Friday, December 4, 2009

December Contest Update

How was your 2009 contest journey?

There are only a few more days and a few more contests
until 2010.

The prize vault opens to day to bring two commenting visitors a surprise gift from Unpubbed Island. Just a little something to remind you of your friends here in Seekerville and to keep you focused on your journey.

Unpublished Contests:

Great Expectations. Deadline December 30, 2009. Great Expectations is no longer accepting mailed entries. Electronic entry fees will be processed through Paypal. Mailed entry fees will be deposited January 15, 2010. Entry consists of a single page query letter and 25 manuscript pages.

Final Round Judges:
Contemporary Series, Victoria Curran, Editor with Harlequin Books
Erotic Romance, Katherine Pelz, Editorial Assistant with Berkley Heat
Historical, Danielle Poiesz, Editorial Assistant Gallery/Pocket
Inspirational, Natalie Hanemann, Senior Editor with Thomas Nelson
Mainstream with Romantic Elements, Abby Zidle, Senior Editor with Gallery/Pocket Books
Romantic Suspense, Alex Logan, Assistant Editor with Grand Central Publishing
Single Title, Holly Blanck, Assistant Editor with St. Martin’s Press
Specialized, Talia Platz, Editorial Assistant with New American Library
Young Adult, David Linker, Executive Editor with HarperFestival, HarperCollins

Marlene Awards:Deadline January 15, 2010. All entries must be paid by PayPal and submitted electronically. 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.

Final Judges:

Single Title Contemporary Romance
Final Editor Judge: Alicia Condon, Dorchester
Critique Author: Elise Chidley (, 2009 Rita finalist for Single Title and Best First Book

Series Contemporary Romance (long and short)
Final Editor Judge: Patience Smith, Harlequin/Silhouette
Critique Author: Dana Marton (, 2009 Rita nominee for Best Contemporary Series--Suspense/Adventure

Historical Romance
Final Editor Judge: Jen Enderlin, St. Martin’s
Critique Author: Diane Gaston (, 2006 Rita winner for Best Regency Romance

Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic Romance
Final Editor Judge: Katherine Pelz, Berkley
Critique Author: Gwyn Cready (, 2009 Rita winner for Best Paranormal Romance

Romantic Elements
Final Editor Judge: Latoya Smith, Grand Central
Critique Author: Lani Diane Rich (

Young Adult
Final Editor Judge: Emilia Rhodes, Simon Pulse
Critique Author: Carrie Jones (

Published Contests:

Contests for books with a copyright date from January 2009 to December 2009.

The Colorado Award of Excellence:Deadline January 8, 2010

The Holt Medallion:Deadline January 9, 2010 (Due to unforeseen circumstances, the HOLT Medallion Contest is running behind schedule this year. VRW hopes to have the rules and entry form posted on the web site as soon as possible. When the contest opens for entries, notice will be posted on the RWA loops.)

The Bookbuyer's Best:Deadline January 9, 2010 (website not updated yet)

The Write Touch Reader's Award:Deadline January 9, 2010

The Golden Quill:Deadline January 10, 2010

Reader's Choice Bean Pot Award: Deadline January 11, 2010

Bookseller's Best Award: Deadline January 15, 2010

Judge a Book by Its Cover: Deadline January 15, 2010

The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence: Deadline January 15, 2010

Winter Rose Award of Excellence: Deadline January 23, 2010

Other Contests:

The 2010 San Francisco Writer's Conference Writing Contest. Postmark deadline, January 2, 2009. The Categories:Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction/Memoir, Poetry, Children's Books. Submit two copies of a one-page single-spaced synopsis and two copies of the first chapter, double-spaced, up to 2,500 words. See site for poetry rules. Also include a fee of $25.

Finally, this a word about contests and chocolate which we all know leads to writing great books.

Check out The Year of Godiva Giveaway.

You can win free chocolate for you and a friend.

Remember, Seekerville is your friend!!


Helen Gray said...

Hi Tina:

I entered 9 contests this year, had one request for a complete, and made two book submissions.

I think I set a record on the last score sheets I got back. It was on a ms that had been to one previous contest and gotten some pretty gdecent feedback. But this time I found one of those judges I keep reading about and had never gotten.

While one judge gave me 5's, the other gave me 1's. The difference in the scores was over a hundres points, netting me a discrepancy judge. That one scored nearer the high judge than the low one.

We take our lumps and forge on. Right?

My monthly spending limit has already been reached for the rest of the year. So I'm backing off until the first of the year.


Helen Gray said...


Don't know how that 'g' got in front of decent. Gremlin making me look bad!

Edwina said...

Hi Tina,

I entered ten contests this year - short stories only. I made the first 2 cuts in one contest. I also had a short story published in an anthology.

Lisa Jordan said...

I entered two contests this year, but for one of the contests, I entered in two different categories, so would that make three??

I finaled in one contest, placed second, and had that manuscript full requested by an agent and an editor.

Krista Phillips said...

I entered 3 contests this year... which isn't too bad I don't think considered I only entered 1 last year... and it was my FIRST ever.

I didn't final in any (although I JUST entered in one last month... the Golden Heart... so the finalists aren't announced for some time)

BUT... I did pretty good score wise for my first contests though, so I'm pleased!

Glynna Kaye said...

WOW! You all have really been busy this year and with fabulous results! Congratulations!

Once you're published, contest-ing doesn't come to an end--this week I sent off books for 3 published contests and will have several more to go before month's end. I must be a glutton for punishment! :)

Tina M. Russo said...

Running late to my own party.

Made two cakes for work and put stew in the crock pot.

Coffee is made.

I lift a mug to toast all of you contest diva's.WAY TO GO!!!!

Tina M. Russo said...

And not only do you people final but you get requests!!!!

Janet Dean said...

Thanks, Tina, for the contest update! I've entered Courting the Doctor's Daughter in five of the pubbed contests you list. I plan to enter the Holt once they update.

Congrats on entering, Helen, Edwina, Lisa and Krista. You gals rock!

I brought my sausage egg bake and fruit this morning. The coffee's made.

I'm wearing glittery red nail polish and can't keep my eyes off my fingertips. :-)


Melanie Dickerson said...

I entered only one contest this year, at the beginning of the year. I got good scores and comments, but I didn't final. But I entered something like 17 contests in 2008! So it was time to slow down. And I predict I won't enter ANY in 2010. MWAHAHAHA!

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Thanks Seeker friends for posting about all these contests. I have never entered one, but maybe next year I will be brave enough to do so! Congrats to all who have!

Leigh said...

I entered two contests this winter/spring, subbed 40 pages for a pre-conference crit with a faculty member, and entered one more contest this fall.

Got great comments and encouragement from the first two contests and crit, so was very happy with that. I was even fortunate enough to have one of you Seeker ladies as one of my judges. :-)

I'm interested in seeing what happens with the third contest because I wrote a new Ch 1 for it.

Next year's plan is to enter at least 3 contests again or maybe bump up to 4 or 5. I'll also take advantage of pre-conference crits again if the conference I attend offers them.

Always learning, always growing!

Janet - my DD would love sharing that red glittery nail polish!

Mary Connealy said...

I don't enter too many published author contests.

I wonder if I should do more. Does anyone have an opinion? For some reason it just takes more energy than I seem to have to pack the books up and mail them.

Still, who knows. I wonder if it gets the book attention. If so, it'd be worth it. Almost.

i entered
Rita, FHL's IRCC, ACFW's BOTY, I think that's all. Barbour Publishing entered me in the Christy's. Which I finalled in. That was fantastic.

It seems like there was one other one I entered.

I finalled only in the BOTY and won NONE. So, I'm not sure if it's worth it. Soooooooo easy to skip

Rose said...

I entered a short story in the WOW-Women on Writing fall contest. I made it through the first round of judging but didn't win, place or show! I paid for a critique of the entry but haven't received it yet.

I also entered the last Harlequin Presents contest which announces winners sometime this month. I'm doubtful I'll win but their contests are free so I always try to just never know.


Tina M. Russo said...

Well Janet you have to share the nail polish. I am wearing reindeer ears at work today, with little ornaments on the horns.

17 Melly?? 17? Wow. I will ask Madame Zelda what she thinks of your prediction. he he.

Kerri ---sounds like a good plan!!

Ann said...

I entered four contests this year. Three were one right after another with different versions of chapter one.

Based on feedback, it seemed that judges liked the characters and setting, but got lost. That's just not something I could see on my own, being so close to it.

I also entered the first chapter of revisions of a finished MS, but had to chop some bits out to make it fit the length of the entry.

Still waiting for results on the last ones.

I entered a short story contest, too, but haven't heard anything.

My hat is off to contest coordinators and judges. My organizational skills would be tested by a one-car funeral procession. People who can actually run stuff amaze me.

Melissa E said...

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know, Ruthy's sitting here in my office in NY. She was nice enough to drive down for the day, and we just had a lovely lunch. Right now she's sitting here chatting my ear off. Oh, and we're working on extensive revisions on her September 2010 book, Made to Order Family. She wants you all to know she's not perfect. But getting there....

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Seriously, I have Melissa Endlich's full attention at this very moment, right here in Seekerville, and where are you all...


Do you not understand the spirit of Christmas doesn't come in a bag???


I gift-wrapped an editor for you!!!

Are ya' serious???

And here we are, bereft and alone in beautiful downtown Manhattan trying to talk with y'all and no one is there...

But since we ARE in Manhattan there's plenty of other cool stuff to see, and Melissa has some very interesting things on her desk...

And there's a Seeker bookmark posted on her wall so she can be reminded of us at all times...

Or throw darts, depending on the day.

Okay, gotta let her get back to work now.

I got to hug Joan... Kiss up...


And annoy Melissa.

How much better could one day get????


Love you all.


Carla Gade said...

Thanks for the contest updates.

Project Journal said...

Wow nice updates!

Though I don't enter these contests....I am entering "contests" of my own these days. I'm entering scholarships galore! Lol...I already know I didn't make it past the first round of the Coca-Cola one. There were over 70,000 entries! They could only accept 2,200. So, yeah, I got cut. I'm STILL waiting to hear back from another. This one starts as a state-wide contest, then expands from that. I think I might have a chance on that one *knock on wood*

Okay, it's almost been 1 full week since I submitted college's already driving me crazy and I have ANOTHER WEEK!!!! : /

Talk to you all later(I'm early today!),

Pepper Basham said...

You're wonderful to keep us updated all the time. Thanks so much. I never realized what a lot of work it is to keep a blog current, until I started featuring authors on mine. certainly keeps you hoppin ;-)

I think I have some writing goals ready:
1. Attend ACFW
2. Meet some SEEKERS in PERSON!!!
3. Enter 4 contests
4. attend BRMCWC and submit two novels for critique
5. Complete two novels that I've recently started. One historical/one contemp
6. I'd like to try to get two more critiques in throughout the year, but it all depends on time and money. Every cent I get extra this year, is going toward my little 'savings' for ACFW. I'm determined to go - and Lord willing, I can :-)


Tina M. Russo said...

Ruth is telling you that she is in NYC. With Steeple Hill editors.




Hi Melissa!!!!

Tina M. Russo said...

LOL, extensive revisions. Well that means Ruthy gets more chocolate and coffee . The WNY girl will be able to handle it I am sure.

Janet Dean said...

Hi there, Melissa! Ruthy's admitting she's not perfect???? Be very afraid, Seekerville! After that ego crunch, we'll have to handle her with kid gloves.

So glad you're having a day together and getting revisions done too. How great is that?

Now Ruthy, hug everyone for us, please!

Hugs, Janet

Mary Connealy said...

Ruthy AND Melissa snuck in and said hi and here I am an hour later.

I was WRITING. That should be a guaranteed Get Out of Jail Free card.

I have some more bad guys to get rid of. I'd better go.

Hope Manhatten survived Hurricane Ruthy.

Cara Lynn James said...

Before I sold I entered lots of contests. Over the years I received 3 requests for fulls and finally because of a contest I got THE CALL!Contests can be SO worthwhile.

Project Journal said...

Pepper -
I TOTALLY agree with #2 on your list!! would be a dream come true!

By the way, I don't know what any of you listen to for music. But, I've been completely with "covers" on YouTube recently. So, if any of you know the song Smile by Uncle Kracker, this is a fantastic version of it(in my opinion):
(I'm trying to get this to link...)

Also, don't forget to check out Lin(that's the girl's name) version of Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror while you're there. She says that she loves the song and you can tell by how she sings it!!
Enjoy(and I hope the link works!)

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Thank you, Tina, for the contest update. This was my first year to enter a contest. I entered two short story contests. Still awaiting results. Also entered 3 novel contests. Received excellent feedback in the first with almost perfect score from 1 judge and not such good scores from the other two. Then was a finalist in one contest using the feedback from the first contest. Still awaiting results from another. If anyone gets a chance see a short story of mine at Christian Fiction Online Magazine for December. You ladies have been such an encouragement. Thank you all.

Audra Harders said...

With only minutes left in my work day I check the Seekerville blog and see Melissa and Ruthy have stopped by.


Now WHY didn't I check in sooner? Oh yeah, that whole work thing : )

Have a great weekend, Melissa!

Be kind to NYC, Ruthy!!

Tina M. Russo said...

Thanks for the links, Hannah. I will check them out.

Tina M. Russo said...

Pat Jeannie!!! My favorite Philly writer....

Congrats on those brave contest moves.

I will for sure read your short story. Congratulations!!!! WOO HOO ON THAT!!!

Tina M. Russo said...

Pepper, you've been one busy gal.

Well we are busy around here but we have more hands in our pie. Can you teach your kids how to post blogs for you?? he he.

Tina M. Russo said...


Edwina TEN contest entries. Now I feel like a slacker.

Pepper Basham said...

Tina, doubt my oldest (11 y.o) could learn to post for me, but the content might lean more towards Star Wars legos and fantasy. He's a sarcastic kid, though, so he and Ruthy would get along well. He could probably give her a verbal run-for-her money ;-)

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks, Tina, for having all these pubbed contest dates in one place!!


Missy Tippens said...

Great info, Tina! Thanks so much for being willing to compile and share!