Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February Contest Update

is in the air.

Welcome to another edition of Seekerville Contest Update.

This month the contest vault is open and we are giving away two Seeker books. Your choice. One each to two winners. All you have to do is stop by and say hello. Now is not the time to lurk. Winners posted in the Weekend Edition.

And as we gear up for another big contest year here in Seekerville we'd like to remind you to prepare by reviewing Pimp Your Contest Entry from our archives, along with Exploring Contest Mood Disorder.

Unpublished Contests

Merritt: This all electronic first chapter and synopsis contest is open to unpublished authors and those not contracted by an RWA-eligible publisher in novel length romance (40k) in the last 4 years. The deadline for submission is midnight, February 14, 2010. The entry is 25 pages total, including a maximum 5-page synopsis.

Mainstream w/Romantic Elements – Latoya Smith, Grand Central
Romantic Suspense – Katherine Pelz, Berkley
Contemporary Series – Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin
Paranormal – Selena James, Kensington
Inspirational— Melissa Endlich, Steeple Hill

The Sandy
: All electronic contest. Deadline is February 15, 2010. 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 - Megan McKeever, Editor, Pocket Books
Mainstream Adult Fiction - Christine Pride, Editor, Broadway / Random House
Suspense / Thriller / Mystery - Mark Tavani, Sr. Editor, Ballantine
Fantasy / Science Fiction - Ginger Clark, Literary Agent, Curtis Brown
Children's & YA - Julie Scheina, Assistant Editor, Little, Brown Books

Great Beginnings: Deadline March 1. Enter the opening five (5) pages of romance novels of all sub-genres (projected length of at least 50,000 words). Contest is open to published and unpublished authors. Unpublished authors are ranked separately from published authors. Published authors may submit only unpublished, uncontracted manuscripts. NOTE: If you have a romance novel published by a non-recognized RWA publisher, Utah RWA Considers you to be published.


Contemporary: Single title; category; mainstream; young adult; or inspirational in a contemporary setting.
Historical: Single title; category; Regencies; suspense; mainstream; young adult; or inspirational in an historical setting.
Paranormal: Time travel; ghost; futuristic; inspirational in a paranormal setting; or paranormals of all other kinds.
Mystery/Suspense: Single title; category; suspense; mainstream; or young adult.


Contemporary: Michelle Grajkowski, Literary Agent/3 Seas Literary Agency
Historical: Pam Ahearn, Literary Agent/The Ahearn Agency
Paranormal: Christine Witthohn, Literary Agent/Book Cents Literary Agency, LLC
Mystery/Suspense: Faith Black, Editor/Berkley Books at Penguin Group USA
Published: Amanda Bergeron, Editor/Avon-HarperCollins

The Duel on the Delta
: Entries must be received via e-mail by March 15, 2010 at Midnight CST. Contest entry includes the first fifteen (15) pages. 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. Categories are listed, however final judges are not listed yet. Categories: Inspirational, Historical, Contemporary, Young Adult, Mainstream/Single Title, Mystery/Romantic Suspense.

The Daphne du Maurier Award: The 2010 contest is now open for entries. This is an all electronic contest. The contest is open to any writer who has never been contracted in book-length fiction (40,000 words or more) from any publisher. Any manuscript that has previously finaled in the Daphne including honorable mentions is not eligible for entry again.
There is no limit to the number of entries per author, but each entry may be entered in ONLY ONE category. Membership in Romance Writers of America ® and/or MRSRWA is not a requirement for entry. Contest entries will no longer be accepted after midnight, 3/15/2010 Mountain time. Entry includes the first chapter (5,000 words) and synopsis (675 words). No more than 27 pages total.

Final Round Judges have agreed to judge on the first fifteen pages (15 pages) of the entry. The additional ten pages are for final round judges who wish to continue reading.

Categories & Final Round Judges

Category (Series) Romantic Mystery/Suspense:Patience Smith, Silhouette Intimate Moments & Michelle Grajkowski, Three Seas Literary Agency

Historical Romantic Mystery/Suspense: Alex Logan, Grand Central Publishing & Kevin Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Inspirational Romantic/Mystery/Suspense: Caleb Sjogren, Tyndale House Publishers & Steve Laube Agency
Paranormal (PTTF) Romantic/Mystery/Suspense:Heather Osborn, Tor/Forge & Paige Wheeler, Folio Literary Management

Single Title Romantic/Mystery/Suspense: Margaret Marbury, MIRA/HQN & Stephanie Maclean, Trident Media Group

Mainstream Mystery/Suspense (Romance Optional)
Toni Plummer, St. Martin's/Thomas Dunne & Stacia Decker, Donald Maass Literary Agency

ACFW Genesis Contest is now open to entries! Deadline for this all electronic contest is March 31st, 8:00 am PST. The 2010 ACFW Genesis Contest is open to ACFW members unpublished in adult or young adult fiction in the last seven years. The entrant must submit the first 15 pages of their manuscript, double-spaced, and may include an optional one-page single-spaced synopsis. The manuscript and the synopsis must be in the same file, not in two different files.

Categories and Final Judges:

Contemporary Fiction: Beth Adams (editor, Guideposts), Stephanie Broene (editor, Tyndale), Barbara Scott (editor, Abingdon Press)

Contemporary Romance: Melissa Endlich (editor, Steeple Hill), Ami McConnell (editor, Thomas Nelson), JoAnne Simmons (editor, Barbour)

Historical Fiction: Janet Grant (agent, Books and Such Literary), Sarah Long (editor, Bethany House), Tamela Hancock Murray (agent, Hartline Literary)

Historical Romance: Natalie Hanemann (editor, Thomas Nelson), Charlene Patterson (editor, Bethany House), Emily Rodmell (editor, Steeple Hill)

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: Sandra Bishop (agent, MacGregor Literary), Susan Brower (editor, Zondervan), Jan Stob (editor, Tyndale)

Romantic Suspense: Susan Downs (editor, Summerside Press), Tina James (editor, Steeple Hill), David Long (editor, Bethany House)

Speculative Fiction: Jeff Gerke (publisher, Marcher Lord Press), Julie Gwinn (Fiction Marketing Manager, B&H), Annie Tipton (editor, Barbour)

Women's Fiction: Rachelle Gardner (agent, Wordserve Literary), Natasha Kern (agent, Natasha Kern Literary), Raela Schoenherr (editor, Bethany House)

Young Adult: Jacque Alberta (editor, Zonderkidz), Terry Burns (agent, Hartline Literary), Rachel Zurakowski (agent, Books and Such Literary)

Published Contests

The Lories Best Published: Deadline March 5, 2010. Open to authors published in romantic fiction in both print and electronically. FTHRW considers all published books, regardless of RWA recognition, as eligible for The Lories Contest

For books published with first release dates of January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009. All entries should be author's original work. Final Judge: Booksellers TBA.

The Lories Best Proposal: Deadline March 5, 2010. Electronic contest. Open to authors published in fiction works of 25,000 words or greater. Enter via email a proposal (up to 55 pages comprised of the opening chapters of a manuscript and a comprehensive synopsis) of an unpublished/uncontracted work of fiction, all genres and subgenres are welcome. Most entries will have romance as their theme, but mainstream entries with a romantic subplot, including young adult, are welcome. Authors are allowed to enter a proposal for a genre in which they are published.

Final round judging will be conducted by a panel of industry professionals, to include:

  • TBA, Literary Agency
  • TBA, Literary Agency
  • TBA, Editor, Single Title House
  • TBA, Editor, Category House
  • TBA, Reviewer

Miscellaneous Contest Opps!

Valley Forge Romance Writers
The 3rd Annual VFRW Writers’ Rafflemania
to benefit the Sheila A. Conway Memorial Fund

The Prize: $ 1,000.00 Check

to defray your costs for attending the
2010 RWA National Conference
(Held In Nashville, TN, July 28-31, 2010)

* Raffle tickets cost $5.00 each or three (3) for $10.00.
* Grand Prize drawn on March 26, 2010.
* Raffle tickets to go on sale during Moonlight Madness at the RWA National Conference in Washington, DC, on July 16, 2009.
* All entries must be postmarked by March 1, 2010 and received by March 12, 2010.
* Checks received after March 12, 2010 will be returned.
* Prize is non-transferable.

Deadline is February 28th for the...Wow! Women on Writing Quarterly Flash Fiction Contest.

Word Count:Maximum: 750, Minimum: 250 OPEN PROMPT! That’s right, this is your chance to shine, and get creative. You can write about anything, as long as it’s within the word count and fiction. So, dig out those stories you started way back when and tailor them to the word count.

Any style and genre. From horror to romance! So, get creative, and most of all, have fun.Entries limited to a maximum of 300 stories. Please enter early to ensure inclusion. The winner not only gets cash and goodies but an agent read! The guest agent judge is Elise Capron with the Sandra Dijkstra Agency.

Happy Valentine's Day From Seekerville. May all your romance contest dreams come true. We leave you with a little Love Story.


  1. Tina:

    Sent entries to two of these contest this week.

    Plan to enter more later.

    Thanks for taking the time from your busy life as a published author to continue posting these updates.


  2. Yes, I spent the entire week dodging paparazzi, Helen.


    Good for you for entering!!!!!!

  3. Im not an author but would love to win a book. good luck to all who enter.

  4. Oh I forgot to say Hello or G'day.
    I have plenty of hot chocolate here to share along with other specialty teas and coffees

  5. I love these contest posts! I'm planning on entering one...maybe two of these. I've never entered a contest before, and I'm really looking forward to some feedback. :)

  6. Tina, thanks so much for researching and compiling the Contest Update. Outstanding job!

    Do you ever sleep, girlfriend??

  7. Morning Jenny!

    Thanks for the hot is on.

    Lamars donuts today..running late. I was up all night with Helen. Helen you trouble maker you.


  8. Thanks for the contest links!! I'm entering the Genesis again for sure, not sure of what others I'll try yet.

  9. Good morning! Thanks for the donuts and hot chocolate to start the day. :-)

    Tina, I'm always amazed at how you stay updated on all the latest contests. You spoil us by doing all the research and handing it to us!

    I entered Genesis and Dual on the Delta last year. Will enter Genesis again and possibly Dual. Even though it's the same WIP, I've reworked the beginning so it'll be a completely different entry.

    Let the contest season begin! :-)

    Leigh (who's always up for a chance to win a book LOL)

  10. Way to go Leigh and Krista!!

    Okay, someone ate all the maple donuts. Arrgh.

  11. Love is such a small word for such a life-affirming experience!

    “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. … And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

    I Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 NIV

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  12. They make another flavor donut besides chocolate? Really?

    Thanks for the contest update and I have a question. Have any of you ever entered a manuscript that is on an editor's desk in a contest?

    I'm asking because the contest I was considering is judged by agents verses editors.


  13. Yes. I have. Keep those doggies rolling rawhide, Rose.

  14. Thanks for the contest updates, Tina! I'm a contest junkie and have recently entered my second book in six, maybe seven. I've lost count. LOL

    Thanks for the hot chocolate, Jenny!

  15. Oooo! Jacque Alberta is the Young Adult final round judge for the Genesis! She's my editor and I LOVE HER!

    Pick me to win two Seeker books! There are several I want, and I guess I may have to buy them. :-) Wish someone would give me an Amazon gift card for my birthday. LOL! My hubby gave me chocolate and an Andrea Bocelli CD. Which was very sweet, since those are two things I love. Maybe I'll get Amazon for Valentine's Day!

  16. Helen, I am so stinkin' proud of you!!!!

    That is totally awesome, dude.

  17. Tina, I'm hungry. Did you bring papparazzi for the rest of us?


    That's NOT some old-world Italian dish?

    Dagnabbit. I need food.

  18. Sherrinda.

    Oh, my.

    A contest virgin.

    Yes, I can say that here.

    We'll hold your had this first time, honey.

    Quick. Someone get something for her to bite on. And some ice chips.

    HEY! Cut me some slack. It helps in childbirth!!!


    Sherrinda, if you want any help, love or encouragement, darling, you've come to the right place. As soon as Missy gets here!


    I'm so tickled (really) that you're doing this. You go, girl.

    Hey, Lamars... Oh my I need a donut. ASAP.

  19. Virginia, you are absolutely right.

    A perfect reminder.

  20. Maple donuts....

    I brought another 24 pack.

    They gave me $.50 off.

    You're welcome.

  21. Good morning!
    I plan to enter the Genesis, if I can get my writing in shape. Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks- so much fun!


  22. Such bravery this morning in Seekerville.

    Contests are for entering.

    I think Shakespeare said it first.

    Or no wait, Biblical...
    We have not because we ask not.

    Or, in 'I want to be a published author' terms.

    We have not (had our dreams crushed like bugs) because we entered not.

  23. Tina,
    Thanks for the contest update. Wonderful, as usual.
    Sherrinda is a good storyteller. Go for it, Sherrinda. I just started entering contests in May 2009 and I've learned SO much - and after a very brief episode of mourning, pulled my big girl panties up and made my writing better :-)

  24. Tina, I just brought in two more trays of maple donuts. MMMMM!


  25. Sherrinda, I kind of know how you feel! I just entered a contest for the first time this week :) It was a good experience to edit that closely, and I'm looking forward to the feedback... and to entering more contests soon! Some of the ones listed here sound like great opportunities... thanks Tina!

  26. Way to go Casey and Faith!!!

    Mary, you sound confused. Have a donut.

    Pepper I am thinking that after I get my GH results in April, I am going to have a contest in Seekerville to pass on the diva tiaras from those who have left unpubbed island. It's shame to keep all that sparkly unused.

    Cheryl, Ruthy..saved the donut day!!!

  27. I'm fixing an entry for the Genesis, that's my contest for the year!

    Please sign me up for the winning of books. Can never have enough books.

  28. Ooh! Tina!!(hand up! hand up!) I'll take one of the tiaras. I've a fondness for emeralds. Can I have that one? ;-)
    Besides, any island that carries as much talent as is in Seekerville, is worth landing on ANYDAY

  29. So many contests, so little time... :) Good luck to all of you who've entered.
    Pepper, excellent attitude! Keep thickening that skin!

  30. Thanks, Tina! I think I've finally entered all the contests I planned to enter for the year: 7

    Oh, wait, I still need to enter one more. So that'll be a total of 8 if I'm remembering correctly. Just like being an unpubbed contest hussy! :)

  31. Tina:

    I'm funneling caffeine. In the form of Coke.

    Got the 'synopsis synapses'. Or whatever you call utter frustration at trying to get this thing down to one page.

    There. I feel better. Just had to get the rant out.


  32. I checked my email during my lunch break and was so encouraged by the comments!

    A contest VIRGIN!!!! lol I love it!

    I've heard that I will probably need medication to handle the criticism, especially for a first timer, but I'm ready for it. I'll take Pepper's advice and put my big girl panties on and deal with it. I need to start toughening up, and I definitely need to growing in bravery!!!!

    Yall can hold my hand though. :)

  33. I haven't entered a contest in 2 years, not since I lost my job and had to drop out of RWA. But now that I am gainfully employed again it's time to start. I have just finished reworking a ms that had finaled in a couple of contests before and I am aiming for the Daphne. I don't have to be a member to enter, it's a contest I've always wanted to enter, and the editor judging is one that I've been planning on sending this ms to anyway. So everything is aligned!

  34. Hello, Tina. I'm not a writer but I love to read about it here. So very interesting to this avid reader!

    Michelle V

  35. Please enter me in for the 2 book contest...

    What a full year of giveaways!


  36. Just wanted to say Hi! Would LOVE to win a free book!


  37. Oh this sounds like such fun!! I've never entered one before so I'm really looking forward to it!!:)


  38. wow...this makes me aspire to be a all of you :)


  39. Oh and I would love the chance to win a book to!


  40. Brandy...stop...come back here. You have to leave an email address to win a book. You have until Friday at midnight. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.

  41. Congrats to Sherrinda and EC for diving right in this year!

    Woo hoo to our faithful readers.

    Did I word that right? TWO BOOKS TWO WINNERS ONE BOOK EACH!

  42. MJ good for you. Genesis has awesome feedback which is discussed in the post link to Pimp Your Contest Entry.

  43. You know what all of these contests remind me of....???

    Scholarships! Ughhhhhhh.....that's what I've been spending my days doing. There's forms and the cost to ship them and the cost to do it (a little ironic, eh? Give money to get money back?) and then there's the actual application and essay(s) too! Just SO much work!

    Of course your contests are hard work too : P



    It's good advice. And not a bit dirty.


    Taking a donut to go and glad Sherrinda has a sense of humor to go along with that stinkin' cute face.



    I'm in "In Between Contest" heaven here.

    Too new to enter the pubs, and too contracted to enter anything else.

    It's contest "Limbo".

    And that's all right because next year....


    Next year I'm right back in the mix with all these amazing Seekers and our Seeker friends who get the nod this year.

    Land sakes, whatever happened to a 'gimme' win????

    Hey, Keli Gwyn's been absent. Can we talk about her while she's gone????


    I won't tell A SOUL what you say.


  45. Just stopping by to enter the February contest!!!

  46. Palms get a bit clammy when I see the contest deadlines every month. Then, I take a deep breath and remind myself that my current wip is not quite ready for submission. And that's okay. The beauty of the contest pinwheel is that it keeps spinning and each contest--most of them, anyway--comes back around.

  47. Please enter me for free to read and never have enough books on hand! Thanks!!

  48. Yes, Sherrinda, we will hold your hand. Except for Ruthy. I can't guarantee she'll be nice to you. But the rest of us will.

    And I can't believe you've never entered a contest, girl! It's definitely TIME!

  49. Ok ok OKAY

    Going to see how my little K9 Spy will do - guess y'all got my juices flowing.

    And that's w/o caffeine... usually don't need it - run pretty high octane as it is.

    So - Sherrinda, Faith and everybody... where do we shop for those panties?

    And Ruthy yes - we'll be virgins but not afraid to... pimp?! Is that how that goes?
    I'm not sure...

  50. Yeah, speaking of Keli--we need to get her sold fast. She is taking every contest out there in 2009 and probably 2010 too. WOOO HOOO..I smell a sale in the works.

  51. Hannah, it's all hard work and you will forget all about us next year when your life becomes ZOOOOMMMMM!!

  52. Here's the link for the score sheets for The Sandy!

    Also please enter me in the drawing if you would! ksf895 @ citlink dot net

  53. Michelle, long time no see!!!

    Rae, got cha in the contest as well as the rest of you lovely readers.

  54. Hmm? Did I hear my name? Leave it to Ruthy to notice I've been remiss in paying my visits to Seekerville. I beg your forgiveness, ladies. If I come up with a really great excuse, er, I mean explanation, will you let me off the hook?

    I'm excited to see the list of contests and the number of brave writers preparing to enter them.

    Me? Nope. I officially retired my latest story from the contest circuit after entering the GH. Had to you see, 'cause, well, I never expected to meet with the success as did, and I, um, kinda bombarded a certain editor who was stuck looking at my story three times. I'd hoped to get in front of her once--but three times is, like, overkill. She was really nice about it, but I never meant to become a pest--despite what my siblings would tell you. (And don't listen to them. I'm the oldest one of the bunch, but they never really got that "respect your elders" thing down enough to suit me, so who knows what they'd tell ya.)

    I wish all the entrants the best. Since I judge a few contests each year, I might have the privilege of reading some of your wonderful writing, which would be way cool.

  55. Pepper, can I hide on your boat to the island? I promise to bring my share of yummy treats for island dwellers who might be tired of coconut.

    And if you're making a list, Tina, I'd love one of those huts and tiaras myself. :-) Sad to say, but my daughter thinks she's outgrown Disney princesses so our crown supply has gotten dangerously low. I'd be happy with one even if it's slightly tarnished or missing a jewel or two... Nothing a little sand scrubbing or tree gum glue can't fix.

  56. if there's a book to give, please count me in. i'm so want to have a book or maybe more :)

  57. Wait who are you guys again? How'd I get here!? Ah! I've been kidnapped!!! (*wink*)

    (wishful thinking??? *wink*)

  58. Leigh,
    Come along - the more the merrier. I'm not good at being a lone - even when I'm alone. I still usually have plenty of people to talk to ;-)
    The only thing I ask:
    I want Ruthy's hut. I feel the kinship with Ruthy and I think it has to do with the hurricane combo of mother-of-many, food, sass, food, insanity, food, and a constant need for food.

    Although, maybe hanging out in Julie or Missy or Janet's huts - where sweetness abounds - might help me. ;-)

  59. Wait a minute...
    maybe I HAVE been influenced by Julie's hut a bit too much. There's been an inordinate amount of kissing going on in my cyberspace world lately and what's her average kisses per book? Is it like 20 or something - maybe more ;-)

  60. Ooops, so sorry Tina.
    I should have included you in the 'sass' category, right? ;-)

  61. Ooo, Tina! I have a pair of Cranky Pants I pull out of the closet to wear sometimes. Does that mean I'm really wearing Sassy Pants? That sounds so much better than Cranky Pants, don't you think?

  62. I think sass is a southern term and I am so far from a Southern Belle, it should scare you, Sherrinda. However, if you can wear sass pants with dignity ....go for it.

    I have a ball cap I wear (from Disney World) it says GRUMPY and it really is ME.

  63. Please enter me. Sorry I haven't been here since Audra's party.


  64. Yes, Walt, we know. We take daily attendance here. heheheh kidding.

  65. Hey everyone,
    Thanks for posting this, Tina--I'd already planned to enter two of those you mentioned, but thanks for the reminder.

    And please enter me in the giveaway--I haven't been entering but would love the opportunity to win one the Seekers' books!

  66. Hey Patty, good for you!! You are entered.

  67. My book is currently waiting to hit paper. Maybe soon...

    Would love to win a book.


  68. Oh, MAN, did I miss a party or what??? Look at ALL these comments and ALL these brave, brave people to put their hearts on the line with contests -- I applaud you all!

    And, Sherrinda!! A contest virgin??? I would have NEVER guessed because you seem more ... uh, experienced ... than that. :)

    Oh, Tina, LOVED the "Love Story" link -- whew!! Mind if I refer to it in my blog on Wed.?