportunity every month this year to enter for a chance to win a variety of the new compelling titles from the most talented voices in women's fiction. This month one lucky entrant will win a complete set of books including Ransom My Heart, Glitter Baby, What the Dead Know, The Desires of Her Heart, Red Hot Valentines Day, Dictionary of Love, Captive, Don’t Let It Be True, and Confessions of a Beauty Addict . Ten second prize winners will receive a copy of What the Dead Know and a copy of Don't Let It Be True. Finally five third prize winners will receive the latest fiction favorite, What the Dead Know.


Cathy S. said...


What a great listing of information. You've saved us all valuable time!

Thanks and have a great day!

At my son's school they had funnel cakes for breakfast yesterday. I snagged a bunch to share at Seekerville.



Tina M. Russo said...

Morning, Cathy. Wow, I get to start the day with good news and funnel cakes....I finaled in the inspy category of the Linda Howard Award of Excellence.


Sandra Leesmith said...

Congrats Tina, Fitting way to start the day after presenting all this information for contest junkies.

Love the funnel cakes Cathy. I have some chocolate velvet coffee to go with that. Plenty.

I'm dancing around Tina. No hike today. The jumping and shouting is plenty exercise and more fun. Congrats again.

Tina M. Russo said...

Thank you oh merciful, TYRANT.

If you all missed it..check out Tuesday's Seekerville post for some insight on Sandra and her mechanisms of terror.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my gracious sakes, Cathy, I've been dying for funnel cakes. LOVE them.

Thank you, thank you! What a great Friday, funnel cakes and wonderful contest info in one-quick-shopping stop.

Yay Seekerville!

And Tina!!!

Oh my goodness, girlfriend, the Linda Howard is one tough contest! You go, girl! So proud of you!

That deserves another funnel cake. Maybe two. Can someone pass the powdered sugar, please?

And for the record, I love having Sandra be the TYRANT for a change. Gives me a chance to polish my tiara, bedazzle my magic wand and light a cozy fire.

Princesses love cozy fires.

Sandra, the coffee's great. Perfect blend. And does anyone use a French press to make coffee? What do you think of them?


Tina M. Russo said...

It's the first time I have entered. But for good measure I entered 24 manuscripts in two different categories. he he he

Julie Lessman said...

Twenty-four manuscripts in two different categories????

Tell me you're joking ... PLEASE!!! I already know you are the ultimate contest diva, but 24 manuscripts??? Dear Lord, I won't have that many books written before I die!!

But SUPER CONGRATS on finaling in the Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Tina -- that's a biggie!!

And, Tina, in case I haven't told you lately, thank you for ALL you do for Seekerville.

Love you!

Cathy S. said...

Congrats, Tina,

You aren't serious about 24 manuscripts?


Leigh said...

Wow, thanks for the contest rundown! Genesis is the only one I've entered so far but I'd like to branch out from that. Guess I'll be checking out contests while my guys play Wii tonight. Sounds like a good start to the weekend. :-)

And congrats on finaling, Tina! That is good news to start your Friday.

Tina M. Russo said...

Thanks, Leigh.

Kidding re the 24 manuscripts..I entered three.

Janet Dean said...

Tina, congratulations on the final in the Linda Howard Award of Excellence! Awesome!!! And an awesome lists of contests to enter. Thanks bunches!

Hmm, the funnel cakes are delicious! Thank you, Cathy, for snagging them for Seekerville. So hope some poor little kid didn't go hungry.


Melanie Dickerson said...

Woohoo! Tina!!!!!! Congratulations, girl!!! That's awesome.

And thanks for the contest info.

Mary Connealy said...


That needs it's own post, bigger letters! That's the trouble (the ONLY trouble) with letting you do these contest updates, you don't blow your own horn, girl.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I agree with Mary. We need a BIG POST touting the DOUBLE news we've heard about the Linda Howard contest.

Proud of you gals!!!!

And we're getting low on funnel cakes. I've got some cheese Danish here and a pot of hot, spiced cider from a local farmer who sells apples until spring. I love NYS apples. And cider. And cider cakes.

Wait, I'll pass around some cider cakes, too. Fried cakes made with cider and glazed with cider/sugar glaze. Yum.

Help yourselves, ladies and gents.


Gina Welborn said...

You rock, Tina! Congrats on the contest final. Perhaps I'll venture in the contest waters again with my imaginary 24 manuscripts.

Gives me a chance to polish my tiara, bedazzle my magic wand and light a cozy fire.

Ruthy sweet, I've always thought you were of the fairy godmother variety. Oh, and thanks for saving me some funnel cake.

All I had for breakfast was hard tack.

I suppose that's what I get for going to a Civil War tea and not taking sides. I'm an Oklahoman. I didn't take sides in the war...or any war.

I'm a pacifist.

I'm a Mary Poppins who never says anything that would offend anyone.

Gina Welborn said...

Oops. I didn't mean to infer I was alive during the Civil War. I meant to say my state didn't take a side during the war because we weren't a state during the war.

And by that I mean no offense to anyone who did fight in the war or who did take a side or who is politically active.

I'm opinion-less.

Tina M. Russo said...

Gina is an Oklahoman? HUH?

Thank you MARY!! and MISS MELLY!!

Patty Wysong said...

Thank you, Tina! I was looking for this info only a week ago.

Congrats on finaling! That's great!!

Audra Harders said...

Awesome news, Tina! I can't believe they waited until the end of the week to announce the finalists!

Had me going with 24 entries. . .

Pam Hillman said...

Whoo-hoo! Congrats Tina.

Patricia W. said...

Congratulations, Tina. Woo-hoo!!!

For those followers of your blog who write African-American romance/women's fiction, the Romance Slam Jam Aspiring Author contest deadline is also March 1st. More info is available at

Tina M. Russo said...

Thanks, Patricia!!!

And howdy to Pam, Patty and Audra.

Friday, Friday, Friday is my favorite day..woooohoooo!!1

Tina M. Russo said...

Hey I just found out Anita Mae finaled in inspy too.

ANITA RAH RAH RAH..may we both sell!!! Who cares about winning, we want to go straight to the finish line!!

Tina M. Russo said...


Audra Harders said...

Hi hear the high school band in the we have a fight song??

Myra Johnson said...

Yippeeeee for Tina, Cara, and Anita Mae! What a fine showing! So proud of all of you!

And Tina, congrats for another fine recap of contest options. You are SO on top of things!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tina-meister IS on top of things. She is our go-to gal when we need to go to anything.

And Gina, so nice to see this mellow, meek and fireside friendly side of you, dear. Not contentious at all.

Those are some pretty good pills, honey! Or is it yoga?

Maybe fear that I'll make fun of you in a public arena but that's never stopped you (Or me, LOL!) before!

God bless you and all contest and category coordinators. That gift of time to a contest and fellow writers is a wonderful, gracious thing. We are all grateful for the time spent and the expertise given.

Hey, Anita Mae!!!!

Yowza, woman, congrats on finaling in Linda Howard as well! So proud of you!

This is indeed a party and I have just the ticket:

Party hats!

Grab one, slap it on, and let's party everyone!

And God Bless Tina Colombo because she's in for a nice treat when she gets this group of finalists on her desk!



pat jeanne said...

Congrats to all here at Seekersville who finaled in the Linda Howard Award. Such great news! And thanks to Tina for the contests update, too.

Debby Giusti said...

Thanks, Tina. You always provide such great info.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Great info, Tina!