Friday, March 6, 2009

March Contest Update

This month as you write down the contests that perk your interest I want you to step out of your comfort zone and commit to entering one. Go ahead and tell your friends in Seekerville and let us be your accountability buddies.

Unpublished Contests

  • 2009 Daphne Du Maurier Award For Excellence in Mystery Suspense Deadline: March 16 2009. It is an all electronic contest! First 5 thousand words and a 675 word synopsis.
    Categories & Final Round Judges
    Category(Series): Allison Lyons, Harlequin Intrigue & Kevan Lyon Sandra Dykstra Literary Agency --Historical: May Chen, Harper Collins/Avon & Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency--Inspirational:Susan Downs, Barbour Publishing & Joyce Hart, Hartline Literary Agency--Paranormal: Cindy Hwang, Berkley Publishing, Cherry Weiner, Cherry Weiner Literary Agency--Single Title: Abby Zidle, Pocket Books & Kimberly Whalen, Trident Media Group --Mainstream (Romance Optional): Rose Hilliard, St. Martin's Press, and Holly Root, Waxman Literary Agency.

  • Dixie First Chapter. Now accepting electronic entries. Deadline postmark is March 16, 2009. Entry is limited to 25 numbered pages, double-spaced, at least 1 inch margins all four sides, in a 12 point font. Categories and final Judges: Paranormal /Futuristic /Time Travel /Chris Keeslar, Dorchester , Super-sexy/ Kelli Kwiatkowski, Ellora's Cave, Historical/ Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester, Romantic Suspense/ Patience Smith, Harlequin, Inspirational/ Emily Rodmell, Harlequin, Contemporary/ Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin.

  • 2009 Touch of Magic. Fee: $30 - $35: Includes Return Postage! Subtract $5 if submitting electronically. Open to RWA members, not published in novel-length fiction by RWA-approved publisher at receipt deadline of March 16, 2009. 1 st 25 pages, synopsis (3 page max, not judged)Categories: Series Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Single Title, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements. Judges: Paranormal - Allison Brandau, The Berkley Publishing Group,Series - Gail Chasan, Silhouette Special Edition, NSRE, Esi Sogah, Avon/HarperCollins, Historical/Regency - Helen Rosburg, Medallion Press, Single Title - Danielle Poiesz, Pocket Books.

  • Spring Into Romance Contest. Postmark deadline, March 21, 2009. First 25 pages (maximum) of manuscript, including prologue if applicable.Contemporary Series/Category Romance: Keyren Gerlach, Harlequin --Contemporary Single Title Romance: Jalet Miller, , Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books) --Suspense/Adventure Romance: Diana Ventimiglia, Silhouette --Novel w/Strong Romance Elements/Mainstream: Adam Wilson, Harlequin --Historical Romance: Historical Team, Harlequin, Mills & Boon London--Paranormal Romance: LaToya Smith, Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books)--Young Adult Romance: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency.

  • Fire & Ice. Postmark deadline of March 31, 2009. Paper and electronic entries accepted. A first chapter contest (25 pages). Final judges: HR (Alex Logan, Grand Central Publishing); Series Contemporary (Victoria Curran, Harlequin SuperRomance); Paranormal (Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks); YA (Elaine Spencer, The Knight Agency); Single Title (Tessa Woodward, Avon); Women's Fiction (Paige Wheeler, Folio Literary Management).

  • The 2009 ACFW Genesis All contest entries and contest fees must be received by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on March 31st, Categories: Contemporary Romance (includes romantic comedy)-- Historical Romance-- Romantic Suspense-- Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Allegory--Historical Fiction (not romance)-- Young Adult-- Contemporary Fiction-- Women’s Fiction-- Suspense/Thriller/Mystery. This is an all e-mail contest. Up to 100 entries per category will be accepted. Previous Noble Theme and Genesis entries (except for category winning entries and FaithWords Finalist entries) are eligible. 2009. The entrant must submit the first 15 pages of their manuscript, double-spaced, and an optional one-page single-spaced synopsis. Check out the amazing judging line up on the web page.

  • Fool For Love. All electronic. Entries must be sent via e-mail by April 1, 2009, midnight EST. First chapter (up to 20 pages maximum) and optional synopsis (5 pages maximum). A prologue may be included with the first chapter as long as the entry does not exceed 20 pages. Entrants do not have to be members of RWA. Categories and judges:Short Contemporary:Renee Lynn, Editor/Champagne Line, Wild Rose Press, Long ContemporaryPatience Smith, Senior Editor, Silhouette Romantic Suspense, Women's Fiction:Christy Phillippe, Editorial Director, Medallion Press, Paranormal:Barbara Poelle, Agent, Irene Goodman Agency, Historical:Nicole D'Arienzo, Historical Managing Director, Wild Rose Press,Romantic Suspense: Keyren Gerlach, Associate Editor, Silhouette Romantic Suspense, Inspirational: Emily Rodmell, Assistant Editor, Steeple Hill Love Inspired.

  • 26th Annual Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers. Limited to the first 150 entries. Deadline is April 11. Submit synopsis and manuscript up to 55 pages total. Electronic Entry for Non U.S. Resident RWA Members only.This contest offers three in-depth critiques by published authors. The Top 10 finalists are judged by Editors.The contest is open to any writer meeting the following criteria: Must be a member in good standing of RWA National-Has not published or been contracted in book length fiction in the last five years-The entry must have a projected minimum length of 50,000 words.The categories are:Contemporary Category Romance, Historical, Inspirational,Mainstream w/Romantic Elements,Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy,Romantic Suspense, Single Title Romance (over 70,000 words),Erotic Romance. (Read the rules carefully for this contest. Orange Rose finalists are chosen by overall score NOT by category.)

  • The Rebecca. For the first time, the Rebecca is an all-electronic contest. The contest is open to both published and unpublished authors! Top three entries in each category will be judged by an editor! Deadline is May 30th, 2009. Entries will be 5,000 words or less, and fit into one of the following categories: Series Contemporary (Patience Smith, Harlequin), ST Contemporary (Laura Cifelli, NAL), Historical (Becky Vinter, NAL), Paranormal (Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester), Erotica (Robin Lawson, Red Sage). Note: Young Adult (YA) entries should be entered into most appropriate category.Only first 30 entries into each category will be accepted, so don't delay!

  • The 26th Annual Colorado Gold Writing Contest. Contest opens April 1 and the deadline is June 1. Submission is the first twenty pages and a synopsis. Categories include: romance, mystery, speculative fiction, action/thriller and mainstream fiction. Five category winners receive a $100 dollar prize. Final judge is an acquiring agent or editor. Check out the website for a contest instruction video!

Published Contests

  • 2009 Daphne Du Maurier Award, Published. The contest is open to those published in book-length fiction. There is no limit to the number of entries per author or per category, but each book may only be entered in one category and must have a 2008 copyright. Membership in Romance Writers of America and/or MRSRWA (KOD) is not required. Received by Mar 16, 2009.

  • More Than Magic: The deadline for entry is DEADLINE EXTENDED TO March 15, books received by March 22. 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!

  • 2009 ACFW Book of the Year Award .The contest is open to published ACFW members in good standing. An author can join ACFW at the time of entry by filling out a membership application and submitting the application along with the membership dues. Books must be written from a Christian worldview in any genre, and the publisher must: 1) not offer subsidy contracts in any form, 2) offer advances, AND 3) be a royalty-paying publisher. All contest entry information and appropriate fees must be received by the contest coordinator no later than March 31, 2009.

Other Writing Contests

  • Genesis Press Partners with Sister2Sister Magazine to Launch Romance Writing Contest. Winner to Receive Cash Prize, Book Contract and National Magazine Feature. Columbus, MS ( - Genesis Press announced that it will partner with Sister2Sister magazine to promote its first annual romance writers’ contest. The writing contest coincides with the release of Genesis Press’s latest romance title, Singing A Song… by Crystal Rhodes, and is part of a special Sister2Sister promotion. Aspiring, unpublished romance writers have the opportunity to participate in this national talent search and jump-start their publishing career. The contest runs through April 30, with one winner announced on May 31, 2009. The winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize, a full book contract with Genesis Press and appear in the August issue of Sister2Sister with CEO/publisher, Jamie Foster Brown. To enter, writers 18 years or older should submit the first two pages of a romance novel to or

  • Pockets Fiction Writing Contest is open for submissions between March 1 and August 15. There is no entry fee. The winner will be notified November 1, and there is a $1,000 cash prize. Submission should be 1,000 to 1,600 words -- 1,400 word manuscripts are the best length. Stories are disqualified if they are shorter or longer by even a few words. Note accurate word count on the cover sheet. Must be previously unpublished. Please designate Fiction Contest on the envelope and on the cover sheet.

  • 2009 Family Circle Fiction 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 Contest requires an original fictional short story of no more than 2,500 words. Contest begins March 1, 2009, and ends August 31, 2009.

And Just For Fun...

  • Hershey's Win Your Bliss Contest opens March 1 and ends March 31. Four (4) Grand Prizes. Each Grand Prize consists of a customized trip for winner and their guest(s) to a destination selected by winner. Each trip must begin with travel from the winner’s home to Hershey, Pennsylvania where winner and guest(s) will enjoy a minimum two (2) days and one (1) night stay at a Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company hotel. Entrants will be asked a series of four (4) interactive questions about “What is Your Blissful Vacation?” Four (4) completed questions and answers constitute a play. Consumers who have completed a play will be entered into the sweepstakes drawing.

  • Jane Austen Society of North America Essay Contest. Deadline May 1, 2009. To foster the study and appreciation of Jane Austen, JASNA conducts an annual student Essay Contest, with support generously provided by the Sonia Raiziss Giop Charitable Foundation.JASNA awards three prizes in each of three categories: High School, College/University, and Post-Graduate. (JASNA does not offer scholarships.) This year's essay topic: Siblings abound in Jane Austen’s novels. Some siblings act as foils to each other; others are in competition; still others are mutually supportive and encouraging. Examine the importance of siblings in one or two Austen novels. Discuss how they function in the novel and how they embody larger themes. You may focus on one sibling relationship or you may compare relationships, either within a novel or between two novels. Check the web page for submission details and prizes.


Cathy Shouse said...


Thanks for the great round up of contest info.

I'm considering Fire and Ice. It depends on how the writing goals and budget issues go in March.


Tina M. Russo said...

This is s hugely awesome month for contests.


And good morning, btw.

TGIF in my world. Let's get this party started with bagels and cream cheese.

Leigh said...

Tina, you are the queen of contest info. :-)

I entered the Duel on the Delta thanks to your last contest post and will enter the Genesis once my synopsis is whittled a bit more. I thought that would be it but now ... I might go for one with Emily Rodmell as the final round judge. At this rate I need to start a separate savings account for contest fees!

Warm, fresh bagels on a Friday morning -- one of the few things I miss about being in an office now that I work from home. Thanks for sharing!

mareva said...

Thanks for the list, and the gentle kick in the pants.I have stories languishing that need a little work, or a clean-up. Am printing out the list and then I will brew the coffee, and glue my posterior to the chair, and start submitting. Thank you all for this great site.

warm hugs,

Tina M. Russo said...

Way to go Leigh and Mareva.

Contest diva's unite!!!!

Janet Dean said...

Great info, Tina. Applauding those who take up your challenge and enter a contest.

After two years off the contest circuit, I'm thrilled to be back in the game! Not that my expectations are high. I'm up against the "creme de la creme" right here in Seekerville. Still entering keeps life interesting.

Thanks for the bagel!


Gina Welborn said...

Hey ya!

Since we're talking contests today...

I'm putting together an advice packet for my local ACFW chapter. Instead of filling it with my brilliant opinions, I'm gathering opinions of contest entrants, judges, and coordinators. As I fill in "answers" to my questions, I may come across something I need another opinion on.

Therefore I reserve the right to post the question here for a response. :-)

And since y'all are here, I have my first question needing some opinions.

"Thank You notes to judges—pointless or purposeful?"

Oh, I'm interested in the perspective of a judge and of an entrant.

Gina Welborn said...

Got another contest question for ya.

"What are your thoughts on short page-length and specialty contests (4k words, first meet scene, love scene, query/synopsis, etc.) verses
mid-length contest (25-35 pages) verses longer-length contests (50-55 pages with or without a syno)?"

Rose said...

Hi Tina,

I have a question for you which is really a "newbie contest" question but here goes: Do you have to have the entire manuscript complete to enter the first chapter contests?

I'm interested in entering two of these contests but I only have a complete rough draft of one manuscript and a few chapters of the other.


Leigh said...

Gina - I always try to send thank-you notes to judges. Don't know that there's a real purpose to them other than courtesy (and the fact that Mama drilled that particular etiquette into me from an early age). Ideally, I find a way to differntiate the judges and write notes thanking them for the specific comments they gave me.

I've been a judge once and didn't necessarily expect to get any thank-you's (which was good because I didn't LOL) but I wouldn't have minded if someone took the time just to say "Thanks for your time and your comments." Sometimes it's the little things that help keep us going.

Patty Wysong said...

I've been waiting for today's post, Tina! (it was even on my calendar! *eye roll*)

I'll be entering one of these. Not sure which one yet since I need to study-up on them, and can't until Sunday or Monday. grrrr. But I'll be back then!

THANK YOU for this info!!

Mary Connealy said...

What a contest line-up.

Is this the 'contest season' or something? Is there one of those?

Thought I'd post a link to a blog interview I did about my childhood.

When I Was Just a Kid

Melanie Dickerson said...

You guys really know how to tempt a girl. I said I wasn't going to enter any more contests. It's hard not to, since my new book is untested so far in the contest arena. The one thing that may help me resist, though, is lack of money. You can't get blood from a turnip, as we say in Alabama.

Tina M. Russo said...

Questions, we have questions.

1. I try to write thank you notes. It is common courtesy. That said, I forget often. I know some judges get upset at this lack of courtesy but I think when you judge you do it to return the favor given to you in the past (or for the karmic return value) not because you want a thank you note. MHO.

2.Specialty contests in general have only two values: THE FINAL JUDGE or to do a trial run on a portion of your msc. I don't enter them much myself.

3.The finish the manuscript controversy goes on. DO YOU FEEL LUCKY? How much spare time do you have if you get a request? Can you write fast? Do you think you will final?

We all have done it. We will all continue to do it. It's a tricky game but in the end you have to make the decision. Just make sure you finish the manuscript. And if you get a request and don't honor it, you have wasted your time and money and the editor/agents time. They have long memories too.

Ann said...

I think thank-you notes are a good idea.

I have sent them because, after all, the judges gave up their time to look at my stuff. They might have had to miss the premiere of Dancing With The Stars or juggling contest judging with tons of other committments.

I can get a lotta lotta miles out of a few good comments so I appreciate hearing them.

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Good afternoon! Work's kept me busy today, but I love seeing the contest update. Thank you, Tina!!!
Love you!

Gina-kins is looking for opinions.

Thank Yous...

I'm terrible about sending them if I don't do it immediately and there isn't always time to do it between jobs, so I mess that up on a regular basis.

As a judge, which I've done often and a great many of you have suffered because of it (smiling here), I don't give a whit if I get one or not. The important thing is (like Tina said) giving back like the people who helped me gain footing. So I love it when someone has the time to zip me off a note, but I don't worry a smidge if they don't. And I still give 'em a big hug if they approach me (with no weapons, mind you!) at a conference or meeting.

Short/specialty contests...

I got Paula Eykelhof's attention last year (God bless her and everyone at Supers who have been encouraging me) through the "Peninsula Pitch" contest, a contest on a pitch letter, of all things.

But I entered it because I was developing two series for Supers and I wanted to get Paula's attention. And Wanda's. And Victoria's.

It worked. With a 2008 budget that held '0' discretionary income, I took a $20 chance at getting an editor's attention and it worked. What comes of it is anybody's guess, but making inroads is clutch, right?

If it hadn't been a 'Super' editor, I wouldn't have entered, so that final round judge is HUGE to people who are targeting a specific genre.

And now I must go work making wonderful cakes and desserts for the good folks of Western New York.



Pam Hillman said...

Gina, I prefer the longer contests.

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks, Tina!

Does anyone know anything about the pubbed More Than Magic?


Missy Tippens said...


I've tried to write thank yous through the years, although I missed a few. I'm with whoever said we were raised that way! :)

As a judge, I love getting them. Although I don't expect them and rarely get them. (I hope that's not a comment on my judging!) :)

As to specialty contests, I entered a couple and they were no help at all. Maybe because I didn't do well in them.


Tina M. Russo said...

Well it's one of the Oklahoma chapters, Missy. Margaret Daley may know more about it. They have extended their deadline.

Audra Harders said...

It's been a long day, but I couldn't miss the Contest Update : )

Great line up, Tina. It's been years since I've entered the Dixie First Chapter contest. I might have to give it a whirl. Thanks for posting the fine selection of contests.

Gina, like so many others, I try to write thank yous, but if I don't do it right away, I forget. And, I love getting thank yous, but really don't expect them. I think I get more thank yous electronically. Great for the judge; what a hassle for the coordinators!!

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks, Tina. I hadn't thought of asking her about it.

Helen Gray said...

Accountability report here. My Daphne entry went off last week. Have already received confirmation that everything is in order.


1. Thank you notes are nice, but not crucial in my opinion. I've judged contests and never received a thank you note. I've also been remiss in sending them. Last year was one of the worst of my life. I sent two entries to Touched by Love. Then my mother became critical and passed away within a few weeks. Notes are not the only thing I didn't get done.

2. The short and specialty contests don't really appeal to me.


Tina M. Russo said...

Helen, thanks for stopping by. So sorry for your loss.

CONGRATULATIONS on entering the Daphne. Way to go diva!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Life throws curves, doesn't it, honey??? God bless you and congrats on entering the Daphne. Great contest. I've had only strong, solid judging from them. Good bunch.