Friday, April 30, 2010

May Contest Update

Welcome to the May 2010 Seekerville contest update.

The contest vault is open and we are giving away a copy of The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell.

Just say hi and leave a valid email address or have a working link back to your email address to enter. Time is words, and if I can't reach you then the prize goes back in the vault.

Here's some interesting trivia for you. The 2005 Maggies Unpublished Division. I won and Glynna and Debby placed. Debby sold first, followed by Glynna and moi trailing last, five years after this contest placing. Contests are great for many reasons. ( If you need reasons check here or here.) But in the end, it is the editor you are pleasing.

Published Contests

Aspen Gold. Deadline May 15th. The official entry form and entry fee must accompany each submission. Entries must have an original copyright or first printing date of January, 2009 through December, 2009.
Young Adult
Single Title
Romantic Suspense

Unpublished Contests

Today is April 30th. So if you are really good you can get in on the Fool For Love Contest extension which ends at midnight tonight. They're low on entries in all categories. This spells a great opp. for you.

Come on. You know you wanna!

Fool For Love. Deadline April 30th. ALL entrants must enter electronically. 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.
Short Contemporary - Jonathan Clements, Agent, Wheelhouse Literary Group
Long Contemporary - Katelynn Lacopo, Literary Assistant, BookEnds, LLC
Historical - Lucy Gilmour, Harlequin Editor
Paranormal/Futuristic/Fantasy/Time Travel - Amanda Barnett, Senior Editor, The Wild Rose Press
Inspirational - Elizabeth Mazer, Assistant Editor, Steeple Hill
Romantic Suspense - Keyren Gerlach, Associate Editor Harlequin

TARA. Deadline May 1st. Electronic entries. The first chapter, 4,000 words max (actual word count), including prologue if applicable. *Word count will be verified. No part of a second or any additional chapters will be judged. Per editor request, finalists must include a synopsis of up to 1,500 words at the time they submit revised entry for final judging.
Series Contemporary: Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin
Historical: Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks
Paranormal: Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester
Single Title: Jhanteigh Kupihea, NAL
Women's Fiction: Amy Pierpont, Grand Central
Romantic Suspense: Peter Senftleben, Kensington
Inspirational: JoAnne Simmons, Barbour Books

Ignite The Flame. Deadline May 8th. Accepts electronic and print submissions. 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.

Young Adult: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger Agency
Category-Length Contemporary: Elizabeth Mazer, Steeple Hill/Silhouette
Erotic Romance: Deb Werksmen, Executive Editor, Sourcebooks
Historical Romance: Susannah Taylor, Richard Henshaw Group
Paranormal Romance: Michelle Grajkowski, Three Seas Literary Agency
Single Title Contemporary: Leis Pederson, Berkley Publishing Group
Suspense Romance - Esi Sogah, Avon Books, Harper Collins

Golden Claddagh. Deadline May 14th. The beginning of your manuscript, including prologue, cannot exceed thirty (30) pages.
Contemporary: Lois Winston - Ashley Grayson Literary Agency
FF&P: Leis Pederson - Berkley/Jove
Historical: Barbara Poelle Irene Goodman Agency
Celtic: Deb Werksman – Sourcebooks

The Molly.
May 25th deadline. Or enter by the early bird deadline of April 25th to save $5. Pretty hefty entry fee for an electronic contest: non HODRW members:$35, non RWA members $40. Ouch! First (up to) thirty (30) pages of your manuscript. This can be a combination of Prologue plus Chapter One+, but 30 pages maximum.

Contemporary: Patience Smith, Harlequin
Historical: TBA
Paranormal/TimeTravel/Futuristic: Chris Keeslar, Dorchester Publishing
Young Adult: Katelynn Lacopo, BookEnds Literary Agency
Single Title: Holly Blanck, St Martins Press
Romantic Suspense: Danielle Poiesz, Simon and Schuster, Pocket Books

The Emerald City Opener. Deadline is June 1st for this electronic contest. "Submit your polished (think sparkling) first seven pages of your manuscript to enter. Your novel's opening hook." Categories are listed but not names of finalist editors and/or agents. (Bummer)
Historical Romance
Romantic Elements
Romantic Suspense
Series/Category Romance

Submit young adult or erotic entries in the best fitting category.

Finalists will be judged by editors and agents. And there's still more. . .finalists will also receive a private appointment with an editor or agent at the Emerald City Writers' Conference happening October 1-3, 2010 at the Bellevue Hilton.

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!

Reveal Your Inner Vixen. Deadline June 1. All electronic. "Send us your most sizzling scene showcasing sensual tension between your hero and heroine. Your scene can be a flirtation, a kiss, or a hot and heavy love scene, just as long as the reader can feel that tension!" Finalist judges TBA. Enter up to 20 pages of any scene that showcases your use of sensual tension, plus an unjudged 1-page set-up (optional). Open to published and unpublished authors. RWA membership not needed.
Series Contemporary
Single Title
Alternative: time travel, fantasy, futuristic, paranormal
Erotic Romance
Young Adult

Maggie Unpublished Division. Deadline June 5. All electronic. Limited to first 70 entries in each category. The Maggie is a highly prestigious contest and not for beginners. Entrants do not receive scores. Entry to consist of synopsis and prologue (if applicable) and first chapter(s). Total number of pages may not exceed 35 per entry. Judges TBA.

Single Title: LaToya Smith, Grand Central Publishing
Paranormal/Fantasy: Esi Sogah, Avon
Historical: Danielle Poiesz, Pocket Books
Contemporary Series Romance: Kathryn Lye, Harlequin
Inspirational: David Long, Bethany House

The Lone Star. Deadline June 6. All electronic contest. First 25 pages, including prologue, if desired. 20$ Early bird special good until May 23rd. What a bang for your buck with editor and agent judge and early bird discount.
Final judges:

Inspirational Category:
Editor - Lindsay Guzzardo – Guideposts Books
Agent - Tamela Hancock Murray – Hartline Literary

Young Adult Category:
Editor – Kat O'She – Leap Books
Agent –Tina Wexler – International Creative Management

Romantic Suspense Category:
Editor: Leis Pederson – Penguin
Agent: Tina Tsallas – Great Titles, Inc.

Contemporary Series Category:
Editor: Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin
Agent: Pam Strickler with Pam Strickler Author Management

Single Title Category:
Editor: Deb Werksman – Sourcebooks
Agent: Lois Winston – Ashley Grayson Literary Agency

Historical Category:
Editor: Alicia Condon – Kensington
Agent: Sara Megibow – Nelson Literary Agency

Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Category:
Editor: Tara Gavin – Harlequin Nocturne
Agent: Alexandra Machinist with Linda Chester Agency

Just for Fun

Deadline is May 31st 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. Entry cap at 300.

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 Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency.

The Gift of A Second Chance Contest.
A chance to win 10 thousand dollars or a copy of Debbie Macomber's latest hardcover, Hannah's List.

What would you do with a second chance? Share your story (in 100 words or less) with Debbie and MIRA® Books for a chance to win $10,000. Contest ends May 29th.


  1. I just want to say that I've really enjoyed James Scott Bell's Plot & Structure.

    I'm planning on entering at least two of the contests listed. Anyone else?

  2. I got so distracted by the contest lists that I forgot to leave my email. reneelynnscott at gmail dot com

  3. Oops! Dropped the coffee pot and broke it. I'll have to make an overnight run and get a new one in time for morning caffeine fixes. But, never fear, it'll be here.

    I sent entries to Fool for Love and TARA last Week. Then a couple today to a contest that you don't have on your list.


    Would I ever like to have that James Scott Bell book.
    helengray AT boycomonline DOT com

  4. Hi. Would love to win James Scott Bell's book.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  5. Hi!

    Many thanks for the impressive line up of competitions. Your hard work compiling it is much appreciated.

    I'd love to be the proud owner of 'The Art of War for Writers'.

    Best wishes

    Ruth Ann Dell

  6. A big thanks to Seekerville for posting the contests on a regular basis. This saves me so much time trying to find contests with inspy categories to enter.

    And, of course, would love to be in the drawing.


  7. Helen, no worries. I keep back-up pots in the cupboard just below the back curtains because we blow coffee makers regularly. I just keep buying the same models and hanging on to the carafes.

    And since I missed the party yesterday due to plague-carrying members of the family and daycare, the least I can do today is make coffee.

    But I'm ordering food in just in case I'm a carrier!!!

    Tina, lovely contest update. Oh my, the memories stir with this!

    And since I was out for the count yesterday (no, I haven't gotten it yet, THANK YOU, GOD, and tonight we're going to a hospice benefit so I'd love to stay healthy for one more day. Or forever. Your choice of prayer) just let me say that I saw The Woodcutter's Daughter in the Genesis or Noble Theme years ago, and it had all the earmarks of a story on the verge of wonderful.

    I don't remember what it did overall, but I remember it distinctly. I didn't know Mel and I didn't know the whole story, but through a few twings and twangs in the opening was a great story and a marvelous read. Those twangs of timing have been fixed and I know we're all going to be clamoring for more Melly-the-Meanie once Rose's story is released to the general public....

    Although it's taking a VERY LONG TIME...

    Tina, grrrrrrrreat job on the update. I half love that I can't enter anything and half hate that I can't enter anything.

    I'm tucking entry money away to have fun in Nashville!!! ;)

  8. I just looked at this book yesterday in my online 'dreaming of' shopping.

    I like the idea that the Lone Star contest is doing a discount. Good for them and good for we contestants!

    debraemarvin (at) yahooooo

    Thank you Tina. Hey, did spring ever come to Colorado?

  9. Thanks for your work in putting this together!!



    Debra we had snow flurries yesterday..BUT I SAW A LILAC BUSH ready to sprout. Good sign.

    No worries on the coffee pot Helen, as you can tell we always have backups for EVERYTHING in Seekerville.

    Hope you are all brave and enter as many contests as you can. The end of summer contest lull will be here before you know it.

  11. I've wanted this book every since one of my critique partners told me how fabulous it is!

  12. Ooohhh, I want that book! :-)

    forgravebooks at gmail dot com

  13. Whooooooo knew this book would be so popular.

    I guess I better get one for myself. EGADS.

  14. Great contest line up, as always.


    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  15. Mornin', all! Just poppin' in from my Zombie state (last scene and a half of a book) to say hi and good luck to all who enter a contest.

    Contests are a MUST, in my book (no pun intended) in soooo many ways ... training, feedback, networking, exposure and personal satisfaction are a few benefits that come to mind. Not to mention that sometimes they can play a part in getting published (i.e. editor judge wants to see the full!!). Sooo wade in and get your feet wet ... for me and so many others, it was an important first step (or stroke) in going from the kiddie pool to the Olympic-size pool.

    Thanks for the update, Tina!


  16. Amazing that there are so many contests out there! One of the reasons I enjoy checking out this blog.


  17. Good morning.
    Thanks Tina for the update.
    I just sent an entry into TARA last night.
    My funds for 'contests' is running mighty low already - but I've met my yearly goals for them already so... that's good.

    Now if I can just get my goals for wordcount up, I'll be doing MUCH better.

    April is NOT the time to try to teach AND write. sigh.

    I've heard great things about the Maggie.

    No overzealous germs in my house today (but I can't vouche for tomorrow) so I'm providing a beautiful fruit platter with donut holes in the center.

  18. Thanks for the contest update, Tina. Best wishes for all those entering contests!

    It's Friday. Which means I'm giving a speech tonight. Prayers are appreciated.

    Thanks for breakfast!


  19. Pepper, TARA is a great contest. Absolutely great.

    Which means I've finaled or won there. You understand that, right?

    That's how we assess things. Great finals OR amazing critiques that push us over the edge toward publication.

    TARA had both. Wonderful!!!

  20. Good morning, y'all! I'd love to win Bell's book. It's been on my wish list for quite awhile.


  21. I have James Scott Bell's other two writing books and they're great.
    He's also a fantastic presenter.
    I think he's giving the Early Bird presentation at ACFW - right?

  22. Btw Ruthy,
    I like your way of assessing :-)

  23. True confession -- I read your contest updates with a combination of fascination and dread. I've never entered one -- I hyperventilate at the very thought! -- but y'all sure make it hard to ignore them so I can't use the excuse 'I didn't know about it!' Thanks (I think).

  24. This info just in!!! The inspirational category judge of the Maggie (GRW is my home chapter) is...

    Dave Long of Bethany House!

    So y'all be sure to enter!

    Great update, Tina! Thanks so much.

  25. Thanks, Tina, for always keeping me up-to-date on contests.

    Quick question for your knowledgeable ones - it says that the Maggie's don't give scores. Do they at least give written feedback or comments?


    Have a lovely weekend everyone.

    sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

  26. OK, after that intro, I was thinking of the Maggie, and now, knowing that it's someone from Bethany House judging, I really want to enter. But I'm with Susan - do they give feedback in this contest? Last year I entered a few contests, got some great comments, but it didn't go anywhere. This year I revamped completely, and I'm SO keeping my fingers crossed in the two I've entered!

    Thanks for the info, Tina! And sign me up for the drawing!


  27. I have read James Scott Bell's other book, Plot and Strucure, so I would LOVE to read this one too. Thanks for the chance. :)


  28. Hey all! Best wishes to everyone entering writing (or non-writing) contests.

    JSB's The Art of War for Writers is the craft book to have this year. Please enter me.


  29. The Maggies judges are now up. Will add to the front page when I get home.

    Single Title: LaToya Smith, Grand Central Publishing

    Paranormal/Fantasy: Esi Sogah, Avon

    Historical: Danielle Poiesz, Pocket Books

    Contemporary Series Romance: Kathryn Lye, Harlequin

    Inspirational: David Long, Bethany House

  30. Here is the Maggies judging info.

    I have always gotten comments and I have entered at least four times.

    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 add their comments directly on the manuscripts. Scores WILL NOT be released to the entrants.
    Decision of the judges is final.

    Judges’ names will not be released to entrants.

  31. Great info on contests. If I can get them in, I'm going to enter two of them. Thanks!

    And I'd love a chance to win the book!
    carlagade [at] gmail [dot] com

  32. Hi to everyone! I would love the James Scott Bell book. I am a newbie writer and need all the tactical help I can get!

  33. I'd love to win one!
    kbarnett at q dot com.

  34. please sign me up for the book
    rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

    I already entered the one contest I wanted to, but this list is tempting me to think of entering more. Hmmm.

  35. Hi. Late to the party, but it is month end.

    I'm already looking at three of these. Is that too much at one time?


  36. Walt, that depends.

    If you're looking for info/critique and they're good contests for that and you want a sampling, then it's fine.

    If you're on a win-at-all-costs streak, then it's fine.

    Some people say that meting them out one contest at a time is the way to go... Make your improvements, then send again. I think that's really good advice for newer writers. Why waste money?

    For more established writers, I think it's okay to target several. And as my body of work (in several genres) grew, I would target according to editor or house that I figured I'd be a good fit with.

    And that helps you establish a rapport within that house, too.


    Um, we're out of food and I don't dare bake here. I called the local Italian bakery and they're sending over a selection of cakes. There's Italian sweet cream, Chocolate/rum torte with chocolate mousse filling and a lemon layer cake that melts in your mouth.

    Sooooo good. Dig in. Exercise extra tomorrow!!!

  37. Hi Tina:

    You wrote:

    "The Gift of A Second Chance Contest. A chance to win 10 thousand dollars or a copy of Debbie Macomber's latest hardcover, Hannah's List."

    Are the two prizes hidden behind a curtain like on “Let’s Make a Deal” or can you just pick the money if you win? : )


    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  38. WALT!!! Three is like nothing to a contest divo or diva.

  39. Vince,

    The chance for the book is an instant win thing.

    The money well that depends on how good your second chance essay is.


  40. I just entered the WOW! Women's Flash Fiction Contest. :) Thanks for letting us know about all of these great contests!

    And please enter me for the giveaway!



  41. Good for you, Amber. I keep saying I will enter that one!!!

  42. Regarding the Maggie questions... The judges are encouraged to write comments on the manuscript. But we're also supposed to write up a critique of the strengths and weaknesses. Most critiques turn out to be about a half page to a page.

    Of course, I'm partial, but I think it's a great contest! And in my experience, editors and agents are usually impressed by a Maggie final/win.

  43. I'm in for The Art of War for Writers. You can reach me on my web site under Contact Page.

  44. Wow! With so many people entering, I know I'll have a slim chance of winning, but I'd love to win the James Scott Bell book, so here goes:


    safe hyphen LDwrites at flash dot net

  45. Hi,
    My name is Barbara. Please enter me to win James Scott Bell's book. My email address:

  46. Would love to be entered to win James Scott Bell's book.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.