Friday, December 2, 2011

December Contest Update


Four weeks left to fulfill all your contest goals. You'd better hurry!

Share those end of year goals with us today for a chance to win
Ruth Logan Herne's Yuletide Hearts. (print or ebook)

Published Author Contests

Contests for books with a copyright date from January 2011 to December 2011.

The Colorado Award of Excellence:Deadline January 13.

The Write Touch Reader's Award:Deadline January 13.

The Golden Quill:Deadline January 13.

Bookseller's Best Award: Deadline January 15, 2010

Judge a Book by Its Cover: Deadline January 15.

The Holt Medallion: January 18. (The Holt has short and long inspy categories)

Winter Rose Award of Excellence: Deadline January 21.
Unpublished Author Contests

The Write Stuff.
Deadline Midnight December 5th. Electroic. Entry consists of the first 15 pages. Open to non RWA writers. Winners in each category receive $100.

Contemporary Romance – Sara Megibow, Nelson Literary Agency
Historical Romance– Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks
Paranormal Romance– Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency
Adult Mainstream Fiction– Jessica Alvarez, BookEnds Literary Agency
Young Adult Fiction– Jill Corcoran, The Herman Agency

Great Expectations. (My favorite contest I never finaled in!) Early bird entry fee deadline is December 10. Regular deadline is December 30th. First 25 pages and micro synopsis.

This contest is open to all authors who have never been published in book-length romantic fiction as well as authors who have not been contracted or published in the entered category during the last three years (during 2009, 2010, or 2011).

Single Title Contemporary ~ Meredith Giordan, Berkley
Erotic Romance ~ Katherine Pelz, Berkley
Historical Romance ~ Sue Grimshaw, Random House
Inspirational Romance ~ Natalie Hanemann, Thomas Nelson
Specialized (FFTP) ~ Talia Platz, NAL
Mainstream with Romantic Elements ~ Emilia Pisani, Pocket Books
Romantic Suspense ~ TBA
Young Adult ~ Elizabeth Bistrow, NAL

The Winter Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers. Opens December 1 and closes January 21. Electronic only. Entry consists of the first 25 pages.

Contemporary: Alicia Condon, Kensington
Historical (includes Regency):Amanda Bergeron, Avon
Paranormal: Heather Osborne, Samhain
Romantic Suspense: Deb Nemeth,Carina Press
Young Adult: Kari Sutherland, Harper Collins Children’s Books
2012 Grand Prize (Agent Read): Maura Kye-Cassela, Don Congdon Asst.

Just For Fun

WRITER'S Journal, Write to Win! Contest. Deadline December 20th. Maximum 1500 words, and stories must start with the starter phrase, may be dialogue—author's choice. The starter phrase is: Struggling to her feet...

Contest Prizes: First: $150.00, Honorable Mentions: One-Year Subscription to WRITER'S Journal. Winning contest story will be published in the WRITERS' Journal.

That's it. Now go forth and contest!


  1. Coffee's on. Drink up.

    I still need to Christmas shop, so think I'll wait for next month and get a fresh start on the new year.


  2. I wish all those who've sent off entries the very best, especially those who've submitted their stories to the Golden Heart or RITA.

  3. And there's a little time to get your Abingdon Press query in. Dec 5 deadline!!! See Tuesday's Seekerville visit with Ramona Richards!!

  4. I'm all contested out, but I have to say that for anybody on the fence, it's totally worth the risk.

    I haven't entered any of these, but the year was my first for trying contests and the first two I entered were AWFUL. I mean, good for me, but bad for the scores. OW. But that was better than sending in the same pages to agents and never getting a nibble.
    Once I cried and gnashed my teeth and cried some more... I threw out a lot of work and started over.
    The NEXT few contests were better, and by fall this year, I've had four finals with three different stories.

    Oh, and there were some things said by judges that made me SO HAPPY. Encouraging, lovely things! I have quotes posted by my computer. Maybe they said that to every entry, but I'll take it!! I'm weak, I need the daily encouragement! :D

  5. P.S. Tina, Ramona Richards asked for a proposal and I responded right away because I was so excited... But when I went to the web site I didn't see a decription of what a proposal package is. I'm thinking first three chapters and synopsis and cover letter?
    I can always e-mail her again, but she's probably wading through the queries. I feel so dumb for not getting specifics. :(
    I was wondering what you thought. (not about the dumbness, about the proposal specifics).

  6. End of year goals? Eek! Okay, first on the list is to get this full edited and back in the mail. I've sent one query to Ramona.

    It's a bit ironic that over the last month I've been feeling drawn to change my Scottish ( a multi-finalist) to inspirational. I thought it was me trying to distract myself from resending this other ms in a timely fasion. But now I'm consdering revamping my query for that ms and querying that, too.

    I wish I could come up with a way to thank Seekerville for all you do!

  7. Virginia:

    Ramona wants the synopsis, a short bio, marketing plan (ideas), a selection of comparative books with notes about why yours is different, and three chapters. It's to be sent electronically as an attachment in one Word document.


  8. I finaled in the Great Expectations. (and I still have them. har har har.) But Tina, you have contracts for crying out loud. You want it all, don't you?

    I don't think I could get my current WIP from synopsis/plotting to polished entry fast enough. Now, pickles. That's another story. Any pickle contests? Because I have these bread and butter pickles that are to die for.

  9. I want the temperature to go above 20 and a few of those pickles.

    That's basically it. The Great Expectations ship has sailed.

  10. Congrats on the proposal request Virginia!

  11. I'm not up for any contests in December either but BEST OF LUCK to those who enter!

    Sounds like Ramona requested a lot of proposals from the queries that she received. AWESOME!

  12. Wow, contests. Love em.

    Have a great weekend everyone. I'm off to visit my godson in California. Hooray.

  13. Wonderful contest update! Thanks for the reminders, Tina! I need to get moving and enter my favorites. The deadlines have a way of sneaking up on me.

    Thanks for the coffee, Helen. Need it!

    Virginia, your experience is exactly like mine. Contests have grown my craft! I know I wouldn't be published without having taken the plunge and entered. And entered. And entered. :-)

    Congrats to those who submitted to Ramona Richards at Abingdon. A great opportunity!

    Debra, I love bread and butter pickles!! Anyone who makes them is a winner!


  14. For anyone waffling, here's a little nudge: I sold my first book through an RWA chapter contest. My proposal was one of 3 on the editor's desk instead of languishing in an assistant's TBR pile somewhere. At the very least, you know there's a deadline because of the dates built into the contest. You'll have your answer MUCH quicker than you would if you send it in on your own.

    Also, if you're targeting an agent through a contest, consider an agent that gives editorial help. Having that professional edge has improved the marketability of my writing tremendously.

    Good luck!

  15. Thank you, Tina! This is great to have the info in one place. It's certainly time to enter pubbed contests!! They all seem to hit at the same time.

  16. /waves/

    Finally found Ruthy's book at my local Christian store!!

    One thing I'm not crazy about is that there's all these great contests, but there's no way to hear back from one before entering another. The ones I entered back in October don't announce anything until February at the earliest. But to wait for the next round means waiting a year...

    I'm contemplating Great Expectations but haven't decided yet.

    I did send one query to Ramona and am working on another one. As soon as I sent the first, I got an email back.

    Out of office.


    And now, time to get the kids off then an eye appointment for me...

  17. Above 20, Tina? Ugh! You need to come visit me. I thought 30 degrees this morning was awful.

    We're supposed to get back in the 60's this weekend. yay!

  18. I've been trying to decide the true meaning of contest. It's anti test, you have to be a felon to enter because it leaves you feeling bound up.

    Don't know that I'll contest too much this month. Unless I don't like something.

    I am getting proposals together -- there's another fine word. Just how many people do I want to propose to?

    Ahhh language.

    Tina the second

  19. Contests are great things! Even the not-so-encouraging comments from judges have been helpful :)

    I thought about sitting on the fence, but then decided working on revisions is more important than another contest right now...

    Melanie Dickerson is still the guest on my blog this week -

    and I'm a guest on The Thrifty Homemaker today. I'm not sharing Bread and Butter Pickle recipes, but I did share a couple Christmas baking favorites!

  20. So much fun here. I'm still recovering from NaNo (was able to write 60K words), so my wip is a mess. Hopefully next year I'll be more ready to enter some of these contests.

    The one contest I entered this year was the Frasier. Got great feedback.

    Tina, I'm with you--over 20 degrees would be nice. I think it's going to be a hot cocoa kind of day. Enjoy your weekend, all. :)

  21. End of year writing goal?... to have my WIP polished and ready to submit by January 1st. And to have plotted out and started at least chapter one of my next project.

    Thanks so much for the contest updates! After reading everyone's comments, maybe I should give it a try.

  22. Oh and I'd love to win Ruth's book. Please enter me in the contest!

  23. Hmm... the Writer's Journal contest looks interesting...

    Yuletide Hearts? Really? Truly? Pick me, pick me!!! Okay. Well, at least toss my name in the hat? Please? Have to have my Ruthy books and so far I've purchased the first three and don't have a single Ruthy siggy! That's a crying shame! Not about the purchasing part, but about the not siggy.


    Praying for good news to come my way within the next week. A publisher and editor are looking at my MS right now. Please be praying for me! I'm trying to not freak out and get too excited. I'm trying to expect rejections. But that's just not natural!

  24. Good morning.

    I'm not going to enter contests this month but am going to continue writing. I've gotten on a roll with NaNo and want to keep going while it's hot.
    I'm on the last scene on one of my wip and then will start my editing...but I also want to work on another wip because it's been on my mind.

    Never been diagnosed w/ADHD, but sometimes the way my mind works...

  25. I am so impressed by all the NaNo Whiz kids out there.

    You put me to shame. I don't NaNo well.

  26. Friday's are slow, and contest updates are slow. If we get more than 50 comments today I'll give away two copies of Yuletide Hearts.

    Happy, Happy, Happy, Friday!!!!

  27. I think I'm going to enter the Genesis and Frasier this year. EEK!

    Yes, I did say the Genesis. We'll see what I've got when the deadline rolls around. ;-)

    Thanks Tina!

  28. Hi gang,

    Thanks for the contest update! Now that I'm almost finished my NaNo historical, I am seriously considering a couple of these contests. Just have to work out the ending, which I had in my outline, but by the time I finished, I realized my heroine would never do the thing I had intended her to do! (These pesky characters can just ruin your synopsis at times! LOL) So now I need to come up with a new ending.

    Just as an aside, if anyone is interested in a new historical author whose debut is coming out in the spring, I had the pleasure of reading it and writing some reviews for it. It's called "The Irish Healer" by Nancy Herriman. What a lovely read. My review can be seen on my blog:

    Have a great weekend.

    PS. After my Christmas rant yesterday, I came home to find my daughter had the tree up all by herself! Was she reading my mind?

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  29. Tina, what are your goals and those of the seekers?
    Do you take more time off because of the holidays? Or do you have deadlines looming?

    I still haven't made up my mind whether to query Ramona because my ms isn't ready. I need to figure out whether it would distract me or inspire me to work harder.

    And I'm a Kosher pickle fanatic which I'll be making some today.

  30. I am pretty excited because for the first time in four years, I am NOT entering any contests except for the Ritas, Carols and Christys, which my publisher does for me and you know what??? I feel kind of liberated.

    BUT ... contests are a MUST for aspiring authors, so go get 'em, girls and boys and GOD BLESS!!


  31. Thanks for the contest update! I'm still debating on The Great Expectations one because I entered two last month. Right now my goal is to finish my WIP and then start editing it. (Oh, and please don't enter me for the book, my copy is already on the way!) Thanks!

  32. I had been considering Great Expectations but I really dislike having my synopsis judged. Although, this particular synopsis has had good feedback.

  33. Hey, Tina! You're putting me in the Christmas spirit with those pics, AND reminding me that I haven't even THOUGHT about when I'm going to get out the Christmas decorations!!! Yikes. Gotta get that done some time in the next week or so!

  34. Helen, thanks for the coffee... grabbing a mid-day cup!

    Teena, thank you for this update. My goal is to enter and prep anything I need to do on Sunday afternoon. And decorate a bay window. I find that decorations cover up bad paint jobs and some fingerprints. ;)

    Christina, we're the queens of revising old works into new ones including genre changes. It's very doable and the key (one of 'em anyway) to this biz is flexibility. I think the Holy Spirit's just showing you that. None of us ever know if a genre or editor or agent affiliation might change...

    Flex those muscles, girl! I'm proud of you!

  35. My end of the year goal is to complete my current WIP! I'm around 55k, so have a lot of work ahead of me! But I deff am gunna try! :-)

  36. Jeanne, that's amazing!! Over 60k! Wow.

  37. Connie, I usually try to take some time off at Christmas. Unless I have a deadline (which I have had in the past). I plan to take a few days at least. No deadline right now, so I'll be able to. :)

  38. I feel like celebrating! I just started a new book! Woohoo! Who wants to eat some chocolate with me?

    Now I gotta go get back to work! LOL

  39. That would be, WRITING a new book. I always have a hard time writing those first words, so it's a victory when I do that.

  40. Oh, I love seeing these goals. As a dried-in-the-wool goal setter, I always have goals.

    And flexibility, because if you don't make 'em the FIRST time, you've got experience under your belt to nail 'em the second time, right????

    I don't take time off at Christmas because my writing time is limited to pre-dawn every day. So it doesn't interfere with anything at holiday time because (think tiny, quiet print here:) everyone's sleeping! ;)

    And holiday time inspires me. So many happy and sad stories out there, begging to be written.

    But some Seekers do take time off. They're like... normal.

    Whatever. ;)

  41. Great contest lineup! I wonder if any of those published contests allow ebooks...

  42. For two years I did nothing but enter contests and utilize feedback to improve manuscripts. Then last year I started submitting and didn't enter so many contests.

    Right now submitting is still outnumbering contest entries. But I'll probably hit the trail again soon.

    Tina, note that the 50 comments mark is approaching.


  43. Great Expectations has a new format this year which is cool.

    Enter! Enter!!

  44. Last year I was revising a manuscript so I didn't put up a tree. So this year a worried person in my household put it up for me while I was at work, lol.

    Hard to juggle it all isn't it?

  45. Yes, Helen there is a Santa Clause and I do see we are getting close to FIFTY!!

  46. I forgot to share my goals!

    Actually just one: to finish the revisions and get my manuscript back on that desk in New York before the end of the month.

    And this goal is

    And why yes, my son IS in ROTC. Why do you ask?

    (Have we hit 50 comments yet?)

  47. Helen! Thank you so much! I finally sent a follow-up e-mail but never heard anything. I just want to get it sent off so I'm not worrying over it. :D

    It's definitely over 20F here but I'm still eating a nice hot bowl of home made chili with shredded cheddar over it. MMM!

  48. Helen, speaking of free books... TBCN is giving away over 100 books in the next 3 weeks!

    I'm giving away 2 copies of Stealing Jake and kinda hoping to win something else too. Since I'm part of the giveaway though, I might not even be eligible to enter. I didn't think to ask Nora! lol But it's okay if I can't enter.

    Dec 2nd TBCN Giveaway

  49. My goals for December are to get to the halfway point (at least) on editing my manuscript. I fell behind earlier this fall, because I wanted to get it 100 percent done by mid-January. But then there's that little thing called life...

    Congrats to anyone who got proposal requests, and good luck to you all entering contests!

    Oh, and please enter me into the drawing, since there's now TWO up for grabs!

  50. When I was preparing the submission for the Finally a Bride finals, I realized that I don't have a qualifying entry for next years contest! Sobering. But I have requests that demand first dibs on my time, so that's my focus right now. Very grateful.


  51. Thanks Ruthy! Once I completely decided mainstream was not for me I thought I'd have to put that ms down with the dust bunnies. I'll have to change a small bit of the plot, but after the feedback I had received from a mainstream editor I'd have to do that anyway. Just have to decide to what I'll change it.

  52. I know we're already over 50 comments, but I realized I have another goal - or maybe I should call it a wish...

    I'd love to be ineligible for the unpublished authors contests next year.... ;)

  53. I'd love to finish my current wip by the end of the year. A wonderfully talented, award winning author is proofing the proposal for me right now. I love the Christian writing community. Everyone one wants you to succeed.

  54. Yay, we made it over 50 comments!

    And I got in two queries to Ramona today!

    Double Yay!!


  55. My goal is to finish the first draft of my NaNo novel before Christmas, then take off the following week to enjoy with family. Somewhere along the way, there'll be baking, shopping, and holiday basketball tournaments.

  56. Thanks, Tina! I'm in the middle of revisions and haven't had time to check the various chapters' pubbed contest deadlines. So grateful for the info you provided.

    Oh my gosh, I'll be busy submitting to all the contests you mentioned!

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  57. Go, Susan!!

    I think taking the risk is the hardest part, but I've had the best experience with Seekerville opportunities. I think the agents and editors are EAGER to see what the Seekerville friends are up to, because of how great the Seekers are and how much information they put out there for us on a daily basis.

  58. Helen, you trailblazer you! Over fifty and two copies of Yuletide Hearts now up for grabs.



    Rock on.

    And Virginia, great goals!!!

  60. Janet, I have one jar of pickles left in the cupboard and trying to figure out which child to gift them to. Maybe the one who gave the most praise to my skills.

    But I'll put you on the list for next year!

    Now I'm going back a few days and catch up with the rest of Super Tuesday (aka the day Ramona came to town).
    It was Tuesday, wasn't it?

  61. Back for a minute...

    Saw Ramona post on FB today that she's been very ill, so anyone waiting for a response be aware of that.

    Writing goals for the end of the year:

    *Finish the rough draft of Finding Mr. Write.
    *Work on Role Model Romeo
    *Get second query off to Ramona
    *Blog better
    *Get website updated
    *Decide whether or not to enter one more contest and if so, enter it

    There we go :)


  62. Revision of the NaNoWriMo book. And I am looking forward to it.

    Jan K.

  63. Hi everypawdy,

    Stopping by to congratulate all those who have entered and will be! Have a happy weekend!!!

    May and KC

  64. You guys are starting to give me a complex. You have so many goals!!

  65. After the Golden Heart, I've got no more contests that I want to enter for the moment.

    However, I would like to re-establish some semblance of a writing schedule by month end. I've been so bad of late.

  66. Goals for this month...

    To finish this proposal and get it nailed....

    Bake some cookies with grandkids

    Catch up (again) on mailings! Doh!

    And I'm starting putting things in order for a 2013 proposal about tough, rugged sheriff's deputies in the hills of Southern New York...

    Oh. Yum.


  67. I love all these goals. Sue, two queries???? Awesome.

    Gotta set goals. And I love that Tom Radcliffe put up the tree because he knew Teeeena wouldn't....

    Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks, eh?


    Teeeena, I bought Bear Creek soup but not the chicken tortilla... Although Dave says he thinks they have it at their store. I bought the cheddar broccoli and there's a chicken add in on the back...

    I think this might become a new mainstay for Dave-cooking nights.

    Which is most nights now.

    And we're right back to teaching an old dog, LOL!

  68. A year end goal? That is simple, my husband told me I cannot write another story until I send one of my finished ones away. so December 31st is my deadline to get a ms into the mail. I thought it would be easy but here I am Dec 3 and I am dragging my heels. There's shopping to do, meals to make, laundry to do and you know ...

  69. Jodi, your husband rocks.

    How can we help. Need to borrow stamps? An envelope? Can I look up an address for you??