Thursday, July 29, 2010

August Contest Update

The next six weeks are the busiest contest entry weeks
an unpublished author will see this year.
Are YOU ready?
What are your contest plans?

Share with us for a chance to win Mary Connealy's Doctor In Petticoats.

And for Julie Hilton Steele a few links to contest entering.

Published Contests

The Laurel Wreath Award. Deadline August 31. The contest is judged exclusively by booksellers. The winners of each category are awarded a Laurel Wreath Award Pendant. Books must have a copyright date of 2009. Electronic books appearing for the first time in print in 2009 are also eligible for entry.

Short Contemporary (50,000 to 70,000 words)
Long Contemporary (over 70,000 words)
Romantic Suspense
Historical / Regency
Romantic Elements
Paranormal / Time Travel / Fantasy/ Futuristic

Unpublished Contests

Dixie Kane Memorial Contest. Deadline Extended to Postmark July 31. NO ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS. Entry consists of the first five (5) pages double spaced and a synopsis (one page, single-spaced, not judged). Prizes: $50 cash prize with tie breaker and special certificate for the overall highest score of all categories. Also, first place winning entries will be sent to final judges for reading and potential requests for full or partial ms. First, second, third place, and honorable mention certificates. Winners announcements in RWR, posted to SOLA’s website, New Orleans Times Picayune and other publications.

Judges and Categories:

Short/long series contemporary, Rhonda Penders, Editor-in-Chief, The Wild Rose Press
Single title contemporary, Debra Dixon, Editor, Bell Bridge Books
Paranormal, Lill Farrell, Editor, The Wild Rose Press
Inspirational, Nicke Martinez, Editor, White Rose Publishing
Novel w/ strong romantic elements, Rhonda Penders, Editor-in-Chief, The Wild Rose Press
Romantic suspense, Lori Graham, Editor, The Wild Rose Press
Historical romance, Nicole D’Arienzo, Editor, The Wild Rose Press
Erotic Romance, Alicia Rasley, Editor, Red Sage Publishing

The Golden Rose. Electronic Deadline August 7. Entry consists of the first FIFTY pages. Optional one page synopsis that will not be judged.

Judges and Categories:

Contemporary Series – Susan Litman, Editor, Harlequin
Single Title Contemporary – Megan Records, Editor, Kensington
Historical – Emmanuelle Alspaugh, Agent, Judith Ehrlich Literary Management
Paranormal, Fantasy, and Futuristic – Alexandra Machinist, Agent, Linda Chester Literary Agency
Romantic Suspense – Kristin Sevick, Editor, Tor
Young Adult – Andrea Somberg, Agent, Harvey Klinger, Inc.
Novel w/Strong Romantic Elements - Amberly Finarelli, Agent, Andrea Hurst & Associates

Golden Palm
. Electronic Deadline August 15. Entry consists of the first 25 pages and NO synopsis.

Judges and Categories:

Short/Long Contemporary: Wanda Ottewell, Editor, Harlequin
Single Title: Adam Wilson, Editor, Mira
Mainstream with Romantic Elements: Lucy Childs, Agent, The Aaron Priest Agency
Historical: Erika Tsang, Editor, Avon
Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Time Travel: Eric Raab, Editor, TOR

Golden Pen. Electronic Deadline August 15. This contest closely parallels the Golden Heart and is presented by the Golden Network of past Golden Heart finalists. Entry shall include a synopsis plus manuscript pages, together totaling not more than 55 pages. The synopsis may not be longer than 10 pages.
Judges and Categories:

Series Contemporary – Susan Litman, Harlequin
Single Title – Katherine Pelz, Berkley
Historical – Leis Pederson, Berkley
Paranormal – Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks
Romantic Suspense – Holly Blanck, St. Martins
Inspirational – Melissa Enlich, Steeple Hill
Young Adult – Regina Griffin, Egmont USA
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements – Valerie Gray, Mira

On The Far Side. Electronic Deadline August 29. Entries shall consist of first 20 pages of manuscript plus an optional, unjudged 2 page maximum synopsis of the novel. A prologue and/or second chapter may be included if within total page guidelines.
Categories and Judges:

Romantic Elements: Alexandra Machinist, Linda Chester Literary Agency
Futuristic: Danielle Rose Poiesz, Editor, Gallery Books/Pocket Books
Paranormal: Sara Megibow, Nelson Literary Agency
Time Travel: Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks
Fantasy: Sarah LaPolla, Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Young Adult: Melissa Frain, Editor, Tor/Forge Books

Show Me The Spark! Electronic Deadline August 31. Enter the first 25 pages of your manuscript or current work in progress. $25.00 Cash Prize or Border's Gift Card (Winner's Choice) Short Sleeved Chambray Shirt.

Categories and Judges:

Contemporary -- Susanna Einstein -- LJK Literary Management
Erotica -- Elaine P. Englis
Historical -- Alexandra Machinist -- Linda Chester Literary Agency
Inspirational -- Kelly Gottuso Mortimer -- Mortimer Literary Agency
Paranormal / Sci-Fi / Fantasy -- Jewelann Cone -- Cascade Literary Agency
Romantic Suspense -- Jill Marsal -- Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Young Adult -- Holly Root -- Waxman Literary Agency

Hold Me, Thrill Me! Electronic Deadline September 1st. Entry consists of the first 20 pages.

Categories and Judges:

Contemporary: Roberta Brown, Brown Literary Agency
Historical: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency
Paranormal: Joe Veltre, The Veltre Company
Romantic Suspense: Elaine English, Elaine English Literary Agency
Young Adult: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

Hot Prospects. Electronic Deadline and Postmarked Deadline September 1st. This contest is open to both published and unpublished authors. Entry consists of a synopsis (up to five pages) and the first 25 pages of the manuscript.

The winner can choose between a book trailer, static banner and active banner from Firebird Web Designs for the book of their choice (a $300.00 value) or $100.00 USD.

Categories and Judges:

Editor - TBA
Agent - Sharene Martin-Brown, Author Representative, Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency

Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal
Editor - Jennifer Enderlin, St. Martins' Press
Agent - Amy Boggs, Associate Agent, Donald Maass Literary Agency

Romantic Suspense
Editor - Katherine N. Pelz, The Berkley Publishing Group
Agent - TBA

Contemporary Long/Single Title
Editor - Deb Werksmen , Sourcebooks, Inc.
Agent - Elaine Spencer, Associate Agent, The Knight Agency

Series Contemporary
Editor - Johanna Raisanen, Harlequin
Editor - Leanne Morgena, Senior Editor, The Wild Rose Press

Melody of Love. Electronic Deadline September 1st. Enter your manuscript’s first 25 (or fewer) pages, no synopsis. Contest limited to the first 75 entries. Finalists may be asked to submit a synopsis. Cash prizes.

Categories and Judges:

Contemporary: Beth Miller, Writers House Agency
Paranormal: Holly Root, Waxman Literary Agency
Historical: Elaine Spencer, Knight Agency

Finally a Bride. Electronic Deadline September 3rd. Each manuscript must have finaled, but not won in a previous RWA or RWA chapter-sponsored contest. Submit the first thirty pages of your manuscript. The first place winner in each category will receive a lovely engraved knife and cake server, suitable for cutting the cake in celebration of THE CALL. In addition, any book that is published as a result of this contest will receive a free entry into the National Readers' Choice Award the first year of eligibility. TWO EDITORS JUDGES EACH CATEGORY.

Melissa Endlich -- Steeple Hill

Series Contemporary
Patience Smith -- Silhouette
Wanda Ottewell -- Harlequin

Romantic Suspense
Charles Griemsman -- Silhouette
Alex Logan -- Grand Central Publishing

Historical/ Regency
Deb Werksman -- Casablanca Sourcebooks
Chris Keeslar -- Dorchester

Margo Lipschultz -- HQN

Mainstream with Romantic Elements
Keyren Gerlach -- HQN

Just For Fun

Swords & Sorcery Contest. Entry is free. From Scribophile. Amazon gift card prizes. Your entry must be fantasy short story under 3000 words. Entries must be received by August 15, 2010, and winners will be announced within two weeks of that date. Entries will be judged by the Scribophile staff, taking into consideration the ratings given by Scribophile members. Decisions are final. Only one entry is allowed per member. Multiple entries will all be disqualified.

WOW: Women On Writing Fiction Quarterly Contest: June - August 31st, Midnight (Pacific Time). "WOW! hosts a (quarterly) writing contest every three months. The mission of this contest is to inspire creativity, communication, and well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. They are open to all styles of writing, although they do encourage you to take a close look at the guest judge for the season and the flavor of our sponsor, if you are serious about winning. They love creativity, originality, and light-hearted reads. That's not to say that the guest judge will feel the same... so go wild! Express yourself, and most of all, have some fun!"

Maximum: 750--Minimum: 250 The title is not to be counted in your word count. Use MS Word's word count to determine the submitted entry's word count.Open Prompt: Open to any style and genre. From horror to romance!

Entry Fee: $10.00 Entries limited to a maximum of 300 stories. Please enter early to ensure inclusion. At 300 entries, PayPal buttons are disabled.

Check out the great prizes, including cash! Final judge is Literary Agent, Kathleen Ortiz.

Now go forth and contest!


Renee said...

Thank you, Camy, for doing this. I think the only one I plan on entering is The Golden Pen. But I'm planning on entering two manuscripts, one in Inspirational and one in Historical. The problem is I haven't, and won't, receive any feedback from previous contests for my Inspirational, so I don't know if it is even remotely working. I like that The Golden Pen is 55 pages including up to a five (I think) page synopsis.

Gina Welborn said...

As of this moment, I've chosen to retire from the contest circuit. Not because I've sold a story. Not because I don't like entering contests.

I'm just at a point that I need to be strategic. Plus I have no $ to spend on entering. Last contest I entered (didn't final, can't even remember if it was this winter or last fall), I did so because I wanted feeback on a story that I just started writing. To see how people who don't know me would respond. The judges pointed out things my cps didn't. So worth the cost of entering.

However when Golden Heart arrives....maybe. We'll see.

As far as judging, the Golden Pen is my last contest to judge this year. I'm considering taking a break from judging for a spell. Like a year or so. Not that I will because I like Camy and as long as she's coordinating the Genesis, I'll be one of her judges.

As far as coordinating, I'm pondering stepping down from TBL. If Kelly stays, so will I because I like Kelly and enjoy working with her. Of course, it might be fun to switch from helping with TBL to helping with Gensis. (Camy, feel free to ignore that last comment.)

Helen Gray said...

Coffee pot timer is set.

Like Gina, I've decided to step back from the contest circuit, at least until after ACFW conference. I've way overspent this year and need to conserve funds for Indianapolis.

I still have a couple entries out, but I'm not very optimistic about them. Some feedback I've gotten has been very helpful, but some has been contradictory.

As for judging, I only judged one this year. Not sure whether I'll do any more or not.

Right now my focus is on the conference. Hopefully I'll get some direction from the experience.


KC Frantzen said...

Hi all

None for a little K9 spy here... She's spayed. :)

I am entering the SCBWI Mid-South regional contest, due next week in fact. I believe it's the first 10 pages, limited to first 20 entries in each of the categories. I have the rules, just been working on a few other things more pressing(?) at the moment.

Guess what I'll be up to this weekend?!

Best wishes everyone on your romantic endeavors! It's exciting to share the thrill of victory!!! The agony of defeat - not so much....

KC Frantzen said...

In case you're still looking for biz cards (as discussed the other day) - these folks do a GR8 job, very inexpensively.

I just reworked my cards, and got a GREAT deal on custom cards, both sides, printed in color, delivery in 14 days - for $27.

LOTS of specials right now too -

AND splurged on a t-shirt with the same graphic and my website,just another $7. Kewl!

(not as kewl as the FOOD y'all are having at the conference I'm sure... but...)

Julie Hilton Steele said...

I guess I am overwhelmed by the contests out there and reading about folks cutting back.

Any advice on how to choose what contests you enter, besides the obvious of genre?

Peace, Julie

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

CAMY??? CAMY???? Tina the neurotic does the contest updates heheheh

Julie since Ruthy and Glynna both sold thanks to contests Ruth, Finally a Bride and Glynna, The Golden Pen. We Seekers think they are great.

Seekerville started as we were all running into each other on the contest circuit.

Start with your level of writing. Beginning? Pick one with only a few pages required. When you have a full msc then only pick those that have final the editor and agent you want to see your story.

Golden Pen most closely mirrors the Golden Heart, the cream of the cream and not for beginners.

KC Frantzen said...

Ok I lied, invoice just came thru and the t-shirt was included for the $28. :)

Yeah boy Julie - I hear you. $$ adds up when you're trying to hang on. I'm entering for 2 reasons: feedback and to get noticed for the RIGHT reasons. So because of Seekerville, I entered the Sandy and got great feedback and now I'm entering the 2nd one, with SCBWI because there will be only 20 selected for review from each category so there is a 1:20 shot at winning and having it passed along. Plus it's a freebie. ha!

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Julie, for your convenience I put a few links to contests on the post including The Savvy Diva's Guide to Contests where authors who were regular contest divas and now are best selling authors share how they budgeted for contests.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Gina, good morning! Good to see your face in Seekerville.

Janet Johnson said...

Wow, that's a lot of contests. Thanks for all the links!

Audra Harders said...

Great contest update, Tina.

So many contest names I don't recognize! Sheesh! Back in the day (LOL) there were only a handful of contests being bantered around.

Now, there's every flavor imaginable.

Contests are so beneficial, but like Tina said, scope out the ones that suit your writing level, entry length and budget.

Trust me, you can go broke chasing after the just the right contest.


My husband is sooooo thankful I can't enter a contest until 2011. He says the waiting for feedback and results is just as hard on his nerves as mine.

Isn't he a peach??

Glynna Kaye said...

WOW! Contest season is REALLY getting underway! And here's my plug for the Golden Pen for those of you who plan to pick and choose among them. When I entered it in 2008, I got great, helpful feedback from the judges AND a request from the finalist judge-editor for a complete that led to a publishing contract! I see, too, that Steeple Hill Senior Editor Melissa Endlich is judging it again, so here's an opportunity to get your manuscript in front of a real live top notch editor if you make the finals!

Debby Giusti said...

More great info! Thanks, Tina!

Waving to everyone from Orlando! Jessica drove down for the Literacy Booksigning last fun to see her!

Anne and Keli stopped by my table. Thanks, girls! Have a great conference.

Anita was there. Always wonderful to see you, dear one. Thanks for wearing my Cross My Heart button!

I wish everyone could be here. Congrats to Sherrida! YAY!!!

Fingers crossed for Daphne finalist Deb. Tonight's the night for the winners to be announced! Whoo-hoo!

Hope I haven't forgotten anyone. If I have, Ruthy will set me straight!

Hugs to all!

Glynna Kaye said...

For me, unpubbed contests were an investment in myself--in my dream--just like a college degree. No guarantee I'd find a job when I walked off with my diploma, but boy oh boy did I learn a lot. RWA and other contests taught me so much about so many aspects of storytelling, about the craft itself, about writing to deadlines, about suriving 'hits' from less-than-satisfied judges--and about myself.

So I think each person has to prayfully decide what they are comfortable doing and, like Tina said, choose contests that are at your experience level and within your budget.

Patty said...

Thanks for the contest update, Camy.

I've already entered two contest this year--the TARA(which I finaled in) and the Maggie. I hadn't heard of the Golden Pen and would consider it but here's the thing: Melissa is the final judge on that and she has the manuscript I would enter on her desk after she requested it from the Genesis. What would you guys do?

Anyway, I'm excited--conference is coming up in less than two months and I'm finishing up the first draft of my latest manuscript in the next two days. If you haven't tried it, Novel Track is a great tool in getting you in your seat and writing. Can't wait to do it again in October!


Kav said...

Rats -- I thought we'd be in a contest drought for the rest of the summer. This means I have to actually think about it. Ack! But thank you anyway for raising my anxiety level this morning. It is muchly appreciated.

I have a question about judges. How do they pick them? What experience do they have? Do they do a course on judging or have guidelines?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Contests: Can't live with 'em, and you can't shoot 'em, pass the lima beans, please...

The good:

Contests PUSH you to produce, to edit, to refine, to rethink. Without that benchmark or deadline, many authors would wallow.

This is good for pigs, bad for authors.

The BAD: Money. But, like Glynna said, it's an investment. Like picking a college course to complement your major or complete your minor, picking a contest is based on: entry level... And yeah, I'm grinnin' at you newbies (shades of me) who think you're all that and a bag o' chips...

Oh my stars, I had so much to learn.

So newbies should be hoping for success but entering for feedback. And WE'RE HERE TO PICK UP THE SHATTERED PIECES OF YOUR HEARTS, DAHLINKS!!!

Experienced writers: You're different, you should be stretching your wings, scouting publishers with similar stories or authors and targeting. Also allowing a bit of time between contests for improvement OR (a Ruthyism) entering several manuscripts in one contest (hedging your bets) in hopes of finaling once or twice.

Which goes back to another Ruthyism:

Write. Write. Write. Then write some more.

I worked my second job to 'fund' my writing, my computer (the old HP), my paper, my ink, my printer, my Internet, my contest entries.

If I'd gone to college I'd have paid mega bucks for the education. This way you're immersing yourself for $30 and a few keystrokes.

$50 if it's a hard copy entry.

Life is full of chances, but you're gonna miss 100% of the ones you don't take my friends.


As it SHOULD be, of course.


Thanks, Camy!!!!


Hey, since I'm OOT, I've got Dunkin on board for food this AM.

What I wouldn't give for a cup of Dunkin RIGHT NOW... Oh my stars, you have no idea... There is NO DUNKIN OR STARBUCKS in the Disney complex we're in.


I'm in withdrawal.

It is not pretty.

Kelly Freestone said...

I'm antsy here...but my work is SO not polished enough or even completed enough for a contest...yet!

I'm so excited to do those things...and I agree on the diva post about the tums, lol

I need them now just thinking about it.

And Ruthy...oh man, it makes me sick just imagining what I don't know about this stuff.

Sure, I can write words, but to polish them takes a rag I ain't got!


Coffee's great :)

Julia M. Reffner said...

Ok, this might be a silly newbie question but do all contests give feedback on your manuscript? I'm so new to this what I really want is some great feedback...I guess I'm afraid of plunking down money and then getting nothing helpful out of it.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Oh, Tina, you make me want to enter a contest so BAD! But I have to wait until November or December. That's when I get to enter a PUBLISHED contest! I still can hardly believe I'm gonna be published. Although I keep getting Google Alerts about blogs that are featuring my book, saying they're looking forward to reading it.

Only five more weeks until the release!!!

Time moves so slow.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Julia, not all contests give feedback, but most do. The only one I can think of that doesn't give any feedback is the Golden Heart, and it's really only for "advanced" writers.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Kelly, contests will help you with the polishing. They'll help you see the types of things you need to do to polish your manuscript. Or take a course on revising. There are lots of online courses out there, and I'm sure ACFW has some archived on the website.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi there from HOT HOT Orlando,

So fun and Ruthy is right. Her coffee withdrawal is not pretty.

I can get by with the room coffee. um hmmm. But we have a princess among us who is fussy about her coffee.

Thanks Tina for all the info on contests.

Melanie, so cute that you have to wait for a published contest now. Good going.

Congrats to Seeker contest winners yesterday. Debby mentioned them already. Always so fun to meet Seeker friends at conferences. Love ya.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Thanks for all the actually make it all seem doable!

Peace, Julie

Sherrinda said...

Oh this list makes me want to enter them all! But alas, it's a no go right now. It seems that money is a bit of an issue at this so many others. I absolutely have loved getting feedback from entering contests. Well, I've entered two and the feedback was amazing! Seriously, it is such a great way to see where your MS stands.

LOVE all the links! Seekerville is my favorite blog ever.

Renee said...

Julie, I definitely have a formula on how I chose contests. I've even written a few blogposts on breaking down contests. I haven't done one in a while but I probably will again next week.

You have to decide what it is you're looking for in a contest. If you're looking for feedback, some contests encourage judges to leave comments other contests promise critiques. I entered one recently for feedback only and received no commments. Although my scores were high, I was slightly disappointed because I would have liked more feedback.

The first things I look at are the final judges and the categories. I write in two different categories, historical and inspirational. I always research the judges to see what they publish, or if an agent to see what they are looking for. If they aren't looking for Westerns then there is no need for me to enter, unless I'm looking for a full out critique and the contest promises them. And if it is an editor that I can send submission whenever, there's no need to enter either.

The second thing I do is look to see how many first round judges there are. I tend to shy away from two first round judges. I really like three first round with the lowest score dropped. BUT if there are only two first round judges and the final judge is an editor that you'd never get in front of unless you had an agent, then it's worth the monetary risk.

There are so many variables. I've seen a lot of writers, especially newbies, enter every contest that comes along. I've chosen three for each of my manuscripts. One with first chapter and synopsis, one with 35 pages (two chapters) and then The Golden Pen with 55 (approx 3 chapters). I've done this all with the idea of seeing how strong each particular ending is so I can prepare for Golden Heart.

Sorry, for being so long winded and others may have their own way of choosing contests.

reneelynnscott at gmail dot com

Renee said...

Patty, if Melissa already has it I'd probably wouldn't enter. I wasn't going to enter The Golden Pen in the inspirational, but I've decided to go ahead as long as our finances allow it.

I've noticed Inspirational categories are few and far between. But then I just started looking right before the Maggies, which I entered, too. It was my first Inspirational category. Ever! The anticipation is near killing me, only because I really want that feedback so I can continue on. And of course I'd love to final. *grins*

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Julia always ask for a copy of the score sheet before you enter a contest that way you always know what to expect and how they judge and what kind of feedback to expect

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Why does everyone think Camy posted this??? You guys are confusing me. Tina (me) does the contest update.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

I see Ruth was here and wrote a quick little novel.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Don't waste your money, Patty. If Melissa already has it there is no point. Enter a different msc.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Unless the contest specifies that the chapter gave their judges training, then the first round judges are usually just your peers.

Some contests specify who first round judges are. Read the small print. The Golden Pen only uses Golden Heart finalists and published authors for first round.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Thanks, TINA, for this great update. I'll be looking into a couple of these. Waiting to hear back from the Touched by Love and the Maggie and hoping for some good feedback.

As for judging, in our Toronto chapter contest (called Toronto Gold, I think - they just changed the name this year!), we always have one published author and two unpubbed ones judging. But our chapter gives EXCELLENT judge training before they receive their entries. It's really a great contest (finished for this year, but keep an eye out next May!)

Waving to all the Orlando girls!

sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

Walt M said...

I am contested out for now, having entered three contests back in May/June. I await those results and will likely enter "something" maybe in November.


thelisas said...

Does anybody know: Our ms is about a married woman who loves her man, so there are definitely some "romantic"'s commercial women's fiction, but has anyone heard of this type of work entering/winning a "w/romantic elements" contest?

Pamela Mason said...

TINA -- Thank you for all this hard work!
Renee -- You rock for all your good advice!
(You too, Tina.)
This is why I love Seekerville.
And Glynna-- didn't get to comment yesterday, but Great Post!

And finally, to Ruthy: go bribe a clerk to pick up some Dunkin from a Publix there & brew it in your room!

Gina Welborn said...

Oh, Ruthy, I received the most lovely floral scarf in the mail.

I shall wear it this sunday to church.


And that refers to the scarf, me wearing the scarf, me going to church wearing the scarf. And if it weren't so daggum hot outside, I'd pop the top on the convertible and driving around letting my fabulous scarf flutter in the breeze.

Renee said...

I started the Camy thing, Tina. Sorry. It posted to her facebook and for some reason (it was very late, or early) I thought Camy had written. My apologies.

connie said...

Hey Patty, I finaled in the TARA contest, too, but in the Historical category. :)

I've entered several contests this year, and for the most part, it's been positive.

As soon as a manuscript has received feedback by 6-8 judges, it's difficult to receive any new earth-shattering ideas/comments. Once I have the manuscript as perfect as can be, I look for the contests which have the least amount of entries, as long as the final editor/agent is good. This gives me the best chance of getting my manuscript in front of an editor or agent. If a contest extends their deadlines, it's probably because some of their catergories don't have enough entries. Check, because the minimum number of entries before a category is cancelled, varies.

If you place in the top three of a contest, nobody has to know there were only 6 entries. And it adds to your list of accomplishments when writing your query letter.

Do I sound chicken? You bet I am.

Ya'll have a great day.

Gina Welborn said...

I can't remember who first mentioned the contest not being for beginners....

but since we're on that topic....

All contests aren't created the same. Some are great for newbies. Some should be for those with more experience writing. Obviously Finally a Bride has established itself as a contest NOT for beginners.

The Golden Heart, Golden Pen, and Maggie are three more that I wouldn't consider for beginners.

I'd like to say the Genesis is that, but I don't think it could ever be because it's the premier contest for all genres of CBA fiction.

What I'd like to see the Genesis do is to add an additional category similiar to Finally a Bride.

ANY Genesis finaling manuscript up to, let's say, 3 years since finaling is allowed to enter. For the sake of having a name, we'll call it The Best of the Best. Oh, I know some will say it's not fair to mix genres. As a contest judge, I say POPPYCOCK. Great word. So is popsicle, although it didn't really fit in this moment.

Good writing is good writing regardless of genre. The judges could be previous Genesis finalists/winners not entered in the category or just published authors.

And like Finally a Bride, no titles on the manuscript to increase anonyminty. Don't think I spelled that right.

This way past Genesis finaling entries aren't competing against those manuscripts with limited to no contest experience. And judges would know going in that they're getting entries from higher skilled writers. I dont' think the contest woudl have to get judges for that category.

Yes, I know it's a brilliant idea.

Yes, I believe someone (not me, for I'm only the idea maker) should spearhead a grass-roots drive to persuade Camy and the other Genesis big-wigs to add this category.

Yes, I know this would add a fresh distinctive to the Genesis. It's a win-win situation for all involved. I would even be willing to coordinate this category.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...


CONGRATULATIONS TO SHERRINDA WHO WON HER CATEGORY OF TBL. We heard the report from Nationals in Orlando last pm.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

LOL, just having fun with you Renee. :)

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

The Lisas --why not enter it in a w/rom elements category. Absolutemon. Unless it is straight HEA, go for it. W/Rom elements is really the same as Women's Fiction. All about the woman's journey.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Truthfully the life cycle of a contest is generally 8 months to a year. If you wait to get feedback from one before entering another you may be entering the next one from your window seat at Happy Valley Retirement Center.

And what if you waited and the feedback was less than anticipated or you have a wonky judge?

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Connie, I agree on your strategy. I like contests that are extended. That means lower than usual entry numbers. That kicks up your odds bigtime.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

You're welcome Pamela Mason!!!

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Gina it is a brilliant idea. But getting people to change a contest platform takes an act of God.

You could work on that part.

Sherrinda said...

TINA!!!! Thank you sooo much! I found out this morning when Jessica Nelson posted it on my Facebook wall! I was stunned! I was just tickled pink to have finaled! Talk about contests for beginners...I don't know if FHL is a beginner one, but I was sure blessed by it. I did enter the Genesis too, and got the equivalent of an A and two C's. I know, that is definitely NOT a beginner contest, but I wanted the feedback and got some fantastic advice.

BTW....LOVE your profile Pic!!! Cute!!!!!!

Gina Welborn said...

Me, work on that part?

Okay, here's the plan. Don't anyone tell Camy.

We drug her. And since we're drugging her, we drug all the Genesis-folks. Surely, Tina, with your medical backgroud, you can gain access to some mind-controlling drugs. Nothing addictive. We only want to control them long enough to change the contest rules.

Once the rule is in place, the odds of them repealing the rule is as hard as getting them to impliment it in the first place.

Not sure why ACFW bigwigs are so averse to change. I like it. Helps greatly in regards to underwear.

So back to drugging Camy...

You'll see her at ACFW, have close yet not intimate contact. Maybe pass her on the threshold to the bathroom. Go all limenal. Now once she passes out, you repeat what I wrote about adding a new category to the contests.

Resist the urge to tell her to dress as a chicken on the third THursday of every month.

Then tell her to give you access to the otehr Genesis honchos.

Repeat mind-controlling Camy behavoir.

Waa laa!

I love it when a plan comes together. Granted, you'll have to do all the dirty work but we could probably get Ruthy to cover for you. Anything exciting and criminial lures Ruthy. However, if by some odd chance she's wary, just say "Derek Jeter." That'll put her in a trance.

Tina Renobi, you're our only hope.

Patty said...

Thanks, Tina for the advice--after reading all the comments, I realized I got the Golden Pen and Finally a Bride mixed up. I thought you had to final in a RWA contest in order to enter the Golden Pen. But it's still the same problem--Melissa is the final judge in that one too.

Think I'll have to wait for the Golden Heart to open up before I enter another one.


Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

---Go all limenal--

GO ALL LIMENAL. It's liminal you goof.

I'm not going to ACFW. You have to find anothe fiendishly beautiful cohort in crime.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Sherrinda. FHL's TBL is NOT a beginner contest. Get back to work. You are close to selling. Get those puppies written.

Renee said...

Sherrinda, I'm late coming in to congratulate you! Congratulations!!!!!!

Gina Welborn said...

Hmm, you not being there could be a problem.

Mary's fiendish.

Okay, you obtain the drugs and find a way to get them to Mary. Only problem is Mary doesn't have a flip switch like Ruthy.

I could just type "Derek Jeter" and the moment she reads it, she'll begin wandering aimlesssly for 17 minutes.

So how to we convince Mary to be a fiend for us?


Oh, we could tell her it's research for her next book.

Gina Welborn said...

Voice of reason tells me we could spare ourselves the effort and just talk to Camy.

But where's the fun in that?

Sherrinda said...

Thanks Renee! I'm still floating on the clouds and am making lasagna as a celebratory dinner. Anyone wanna join me? ;)

Tina, I have to admit to second guessing myself regarding the ms I finaled with. It's my first and is riddled with problems at the end. Still editing it, btw. Grrrr...I have wondered if it will ever be ready to send out. The win has definitely given me hope and the motivation I've needed to keep the fingers flying. Thanks for the encouragement!!! word verification is SUCKEES.

Mary Connealy said...

I give a writing contest credit for the fact that I'm published today. It brought me to the attention of an author who asked me to go in on a three book series with her.

Cathy Marie Hake and Kathleen Y'Barbo and me. That was the start of it all. YAY!!!

So I'm a believer in contests BUT I didn't sell to an editor directly, though I got submission requests. None of those book sold, only the one Cathy brainstormed with me and pitched with me attached to the project. So it's not always a straight path.

God bless the broken road that led me straight to the Book Contract.

Mary Connealy said...

Fiend? What? Excuse me?

Mary's fiendish?

I can't leave you people alone for a MINUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...




Forgetting is my middle name.

Mary Forgetting Connealy

My mom regrets that but it's a little late NOW!!!!!!!!

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Susan Mason congrats on your placement in the FHL TBL!!!!

Another woooohooooo!!!

2010 Touched By Love Contest Winners

Overall Winner: When Darkness Falls by Louise Foster

1st --If My Heart Could Speak by Sherrinda Ketchersid

2nd- Hidden Light by Christine Lindsay

3rd- More Precious Than Gold by Lynn Dean

Long Contemporary
1st- Finding Grace by Stacy Monson

2nd- A Sandwich Romance by Krista Phillips

3rd- Roundabout by JoAnn Durgin

Short Contemporary
1st- When Daylight Falls- Louise Foster

2nd- Fragmented Hearts- Susan Mason

3rd- The Christmas Story by Lisa Diaz

Thank you to all the entrants, judges, and coordinators for your participation and hard work in making the 2010 TBL Contest a success.

Kelly Ann Riley ”TBL Contest Coordinator

Gina Welborn TBL Contest Co-Coordinator

Susan Anne Mason said...

Thanks so much, guys. Your lovely Julie Lessman was the first to congratulate me and I didn't even know the results had been announced!!! Second place isn't bad at all.

Huge congrats to Sherrinda! Awesome first place finish.

A little bit of good news is sure appreciated, esp when I keep seeing all these pictures from Disney (my most favourite place ever!)

Does anyone know if we get the results/comments from the pubbed judges? That would be so great.

Thanks again.


Sherrinda said...

Congratulations to you too, Susan! It's been a fun day!

You asked the question I was wanting to know as well...Do we get feedback from the last round of judges? Maybe Gina W. knows the answer. :)

Gina Welborn said...

Sorry, Sherrinda, for not answering sooner.

The "prize" for finaling in teh TBL is your entry is judged by five published authors.

That right there is a major blessing.

One of my favorite aspect of coordinating the TBL is getting to read teh comments the judges give to each finaling entry. Lots of craft of writing wisdom shared.

While Cheryl wasn't one of my Short COntemporary FRJ (actually none of the seekers judged for me this year), I learned from her comments to last year's finalists. In fact, I still have her scoresheets on my laptop.

Once Kelly gives me the go-ahead, I'll send the final round scoresheets to the SC finalists.

I"m pretty sure Abby is at RWA so LC finalists shouldn't expect their scoresheets back until sometime next week. Not sure about historical and if Sandra went to RWA.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Thanks so much, Melanie. I think this is the year for this newbie to get her feet wet in the contesting circuit. I would love the feedback if nothing else :)

Sherrinda said...

Thank you so much Gina! That is the best prize ever! I am thrilled with the news and can't wait to hear back.