Friday, February 1, 2013

February Contest Update

February, and contests are in the air.  Can you smell the LOVE? Time to contest! No pain no gain! No reward. 

Because it's February there's a Valentine package for one reader and for one writer. You know the rules. No lurking. For writers tell us what risk you're going to take this month.

Before we get started take a moment to go over to eHarlequin and registered for the May 8th, Happily-Editor-After Pitch Contest with Love Inspired Editors. Don't be a COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA WRITER. JUST DO IT!

Editor Emily Rodmell, Associate Editor Elizabeth Mazer 
and Associate Editor Shana Smith

Published Author Contests

 Inspirational Readers Choice. Deadline March 1.

 Daphne du Maurier Award Published Division. 
Deadline March 15.

Carol Award. Deadline March 15.

Unpublished Author Contests

 The Sandy. This contest welcomes published and unpublished authors. 
Deadline February 10. All electronic. Entry consists of the first 20 double-spaced pages of your novel and up to a 2 page double-spaced synopsis for a total of 22 pages.

    Romance - Katherine Pelz, Assistant Editor Berkley
    Mainstream Adult Fiction - Millicent Bennett, Senior Editor Free Press 
    (Simon & Schuster)
    Suspense / Thriller / Mystery - Carlie Webber, Agent at Jane Rotrosen Literary
    Fantasy / Science Fiction - Amanda Ng, Assistant Editor Berkley
    Children's & YA - Christian Trimmer, Senior Editor Disney Hyperion

The Laurie. Deadline February 14. All electronic. First 25 pages.

Contemporary (ST, series, MS)          Editor, Montlake (tba)
Historical (incl Regency)                     Aubrey Poole, Editor, Sourcebooks
Young Adult (All subgenres)                Debra Dixon, Bell Bridge Books
Inspirational (All subgenres)                Tina James, Senior Editor, Harlequin Love Inspired
Romantic Suspense (ST, series)       Allison Lyons, Editor, Harlequin Intrigue
Paranormal (All subgenres)                Liz Pelletier, Publisher and Editor, Entangled Publishing

The Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest.  Deadline February 14, 2013. All electronic.Entry consists of the first 7000 words. A one page synopsis is optional and will not be counted as part of the entry. The synopsis will not be judged.

Contemporary Series Romance--Laura Barth, Harlequin
Single Title Contemporary--Elaine Spencer, The Knight Agency
Historical Romance--Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Erotic Romance--Whitney Mihalik, Ellora's Cave
Paranormal Romance--Leis Pederson, Berkley
Romantic Suspense--Leonore Waldrip, Harlequin
Mainstream with Strong Romantic Elements--Paige Wheeler, Folio Literary
Young Adult--Leah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks

Linda Howard Award of Excellence. Deadline February 22.  Submit the first 25 pages. All electronic. 
 Category Series Romance:Alethea Spiridon-Hopson, Editor, Entangled Publishing

Single Title:Eleni Caminis, Editor, Montlake Romance      

Historical:Chelsey Emmelhainz, Editor, Harper Collins      

Paranormal/Urban Fantasy:Latoya Smith, Editor, Grand Central Publishing

The 2013 Genesis Contest.  All electronic. Deadline March 15. Contest requires a completed manuscript. Submit the first 15 pages as your entry.

Contemporary-Sandra Bishop (MacGregor Literary), Dave Long (Bethany House), Jacque Alberta (Zondervan)

 Romance-Steve Laube (Steve Laube Agency), Raela Schoenherr (Baker Publishing), Tina James (Harlequin Love Inspired)

 Historical (through Vietnam era)-Greg Johnson (WordServe Literary), Terry Burns (Hartline Literary), Rick Steele (AMG Publishers) 

Historical Romance (through Vietnam era)-Kim Moore (Harvest House), Mary Sue Seymour (The Seymour Agency), Charlene Patterson (Bethany House) 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller-Les Stobbe (Les Stobbe Agency), Dawn Anderson (Kregel Publications), Jan Stob (Tyndale House Publishers)

 Romantic Suspense-Natasha Kern (Natasha Kern Literary Agency), Tamela Hancock Murray (Steve Laube Agency), Becky Philpot (Thomas Nelson)

 Speculative-Amanda Luedeke (MacGregor Literary), Ramona Richards (Abingdon), Julie Gwinn (B&H Publishing)

 Novella (15K-45K)-Annette Irby (Pelican Book Group), Sarah Freese (WordServe Literary), Jessica Barnes (Guideposts Publishing) 

Category (45K-70K)-Melissa Endlich (Harlequin Love Inspired), Ami McConnell (Thomas Nelson), Sue Brower (Zondervan) 

Young Adult-Molly Hodgin (Thomas Nelson), Kim Childress (Zondervan), Nancy Lohr (JourneyForth Books)

Everything But the Kitchen Sink. Deadline March 1. Electronic submissions only. The contest will be open to all authors of romantic fiction (including romantic elements), published, unpublished, self-published, so long as the work submitted is unpublished in any form. Each entry will be comprised of ALL of the following six components with each one being rated on a nine point scale, like the Golden Heart and RITA:

    one page query letter
    opening three pages
    character introspection snippet — one to two paragraphs
    dialogue scene — one page
    romantic tension scene — one to two pages
    last three pages

...for a total of no more than twelve pages. We will acknowledge the top three finalists for each component. The top finalist from each component (a total of 6 finalists) will have his/her ENTIRE entry judged by Harlequin Editor, Charles Griemsman.

Query Quandry Contest. Deadline March 1. Eligibility: In order to reflect the current publishing environment, entrants may be unpublished or published, and are not required to be RWA® members. In fairness to entrants, we encourage entries that focus on a romantic story arc.

Historical: Tessa Woodward, AVON
Short Contemp/Novella: Patience Bloom, Harlequin
Contemporary Single Title: Megha Parekh, Grand Central Publishing
YA: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown
Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger Assoc.

Queries must be constructed in standard query format and must be no longer than one page. For purposes of the contest, please use a generic "Dear Agent" or "Dear Editor" greeting. For a closing, in place of your name, please use "Author." Do NOT use a pseudonym or make up a name for purposes of the contest. Prizes: Amazon gift cards for all first-place finishers

Great Beginnings. Deadline March 1. Electronic entries. Submit the first five pages of your manuscript.
Contemporary: Brenda Chin, Harlequin Blaze
Historical:Pamela G. Ahearn, The Ahearn Agency
Paranormal: Carolyn Grayson, Ashley Grayson Literary Agency
Mystery/Suspense: Laurie McLean, Nelson Pomada Literary Agents
Young Adult: Cheryl Pientka, Jill Grinberg Literary Management

Fab Five. Deadline March 1. This contest now has an inspirational category. Let's not let them down! An entry consists of the opening pages of your unpublished novel, up to 2500 words.
Historical: Amanda Bergeron, Harper Collins
Inspirational: Natasha Kern, Natasha Kern Literary Agency
Paranormal: Latoya Smith, Grand Central Publishing
Romantic Suspense: Katherine Pelz, Berkley Publishing
Series Contemporary (L/S): Dana Hopkins, Harlequin Enterprises
Single Title: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates
Women’s Fiction: Paige Wheeler, Folio Literary Agency
Young Adult: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency

Daphne du Maurier Award Unpublished. Deadline March 15. Electronic.Submit one (1) Electronic Entry of no more than the FIRST 5,000 words of your manuscript & one (1) Electronic Synopsis in the same document with no more than 675
words. Final Round Judges have agreed to judge on the first fifteen pages (15 pages) of the
entry. The additional ten pages are for final round judges who wish to continue reading.

Categories & Final Round Judges
Editor: Wanda Ottewell – Harlequin Romantic Suspense
Agent: Scott Eagan – Grayhaus Literary
Editor: Wendy McCurdy - Berkley Sensation
Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan – Sanford J Greenburger Associates
Editor: Elizabeth Bistrow – NAL
Agent: Diana Flegal – Hartline Literary Agency
Editor: Faith Black - Berkley
Agent: Beth Campbell - BookEnds LLC
Editor: Denise Zaza – Mira
Agent: Amy Moore-Benson - AMB Literary Management
Editor: Kerry Donovan - NAL
Agent: Nephele Tempest - Knight Agency

Spring Into Romance. Deadline March 16. First 25 pages. Electronic.Contemporary Single Title Romance: Kate Studer (Editorial Assistant, Harlequin Mira and Overseas Editorial)

Novel w/ Strong Romantic Elements/Mainstream: Suzie Townsend (New Leaf Literary and Media, Inc.)

Contemporary Series/Category Romance: Alethea Spiridon Hopson (Editorial Director, Entangled Indulgence / Senior Editor Entangled Publishing)

Paranormal Romance: Dana Hamilton (Editorial Assistant, Harlequin Nocturne/Nocturne Cravings/Intrigue)

Historical Romance: Laura Bradford (Bradford Literary Agency)

Suspense/Adventure Romance: TBA
Young Adult Romance: Kevan Lyon (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency)

Fire & Ice. Opens February 16. Deadline March 22. Electronic.  
Submit the first 6,000 words.

 Single Title Romance:
Sha-Shana Crichton, Agent, Crichton & Associates

Series Romance
Allison Lyon, Editor, Harlequin

Historical Romance
Jill Marsal, Agent, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Erotic Romance
Jeanne De Vita, Editor, Musa Publishing

Women's Fiction
Alex Logan, Editor, Grand Central Publishing

Paranormal Romance
Deb Werksman, Editor, Sourcebooks

Young Adult Romance
Kathleen Rushall, Agent, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Random Contest Stuff

Macmillan Children's is adding a "crowdsourced teen romance imprint that will work with both writers and readers to discover (and then publish) the best, most SW♥♥N-worthy, teen romance novels." Called Swoon Reads, it will be part of  Feiwel and Friends. They will open for business next spring, and the website says manuscripts "chosen by the community and the SW♥♥N Reads publishing team" will get a $10,000 advance and a standard world rights contract.

Southern Writers Fiction Short Story Contest. Deadline March 1. All electronic. 2,500 words or less. Cash prizes.

Jeffrey Archer Short Story Contest. Deadline February 15. Electronic. 100 pages. One lucky winner will be awarded the grand prize of free enrollment in an upcoming Curtis Brown online novel writing course.

Seekerville is delighted to announce Debra Marvin as this month's Contest Diva. Kudos to her for her persistence and dedication on the contest circuit!

In honor of this month's Contest Diva, (because once a Contest Diva, always a Contest Diva) I am additionally giving away one copy of my April Love Inspired release, Mending the Doctor's Heart in print. Just mention it in the comments. 

And this just in..Contest Diva Debra Marvin is offering a contest entry critique. That's one critique to one writer who is entering a contest this month-or entering a contest listed above. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition. Just tell us in the comments you want to win a critique!!

EXTRA!!! Author Gina Welborn is offering to do a free Genesis entry critique. Tell us you want it! Deadline is tonight when the Weekend Ed. goes up. 

MORE!!!! Author Christina Rich is offering to do a Genesis entry crit!!  


That's it! Now go forth and contest!


  1. Oh my, Don't let Natasha Kern down, enter the FAB FIVE! Give her some good stuff to read. :)

    Congrats to Debra Marvin, that's the one with the grandprize ACFW registration paid, right? Awesome prize!

  2. I would love a copy Tina ;).

    I think the only one I'm going to enter is Genesis.

    But I'm going to enter a bunch of times.

    Like oodles.

    CONGRATS again to Debra!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Congratulations Debra!!! You go!

    I've been in contest limbo the last several months, but I'm able to enter a couple of these contests - and I have a manuscript ready. How many times do those two stars align?

    I love these contests :)

  4. I know, Jan!!! I love them too. Once a diva always a diva.

  5. Thank you, Carol. It's good to be loved.

  6. Thank you for this list!! I'm excited to enter my manuscript in more contests.

  7. I won the Fab Five once! Fun contest.

    I always think I'm not interested... and then I start reading them... and then I change MY MIND.

    I'm entering the Sandy. Did you see those judges?????

    Disney Hyperion for the Children's section????


  8. Some awesome contests! Get your entries ready and send them in.

    Wish I could enter, but glad I can't at the same time.

  9. Ahh! I love the Daphne contest - it's been good to me.

    It will be interesting to see how the Genesis contest changes with its new guidelines (a completed manuscript).
    Of course...a finished rough draft counts, as long as you are buzzing along to complete and clean it up these next months.

    Thank you all,
    and thank you, Seekerville. Over the years, you have prodded and poked us and so I wear my Diva tiara proudly--if you will all accept your parts in it. Two of the times I have finaled it was after I won the entry fee here!

    TINA - I'd love to also offer a critique for any contest entrant!

    So - please, if anyone would like a 'fresh pair of eyes', note that in the comments and I'd be happy to give you my Diva-pinion on your contest submission.

  10. Oooooh, Debra.

    I have so much stuff that I'd love to have critiqued!

    So many pages, so few crit partners.

  11. I am in and would love to be a winner of your book.

    Back to the sick bed!

    Peace, Julie

  12. All right, Debra!!!! I just added your generous offer to the blog post.

    Way to diva down!

  13. Gabrielle! Go for it! No pain, no gain!

  14. I know, Virginia. When I see contest judges I go and look to see who their published authors are.

  15. Wow, look at all the wonderful contests! I'm so excited.

    Congrats, Debra, for being the February contest diva. I suppose my reign as contest diva (from January) is over. But, hey, Tina, didn't you say once a diva, always a diva?

    I'd love to be put in the pot to win a critique or Tina's new book :)

    Btw, I signed up to pitch on May 8th for the Love Inspired editors. Who's with me?


    And along with legally addictive stimulant in liquid form, I've brought a Softassilk carrot cake and I'm trying to decide if it's better than traditional or not.

    I kind of like the DENSITY of oil-rich carrot cake....

    So I'm asking youse to try it and see. Cream cheese frosting, of course!!!!

    Deb, I'm so proud of you!!!! And I love that pic you sent of the church in Seneca Falls.

    I just love that.

  17. Julie.... homemade chicken soup and hot lemonade coming your way!

    The bus is loaded and heading south.

    Hugs to you.

    Sniffle... cough... sniffle... cough....

    I hear you way up here.


  19. Let's get some more people off the island!!

  20. And we need to add Helen our coffee diva to our prayers. She's been MIA this week due to illness.


  21. I entered two books in both the Carol Awards and the Holt Medalion last month...don't think I'll be entering anymore contests for a while.

    Although....the inspirational readers choice looks interesting.....

  22. Congratulations, Debra! Way to go!

  23. It seems like last week we had a contest update. This month flew by.

    I swore off contests a year ago until some of my current wips were complete and sent in to editors/agent.

    I REALLY LOVE CONTESTS!!! The first step is to admit I have a problem. Right?

    And Pitching to Love Inspired? What a great opportunity.

    Fab 5 is like the friendliest contest ever.

    Good luck to all who enter and Congrats Debra on the Rattler win.


  24. Thanks for the great update Tina! I, like Connie, had swore off of contests, but I am feeling a slight tug again. We'll see.

    I signed up for the speed date last year and just got the R on my full this week. However, it was passed along to another line, so maybe something good can happen for it in another place. Good luck to Annie and the others who may go in for the LI pitch opportunity.

    Congrats to Debra! That's some prize!


  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. Debra, you rock! So which of these are you entering so I can avoid competition with you? LOL

  27. Thanks for the info. :) And happy Ground Hog's Day tomorrow. ;)

  28. Congrats Debra!!! That's a great win.

    Tina contests galore. Love it.

  29. Contests!!! And i imagine that means more novels for readers like me in the future! That makes my heart pitter patter! Congratulations, are on a roll. Sorry to hear Helen is MIA because of illness. Prayers going up for her. Hope she is feeling better quickly. Thanks for the coffee and cake, Ruthy. How can i complain about food when i didn't bake or bring it? Have a great day and weekend!

  30. Yea, Debra! What a great gift for you to offer, you diva you. :)

    This is a great month for contesting! I'm not sure what I'm entering yet. Thanks for compiling all these contests and making it so easy to enter!

  31. WTG Debra!
    And thanks Tina, the contests are springing forth!

  32. Sorry for the post 2x, guys! And please put me in for Debra's critique....thanks!

  33. YAY Deb Marvin!!! You contest diva, you!!! Loooooove it!

  34. Melissa, you're promoting the Fab Five. I have been staring at that one as a place to try my first century India story. However, I already have an agent. What are the group's thoughts on entering contests where the final judge isn't a target?

    If I remember correctly from posts on other days, Vince has suggested that it is good to enter for feedback reasons. (Vince, if I'm misquotig you, please both forgive me and correct me.) That's what I'm thinking as well. It's a chance to get cold reads and fresh thoughts (and the Fab Five contest has a good reputation). What does everyone think?

  35. Also, if I ever win contest diva, wouldn't I be called a divo?

  36. Piper, that wasn't an R that was a shifting of target.


  37. Yes. You would. You would be a divo.

    You are in fact a divo. You and Vince are our divos.

  38. Enter Walt.

    Many of us here have agents and still enter contests. It's good for many reasons:

    1. Provides some incentive to finish projects.

    2. Keeps your name out there.

    3. Let's editor's know you aren't just a one project wonder.

    4. Bling, money, and other fabulous prizes. All expense paid trip to the mainland from Unpubbed Island being the final fabulous prize.

    5. Feedback and cold reads on new projects.

    Anything I missed??

  39. Well, I feel better about it then, Tina. Thanks for letting me know. How would I find out these things if not for Seekerville? :)

  40. I went and counted it up. I had a total of 13 contest entries last year. 1 win [Gotcha], 1 second place [Touched by Love], 2 finals [Great Expectations, Seekerville's Read Me] and 1 semi-final [Genesis]. Not too shabby.

    Hmmm... I guess technically, I didn't final with that Gotcha entry - I finaled with my 2011 entry. And same for GE which hasn't announced their 2012 entry finalists yet [as far as I know].

    Regardless, I think I'll stick with calendar year in my head ;). It's easier.

    Because of stuff going on around here, I won't enter as much this year - money and all.

    Critique? I'd love to be in for a critique.

    I'm home with 2 kids today :(. One has the actual-tested-for-and-confirmed influenza B. The other one probably does but we're not testing, just treating bc the tests are expensive and the symptoms are the same. And since those two kiddos are bestest buddies in the world, he's been exposed a lot. Fun times.

  41. Whoo-hoo! Debra Marvin is the Contest Diva!

    You go, Debra!!!

    Carol...three guesses where I have ALL my contest entries listed. :)

  42. Another super contest update--and congrats to Debra, our Contest Diva of the Month!

    And Carol, I can answer your question about Pam. Not PowerPoint. EXCEL!!!

  43. Congrats to Debra!! ~ And I'm still amazed at how many contests are available for UNpubbed writers--WOW!! ~ seriously thinking and praying about a couple of those, and know I need to decide soon. ~ Thanks for posting these, Tina. I hope everyone will have a Fabulous February!! Hugs, Patti Jo (who needs to turn her calendar to the new month---wasn't it just Christmas?!) ;)

  44. Thank you, everyone, for taking care of the coffee this week.

    I'm feeling much better now. Hadn't been out of the house until last night when we went to the restaurant.

    Now I'm ready to venture out BIG TIME. Heading for the beauty shop and grocery store. Oh, what an adventurer I am.

    I'm working on some requested material, so not sure what kind of contesting I'm going to do.


  45. Debra, Phoenix Rattler grand prize winner,that so exciting.I'm thrilled for you. I plan to enter the TBL contest this month. Tina,Thanks for the list and all the reasons listed for entering contests.
    Please put my name in the drawing for a critique of my entry with our Contest Diva Debra. Wonderful weekend to all.

  46. We still love Pam even if she is addicted to Excel.

  47. Patti Jo, start with a contest with only 5 pages. Good way to get your feet wet.

  48. RAGE ON DEBRA!!!!!!!!!!

    Didn't there use to be a site called Divas with Tiaras? I was listed on that with my one zillion contest finalist successes. One more mountain to climb.

    I tried to google Divas with Tiaras but I got a whole multi-page hit for toddlers and tiaras and finally gave up.

  49. HELEN! So glad you're back and feeling better! Enjoy your day on the town!

  50. Congrats to Debra!
    Would love to be entered into the drawing.


    HAPPY DANCING!!!!!!!

  52. Thanks for the update, Tina!

    I will enter the Genesis and the Fab Five for sure.

    Question re the LI Pitch session. How do chat room pitches work? Being technologically challenged, this kinda freaks me out.

    Helen, glad you're feeling better!

    Thanks for the offer of a critique, Debra. How many contests did you enter?


    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  53. well... sadly, the Phoenix Rattler DID NOT have enough entries to be able to then award the Free Conference Registration this year.

    They apologized profusely.
    And I was so shocked to win that I was only a bit disappointed.

    Thank you all for your sweet words and congratulations! I was happy to place and comfortable with second place wins. I'm still smiling over this first place.

  54. Thanks for the list of contests Miss T,

    good lands, I've entered them all in my dreams. But there are some interesting ones I may just have to send something too.

    Of course I could be dreaming still...


  55. Hey WALT. Enter those contests. They are great feedback and as mentioned they get your name out there.

  56. CAROL M. I' m impressed. Great showing. You are soooooooooo close.

  57. VIRGINIA, yes I saw that. I was sooooo excited

    Hope you're entering.

  58. Susan, the important thing is to register. Go do that now.

    GO GO GO. Before it fills up.

    The chat room is easy. They give you a link and you just go there.

    There are chats going on all the time on eharlequin. So between now and May you can go and practice and just lurk.

  59. Mary Connealy.

    This is it. They moved to a blog.

  60. Tina - you are a gem for putting all this contest info in one easy to read place. I'd love a copy of your new release.

    I'm hoping, make that I am entering the Genesis and Daphne.

    Congrats to Diva Debra!
    Glad you're feeling better Helen. Julie hope you get well soon. Ive been sick since Monday! Ick, Ick, Ick

  61. CAROL, how many completed manuscripts do you have? Is it double digits? Wouldn't surprise me. :)

    The risk I'm taking this year is tearing up the first two pages of my manuscript and starting fresh. Overall I've had good feedback on it, but I'm just not thrilled with it. And the new stuff I have so far is making me smile. So I'm praying this risk pays off when I enter the Genesis. We'll see.

    And the Fab Five? May have to look at that.

  62. I love contests! My 2007 Golden Heart final hooked me an agent AND led me to meeting Tina.

    Since the Genesis is coming up...

    And because I am probably not going to judge it this year...

    Tina, how about I do a free critique on someone's Genesis entry? Including synopsis. Prefer romance, but as Camy Tang said to me one too many times, "good writing is good writing regardless of genre."

  63. Any minute Deb is going to jump in here and say, "RUN AWAY FROM GINA's OFFER!!!"

    I critted her story in blue ink.

    Not sure why it showed up red on her computer.

    I'm a nice critiquer. Nice-ish. Okay, I have been known to occasionally put a smiley face on a manucript.

  64. Tina, contests also provide...

    1. Encouragement

    2. Reality checks

  65. Thanks for the contest update, Tina! I WILL enter the Fab Five and the Great Beginnings. And I "Just Did It" by emailing to do the speed pitch. Might as well find out if I'm heading in the right direction.

    Please enter me in the the next two weeks, I will have the short contest entries ready. I'm planning on the March Speedbo to work on the complete manuscript. Thanks, Seekerville!

    Thanks for the coffee and goodies, Ruthy, and for filling in for Helen. Prayers for all to feel better!

    Congratulations to February Contest Diva Debra!

  66. GINA, your blue/red ink issue reminds me of what just happened with my sister.

    I sent her my last ms and she sent it back with this note:

    The red is to fix.


    Lots and lots of red. And there was no blue.

    I took it to heart and fixed everything I saw. But she's the sweetest person and not a passive/aggressive bone in her body.

    So, when I mentioned 'the no brilliant blue' issue she went crazy- because then I'd changed all the best parts.

    Oh, boy. :D We had a good laugh over that!

  67. CAROL- praying for your little people.

    We haven't had any sickness here this year.

    And now that I've said that...

  68. Pam? Excel? Really? /ducks/

    Sandra - thank you my friend!

    Sally -

    8 completed manuscripts.

    Last night, one sent to my critters for the final [please! final!] pass before submitting out.

    I'm working on both 9 and 10 right now. I put one on hold because I won't enter it in Genesis and I'm trying to get a rough draft of the other done so I can then back. I think. Or onto something new [but no idea what] for Speedbo.

  69. Okay, Virginia, that's hilarious.

    Red: Fix
    Blue: Do not touch this brilliance!

    I might need to plagiarize that.

  70. Thank you, Virginia. Appreciate it muchly. Poor second kiddo is in the miserable stage now - fever in the 102+ range and so on [first kiddo hit nearly 104 at one point :(]. First kiddo is - thank God - on the mend.

  71. Sally -

    I missed your tearing up two pages the first time...

    I ripped my chapter 1 out yesterday and turned it into chapter 1 and 2... Overall I think it works better but biting nails since I hope to send it out soon and it won't have been gone over a million times...

  72. Thanks, Terri.

    I did what I wish someone had done for me.

    Please do note that there is a Yahoo group for Contests.

    To subscribe

    There's one for pubbed authors too

    And Stephie Smith keeps a spread sheet of all contests, big & Little and everything in between. You can find it on the front page of our blog under links tab.

  73. Sherida, boy you don't mess around when you get it in gear.

  74. The Faith, Hope and Love Chapter of RWA PRESIDENT IS HERE!!

    Did she bring bodyguards???

  75. CONGRATS, Debra!!!!!
    Wowzers, what a list of contest!
    Thanks so much, Tina!

  76. "I'm onto something new but no idea what..."

    We are sisters separated at birth, Carol.

  77. LOL

    No bodyguards needed.

    Although should Henry Cavill offer, I shall not say no.

  78. Sally, go for it.

    Be big and brave and bold. (This instuction is one I use with my preschoolers to launch them!!! It works for us, too!)

    Carol, ugh.... Poor babies. Poor mom. Hugs and prayers from a mother of 6 who remembers that all too well.

  79. Madame President, might I present your honor guard????

    At your left, it's me....

    At your right, it's... well... me, again.

    The rest of 'em are busy talkin'!


    We'll take good care of you over here. I love FH&L.

  80. Hi Tina:

    You wrote:

    Reasons to enter contests:

    1. Provides some incentive to finish projects.
    2. Keeps your name out there.
    3. Let's editor's know you aren't just a one project wonder.
    4. Bling, money, and other fabulous prizes. All expense paid trip to the mainland from Unpubbed Island being the final fabulous prize.
    5. Feedback and cold reads on new projects.
    Tina, contests also provide...

    Then Gina added:

    1. Encouragement
    2. Reality checks

    Then I added:

    A: learn what it is really like to polish your writing…(learn the real meaning of professional presentation.)

    B: triangulation… getting three critiques of the same work by different judges to better pinpoint real problems from style opinions. (not all contests have three judge reports).

    C: progress indication: are you getting better as you enter more contests; compare where you stand with all those in the same category. Raw scores can mean less than where you finished relative to the other contestants. (Not all contests will reveal this).

    D: more data points: as the same entry gets critiqued by more and more judges a much better picture emerges of what your entry really looks like. (Compare a tv screen with more pixels per square inch.)

    E: Bonus: some judges are great nitpickers. It’s like getting ‘free’ proofreading for the next contest.

    F: Off the wall suggestions: ‘what you did isn’t wrong but what if you did it this way?’.

    G:Very frank feedback. The judges don’t know you. “Your hero is a chauvinistic jerk and your heroine is so unsympathetic she deserves him.” Is your CP group going to really wake you up with a comment like this?

    H: Probing. A chance to see if there is anyone out there who ‘gets’ you and what you are doing? Example from same entry same contest: “you should learn something about writing before you enter these contests. Read GMC.” “I just loved it. I can’t wait to read this when it is published. I so get it.”

    I: Validation. Are you just kidding yourself or are your efforts really worth it. (This is different in kind from encouragement. My family encourages me without ever reading my stuff!)

    J: Ego training: condition your ego to make edits – even on your most brilliant work. Helpful if you ever do get the 'call'.

    K: Misinterpretation orientation: learning how anyone could possibly misinterpret what you wrote to such an extent. “You thought what?” With CPs you discuss your work and they ask questions. Judges hit your work cold. They act like real world readers.

    L: Ego Cover. Judges don’t know who you are! CPs do. That’s worth the price of admission.

    M: Ego food! What if you final or win! Priceless. ☺

    N: Experimentation. You can try three different tones or levels of seriousness or even write an entry in all deep pov and enter the different versions in separte contests due in the same month.

    O: Good Habits: after awhile you will start to think like a judge and you will automatically do the right things when in the past you had to go back and fix things.

    P: Please STOP!!! This is more than I ever would want to know!


    P.S. Please don’t get the idea that I’m too much into contests. I’m not. Really, I not.

  81. Ruthie, you are the sexiest bodyguard I've ever had.

    I'll keep ya!

    And for anyone who doesn't know what FHL is...

  82. Walt & Vince

    Noi siamo i divi.

    I’m too modest to say that in English.

    Just a thought: If we are going to make generous use of the word ‘diva’ then I think I can provide a little guidance. (Also these rules apply for saying ‘Bravo’ at the end of an opera. And you do want to do that, don’t you?).

    One female star = diva (brava)
    One male star = divo (bravo)
    Two or more female stars = dive (brave)
    Two or more male stars = divi (bravi)
    Female and male stars together = divi (bravi)

    Yep, even if there are fifty-five female stars and just one male star in the group, you still say: divi (bravi).

    (Don’t you just love that Mediterranean mind?)

    Ciao, Ragazze.

  83. Vince! You make me proud to be Latin.

    Good list of contest benefits.

    I smell a blog post.

  84. Nice to see Gina here. Since I'm going to enter the Genesis, too. Please put my name in the hat for a critique of another story with Gina. Sorry to hear the Rattler wasn't able to award Debra the conference fee to ACFW. I see on the list of contests that Debra Dixon is judging one. The same Debra that wrote GMC! Did I miss something? I didn't see Touched By Love Contest listed.
    Thanks so much for the generous offer from Debra and Gina. Good to see Helen back and to know she's feeling better.

  85. Tina, how about I do a free critique on someone's Genesis entry? Including synopsis. Prefer romance, but as Camy Tang said to me one too many times, "good writing is good writing regardless of genre."


    This is fantabulous.

  86. That's quite a list Vince!

    Crits? I could use a crit - or two - or three...

    Or a Tina book...

  87. Congrats Debra,

    Good luck to all entering.

    Wish in some ways there were contests for readers (not sure what but would be nice). Although I read so slowly lately.

  88. Thanks, Tina, for keeping us on target with the various contests!

    YAY, Deb Marvin! Proud of you! Love your work.

    Don't the LI editors look cute in the pic Tina posted? How creative they are with their story pitch contest.

    Hope lots of Seekervillagers take part.

  89. Yes, it's now been proven that critiques are just going to be red ink. no matter how much we try to be nice.

    Gina does an excellent critique.

    thank you all again for your congratulations. Gosh, I feel like I won something all over again!

  90. Oh, oh, oh!!! I want in. I'd love to critique an entry. *evil grins* ;)

  91. I would love to have the Genesis critique

    AND the fabulous April Love inspired release (sorry, can't refer to the title because I can't see it on this page.)

  92. Mary Vee, the Ruthy hostess with the mostest.

    It's Mending the Doctor's Heart.

  93. Oh! Christina gives great crits!

    [Don't enter me for one of hers though - I'm already in ;)].

  94. Vince, I agree. That's awesome stuff. I've never heard folks shout "Bravi!" though.

    Of course not too many folks up here would know what I was doing if I did that.

  95. Hey, I see lots of takers for the critiques... and three of us sharpening our red pencils!

    I'm happy to read any contest entry, (rubbing hands together!)and get to peek into a future finalist's minds. Because Seeker Followers are so darn clever!

  96. I want to enter in some contests this year. Are there any contests that accept Historicals that aren't romances?

    Amber S.
    Larkspur, CO

  97. Well probably not RWA contests Amber
    but the historical category of the Genesis:

    Historical (through Vietnam era)-Greg Johnson (WordServe Literary), Terry Burns (Hartline Literary), Rick Steele (AMG Publishers)

    The PNWA has a historical category and it is a literary fiction organization.