Camy here. As many of you know, I’m the head coordinator for the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest for unpublished writers. I’ve coordinated the Genesis for 4 years now, and I love it.
Not only do I like interacting with writers, but I love having the ability to push a little further each year and make the Genesis one of the premier contests for Christian writers.
Here are some of the things that sets the Genesis apart from other writing contests.
1) The Genesis has more categories for Christian fiction than any other contest. We have nine categories right now:
Contemporary Fiction (anything non-romance)
Contemporary Romance (both single title and category length)
Historical Fiction (non-romance)
Historical Romance (both single title and category length)
Mystery/Suspense/Thriller (includes cozy mysteries, any non-romance suspenses, and all thrillers)
Romantic Suspense (both single title and category length)
Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction
Women’s Fiction (can have romance, but focused primarily on women’s issues)
Young Adult (both contemporary and fantasy settings)
2) The Genesis first round judges are all hand-selected and invited to judge. We do not allow just anyone to judge the Genesis. At least half of all our first round judges are published authors, and the rest are trained unpublished authors, many of whom have finaled in contests or have agents or both.
We also try to select judges who will give lots of feedback, both on the scoresheet and in the manuscript.
Why do we do this? Because we know that feedback is important to an entrant, and we do our best to ensure the Genesis contest judges give the best possible feedback. We also want the scoring to be as accurate as possible. We don’t want an unprofessional or inexperienced writer to give incorrect feedback or a skewed numerical score.
3) The Genesis Final round judges are all industry professionals, editors or agents or both. The first round judging determines five finalists in each category, and for the Final round, each finalist will have his/her entry seen and judged by editors and/or agents. All the Final round judges work specifically in the Christian publishing industry, and all are agents or editors who are actively acquiring clients or authors for their publishing house.
4) Each category has THREE Final round judges looking at the five finalists’ entries. Last year, we only had two Final round judges, but the Genesis reputation has grown so much that we had an overwhelming number of editors and agents who wanted to judge the Final round this year, and we increased it to three judges per category.
5) The Genesis is an all electronic files contest. No trees dying! No printing out pages! No copying your entry! No postage fees! The only thing you pay is the $35 entry fee.
6) The Genesis contest has a terrific reputation in the Christian publishing industry, and many entrants have received name recognition by editors and agents because of their final, placement, or win in the Genesis contest.
Here’s my own personal example: When I won the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category (back then the contest was called the Noble Theme, and the name was changed the next year), it got the attention of a Steeple Hill editor (she wasn’t one of my judges, but she saw that I had won). I didn’t sell my first novel to her, but I kept up a professional acquaintance with her, and she later bought my romantic suspense novel, Deadly Intent, which is releasing this July.
So what are you waiting for? The deadline for the Genesis contest is MARCH 31ST, 2009! Get your entries in early, just in case something gets lost in cyberspace!
Here are links with more information on:
Genesis Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Manuscript Formatting guidelines
Sample Manuscript (.pdf file download)
Sample Track Changes scored entry (.pdf file download)
Online entry form
Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Her novel Single Sashimi is out now, and she runs the Story Sensei critique service. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things. Sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for monthly giveaways!