Friday, April 3, 2009

Contest Update

Every month you get another chance to take a step and enter the world of writing contests. You can't sell a manuscript you don't finish. You can't get a bad review on a story no one has read. Let April be the month you step out....

And remember, there is a U.S. postal rate increase May 11, 2009, so if you are mailing your entries adjust the return postage accordingly.

Unpublished Contests:

  • 6th Annual Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers.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 Laurie. Deadline April 17. The finalists from Round 1 (query letter and five pages) will continue to Round 2, where they will submit the query letter and the first 10 pages. The finalists from Round 2 will continue to Round 3, where they will submit the query letter and 15 pages. These entries will go to agents for judging.
    The finalists from Round 3 will continue to the final round, where they will submit the query letter and 20 pages. These entries will go to editors for final judging. Third Round Judges:
    Jessica Foust with BookEnds Literary Agency – Contemporary
    Diana Fox with Fox Literary Agency – Historical
    Pam Strticker with Pam Strickler Author Management – Single Title
    Jenn y Rappaport with L. Perkins Agency – Speculative Romantic Fiction
    Miriam Kriss with the Irene Goodman Literary Agency – Novella
    Final Round Judges:
    Editors TBA

Doesn't this sound like fun? I like this whole concept!

  • Golden Acorn. Deadline is May 1. An all electronic contest limited to the first 95 entries. You may reserve your spot with payment. First 20 pages and a synopsis up to 5 pages. Finalists from the United States will be asked to send a hard copy of their revised work to the contest coordinator to be submitted to the final judge. Finalists from outside the U.S. will have the option to send an electronic copy of their revised work to the contest coordinator to be submitted to the final judge. Categories and Final Round Judges:Contemporary Series Romance: Patience Smith, Harlequin
    Contemporary Single Title: tba Mainstream with Strong Romantic Elements: tba
    Historical: Chris Keesler, Dorchester
    Paranormal: Heather Osborn, Tor
    Inspirational: tba

  • TARA. Deadline May 1, 2009. Your entry must consist of two (2) mailed copies of the first chapter (with prologue, if applicable mailed to the appropriate category coordinator and a required email version sent to as a Word/RTF attachment (entries in the body of an email will not be accepted.) No second chapters accepted of your book. The total entry may not exceed 4,000 words max, actual word count (word count will be verified), excluding optional synopsis. Any additional pages will be removed prior to judging. TARA will return only copies that have been judged. Additional copies will be destroyed after the contest is finalized.Series Contemporary Wanda Ottewell Harlequin. Paranormal Danielle Poiesz Pocket. Single Title Deb Werksman Sourcebooks. Women's Fiction Lindsay Louis NAL. Historical Leah Hultenschmidt Dorchester. Romantic Suspense Amy Pierpont Grand Central. Inspirational Anne Horch Faith Words .

  • Ignite the Flame. Print entries postmarked, May 9th, online entries submission deadline May 9th. Your entry should be the scene of your hero and heroine's first meeting or reunion (up to 15 pages). You may also submit an optional, non-judged one-page set-up providing necessary background for the first-meeting, as a page within your attached submission. Submit three copies of your hero and heroine's first meeting (up to 15 pages). You may also submit three copies of an optional, non-judged one-page set-up providing necessary background for the first-meeting scene. Category-Length Contemporary: Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin Superromance
    Historical Romance: Leis Pederson, Assistant Editor Berkley Publishing Group
    Erotic Romance: Raelene Gorlinsky, Publisher, Ellora's Cave Publications
    Paranormal Romance: Cori Deyoe, Literary Agent, Three Seas Literary Agency
    Single Title Contemporary: Roberta Brown, Literary Agent, Brown Literary Agency

  • 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!
It might seem early for the Maggies, but they cap each category at 70 entries.

So get moving!

  • The Maggie Awards for Unpublished Romance Novelists: Entries must be RECEIVED at the appropriate address above by June 1, 2009, and before your entry category is full. THREE (3) copies of the synopsis and THREE (3) copies of the prologue (if applicable) and first chapter(s), TOTAL NUMBER OF PAGES MAY NOT EXCEED 35 per copy. Two published authors will judge each entry. Editors in the romance genre will judge the final round. Judges will give each entry a score from 1 to 10 (10 being the highest). Judges will also rank entries for tie-breaking as needed for advancement to the finals.Judges are encouraged to write their comments directly on the manuscripts and WILL NOT use score sheets, and scores WILL NOT be released to the entrants. Final Judges:Historical - Chelsea Gilmore, Avalon Books--Single Title - Monique Patterson, St. Martins--Paranormal/Fantasy - Chris Keeslar, Dorchester Publishing--Inspirational - Emily Rodmell, Harlequin--Contemporary Series.

Published Contests :

  • The Maggie Awards for Published Romance Novelists May 1st 2009, deadline. NEW! Now open to all RWA published romance novelists who meet RITA® guidelines for eligibility. Electronic and audio books may be entered. Such books must be presented in English, in print-book format produced by the publisher, complete with copyright page, in perfect or case binding, and printed on both sides of the page. All books must carry a copyright date between January 2007 and December 2007. If the minimum number of entries in a category is not met, the entry will be moved into the second-choice category. The Maggie is awarded in the following romance categories: short contemporary, long contemporary, historical (includes Regencies), contemporary single title, paranormal/fantasy (includes time travel, futuristic, etc.), and inspirational.

  • Aspen Gold. Deadline May 15, 2009. Participation is open to all published authors of novel length romance fiction. The official entry form and entry fee must accompany each submission. Entries must have an original copyright or first printing date of January, 2008 through December, 2008. Categories: Young Adult, Contemporary,Single Title, Historical, Paranormal/Time-Travel/Futuristic, Romantic Suspense, Erotica.

Other Writing Contests:

Romance Junkies First And Favorite Writing Contest 2009

1. It's free.

2. Open to all published and unpublished authors. Only published authors from Tor cannot enter.

3. Each week we post a group of entries to be voted on by readers in our Romance Junkies Readers Loop .

4. The top 18 finalists will be posted on the Romance Junkies Blog for a final round of voting by readers.

5. The top three entries will be read by Tor Editor Heather Osborne who will pick a Grand Prize Winner. And that Grand Prize Winner will win a netbook laptop.

Contest Schedule

April 2– July 15-- Take in Entries

Week of June 1st –September– Post entries in Readers Loop. Every week a group of entries are posted on the Romance Junkies Readers Loop to be voted on by readers -

October 1st – November 4th– Top 18 entries posted on RJ Blog for final round of voting by Readers.

Top Three go to Editor Heather Osborne of Tor

So how do you enter? You scroll down and read all the Rules and stuff we put in to cover our butts. Then you polish up your entry, check out the info on how to enter below and send it in.

Contest Rules and Regulations
Contest is free and open to all published and unpublished authors. Only published authors from Tor cannot enter.

All work must be original, unpublished work. No previously 'published' works will be considered and this includes, e-publishing, etc.

You can enter more than once.

Romance Junkies is a PG-13 site and since the entries are going to be online to be judged by the readers they need to be PG13. Please submit nothing your boss would look over your shoulder and fire you for reading at work. If you have any questions please contact Kimberly at Your manuscript can be really steamy and more than PG13, but the part you send into us has to be PG13 so we can post it on the Readers Loop/RJ Blog for voting.

We want your first Chapter and something in the middle. First chapter can include Prologue and First chapter combined. As long as the both add up to no more than 5,000 words. And then we want a little something from the middle. Send us your favorite scene from the middle up to 2,500 words.

Entrant fully understands that the judging is subjective. Entrant will accept and abide by the decision of the judges.

Entrant will hold Romance Junkies, its members, officers and the judges of this contest harmless and hereby release them from any liability, which may arise from this contest. By submitting the entry, entrant specifically waives any right they may have to bring suit against Romance Junkies, its members, officers, representatives or judges. Participants understand there is no implication of a publishing contract with TOR Publishing and the Participants agree that by entering contest they will hold TOR Publishing harmless from any liability resulting from the contest

How to Enter

Please combine the first chapter and your favorite scene in one document with each area clearly labeled. Please include your writing name and email we can use to contact you. Send all that into to (no spaces) with writing contest in subject line

Looks like a great opportunity,however I never found this info on Romance Junkies, but on author sites. Do email the coordinator with your questions.

More .....

Don't forget the contests listed in the

March Contest Update which are still open.

And if you need some help entering contests, check out

Pimp Your Contest Entry!


  1. Great list!

    I can't believe the post office is upping prices again. They're practically forcing us to go electronic, and then they complain about not enough revenue.

    *grumbling and grumpy because I finished my coffee*

  2. I read that the USPS is trying to go to a Mon-Fri delivery system. But it has already been rejected by Congress once.

  3. Thanks Tina!

    I have to admit that I am put off now by a non-electronic option. I've been considering the Orange County contest but just realized it's 5 copies of 55 pages mailed. The coordinators must be strong women.

    And if yours arrives after the limit, they destroy it. Isn't there some theoretical 'green law' about that? It just feels wrong these days. I use the back sides of all my paper before it goes gently back to nature. Of course I understand the privacy (and piracy) issues.

    Beyond that, what do you all think about the fact that all genres are essentially competing against each other in the OC contest? I know inspirationals did very well in the MARA.

    Happy Friday!

  4. Good morning, all!

    It's rainy, with temps dropping quickly in Western New York, so I'm brewing a fresh pot of chocolate velvet courtesy of Sandra and a BIG pot of straight ol' 'Joe' to keep me awake through the expected afternoon 'dip' Audra's test advised us about.

    I'm a former Scout. Be prepared.

    And Tina, great job preparing us with these updates. Love it. Love you!

    Has anyone else noticed the fun turns and twists they've put on contests to draw interest? More entries.

    I love electronic. Sooooo much easier and cheaper for the entrants.

    And I don't like contests that require synopses for the first round. I've been slapped down too many times (even when they say: non-judged synopsis) for something that was dug up out of the snop rather than on the merits of the entry.

    Still, what draws me most to a contest is that final round judge...

    Who is it?

    Are they acquiring? I mean, really?

    Does my work fit their line? Could it?

    The Laurie looks like a fun bunch of turns and twists. In honor of that I've got glazed donut twists, both frosted and cinnamon/sugar.

    Perfect on a chilly, rainy morning. On a plus note (I live adjacent to a marsh) the tree frogs (spring peepers) are out in full song these nights, peeping their way to connubial bliss.

    I love peepers. Frogs. Toads. So cool.


  5. Thanks for this list, Tina! I promise, I'll study it well, and pick at least one to enter. I can't just stick with the Genesis, I know.

    For once, it seems, being foreign may be a good thing. I see for several of them we get to go the online route. Hippy!

    Slapping hand now, sorry, didn't mean to gloat! ;)

  6. Thanks, Tina! This was good reminder for the Maggie. May 1 is approaching quickly!!


  7. As someone who's been around the contest coordinator block, I don't mind snail copies, don't mind electronic copies. The hassle is doing both.

    Good options with paper:

    1) To account for mailing, entrants tad not to wait until the last minute.

    2) They're harder to delete accidentally. Not saying I did something vaguely similar this past week. Just mentioning this as a plus. Umm, paper entries. Not the deleteing.

    3) They give judges a break from the computer. I love judging paper copies with my exquisite red pen. Brrwahhahahahaa.

    Good options with electronic:

    1) Entrants save $$ on postage; consequently, contests get to keep more of the entry fee because they don't have to spend any on postage to judges.

    2) Entrants can easily fix problemes like formatting, not ending on a complete sentence, not taking opportunity to send in up to max entry pages, etc. Granted, this requires the contest having a gracious and kind-hearted coordinator. That's why I highly recommend Touched by Love and the UPCOMING Golden Pen historical category. Again, just sayin for your May contest consideration...

    3) More and more judges prefer electronic judging because they have crappy handwriting and typing is generally easy to read. Plus look at all the colors and fonts available. I used pink once. Made me feel all girly-girl.

    Ruthy, what a lovely picture. I'm glad you replaced it because I was tired of looking at that yummy pie.

  8. My first thought about the Orange Rose having all genres compete against each other was "Ick!"

    But, seriously, why "ick"?

    Good writing is good writing, regardless of--eeks, it's raining and I have windows open.

    *big sigh*

    No horrid messes because I closed the windows in time. But my heart is all a flutter. Too much drama.

    Anyhoo, good writing is good writing regardless of genre. While it's inherantly uncomfortable thinking an erotica is competing against an inspy (after all, editors generally don't publish both), putting them on an equal plane as the Orange Rose is doing could be beneficial for all.

    Entrants will get THREE in-depth critiques by published authors. That right there is a great prize.

    My advice to anyone considering entering is to, obviously, pimp your manuscript for the contest. Beyond that, consider your inspirational elements. You may get a judge who isn't a Christian, so you may want to be cautious of using terminology or phrases or Scriptural-allusions that the average non-churched person wouldn't undestand.

    I'm tempted to enter. Just not sure what manuscript I'd use.

    Gosh, I've almost talked myself into entering. I must be insane.

  9. I agree Debra. OCC is a tough contest as you really have to not only have a strong manuscript but there is the subjective factor. Judges who are biased against inspirationals are going to judge your work. I would have to seriously look at the scoresheet before entering.