Friday, April 29, 2011

May Contest Update

I love May because here in the West we're just beginning to see spring. The buds on the trees are swollen and ready to burst into bloom. (oddly enough we had snow on Wednesday) Mysterious things are peeking up from the ground: peonies, daffodils, tulips and grape hyacinth.

The spring of contest season is also about to begin. If you didn't final in the Golden Heart or the Genesis, put away your story and start something new. All things are possible with upcoming contests and a new manuscript in hand.

Today the contest vault is open and we are giving away a copy of Mary Connealy's latest release from Barbour, Deep Trouble (release date May 1st) to one visitor.

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

Unpublished Contests

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: Brenda Chin, Harlequin
Historical: Leah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks
Paranormal: Elizabeth Bistrow, NAL
Single Title: Lauren Plude, Grand Central
Women's Fiction: Holly Blanck, St. Martin's Press
Romantic Suspense: Emilia Pisani, Pocket Books
Inspirational: Natalie Hanemann, Thomas Nelson

The Molly.
May 15th deadline. 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.

Final Round Judges:
Contemporary: Susan Litman, Harlequin
Historical: Katherine N Pelz, Penguin Group
Paranormal/TimeTravel/Futuristic: Meredith Giordan, Berkley Publishing Group
Young Adult: Elizabeth Bistrow, NAL
Single Title: Rebecca Strauss, MacIntosh & Otis Literary Agents
Romantic Suspense: Whitney Ross, Tor Books

Ignite The Flame. Deadline May 16th. 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.

Laura Bradford: Young Adult (Agent at Bradford Literary Agency)
Deb Werksman: Historical Romance (Editor at Sourcebooks)
Charles Griesman: Category-Length Contemporary (Editor at Harlequin)
Marlene Stringer: Suspense Romance (Agent at Stringer Literary Agency LLC)
Susannah Taylor: Single Title (Agent at Richard Henshaw Group)
Leis Pederson: Paranormal Romance (Editor at Berkley Publishing Group)
Lindsey Faber: Erotic Romance (Editor at Samhain Publishing)

The Emerald City Opener. Deadline is May 31st for this electronic ONLY 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, however they do mention that the finalist judges will be at their conference. (Bummer-don't they know this is how we decide where to spend our bucks?)
Historical Romance
Romantic Elements
Romantic Suspense
Series/Category Romance

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 and new for 2011, YA. Each category winners receive a $100 dollar prize. Final judge is an acquiring agent or editor. Check out the website for a contest instruction video!

The Catherine (formerly the Original Golden Opportunity Contest). Deadline June 1. Entry consists of the first 30 pages, including the synopsis, but not including the cover sheet. Electronic entries.

Final Round Judges
Contemporary Series Romance – Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin
Contemporary Single Title Romance – Margo Lipschultz, HQN
Historical Romance – Katherine Pelz, Berkley
Paranormal, Fantasy, Futuristic – Esi Sogah, Avon
Romantic Suspense – Leis Pederson, Berkley
Strong Romantic Elements – Kathleen Gilligan, St. Martin's
Young Adult – Karen Chaplin, HarperCollins Children's Books

Gold Ticket Round: Category winners are entered into the Gold Ticket competition judged by Kristin Nelson from the Nelson Literary Agency. The Gold Ticket winner will receive a three-chapter critique by New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong. WOW, Love this!!!

The Lone Star. Deadline June 8. All electronic contest. First 25 pages, including prologue, if desired.Early bird entry: $5 discount on all entries submitted by midnight May 25, 2011. What a bang for your buck with editor and agent judge and early bird discount.

Final Judges:

Inspirational Category:

Editor: Rachel Burkot - Harlequin
Agent : Kimberly Shumate – Living Word Literary Agency
Epublisher: Nicola Martinez – White Rose Publishing

Young Adult Category:

Editor: Kat O'Shea – Leap Books
Agent: Susan Hawk – The Bent Agency
Epublisher: Meghan M. Conrad – Ellora's Cave

Romantic Suspense Category:

Editor: Katherine Pelz – The Penguin Group
Agent: Tina Tsallas – Great Titles, Inc.
Epublisher: Kelli Collins – Ellora’s Cave

Contemporary Series Category:

Editor: Wanda Ottewell – Harlequin
Agent: Pam Strickler – Pam Strickler Author Management
Epublisher: Lori Graham – Wild Rose Press

Single Title Category:

Editor: Deb Werksman – Sourcebooks
Agent: Michelle Grajkowski – 3 Seas Literary Agency
Epublisher: Leanne Morgena – Wild Rose Press

Historical Category:

Editor: Junessa Viloria – Random House
Agent: Sara Megibow – Nelson Literary Agency
Epublisher: Susan Yates – Wild Rose Press

Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Category:

Editor: Ann Leslie Tuttle – Harlequin
Agent: Jill Marsal – Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Epublisher: Raelene Garlinsky – Ellora’s Cave

The Maggies Unpublished Division. Now open for entries. Deadline June 10. All electronic. Limited to 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–Holly Blanck, Editor, St. Martins Press*
Series Contemporary–Victoria Curran, Editor, Harlequin*
Inspirational–Charlene Patterson, Editor, Bethany House*
Historical–Tessa Woodward, Editor, Avon
Paranormal–Claire Eddy, Sr. Editor, Tor
Young Adult–Leah Hultenschmidt, Editor, Sourcebooks*

*Also attending the 2011 Moonlight & Magnolias conference.

Published Contests

Aspen Gold-Deadline June 4, 2011

The Published Division of the Maggies-Deadline June 8

Heart of Excellence Readers Choice Awards-Deadline June 15, 2011

The 2011 Published Beacon Awards- Will start accepting entries May 1, 2011. Entries must be postmarked by June 30th, 2011.

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 Sara Lapolla of Curtis Brown.

Family Circle Fiction Contest. Contest begins March 1, 2011, and ends September 9, 2011. Submit an original (written by entrant), fiction short story of no more than 2,500 words, typed, double-spaced, and page numbered on 8-1/2-x-11 paper. Entries must be unpublished and may not have won any prize or award. (Nice prizes, btw!)

100 Words or Fewer Writing Contest
. Deadline April 18. Cash prizes. Final judge, author Erica Bauermeister.

That's it, but remember...

You don't final in 100 percent of the contests you don't enter!


  1. Got the coffee on. Help yourselves at 4 a.m.

    Thanks for the update, Tina. Appreciate your faithfulness.


  2. Thanks Tina! I'm feeling pretty great, since just an hour ago I received my contest results from Duel on the Delta and they were as expected! Since entering that, and studying more craft and the wealth of shared knowledge that is Seekerville... I was actually excited when I got critiqued hardest on the areas I've already identified as problems and have been revising. It lets me know that in fact those judges DO KNOW exactly what they're talking about =)

    Since I've only entered one contest and found the critique so helpful, I'm anxious to enter another, especially one that is a strong category fit, but it is it poor form to enter when the manuscript isn't complete?

  3. I wish those entering all these contests well.

    Love the pics, Tina. Our lilacs are blooming. They smell so nice.

  4. I'm still working through all the hate mail-- opps, I mean, contest feedback for my other entries, hahaha!

  5. Thanks for the update, Tina. Some of these look like great opportunities.

    I'd like to be entered for the first 5-page critique this week.


  6. You got it Kirsten.

    Awe Virginia, I don't believe your msc is worthy of hate mail for a minute. I've read your stuff!!

    Nancy, what a great attitude. Duel on the Delta is one nut I never managed to crack! Tough contest.

  7. I love lilacs, Keli. And peonies are a close second. What a great time of year.

  8. Lots of contests to check out. Thanks for the update.

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  9. Nice array of contests! Great line up of judges across the board.

    Glad your contest feedback was helpful, Nancy. I entered contests with unfinished manuscipts. It takes months to get the results back. Might as well continue working on the project. Actually, please do keep working on the project. The first time I received a request for a full manuscript, I still had 2 or 3 chapters to finish. Glad I hadn't dawdled!!

    Duel on the Delta is a great contest. Way to go!

    May looks like a great month!

    Thanks, Tina!

  10. Thanks for the information! I think I may be ready to dive back into contests this year. Now to polish off my entries...

  11. Thanks for the excellent update, Teenster, as always.

    I think I'm going to enter the 100 Words or Less contest.


    YIKES ... I have sentences longer than that ...


  12. I've already achieved my goal of entering two contests this year, so I'm going to forgo this next batch and concentrate on finishing/editing/polishing my manuscript in time for a fall entry...but best wishes to all who enter!

    And please enter me in the drawing!


  13. Jules, you and Ruthy are both barred from the 100 words or less contest!

  14. the coffee is delicious...
    thanks for the opportunity to read mary's latest novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  15. Karen! Good to see you.

    Okay, who stayed up and watched the Royal Wedding? Can you believe Diana's was 1981. Why I was only a baby. (hehehe)

  16. Sarah, good to see you! How are you juggling life and family?

    Jan! Good for you for setting goals!

  17. Thanks for the rundown of contests! Helps motivate me to finish my current WIP.

    Please enter me in the giveaway! I love Mary's books!

  18. It seems here in Mississippi we go from winter to summer. We seem to have a really short spring and it gets hot real quick. (Been dealing with tornadoes lately). I would love to read Deep Trouble. I know it will be great.


  19. Thanks for the update, Tina!

    Still pumped from watching the wedding this morning. Got up at 5 am - perfect timing because all the important people were just arriving!
    Kate looked absolutely gorgeous!! And of course, the best part was the kiss (make that 2 kisses) on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. How cute are they?

    Trying hard to get back into the work mode here!

    Have a great day!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  20. Didn't watch the wedding this morning, although I watched all of Charles and Diana's wedding in 1981. I wasn't as much of a baby as you were, Tina! But then, maybe I was...

    Does anyone remember all the copies of Diana's wedding gown that were so popular for brides after that wedding? I got married in 1982...just sayin' you can probably imagine what my wedding dress looked like!

  21. I wasn't going to watch the wedding, but the romantic in me couldn't resist. Glad I did; it was beautiful.

  22. Jan, you know I was joking, right. I wish I was a baby in 1981.

    I rewatched the video of Diana's wedding on youtube. That dress, that train.

    I only saw snippets of today's wedding but I love Kate's simplicity.

  23. Hi Susan!

    Patsy, Emily, you are in. We all love Mary Connealy books!!

  24. I love the spring flowers. We are having the coldest, most miserable, wet, windy, cloudy spring on records.

    I could stand to see a peony bloom.


  25. A Connealy book! Woot! Count me in! :D


    I'm still working on revisions, so I'll probably pass on the contests for now.

    Here in SC, we've had spring for a couple months now. TONS of pollen, but gorgeous flowers!

    Time for a cup of hot tea.

  26. Mary - We moved to Rapid City from Topeka, KS two weeks ago. I left tulips, redbuds and lilacs blooming in Kansas, and we're supposed to get snow in SD this weekend.

    I'm right there with you.

    Sniff, sniff.

  27. Ohhh - I MIGHT enter Colorado Gold. Depends on how much progress I make on fixing up my non-semi-ing MS by then. Lots of other great opportunities for the romance writers :)

    I JUST finished Sharpshooter in Petticoats, my first Mary Connealy book. LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!!! So PLEASE sign me up for the new Mary book. I may be addicted. And if I haven't already, please sign me up for the five-page critique too.


  28. Thanks for the contest updates!

  29. Thanks for the contest info, Tina! I entered several of the ones you featured before. I've learned from the feedback and been encouraged through them. It's all about growth and learning if you're heading in the right direction, I guess. And also about having fun! Blessings!

  30. It is an addiction, Joanne. But only the best kind. Almost as good as chocolate.

  31. Thanks for the great list! I vacillate between wanting to enter everything I can and being too scared to enter any of them. I believe I will settle for choosing two of them just for the feedback. I eagerly anticipate June 1 when the two contests I entered last month return the critiques.

    Please enter me in the 5-page critique this week and I'd LOVE a copy of Mary's book. I've been reading the galley to review it for NetGalley. LOVE IT!

  32. Wow, I'm impressed, Christine. Brave gal. No pain, no gain. Good for you.

  33. I'm going to give you a heads up...enter the Lone Star. This is a HUGE opportunity. Many of us at LI work with Rachel Burkot and she is awesome!

    Inspirational Category:

    Editor: Rachel Burkot - Harlequin
    Agent : Kimberly Shumate – Living Word Literary Agency
    Epublisher: Nicola Martinez – White Rose Publishing

  34. Ohhhh -- I watched the wedding. Got up at 4:30 so I could walk my dog first but he likes to lie in so it was a job and half to get him out the door. LOL -- he acted like his bones were made of jello and kept slithering to the floor. But I got him out and back intime to start seeing the royals gathering and watched through until the carriage ride.

    Does anyone else think William got a little choked up when he saw his bride? Or is that just my romantical heart romantizing?

    I vow right here in public that I will finally enter a contest. Really. I will. I just have to get up my gumption and a synopsis. Shouldn't take more than a couple of years...bwahhhhaaaahahhhaaaa. Thanks for the list to agonize over though.

  35. Thanks for the update, Tina! Lots of great contests going on right now.

  36. Oh, I love contests, too!!!

    We're addicts.

    Pure and simple.

    And I'm addicted to this coffee, too, Helen!

    Nancy, thank you! I can't even hardly make fun of you because you're just so nice...

    But wait.

    I'll find a way. ;)

  37. I would love to read Mary's book...she's a great writer! Best of luck to you writers in the upcoming contests.

  38. Aw, Mary, I can sympathize with that.

    But I've got daffodils up and blossoming. they're cheerful. And they face the sky and shake their little yellow and white heads and say, "Bring it, Mother Nature!"

    Oh, and she has.

    What sturdy flowers!

    I'll send you some bulbs Mary. You can plant them in August or September and think of me next spring.


  39. Thanks for the great list!

    I don't think I'm ready to put my Genesis entry aside yet. By the time I found out I did not advance the story had changed so much the judges would not have recognized it. That's what I get for entering and then learning.

    Please enter me in the first 5-page critique this week.

  40. I love working with Rachel and Melissa.

    When I saw she was the final judge in the Lone Star it made me want to enter!!!!

    Seriously, she's wonderful. And she laughs at my jokes.

    Although I think they pay her to do that. The fine print....

    "....and you must hitherto giggle, smile, smirk or downright guffaw at all Ruthy's jokes because she thinks she's funny, or this contract can and will be considered null and void and your position put in jeopardy which means NOT WORKING above a Starbucks..."

    Not worth the risk, right?

  41. I didn't stay up but happened to be awake at 5 so got up long enough to see the dress then go back to bed. We TiVo'd so will be watching plausibly live sometime this weekend. We did have the TV on while getting ready and saw the kisses :).

    Loved the dress.

    And have a 9yo getting bifocals. Sigh. Temporarily, hopefully.

    Right. Contests.

    EEP! I need to send thank you notes for Genesis! How did I forget that?! On the to do list for this weekend.

    Otherwise, I'm out of budget for contests atm. :/ Am in Frasier but not sure when the announcements are made for it. Instead, money is going to ACFW registration once it opens. And time is being spent on other MSs for the moment with the goal of having 3 completed and ready to pitch at ACFW. Doable. If I do it ;).

    And Mary-fic?! I'm in!

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  42. I have a confession: I stayed up all night working on my manuscript and then watched all the wedding starting at 4 a.m.

    Loved the bride and groom and all the scenery, too!

    Camilla and the Queen didn't hug. Camilla did a quick curtsey. Revealing.

    I'd love to win the book.

  43. Great goals, Carol!

    Cathy!! Glad someone managed to stay up!

  44. Wishing ya'll who enter the contest, the best.

    I'd love to win Deep Trouble.
    Please enter me.

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

  45. Hey to Eva Maria and Faye!

    Faye, you are in!

  46. I'm not ready to enter any of the contests this year but hopefully next year. :)

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  47. Hey everyone! Finally awake again after getting up with my daughter at 4 this morning to watch THE wedding! Just lovely, and that dress!

    I just want to second Tina's suggestion to enter the LoneStar--Rachel is my editor and just wonderful! I feel very blessed to be working with her.


  48. I'm seriously thinking about entering a contest! *nervous excitement* I think it would definitely help me see the areas I need to grow in. Please enter me into the drawing. I've love to have one of Mary's books!

  49. Thanks for this contest update, Tina. You really do a great job letting everyone know all this information! ~ Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo :)
    p.s. For any late-night snackers, I've just baked some peanut-butter cookies (put Hershey's kisses in the middles of some). Just your typical healthy, bedtime snack *wink*.

  50. ooooooooooooooooooooh, I want those cookies!!!

    Stacey, good for you oh brave one!!!

  51. Hi!

    :) hee hee

  52. LOL, DaisyTea can follow instructions. Consider yourself one of the few and the proud. (Not a US Marine however )

  53. I'd love to win Mary Connealy's book. They always make me laugh but yet I also feel a little closer to God too when reading them.


  54. Thanks for all the contest updates. I had to laugh at this -
    (Bummer-don't they know this is how we decide where to spend our bucks?)

    SO true!

    Happy contesting and good luck to all who enter!

  55. Thanks for validating me, MaryC. I mean really!!!