Friday, January 7, 2011

January Contest Update

January contests are the building blocks to your year. How will you begin the new year?

No pain, no gain. No guts, no glory.

Let us know what your contest plans are for a chance to win a Seeker Surprise package.

And if you're a reader tell us how you plan to support the writers in your blog world this year (buying their books? commenting on their blogs? writing reviews? hosting them on your blogs? telling others about their books?).

One prize to a reader and one to a writer. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.

Unpublished Author Contests:

Marlene Awards:Deadline Opens for entries on December 15, and ends January 15. 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 and Critique Authors for each category:
Single Title Contemporary Romance
Final Editor Judge: Amanda Bergeron, Avon
Critique Author:Jane Porter

Series Contemporary Romance (long and short)
Final Editor Judge: Patience Smith, Harlequin/Silhouette
Critique Author: Amanda Berry

Historical Romance
Final Editor Judge: Leah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks
Critique Author: Janet Mullany

Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic Romance
Final Editor Judge: Latoya Smith, Grand Central
Critique Author: TBA

Romantic Elements
Final Editor Judge: Holly Blanck, St. Martin’s
Critique Author: Gemma Halliday

Young Adult
Final Editor Judge: Kristin Daly, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Critique Author: Gwen Hayes

Yellow Rose Award for Excellence Unpublished: Deadline for electronic submissions is January 22, 2011. Entry form must be mailed. Entry is electronic. Entries shall consist of the first 25 pages of the novel. A prologue and/or second chapter may be included if within total page guidelines. Yellow Rose RWA reserves the right to limit entries to the first seventy-five (75) manuscripts received in each category.

Contemporary Single Title: Margo Lipschultz, HQN
Historical (includes Regency): Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks
Mainstream: Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Literary Agency
Paranormal: Tara Gavin, Harlequin Nocturn
Romantic Suspense: Tera Kleinfelter, Samhain Publishing
Series Contemporary: Joanne Grant, Mills & Boon
Young Adult: Elaine Spencer, Knight Agency

2011 Grand Prize (Agent Read): Emmanuelle Alspaugh, Judith Ehrlich Literary Agency

Cleveland Rocks Romance: Deadline February 1. All electronic. Computer word count is used. Submit the first 6000 to 7000 words.

Contemporary Series/Category Romance--Laura Barth, Harlequin
Single Title Contemporary Romance--Alicia Condon, Kensington
Historical Romance--Rebecca Strauss, McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency
Mainstream with Romantic Elements--Holly Blanck, St. Martins Press
Paranormal Romance--Ethan Ellenberg, Ellenberg Literary Agency
Romantic Suspense--Whitney Ross, Tor
Young Adult--Jennifer Schober, Spencerhill Associates

Fire and Ice: Contest opens January 1st. Deadline February 16th. Entry consists of the first 25 pages. This is an electronic contest.

Single Title Romance- Angela James, Carina Press

Series Romance- Victoria Curran, Harlequin Superromance

Historical Romance- Jenny Bent, The Bent Agency

Women's Fiction w/Romantic Elements-Alex Logan, Grand Central Publishing

Paranormal Romance-Lindsey Faber, Samhain Publishing

Young Adult Romance- Naomi Hackenberg, Elaine English Agency

Published Author Contests

Contests for books with a copyright date from January 2010 to December 2010.

The Colorado Award of Excellence: EXTENDED TO January 22.

The Bookbuyer's Best:Deadline January 8.

The Write Touch Reader's Award:Deadline January 11. EXTENDED!

The Golden Quill:Deadline January 10.

Bookseller's Best Award: Deadline January 15.

Judge a Book by Its Cover: Deadline January 15.

Reader's Choice Bean Pot: Postmark Deadline January 24.

The Holt Medallion: Deadline January 31.

Other Contests and Just For Fun:

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 Elaine Spencer of The Knight Literary Agency.

IDAHOPE Christian Fiction Writer's Annual Fiction-Writing Contest!

Mail the first 1,000 words of your current work-in-progress (novel or short story) or a completed story up to 1,000 words in length, along with a check in the amount of $10.00 (members) or $15.00 (non-members). Deadline January 31.

1st Prize — B&N Nook Reader
2nd Prize — $50 B&N gift certificate
3rd Prize — $25 B&N gift certificate
Every entry “wins” judges’ comments!

And finally, check this out....

Jayne Ann Krentz essay contest about romance novels. Ongoing!


  1. Since contests led to my offer of representation from one of my final round judges, I'm a HUGE fan of them.

    I encourage those who are a bit on the shy side to be uncharacteristically courageous and find out what the Contest Circuit is all about. For those contest veterans out there, I look forward to sharing in some happy dancing with you.

    I know Helen will be here anytime now to put the coffee on. Since I don't drink it, I've got the kettle whistling and a big basket of herbal teas to choose from. I recommend the peppermint.

  2. Keli, I'll have a bit of your tea and leave this big pot of coffee for those who prefer it.

    My contest plans aren't elaborate.
    Genesis is on the for-sure list. Merritt is a maybe, since I finaled in it last year. I passed on Golden Heart because of no feedback. Those are the only one I have tagged at this point.


  3. ooh tea! I have some chocolates to go with the tea!(I like dark chocolate and peppermint tea together though I'm usually a milk chocolate fan for regular chowing!)

    don't write so I'm not entering any contests! I plan on working my way through the seekerville authors this year though - even the historicals! ok at least one by each author how's that (unless any are scary can't do scary or too much drama) I've already gotten a start last year but plan to read more!


  4. Susanna, I had to smile at your comment, "even the historicals," since that's what I write. What would make you pick up a historical? The author? The setting? The period? Inquiring minds want to know. =)

    Chocolate goes with anything, right?

  5. Helen, I wish you well in the Genesis. Do you plan to attend the ACFW conference in St. Louis? It would be great to meet you in person.

  6. Sheesh, I'm chatty tonight. Guess I have my moments. =)

    I'm prying my fingers from the keyboard because I've got a hot date: soaking in a Calgon-scented tub reading a great story about a hunky rancher named Will Sullivan. G'night all.

  7. I am a reader and blogger how will I support writers I support them by reading there books and reviewing them. This year I will try to review every book. I joined a challenge and have a map of places books where the books I read take place.
    I also have a get to know you Thursdays interview with authors and am always looking to add more to the list. I also am a member of a few blog alliances.
    I love learning more about authors and introducing them to my readers.
    This year I plan to interview some aussie authors. Being an Aussie I feel I need to support the local writers also as here even the major Christian bookstores dont really feature them that well which is sad as we have some good ones here. I will be still supporting the American writers but feel its important to support the ones from here (considering I have now met one)
    Oh finished another book today which I feel so good about.

  8. Keli - for some reason I just never did like historicals much(well after I got out of late 80's early 90s bodice ripper phase!) To me they're like reading fantasy in that I have to focus and concentrate in unfamiliar territory. Once I've adjusted I do ok. But for some reason I keep worrying about the lack of birth control and pain killers during labor..yes seriously LOL! and the lack of midol too. and lack of indoor know the necessities!

    hmm what would make me pick up a historical..hmm..well someone's recommendation! I read Mary's Petticoat book pretty soon after it came out after someone on paperbackswap's love and romance forum recommended it. I liked it but it wasn't til the past month or so that I got back to reading the other 2 since I got out of the western mood I guess. I also read a couple of Winnie Grigg's Love Inspired historicals after Julie mentioned them - same with Renee Ryan's DAngerous Allies. So basically I have to have read the author, have someone recommend the author, or something catches my eye on the cover or in the description on the back.

    I've actually read a lot of historicals this year - think I set a record for myself for sure!Most were recommended by someone online that I 'know'. I know I have trouble with those set in England - where everyone is Lord this and Duke this and all those crazy titles and snobby social status people. I almost had to take notes once just to keep track of where who was ranked!I do like Amanda Quick since she's one of my favorite contemporaries under another name so I manage to handle the society stuff in hers. And I think I kinda figured out highlanders though the food is totally disgusting - blech!

    I just tend to relax and relate more to contemporary and I'm also fairly new to reading christian romance. Are any of your books published? I'll have to check them out! cowboys are good too ;-) hard to resist a cowboy or military dude..I'm also a sucker for spinsters since I'm fast becoming one myself! just read one The Preacher's Wife where the woman was a widow -that was a good book for me and I didnt' have trouble adjusting to the historical setting with it.


  9. Susanna, as you can see, I haven't managed to tear myself away from the computer. I'll pay for this in the morning.

    Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts about historicals. I can understand your reasons. Life was tougher in former times, especially in regard to health and childbearing issues. It can take time to become familiar with the terms used, too. Neither of my critique partners knew what a buss is when they saw the word in my story. (It's a kiss. ;-)

    I'm glad you found some historicals you like. Anything by Mary is great, imo--and that of many others.

    I don't have a published book yet. My agent sent my story out to editors in October, so I hope to have good news in the near future. =)

    Now I really am going to go savor some more of Tina's book.

  10. I hope you get good news soon Keli!
    I wouldnt' have known what a buss is either unless there's enough clues in context LOL!

    I'm no night shift rotation so trying to stay up a bit. Maybe I'll try finishing the book I've been on for the past 3 days!


  11. Keli I hope to see your book in print. I take it you are a historical writer. its actually my favourite genre. I love the times. not so much regency but love the old west. Although just finished Highland blessing set in Scotland and LOVED it.
    I do like contemporary too. the only books I really struggle with are heavy suspense or horror (LIS is good) and Chick lits. Some are ok but I read a few in 2009 that had me want ing to slap the heroine something fierce. I get annoyed with 30 something self centered and obsessed with getting married as if life will end without a fellow. In fact the one I disliked most in 2009 most others had it on there top 10 for the year.

  12. I'm not sure if I'll enter any contests this year. I've talked so much about Emma's Outlaw in previous years I even had one author email to say she had to pass on my entry because she recognized it. I think I'd have to change the name before I put it out there again.

    And although I get decent enough scores in the Genesis, I'll never final because they average the scores. The only contests I final in are when they drop the lowest score. This comes from the fact that readers either love or hate my stories. And I like that because it shows I've hit their emotions. Of course it'd be better if everyone loved them but then I'd doubt the truth of it because it's not natural for everyone to like the same thing.

    However, I'm thinking I may have to enter some contests to get my stories before the people I want to take notice.

    And due to my location, I only enter contests that allow electronic submissions.

    So I guess I have to do some more praying on this matter and see which way the Lord wants me to go.

    Thanks for the update, Tina.

    Anita Mae.

  13. Oh my stars, what a fun convo in the middle of the night! At least my middle of the night, LOL!

    You guys rock.

    Keli, I'm turning some of your tea into chai this morning, a latte version. I'm in milk-mode. Goes with the snow. And I'm praying for so many of our friends to cross that bridge, kind of like going from being a Brownie to a Girl Scout. Anybody else remember that? The "Bridging" ceremony?

    I felt so grown up. I was eight.

    Susanna, I love your insight on historicals, what makes you grab them. You took, Jenny, because you're an avid reader. One of my fave books (yes, on the keeper shelf) is Neville Shute's "A Town Like Alice" and one of my favorite, hit-home lines in that book is when the hero talks about how hard it is to 'get it right' if you're not FROM a place. He was referring to an abo painting and how perfectly he'd captured the essence of the scene, but then he was painting HIS place. Kind of "Write what you know".

    I would love to visit Australia someday. Amazing.

    I'm a word-of-mouth reader. If someone I know, love or respect recommends a book, I read it. That doesn't mean I love it, but I want to see why THEY loved it. And a lot of that comes down to personal things that have happened to us. Except in humor, because humor is universal. We all love to laugh.

    Eating chocolates and loving them, Susanna! I brought a new round of stuffed French Toast with tri-berry topping and whipped cream. Note to all: THIS IS NOT A HIGH-PROTEIN, ATKINS-FRIENDLY DISH.

    But utterly worthy, Paula Deen style. Dig in!

  14. Keli is a little night owl! Hope you had a nice bath and read last, this morning?

    I have a question for whoever...When is says Historical Romance as the category, can it be inspirational? Or does it have to be just historical? Should you only enter contests with inspirational categories if that is what your genre is?

  15. Keli was a little talker wasn't she? What fun!!!

    The Merrit didn't have their new contest stuff up yet, Helen. That was disappointing.

  16. I remember reading a msc for a friend..YEARS ago..and she had CHAIN MAIL in it.

    I was totally stymied.

    Chain mail? Like a chain letter?

    Apparently ...NOT.

  17. Wow, quite a bit of information flowing over the wires early this morning.

    My contest plans include the Yellow Rose and Genesis, and that's all for Winter/Spring.


  18. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraJanuary 7, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    I am a reader so I will do my part by commenting on blogs and reviewing the books I read. I would love to be a judge for a contest but I don't know where I could sign up for one.

  19. Kav the reader : she's supporting writers by buying and reading as many books as she possibly can and then writing reviews on her lurkish kind of blog and posting reviews on

    AND to celebrate a year of reading Inspirational Fiction she is buying a second copy of every book she reviews in January and holding giveaways all month long on said blog. It's her small way of supporting Christian writers and retailers.

    Kav the writer -- is sitting on the fence about fact she's kind of skewered on a picket, but she's trying to pry herself loose.

  20. Hello everyone : )

    Stopping by before I need to head in to work, us working girls gotta keep trucking : P

    As you know, I'm a 'reader' out of these two. I do buy the books and review them as much as I possibly can, but money's tight, not going to lie. So this year I want to try and host more on my blog (THANK YOU to those who helped me kick off during my blogfest! Those were my first interviews at all). I want to help spread the word because these books are absolutely wonderful and very fulfilling. When I do read a book though, I've always tried to be very good about giving my feedback to the author. I know my one little email or however I tell them doesn't mean much in the overview of things, but if I can provide one smile on their face, I'd be happy! Lol...I want all of you authors to know that you are appreciated and feel that you are because you deserve to. You put so much out for us, we should show you our gratitude somehow!

    Okay, got to go finish getting ready!!

  21. Sherrinda, that's a great question.

    It can be either. You can enter it in inspirational or the straight historical and see what people think.

    Sometimes for shorter inspies there's an advantage to going straight line, like contemp, historical, paranormal, etc.

    If they offer a SHORT inspy category, that might suit better.

    If it's straight inspy, then you're up against short and long books, historicals and contemps. That's a big sweep of genres.

    So I look at the categories, then the entry. Is it light enough to go into regular category romance? Would it fit? Most times the answer is yes.

    Glynna won the Bookseller's Best Award last year by entering Dreaming of Home in the traditional category. Not inspy.

    Just a judgment call.

  22. Keli was interviewing Susanna, I see.

    The reason she stayed away from historicals is the reason I go there. I want to go 'farther' away!

    Wish I had something new to submit to a contest. Betcha one of these is the 'door-opener' for a Seeker groupie!

    Ruthy, I remember bridging! Sigh. All those events in our lives that bridge us to a new journey. how sweet.

    I was just told I had the start of a cataract. Sweet. Felt like a BRIDGE to OLD AGE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

  23. Ausjenny I've pretty much stopped reading chick lit myself because I want to slap the heroine.Seems like the older I've gotten the less tolerance I have for chick lit.

    more chocolate..wanna go back to bed but my parents are getting read to leave. my dad finds out if his cancer treatment is working and my mom has stage 3 and they believe stage 4 brain cancer - possibly differnt types - and it's spread around in different sites but they're talking radiation and chemo to see how it does - not too promising since hers is the aggressive kind and they're having to wait to start due to the biopsy site healing. just trying to hang in there!


  24. I love my publisher! They entered my book in most of those contests, and I entered a couple too, just because I couldn't help myself. Apparently, I still haven't conquered my addiction. I have to say, it feels good to enter contests again!!!

    Thanks for the information, Tina. You are wonderful!!!

    Soaking up a little love before I go see if I have any more nasty reviews since yesterday. But shhh! Don't tell Ruthy! She told me I shouldn't look at them and I told her I wouldn't! Ducking my head in case Ruthy is reading this.

  25. The only contest I'm thinking seriously about doing right now is the Amazon Breakthrough one - unless another one strikes my fancy. Contests are nerve-wracking!

  26. Contests are one of those things that overwhelm my brain. Just going down the list makes my head spin. I'll have to think on it before I figure out what to do. The only contests I've entered were with my local network's conference back home - HACWN.

    Vince, thanks for the adive on the tag! Much appreciated!

    I just sent out my first book proposal!!! I'm excited, nervous, and want to sleep. Hmm...maybe I am coming down with what my kids have...

    Oh, my! I completely forgot my cup of tea. Better go make it now. All I've had are two mini Twix bars. A delicious if un-nutritious start to my day. Anybody have omelets going this morning? Maybe I'll snag one of those.


  27. Thanks for another fantastic update, Tina!

  28. brain has come up with a question for those who familiarly ride the contest circuit. For a contemporary inspirational romance novel of about 82,000 words, what would be the top three contests to enter?

  29. Susanna, praying for both your parents and you.

    We all know that chocolate only helps so much, honey. God bless you.


    No one as knocked-out-attractive as you should be worrying about old age.

    If you had a cyst on your finger, you'd just think of it as a... cyst.

    So this is a catacyst.

    We've renamed it to remove any negative age connotation.

    You're welcome.

  30. Ooo, yeah, it was really bad today. All those people appreciating the FREE BOOK they were able to read on their Kindles.

  31. Melanie, I had already read Healer's Apprentice. Loved it! You kept me guessing without frustrating me. Good job!

  32. Thanks for the contest update, Tina! I entered five of the pubbed contests you list. Would do more but I barely have enough copies of The Substitute Bride to enter those.

    I love contests! Love to get my books in new readers' hands. Love the potential for a final or even a win. Exciting, disappointing--contest results run the gamut.

    I brought toast with peanut butter and honey. Nice to munch at our computers.

    Susanna, thanks for including the historicals. I'm hoping you'll fall in love with them! Notice I didn't say praying since that would be a little self-centered of me. :-)

    Jenny, we love our readers, especially those who get the word out like you do. Thanks!

    Thanks, Hannah, for your encouraging words! You're a sweetheart!

    Hugs, Janet

  33. I am waiting to hear back from a publisher about my manuscript they requested a full of. However, if that does not go as well as hoped, I will be entering the Genesis. I am keeping an eye open for other contests as well and I'm so glad you posted these! How exciting.

    Our blog (inkspirationalmessages) is talking about books we have on our list this year this week and next week. So that is one thing I am doing for the authors I am interested in. Only I have more authors I like than I can blog about...

    We also have guest authors on from time to time.

    Hey Kav!! You're joining me in the poor house buying all these books, you might as well join me in the contests. Your writing would blow mine out of the water. What are you waiting for girl?

  34. Kav, the gauntlet's been thrown.

    And I was wondering the same thing.

    What are you waiting for?

    No pressure.


  35. Hey ho!

    How about this? I was just looking at contests in the brand spankin' new SCBWI magazine on line. :)

    They discuss how to get one of the "shiny gold stickers" for your book. Fascinating article.

    I haven't decided which ones but the Vulcan mind meld is working this morning!

    Not sure if that puts me in the running for anything but if so, may at maythek9spy dot com.

    Thanks for the nudge! More later - dashing today... :)

  36. Melanie~ You did such a good job advertising your Free Book, so lots of people read it. Right?

    I'm with Susanna and Jenny on the Chick Lit thing, all the way. I've even read some of the chick-lit style Christian fiction, and just couldn't take it.

    Historicals, I love! Scottish Highlands, English tearooms, Wild west ranches, all of them. I just eat 'em up. Janet, I have yet to read one of your's, but I love every cover I've seen, and I'm dying to get my hands on them. I think "Courting Miss Adelaide" is my fave with the big gorgeous hat.

    While I don't gravitate toward contemporaries in the same way, I do read a lot of them. I have several "must read" authors, esp. Love Insired ones...Since I discovered Seekerville, that list has grown considerably longer. :)

    Ahh, Contests! I'm just starting out. I have something less than 3 chapters completed on my first novel. Though I do have enough pages completed to enter it in Genesis (and I seriously considered it because Camy is both enthusiastic and persuasive when talking about that contest), I've decided against contests this year altogether. I'm gonna spend 2011 learning the ropes and finishing my first MS. Lord willing, I plan to jump in with both feet in 2012.

  37. Andrea, a completed msc is a wise idea. Are you and Carol critquing?

  38. Marlena Fortune did a post where she discusses top contests.

  39. Kav!!! Wonderful answer.

    Laura you rock too.

    If you want to judge published author contests you should go to the published author contests listed..and you can go the labels section of Seekerville and click on Contest Update...for more..

    Email the contest coordinators and let them know you want to judge and which category. They will put you on the list. Usually they will not let you judge if you are also a writer.

  40. Tina~ I'm calling my "almost 3 chapters" MS a diamond in the rough, very rough. I haven't decided to subject inflict it on anyone yet, but Carol and I have talked about it. She sent me a copy of the MS she just submitted.

    It may the Winnie the Pooh in me coming out though. I'd much rather help someone else perfect their work than work on my own or have someone look at it.

    w.v. is "lightfru" : Did Romeo have a speech problem?
    "But soft, what 'lightfru' yonder window breaks?"

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

    I'd love to win a surprise pack.

  41. Deciding rightr now how many of my 3 books I'm entering in Genesis, maybe others but right now that's my whole focus! Ahhhh! how did I miss the deadline was earlier this year?

  42. Ruthy I haven't read a town Like Alice but did see the mini series with Bryan Brown.
    I haven't read as many non christian fiction. I have read a few aussie christian historical which have been really good. A couple based on fact and around the time Sydney was first being settled and a few set in my state of South Australia Oh and a few Mary Hawkins has written.

    Im glad Im not the only one who struggles with some chick lit. I think being 40 something single and never really being in love but content some of the heroines really annoy me. its not so bad if they are not obsessed. I had no problem with Camy's books.
    I wish someone would write a book with the heroine in there 40's who is single and never married who finds love for the first time. I am sure im not the only one who would enjoy a book where the heroine is a little older. normally if they are its having a mid life crisis in the marriage or something similar. I think alot forget there are over 30's who are single never married or in a relationship. I hope this all makes sense someone couldn't sleep it was a hot day and a hotter night its now 3.18 am and I really need to try and get some sleep.

  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. I'm baaack, although I'm kinda tired--thanks to Tina and her drool-worthy cowboy hero and spunky nurse heroine.

    Jenny, I am a historical writer, and I, too, hope you get to see my story in print one day. It's set in the heart of California's Gold Country in 1870, although it's not a mining story. It's about two mercantile owners in direct competition, and there are sparks flying at times. =)

    Sherrinda, in the early days of my writing journey I entered my historicals in that category of some contests that didn't have an inspy one, but they didn't fare as well there as they did in the inspirational category. Some judges were turned off by the spiritual elements in the entry, even though they were mild--such as a one sentence prayer--and made some not-too-kind comments. Considering that my "sweet" story was up against far "steamier" ones, I think I was doing myself a disservice by entering in that category.

    When I returned to the contest circuit two years later, I was more choosy. I figured my money was better spent if I concentrated on contests with an inspy category. I made one exception that worked well for me. I entered The Emily's historical category and won--spiritual thread and all. The reason I chose to enter is that The Emily allows for sub-categories. I was able to specify that my story was an inspirational historical, and they found judges who were comfortable with that designation and took it into consideration as they judged it. It's a very well run contest.

  45. Susanna, you poor dear. My heart aches for what you're going through. May the Lord uphold you as you navigate the choppy waters ahead. Cyber (((hugs)))

    Debra, my mom had cataract surgery at a fairly young age. She'd been extremely near-sighted, so they put correction in the lenses. She's got great vision now--for a fraction of the cost of my LASIK surgery. It's amazing what can be done to help us as we "mature" these days. And for what it's worth, I about choked on my sweet tea when I read someplace else that you're a grandmother. You look far too young for that.

    (Sorry about the novella. I had to break it in two because Blogger said I'd exceeded capacity. Now you know why I have to use the delete key a lot when I'm editing. I'm a tad bit on the wordy side when I get going. =)

  46. Thanks for this post, Tina! ~ As a reader (and fan of MANY wonderful Christian authors--including many Seekers!) I enjoy spreading the word about their books (on my personal blog, FB page, and by mouth,LOL). As a writer, I'm PERSEVERING (my one word for 2011) and learning all I can, AND I plan to enter the Genesis--a huge step for me, since I've never entered a writing contest in my life! (well, I did win a poetry contest one time and have a published poem, haha!). ~ I'm excited and nervous about this contest, but especially look forward to receiving feedback from the judges--am hoping to get some good suggestions that'll help me improve! ~ I brought some Georgia Peach butter this morning--to go on Janet's toast (even though her honey and peanut butter sounds yummy!). ~ Blessings, Patti Jo :)

  47. Sorry about the deleted comment. Blogger said it was too big, but it showed up anyhow.

    I'm leaving now. Don't want to be overstay my welcome. =)

  48. P.S. Susanna, praying for you and your parents....I know this is a difficult time, but lean on the Lord, and He will give you the strength you need. ` Sending a hug from Georgia, Patti Jo


  49. I try to buy books of those who are in my blogging world. I haven't done as much as I would like but hope to do more book buying this year. Even when I don't buy, however, I always try to help promote their books.

    This year will be my true contest year. Part of my goals is to enter at least three contests, maybe more. I'll be looking for contests with March deadlines or later.

  50. I think the only contest I am going to be entering right now is Susan May Warren's Fraiser if she opens it up this year. I learned a lot from that one and would love to learn more! :) But I think that will be all. Until I grow more in the craft, I'm going to go easy on the contests. :)

  51. Wow that's a lot of contests. I hope somebody here enters and wins at least one of those!

    As for me since I'm just a reader I'll be doing all of the above that you mentioned including buying, reading, reviewing and interviewing! I'm always up for posting interviews so if any of you Seekerville authors would like to be questioned let me know. ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  52. Hi Ruth:

    It is interesting that you would quote Nevil Shute because I was thinking last night about how “Winter’s End” has the same kind of serious sadness substratum that I found in Shute’s “Requiem for a Wren”. (I was thinking about Australia yesterday.)

    I think you would like “Requiem for a Wren” which is my favorite Shute book. Imagine two people who are perfect for each other: two people who suffered terribly and who could be the only two people in the world who could heal each other. Then imagine that the book opens after the heroine’s untimely death.

    Oh what could have been! This book could not have a happy ending but if the heroine had lived, it would have been a great romance.

    If you read this book, and you have tears, be prepared to shed them in quantity.


  53. Renee, for the record, you are not "just a reader." You are a Reader, one of those wonderful people we writers couldn't live without. Plus, you're an enthusiastic reviewer of books and supporter of authors. In short, you're AWESOME!

  54. Keli:

    You bet I'm planning to go to St. Louis. I live just down the road. Would love to meet you!


    Last year's Merritt deadline was 2-14, so I bookmarked it to watch for updated information. The other one I bookmarked is Duel on the Delta. I don't want to look beyond March at this point.


  55. Ausjenny - I'm with you! I just hit 44 and have been totally stupid over one guy my entire life - never married. I want a story where the woman is my age or even older and falls in love. seems like the few that fall into my age range are either widows or marry someone with kids to raise them or something. like we're washed up and over the hill or they have to make her young enough to have children to be of any worth to the story!

    Janet - I have one of your historicals -t hink it's the latest - on my list to read one of these days! Also one caught my eye at wally world the other day but I held off getting it just yet since I have so many to read - something by Lyn Cote and that caught my eye with the woman being a doctor(think she's a doctor) with a kid of the opposite race and thetown hates them and the badboy hero jumps to her defense..was REALLY hard putting that one back on the shelf and may have to go back for it!

  56. I checked the RWA Yellow Rose contest. They don't have a seperate contest for inspirational writing because they haven't had enough entries to keep it seperate. Has anyone here successfully entered christian books in the Yellow Rose with a happy outcome?

    Vince, I'm leaving a message for you on wednesday's post in order to stay on topic.


  57. Since Anita mentioned changing the title of Emma's Outlaw if she entered it in contests again....

    I think it's wise to change the title if the manuscript has been on the contest circuit for more than a year. Especially if you're entering it in a contest you previously entered it.

    One way to vex a judge is for her to get your manuscript a second time and remember enough about it to know you hadn't changed hardly anything during the last year.

    Oh, sure, you'd like the judge to send it back to the coordinator, but not all contest have rules that require a judge to do that. I certainly don't mind if my Touched by Love judges get entries they've judged before. Have editors never taken second looks at manuscripts? Of course, I'd never demand a judge rejudge something.

    I've rejudged entries.

    Fabulous scores when they improved the manuscript.

    When they didn't...

  58. Hi Ausjenny & Friend:

    I know of a perfect romantic mystery series by Alexander Mccall Smith with a single 44 (or so) year old single heroine who is a rich philosopher. (Smith is a real life philosopher).

    She has a young musician friend who falls in love with her and of course she’s a philosopher and he is way too young but the heart does not care that much for logic. Besides she has a most beautiful soul and the soul is eternal!

    I’d have to say this is the most amazing romance series I’ve ever read. Read the blurbs and see what you think!

    1) Sunday Philosophy Club: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel
    2) Friends, Lovers, Chocolate: An Isabel Dalhousie (Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries)
    3) Attitude to Rain: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel (Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries)

    Alexander Mccall Smith is so good that I expect he will one day win the Nobel Prize. He is also an international best selling author.


  59. Okiedokie - I'm gonna enter IDAHOPE, I think--but my main contest focus for this month is getting my MS ready for Genesis :). I assume that'll be on NEXT month's list, yes??

    And I LOVE surprises. So put me in for the package!

  60. Ruth. enough.

    Keli. I wouldn't mind cataract surgery with new lens implants. It would be nice to have something new and perky about me. NOTE I SAID LENS.

    What is SWBCI or whatever it was? I'm not good with acronyms.

    I have listened to every Alexander McCall Smith book I can get near my ears. I alternate between him, Elizabeth Peters' Amanda Peabody, and the 19thc English authors while commuting.

    I'm already looking forward to the Carol and Genesis awards night!

  61. thanks Vince! I checked and my library has at least the first book so I'll go by Monday or Tuesday when I'm off and pick it up.

    so tired..slept good earlier but woke up around noon and couldn't get back to sleep. gonna be a long night shift!


  62. Linnette, I don't decide on a contest based on the category. I do it based on the final judge.


    Contests are for growing your manuscript.


  64. Funny you say that about historicals, Susanna.

    I started romance reading as a historical reader and later converted to contemps..where I am now.

  65. Tina, how do you do that? What do you look for in a judge? I'm totally out of my realm here.

  66. Late to the party today, but I've thought about contests. I will enter Genesis and the Maggies. After that, I don't know. It depends on who the final judge is.

  67. Susanna, special hugs coming your way. Remember there are always people who care and can help you be strong -- or who can be strong for you when it gets to be too much.

    Tina, you always amaze me with the contests you know about and pass along. You spoil us!

    I haven't decided on any contests yet -- not as many viable choices now that I'm writing for the middle grades market. I'm hoping to join SCBWI soon so might be able to find some things through that. (BTW, that stands for Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators).

    I made a quick trip to Walmart last night during our son's trumpet lesson and found 2 books in my bag when I got home. One has something to do with a Rocky Mtn hero and the other a rancher's reunion ... ? :-) Buying books is my favorite way to support you hardworking authors. Now I just need to get better about posting reviews for my favorites. Another good intention for 2011.

    I'm getting the munchies so think I'm about to fix popcorn. There should be plenty to share!

    Happy weekend, y'all!

  68. Sherrinda, you can enter inspirational historical romances in secular historical romance categories.

    I used to do it all the time before there were hardly any inspirational categories to enter.

    I finalled and won several, even transferred my Golden Heart entry from the Inspirational Category to the Short Historical in 2001 when the Inspie category didn't have enough entries.

    The manuscript finalled in the Short Historical category, then won the Inspirational category in 2004.

    Having said all that...

    Once RWA chapters started adding Inspirational categories with CBA and/or Steeple Hill editors judging, I stuck with Inspie categories almost 100%.

    After a certain point of entering contests, my eye was always on who the finalist judges were.

    Oh, and how well an inspirational ms does in a straight historical romance category can depend on how much of an inspirational tone it has.

    I had judges who would say, "Is this an inspirational?" but I don't ever remember one knocking off points for that.

  69. I'm talking about a final judge, Linnette. Editor/Agent.

    For example..if a Harlequin editor was judging traditional or historical and there was no inspy could still enter in the traditional or historical category..because..Harlequin editors can acquire for all lines. And they are known for telling authors to submit to other editors in the company. That is like a referral.

  70. Andrea was going to post for me but my internet seems to be working now =D. PTL!

    I entered Great Expectations and am planning on at least one and possibly 2 Genesis entries. We'll see how rough draft writing goes this month on the second one.

    Andrea and I [and Helen!] have talked about doing a crit group of some sort but nothing off the ground yet. Andrea has pointed out 2 or 3 typos she found in the MS I sent to an editor yesterday /whimper/. And that was just in the first few chapters /more whimper/

    But I was reading Husband Tree today too and noticed two typos in two pages so...

    I will scroll through these in the next couple of day since my internet was down and I had a doc appt this morning and hung out with a 3yo all afternoon :).

    Anyway - I'm in for prize packs ;).

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

    Captcha: Fabbit - is that a fake rabbit?

  71. Carol~

    I did type a comment, but it managed to get lost in cyber space somewhere between preview and publish. Then I got called away from the computer. When I got back it was irretrievably ;) lost.

    So, so sorry. 1,000 sorries. :(

  72. Blogger eats irrationally.

    Bad boy.

    I love all this talk of contests. Remember:


    That doesn't mean they'll all be good, but I considered it 'college tuition' that I wasn't spending on college.

    And I unearthed some REALLY BAD contest scores while cleaning office files.

    OH MY STARS. Can you say 50/150????


    And unfortunately they were so right. Dagnabbit.

    Vince, I'm going to check that out. I love writing older heroines, and I just might jump into one this next year. Let's see how things go, but I know so many wonderful gals who share Susanna and Jenny's prototypes.

    And I'm not a chick lit fan, even the well-written ones. I just want to smack 'em for being so self-absorbed. I mean, really????


    But it's good to find our cup of tea.

    Chai, for instance. With a rollicking good romance. Because I LOVE romance.

    And this discussion.

  73. YIKES, Tina that's scary seeing my name like that. Okay, I get it. ;)

  74. Thanks Keli you're such a sweetheart and encouragement! :-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  75. I just read Leigh's comment!!!

    Way to go !!!!!

  76. Leigh! I love your Walmart bag! Thanks for supporting the starving writers, LOL!