Friday, September 28, 2012

October Contest Update


 Welcome to the October Contest Update. It's almost the end of the year and we've seen sales, winners, finalists and first steps here in Seekerville. Today we're delighted to offer two opportunities to win a ten page critique . All you have to do to enter is share what's going on in their contest world. One reader will win a copy of Glynna Kaye's October release, Look-Alike Lawman. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.

 Don't forget our September Contest Update challenge that goes until Sunday. You still have time to enter. Winner announced next Sunday.

 Published Author Contests

 2013 RWA RITA Awards. October 15 the contest opens. Entries are novels and novellas with a 2012 copyright.

  Unpublished Author Contests

First Kiss Contest. Deadline October 1. All electronic. Send  the scene from your book where your couple first kisses. The scene should convey the emotion and romantic conflict between the characters, sparkle with creative dialogue, description, and characterization, and move the story forward.  "Good kiss scenes are essentially emotional discoveries. The first kiss brings a new closeness… but also a new set of complications."FINAL ROUND JUDGE: Patience Smith, Senior Editor, Silhouette Romantic Suspense
at Harlequin. She will judge six finalists.

The Suzannah. Deadline October 1. All Electronic.  Capped at 120 entries. Entry should be a maximum of 7,200 words, including synopsis (there is no restriction on length of synopsis, so long as the entire entry does NOT exceed 7,200.Grand Prize Winner Will Receive Three hundred dollars in cash, donated by the Nelson Family in memory of romance author Suzannah Nelson Davis, and a trophy.

"The Suzannah is different from most other writers’ contests in that  published authors and unpublished writers all compete against one another in a single pool of entries without categories. Yep, you read that right. Published and unpublished writers all hashing it out together for a spot as one of the six finalists. The only criteria we require is that the manuscript fit within the romance genre and that it be unpublished and uncontracted."

All six finalists will have their entries evaluated by the full panel of agents and editors. Our 2012 panel of final round judges includes:

Erika Tsang, Executive Editor, Avon Romance/Harper Collins
Wanda Ottewell, Senior Editor, Harlequin Superromance
Leah Hultenschmidt, Senior Editor, Sourcebooks
Saritza Hernandez, Literary Agent, The Corvisiero Literary Agency
Alicia Condon, Editorial Director/Editor, Kensington/Brava
Michelle Grajkowski, Literary Agent, 3 Seas Literary Agency

Contemporary Romance 
Historical Romance
Inspirational Romance 
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements 
Paranormal Romance 
Romantic Suspense 
Young Adult Romance 

ACFW First Impressions. All electronic.The contest will begin October 15, 2012 at 9:00 AM central time. All contest entries and contest fees must be received by 5:00 PM central time on November 15, 2012. Submit a back-cover copy type blurb of 200 words or less, plus the first five pages of the manuscript in the same file. Indicate into what genre you would like your submission entered.

Contemporary ("Present Day" setting):
Final round agent judges: Joel Kneedler, Alive Communications, Inc. and Les Stobbe, Stobbe Literary Agency

 Historical (Up to and including the Vietnam era, westerns and Biblical-era fiction):
 Final round agent judges: Tamela Hancock Murray, The Steve Laube Agency and Mary Sue Seymour, The Seymour Agency

Final round agent judges: Mary Keely, Books and Such Literary Agency and Chip MacGregor, MacGregor Literary

Speculative Fiction:
Final round agent judges: Greg Johnson, WordServe Literary and Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency

Final round agent judges: Terry Burns, Hartline Literary and Sarah Younger, Nancy Yost Literary Agency

Love Inspired Suspense Fast Track Event. All electronic.Check out the LI S Guidelines at
  • Email your submission to
  • Attach your first chapter and a short synopsis (no more than 2 pages) to the email as well as a short query letter indicating how much of the manuscript is complete.
  • Fast-track submissions received between October 15-26 will hear back from LI no less than one more after the closing date, before November 26th.

2013 RWA Golden Heart Awards. Please note the deadlines for the Golden Heart have changed. November 15, 2012, the 2013 Golden Heart Contest opens to entries. This contest requires a full manuscript. There is no feedback.

Entries must be submitted to RWA's contest site no later than 5 p.m. CT, January 2, 2013. Entrants who fail to meet this deadline will be disqualified, and the entry fee will be forfeited.

The Golden Heart contest is limited to 1,200 paid entries.

Once again this year Seekerville will be reimbursing one person their Golden Heart Entry fee. This opportunity is open from November 15 through to the Golden Heart deadline of January 2, 2013. Send proof of entry to the Seekerville email address. Winner will be announced on January 7, 2013.

AND!!!  Seekerville's Fifth Birthday Party is coming October 1-31. Get those manuscripts polished. We have a contest coming up...shh, it's a surprise.

 Random Contests & Just For Fun

 WOW: Women On Writing Fiction Quarterly Contest. Open September - November 30th, 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. We are open to all styles of writing, although we do encourage you to take a close look at our guest judge for the season and the flavor of our sponsor, if you are serious about winning. We love creativity, originality, and light-hearted reads. That's not to say that our guest judge will feel the same... so go wild! Express yourself, and most of all, let's have some fun!"

Maximum: 750--Minimum: 250 The title is not to be counted in your word count. We 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 We are limiting the amount of entries to a maximum of 300 stories. Please enter early to ensure inclusion. If we reach 300 entries, we will disable the PayPal buttons.

Check out the great prizes, including cash! Final judge is Literary Agent Jessica Sinsheimer.


Courtesy of Cindi Myers Market News Blog:

Chicken Soup For the Soul is always on the lookout for new stories for its many anthologies. Currrently, the editors are seeking stories on the following themes:

Devotional Stories For Wives — 500 word devotionals showing how faith in God has shaped your role as a wife.   Deadline Feb. 28, 2013

Holiday Stories — stories about Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. Deadline Feb. 28, 2013

Lemons to Lemonade — How you made the best of a difficult situation. Deadline Feb 28, 2013

Raising Kids on the Spectrum — Stories about parenting children with Autism or Asperger’s. Deadline September 30, 2012.

Unless otherwise indicated, Chicken Soup stories are true, emotional stories up to 1,200 words. Find the submission guidelines here.

 Writer's Digest Short Short Story Writing Competition. Deadline November 15. Electronic. Submission of 1,500 words or less.
Now accepting entries for the Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Writing Competition. The top winner will receive over $3,000 in cash and prizes and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City.  The top 10 winners will also be featured the July/August 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest Magazine.

That's it! Now go forth and contest!


  1. Lots going on in the contest world. I'm seriously thinking about entering GH. Looking forward to October in Seekerville!!!!!

  2. Let's see...

    My contest world...

    I entered one the end of last month. I should probably check to see the dates on it - the Rattler. I don't think there's any announcements for a while.

    I may be entering First Impressions. I *am* a category coordinator :D. Not sure how Cheryl got two boards to approve lil ol' me, but they did! I'm the Spec Fic gal. Walt's a coordinator too but I forget which category.

    Also contemplating GH but seeing how a few other things shake out first.

    I'd love to win a critique. Or Glynna's book. Either one :D.

    [There's also Seekers and Seeker Friends - like Carol Award Winning Author Melanie Dickerson [that's never getting old!] on my blog from yesterday.]

  3. Maybe it was just one board.

    But the concept holds ;).

  4. I totally forgot about the Suzannah! I just think that's the funnest idea!

    Or maybe I just want to procraswtinate becuase revising is like sucking rusty nails.


  5. Haha! PROCRASTINATE. I don't even like to spell it.

    I entered a contest last month with my urban fantasy YA. I can't remeber which one. How dumb is that. I'll have to check my e-mail.

    Hey, did anybody hear from their speed dating rounds? There was a lot of excitement about that but I haven't heard anything else.

  6. My only contest entry at the moment is that I'm waiting for the results of Lone Star. Very hopeful, but the competition is tough.

  7. Good morning contest diva and divos.

    I entered one as well Virginia and at this moment have no clue which or with what.

  8. I entered Rattler and the Real Simple Writing Essay contest. Winning a critique and/or a gift card would be awesome!

  9. The FIrst Impressions hyperlink isn't working. I've looked at it often enough but was going to try again.

    They have a category - mystery/suspense/thriller. The competition would be frightening. no pun intended, but do you (you as the collective universe) suppose a historical setting would work there, unlike the usual 'romantic suspense' which only takes contemporaries?

  10. Ginny Mary Virginia - Funnest idea? entering a contest as an unpub submitting alongside you pubs sounds not fun

    But of course published authors put their pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us, eh? They're just nicer pants. even if they're pajama pants. Okay I'll shut up.

  11. No contest entered here. But I'd love the ten page critique or Glynna's book. :)

    I'm thinking about the Golden Heart and the First Impressions.

  12. I only entered the two short story contests that was listed in Seekerville, last month, I believe. I don't think I find out results until November.

    Can't wait for the birthday bash.

  13. Thanks, Tina! What a fantastic update. I appreciate that you keep up with all this!

    I hope you all have a great weekend!

  14. I entered the Melody of Love contest sponsored by the Music City Romance Writers. They announce the first round finalists in mid-October.

    And October is a busy birthday month around in my family. My mom, brother, uncle, cousin and I all have birthdays within the space of 17 days. :-)

  15. You broke the link, Debra. YOU BROKE THE LINK.

    I fixed it.

  16. hahahaha, we wear nicer pajamas.

    That's just hilarious.

    I still work full time more than 40 hours a week at another job and write other stuff for money.

    hahahaha you are so funny.

  17. I'm so proud of you all.

    We've turned you all into little contest addicts just like us.

  18. Glad to have some time to relax at home today.

    Good morning, y'all!

    Go get em' in the contests!

    Excited for the October celebration! Praise the Lord.

    All the best to everyone

  19. Thanks for the contest update!

    My stomach twists just thinking about it.

    My son's college is in the ITA tennis tourney this weekend. I'm going to tell myself, the guys practice to play tourneys & get better. So I better enter contests to get better too.


    First Impressions, definitely. Maybe GH. Still praying about it.

    Thanks again.

    I'd love to win a critique. Thanks!

    Jackie L.

  20. Sounds fun, Clari! Hope they have happy birthdays!

    Nice to see the Seekers and Seekervillagers excited about the contests!

  21. Oh, I am waiting for results from a contest I entered in August. I'm also considering First Impressions. I have three, maybe four entries. And I'm helping a friend get ready too. Same category as mine.

    Can't wait to hear everyone's good news.

    Missy, the only thing that will keep me from entering GH is if I get 'the call'. I think I'd much rather have that than enter the GH. *g* Praying.

  22. THE CALL, does TRUMP GH.

    But even better.

    Enter GH.

    Get the CALL.

    Win GH.

    Get to tell 1000 people about the CALL as you accept your award.

    Think BIG!~

  23. I'm going through withdrawal!

    You all turned me into a contest addict, and now I'm in limbo - I can't enter unpubbed contests, and my book has a 2013 pub date, so I can't enter those contests either!!!!

    Okay, I know none of you feel sorry for me, so stop pretending :)

    Just wait 'til next year...

  24. I got an adrenaline rush when I entered the Rattler on the LAST day. Then, on it's last day, I entered Launching a Star. You all over here in Seekerville are getting contesting into my blood. Scary stuff. :)

    I have no plans to enter anymore. As of this moment. That could change with the spontaneous ways I entered the last two. :)

    I'd love to be in for a critique, or a book.

    Happy Friday, everyone!

  25. Oh I know. I know. I know many of you pubbies go out to real jobs that pay and don't accept pajamas. And some have stay at home paying jobs.
    I sorta do, too.

    I entered one contest this fall. Might try First Impressions. Sandra Lee will know for sure, but I think the Rattler results won't be for awhile yet.

    Clari Dees - many wonderful people celebrate in October. It's really the best month, you know...

  26. New picture. Nice Jan.

    Okay. I have been remiss.

    Serving up Keurig Jet Fuel. Yep. That's the name of the coffee.

    AND....drum roll...Panera Asiago Cheese bagels. Calories removed.

  27. Jeanne!!! My lunch buddy.

    Which reminds me...who got requests at conference? I will assume that's why some of you are MIA.

    Melissa Jagears.

    Nancy Kimball.

    Casey Herringshaw.

    Pepper Basham.

    Tell us!!!
    We can keep a secret.

    Well with appropriate bribes.

  28. Good Morning Seekers, You sure have a lot of contest and choices to be made..lot of great authors so am sure you will have no problem. This reader will reap the rewards right along with you.
    5 yr celebration of Seekerville in October, you are just a baby yet.
    I would love to win a book by Glynna but more fun is just greeting you and watching what will come next.
    Paula O(

  29. Good Morning all!

    Well, the contesting is...going. I am getting what I wanted, which is feedback, so I am not displeased. I am still trying to figure it all out. A critique might help me....:-)

    On the another front, since Virginia asked, my synopsis request for the speed dating pitch turned into a request for a proposal which I submitted about a month ago. I think now that I have had a response, the regular waiting times apply.

    I also won a chance to submit a proposal to an agent who didn't exactly reject me--I guess. I was asked to rethink the hook where my hero and heroine meet and to resubmit. Hope she likes it when I do.

    Is anyone else thinking about SYTYCW? A buddy of mine is still on the fence about it, but as I see it, the point is to get attention. Winning the whole thing is nice, but as Christina said, it is the Call that matters.
    Enjoying the coffee and delicious bagels,


  30. Tina, thanks for the contest update. I'm tickled pink how many are entering contests! Go and conquer.

    Debra, I dress before I write. I've been "caught" too many times. LOL. Plus I feel out of control of my life somehow. But that's just me.

    Love the pretty pumpkins and gourds. Fall is gorgeous. And coming early this year.


  31. Debra and Janet - I write for an hour, get dressed, and then back to writing. I'm usually dressed before 8:00. That routine started when we were homeschooling and I'd get an hour of writing in before the boys got up.

    And yes, Tina, it's a new picture. Thanks!

    And yes, I got a request for a proposal at conference. Line edits are due on Monday, and then I'll be working on that proposal...

  32. i'm the reader - i would love to win the novel. Thanks for reaching out to those who keep you writing. i guess without us, you'd probably never get published.

  33. Congrats on the request, Jan!!!

    Keep those balls in the air.

  34. I thought the entry date for SYTYCW is over.

  35. You dress BEFORE you write? What's the fun in that??????

  36. Tina,

    SYTHYW ends on Sunday, even though it is probably better enter today because of some computer glitches they have had....but procrastinators like myself have hard lessons to learn!


  37. Thanks for another great contest update, Tina. Right now I'm focusing on polishing two ms. and taking care of a sick husband, but am thinking this next year maybe I'll enter at least one or two. ~ It was WONDERFUL finally meeting you in person--you were as sweet in person as I knew you'd be! Hugs, Patti Jo

  38. I'm still working on finishing my MS from the Speed Date. Hoping to have it to CPs by 10/15 or so. Hoped to have it out by conference but finally had to stop working on it and get ready for conference.

    At conference had requests for proposals from two of the big publishing houses and one agent - with offers to 'submit since you met me at conference' from a couple other agents. Working on it all now.

    Did y'all see Pepper's news yesterday? I won't spill but she posted on FB...

  39. Another super contest update, Tina! A lot going on this fall--published or unpublished, so many great opportunities to get our work in front of readers.

    Aside to Jan: Enjoy this year off from contest pressure while you can. You can celebrate and/or sympathize with the rest of us who are biting our fingernails waiting for results.

  40. Speaking of Seekerville's October Birthday Bash . . .

    We are in for a real treat next Monday when The Moral Premise Guy Stan Williams returns! I just finished uploading his post this morning, and it is jam-packed with excellent instruction! I promise you, this is a blog you won't want to miss, so come prepared for an intense day of learning!

  41. Looking forward to Monday with Stand Williams!

    As far as contests go, I think I'm going to brave up and enter the Golden Heart this year. Maybe.

    Looking forward to Seekerville's birthday month. Polishing up my manuscript as we speak.

  42. No requests for me, I didn't even pitch and I gave my appts. away...Blogger ate my comments twice yesterday and I gave up.

    No contests for me either, just starting another book. I got my contesting out of my system in the beginning of this year.

  43. Melissa, you went to contest rehab didn't you.

  44. Tina! Lunch was wonderful. I loved getting to know you, Debby, Mary and Audra(and of course, Melissa, who roomed with me--poor thing) a little better. I hear your voices in the comments now. :)

  45. Carol, FB Pepper and tell her to stop by Seekerville and spill the beans. Okay? I want to know what happened.

    Jan, love the new pic. Congrats on the request! YAY!!!

    Patti Jo, so good seeing you at ACFW. After M&M, we will have to "do" lunch!

    Congrats to all who are entering contests. Whoo-hoo!!!

    Tina, the RITA opens in OCT? Oh my stars, as Ruthy would say! Where has this year gone?

    Janet is a Maggie finalist and will be attending M&M next year. YAY, Janet!

    Any other Maggie finalists?

  46. Hi Jeanne T!

    I'm so glad Tina let me tag along. :)

  47. Hey everyone. I think I'm following most of you with the First Impression contest and possibly the Golden Heart.

    So excited to hear Pepper's news yesterday! Hope to hear a lot more good stuff happening from the Conference. Nothing panned out for me from last year, but I still had a great time.

    Looking forward to the Seeker birthday bash! I'm in for a 10-page critique too! Yay! And Glynna's book. I almost bought it yesterday, but restrained myself (I need to go to BA - Book-aholics Anonymous!)

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  48. I am so ready for one of those Panera Asiago bagels...oh my~ I guess I waited too long!

  49. I love contest updates. Thank you, Teeeeenster!!!!

    Ah, Carol. Been there, done that on the contest coordinating and category coordinating. I had lots of fun!

    Oh my, weekend... writing... research.

    I'm stinkin' psyched.

  50. I'm laughing at the idea of not mixing pubs and unpubs in contests.

    Because isn't that exactly what happens on an editor's desk? Everything they see/read is up against everything else they see/read. They don't have a special "Oh let's publish something from a newbie" category...

    And think about it. If most publishers will only take one newbie a year... your stuff has to shine, shine, shine....Besides, they stuff it to us pubs as well. Smack downs galore.

    I say this from experience, LOL!

  51. Love how you pull all this contest info together each month. I've had a bear of a week so I'll eye it more carefully on the weekend. The one that has my interest piqued is the Love Inspired Suspense one. Right now though my ms doesn't follow all the LI criteria -- slower start, too much romance sort of thing. I have to take a look at it and see if I can adapt or not. I'll do that this weekend. Plus I have a long weekend next week to pull it together if I think it will work. But that's my only thoughts so far.

  52. I'm a day behind. Must go check yesterday's comments.

    I'm all over those Panera bagels, though! Oh, yum!!! Grinning!

    Asiago cheese... chewy bready goodness.

    I'm mostly delighted with September. I need me some writer time, though... Missing conferences makes for a sorry absence of writer time in Ruthyland.

    Melissa, contest rehab, good girl, JUST SAY NO.

  53. Kav, of course you can!!!! Tweak, cut, slice, dice.

    I have absolute faith in you!

  54. I need to contest, but I'm just not ready yet. I have the start of a new book though...just don't know enough about it to enter it yet. Would love to be considered for a critique though.

    Does that make any sense?

    The important thing is I am WRITING, whoohoo!

    Thanks for the contest updates! Have a great weekend, Seekers and friends.

    Back to writing...

  55. Hi Tina:

    What happened this month? There are not enough contests here to work up a sweat. Are you holding out on us or is the fall just the slow season?

    About the GH: do they include the full manuscript in the judging or do they just want proof that you actually have one? I have one but the last half is still in the first draft.

    I like the idea of having 15 pages for a synopsis. This will really help me explain my unorthodox meta-romance. It really covers a lot.

    Oh, and writing a 200 word blurb (for the First Impression contest) is what I’ve done for years in advertising! The hard part will be getting five pages of manuscript the judges won’t hate. : )

    BTW: Did you all get a copy of Julie Lessman’s Newsletter today? It’s one of the most beautiful newsletters I’ve ever read. In fact, I spend so much time looking at it, I haven’t read it yet myself! See this production before you design one of your own.

    Now if I can just make the October 1st deadlines. : )


    P.S. The post is in the mail.

  56. It is the slow season. No one wants to ask editors to do final round judging at the holidays, which is another reason I suspect the GH deadline was pushed forward.

  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. Thanks so much for this contest list, Tina!
    As usual, it's a great!

  59. Jeepers, Tina.
    Just saw your note.

    I accepted representation from Nicole Resciniti yesterday after some good prayer, advice, and FANTASTIC conversation with her.

    THE BEST thing that happened at conference for me was meeting WONDERFUL people like my fellow AlleyCATs and mauling Tina Radcliffe in the elevator :-) I always love spending time with Mary Connealy, Debby, Missy, Janet, and Myra. You guys are so special to me.

    And of course, seeing Carol! YAY!
    And meeting so many of you guys. WOW! What a blessing!!

  60. Congrats on going with Nicole, Pepper!

    So wonderful being with you at ACFW. You sparkle!


  61. Seeing you is always a highlight, my dear sweet spice, you.

    And YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Again on signing with Nicole!!!!

  62. Debby,
    You are such a lovely person. I truly TRULY have been so inspired by you wonderful Seekers. Wow!
    And you're always so welcoming.

    My conversations with Nicole have been fantastic! EXACTLY what I've been praying for as far as guidance and support. SHE LOVES my work! What a thought!! It's nice to have people who are delusional with you - ya know :-)

  63. Oh you silly. Pepper didn't meet me in the elevator. She launched at me. It was a Pepper Missile. Highly effective. I believe she is under contract to the US Air Force.


  64. Congratulations, Stealth Missile Pepper!!!

  65. Tina,
    If I could 'like' your comments, I would!

    You know, they do tell you in all of these 'meet the editors or agents' classes - to make it memorable!

    I was just trying out a new style

  66. I'm loving the pumpkins. A copy of "Look-Alike Lawman" would be fabulous thank you.


  67. I've entered one of my short stories to a regional (south) magazine. Hoping to hear that I've won sometime in October!

    Thanks for the list of contests - thinking of entering several.

    I would love to read Glynna's book!

  68. I would love to win! Enter me!
    Sarah Richmond