Friday, September 27, 2013

October Contest Update

Welcome to the October 2013 Contest Update. 

Pardon me while I stroll down memory lane. 

The very first Contest Update debuted February 5, 2008. Over five years ago. That's a lot of contests. At that time, the majority of the Seekers were still unpublished contest divas. Since then we've published 69 contest updates in Seekerville. 

In honor of divas past and present, and our upcoming sixth year birthday celebration, today we're giving away a box of great reads to one commenter and since there are several more short story contests in this edition, we'll do another short story contest critique (max 7 pages) and a First Impressions Contest critique. Please mention if you are up for a critique.

Time doesn't stand still, and you aren't getting any younger! Tell us your contest plans.

Attention all Readers not Writers. The 2013 National Readers Choice Awards is now accepting applications for reader judges.  Apply Here.

Published Authors

 The 2013 Lyra Awards are designed to find and promote the best in independent fiction.  The contest is open to all independently published eBooks released in 2013. 12 categories. Deadline is December 31, 2013.

The 2013 National Readers Choice Awards opens October 1st! 

Published Authors! Be prepared. The 2014 RITA Awards are coming! See the RWA website for the new rules.

Unpublished Authors

ACFW First Impressions Contest.TIMELINE: The contest will begin September 25, 2013 at 8:00 AM central time. All contest entries and contest fees must be received by 4:00 PM central time on November 1, 2013.. Submit a back-cover copy type blurb of 200 words or less AND the first five pages of the manuscript. Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Childrens/YA, Speculative. Finalist judges are not listed on the site.

The Suzannah. Deadline October 1, 2013. $300 cash prize to winner. No categories. Entry should be a maximum of 7,200 words, including synopsis. Open to published and unpublished authors. Capped at 120 entries.

All six finalists will have their entries evaluated by the full panel of agents and editors. Our 2013 panel of final round judges includes:

 Kerri Buckley, Editor, Carina Press
 Piya Campana, Editor, Harlequin Superromance
 Katherine Pelz, Editor, Berkley
 Maria Carvainis, Literary Agent, Maria Carvainis  Agency
 Melissa Jeglinski, Literary Agent, The Knight  Agency
 Stefanie Lieberman, Literary Agent,  Janklow and Nesbit

The Emily. Deadline October 7. Limit to 200 entries. First 5,600 words,end on a hook. No synopsis.  

Contemporary Single Title:
Agent ~ Beth Campbell, Bookends, LLC
Editor ~ Holly Ingraham, Associate Editor, St. Martin’s Press

Contemporary Series:
Agent ~ Cori Deyoe, 3 Seas Literary Agency
Editor ~ Karen Reid, Associate Editor, Harlequin

Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal:
Agent ~ Sara Megibow, The Nelson Agency
Editor ~ Kate Seaver, Senior Editor, Berkley Publishing, Penguin Group

Agent ~ Maura Kye-Casella, Don Congdon Associates, Inc.
Editor ~ Michele Bidelspach, Editor, Hachette Book Group, Grand Central

Romantic Suspense:
Agent ~ Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates
Editor ~ Hai-Yen Mura, Manager, Editorial, Montlake Publishing

Young Adult/New Adult:
Agent ~ Kathleen Rushall, Marsal Lyons Literary Agency, LLC
Editor ~ Karen Chaplin, Editor, HarperCollins Children’s Books

Best of the Best:
Overall contest winner receives $100!
Judge ~ Barbara Vey, Beyond Her Book blog, Publishers Weekly

So You Think You Can Write. Harlequin Writing Contest Details

Beginning September 23 you can submit the First Chapter (5000 words max) of your romance story plus a 100-Word Pitch to the series you have targeted. The pitch should outline the concept, plot, characters, conflict and setting. You must target one of our 20 eligible series.All First Chapter submissions will be posted for everyone to read and add comments in the space provided. Last day for submissions is October 9. Don’t delay…submit your chapter right away so more people—including the editors–will see it!

 2014 RWA Golden Heart Awards. Please note the opening date for the Golden Heart is not posted yet. THE CONTEST WILL OPEN ONLINE OCTOBER 8.  

This contest requires a full manuscript. There is no feedback. The Golden Heart contest is open to RWA members only. The entry fee is $50; entries must be submitted to RWA's contest site no later than 5 p.m. CT, Dec. 13, 2013. The Golden Heart contest is limited to 1,200 paid entries. 

For the THIRD YEAR, Seekerville will again be offering entry fee reimbursement to the 2014 Golden Heart Awards. With a twist!~This year we are narrowing that to the Inspirational Category entry only in an effort to keep the category open. And we are offering TWO reimbursements of the entry fee.

This opportunity is open from the entry date through to the Golden Heart deadline. 
Send proof of entry to the Seekerville email address (may send multiple proofs if you enter multiple times in the inspy category). Winner will be announced in January 2014.

Finally a Bride. Deadline October 15. Participation is open to all unpublished authors of novel-length romance fiction. All work must be the author’s original work, and cannot be contracted for publication prior to the entry deadline.  Each manuscript must have finaled, but not won in a previous RWA or RWA chapter-sponsored contest. (Manuscripts which placed in the Top Quarter of the Golden Heart are also eligible.)Entry must be the first pages of your manuscript with the total entry no longer than 30 pages.

Young Adult
Malena Lott, Managing Editor, Buzz Books
Cindy Davis, Wild Rose Press

Contemporary Romance
Kathy Cottrell, Senior Editor, Wild Rose Press
Jewelann Cone, Cascade Literary Agency

Romantic Suspense
Johanna Melaragno, Wild Rose Press
Lori Graham, Senior Editor, Crimson, Wild Rose Press

Inspirational Romance
Nicola Martinez, Senior Editor, Pelican Books

Erin Molta, Entangled Publishing
Char Chaffin, Soul Mate Publishing

Paranormal/Time Travel/Futuristic/Fantasy
Claudia Fallon, Wild Rose Press
Michele Church, Wild Rose Press

Mainstream/Novel with Romantic Elements
Leanne Morgena, Wild Rose Press

Erotic Romance
Cheryl Yeko, Soul Mate Publishing

Sherry Derr-Wille, CAB, MELANGE, RISING PHOENIX, and SOLSTICE Publishing

"Finish the Da*n Book" Contest & The Rudy Award. Deadline October 31st. Submit the first and last chapters of your unpublished 40K+ manuscript (no prologues or epilogues), plus a synopsis of the entire work that will not be judged. Total submission must not exceed 40 pages. The contest is open to both published and unpublished authors, although the work submitted must be unpublished AND remain unpublished or uncontracted until after the contest.First place Winners in each category will receive a Rudy Statuette and a check for $50.00. 

Mainstream with romantic elements: Marie Lamba, Jennifer de Chiara Literary
Paranormal: Amanda Barnett, Wild Rose Press
Contemporary: Danielle Fine, Definition House
Historical: Jordy Albert, Booker Albert Literary Agency
Young Adult/New Adult: Deb Smith, Award-winning author and editor, Bell Books

Other Contests

 Writing Contest in Honor of Elaine Kaufman. From now until October 15, 2013, writers can submit a short story, essay or novel excerpt to the Table 4 Writers Foundation’s second annual writing competition. Ten dollar entry fee. (From GalleyCat)

Writers Digest Short Story Competition. Deadline November 15. Think you can write a winning story in less than 1,500 words? Enter the 14th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition for your chance to win $3,000 in cash, get published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City!  

 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 Suzie Townsend.

 Midlife Collage is looking for submissions in our free-entry contests. We run weekly, online writing contests for a cash prize. Perhaps you would be eligible and interested in submitting a short story. Please see our Submissions page for the guidelines and contest rules.  U.S. citizens and legal residents age 40 and older may enter. (LOVE THIS!!)


This month's Contest Diva is the amazing Nancy Connally
 (known as CHILL N)

Contest Finals:
2013 Heart of the West; Finalist Historical; Winners announced October 12
2013 TARA; Third Place Historical
2011 Romance Through the Ages; First Place Colonial/Western/Civil War
2011 Gotcha!; First Place Historical
2008 Love, Texas Style Anthology; Third Place Contemporary 

Why do I enter contests? I ask myself that when I gape at a judge’s low scores. And then I go through my Six Steps of Low Score Recovery: outrage, discouragement, re-evaluation (you-know-they-might-have-a-point-here), refinement, submission to another contest … and excitement when—oh my stars!—the story finals. 

You understand there can be a substantial gap in time between submitting to another contest and achieving a final, right? 

But whenever I receive contest scores—low or high—I’m reminded that what I continue to learn from contests extends far beyond the craft.

• Contests help me learn from constructive criticism. Note that adjective. Constructive. Destructive criticism wants to wield power and show how much it knows. Constructive wants to help the story excel and share what it has learned. Contests have helped me discern the difference and consider the comments accordingly.

• Contests help me remember that three high scores accompanied by one score so far down in the pits I need a flashlight to read it can mean the low-score judge was having a bad day—but that low score can also mean the judge didn’t care for the story. And the fact that one judge out of four didn’t like the story is good news. No, really! If three judges give the story high scores, and one gives it the lowest score in the contest’s history, then the story has a strong voice. Stay with me here. I enjoy reading Author A’s books and I avoid reading Author B’s books. Why? B’s books are well written but don’t appeal to me. But A’s books have a voice I respond to. Even after judges’ training, what one judge considers great conflict may strike another judge as inadequate. Three judges would read my story; one wouldn’t. Not bad.

• Contests are just about as close to the publishing world as it gets. I finally entered a contest open to published authors. Why? Because those are the stories an agent or editor will consider my story alongside. Just as in judging, there will be an editor or agent who doesn’t like the story and doesn’t explain why. But there will also be an editor or agent who likes the story, wants to share her or his knowledge, and wants to help the story excel. Hopefully, what I continue to learn from contests will help me recognize, and accept, that gift.

Oh, and there’s one more thing I learned about contests. When a Seeker offers a critique in a giveaway, throw your name in the draw. I’m convinced Seeker constructive criticism helped my historical win Third Place—competing with published authors—in the TARA.



Seekerville is a sponsor of the Bethany House Fall Into Love Contest which ends October 1.

That's it for this month. Now go forth and contest.

Tina Radcliffe is a mild mannered hermit who writes Inspirational romance for Harlequin Love Inspired as Tina Radcliffe and romantic comedy as Tina Russo. You can find her at and

Her latest release from Love Inspired is Mending the Doctor's Heart. Her second Indie release, Love In Bloom: A collection of short romantic fiction, is available now on Amazon and it's only .99. 
This is the Vince Mooney recommended Amazon buy button.

Tina's tenth short romantic fiction sale for Woman's World is available in the current edition. 


Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Ooooo! I love contests!!!! And I love The Emily!!!
I won The Emily YA category AND The Best of The Best in 2012 for my ms 'Dust to Dust'.... which I'm working on RIGHT NOW! The page is actually open right under this one! Wooot! That's a good omen...

But I can't afford to be sidetracked this year. TOOOOOO many deadlines and projects and classes. So, I will cheer from the sidelines!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I find it difficult not to enter contests as well.


BTW, is Nancy Connally not just adorable? Congratulations DIVA!!

Jenny Blake said...

I applied for the reader awards last month after you mentioning it. So exciting to be able to have a say.

Congrats Nancy.

Feeling more human today first day in weeks I haven't felt like climbing back into bed by mid morning.

Marianne Barkman said...

I'm reading this at 3:15am...after coming in from the harvest day! Thought I'd wind down, but with all the great opportunities for future authors to be recognized, it's too exciting! See you later sometime!

Sally said...

Thanks for all the contest updates! Good luck to all who enter. I would love to win the box of great reads! That would be wonderful! Thanks for the chance!
tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

Jackie said...

Thanks for sharing this list. You've helped me to see contests in a different light. Thanks Tina!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, what a lovely contest update!!!!

I have had my bootie handed to me in published contests this past year....


But the plus side is someone's paying me to write, so even if I don't final...

I win.

So keep on keepin' on, peeps! Live on purpose!

(snuffles into lotion treated tissues, this time of year I buy them by the case...)

Nancy Connally!!!! You are adorable and I love that your wisdom carries through in your work!!! Congrats on being not only contest diva but a cool cat author dudette!!!!

DebH said...

great contest update, as always.

would love another entry into short story critique - or any critique for that matter.

Rose said...

I'm definately going to check out that Midlife link. Even if I don't enter, I think it might be a fun site.

Good luck to all those who plan to enter a contest!

Walt Mussell said...

The only contest I have anything in at the moment is that I'm waiting for the results of the Maggies. Not certain about any other contests at the moment.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Glad you entered to be a reader Jenny. Now get well!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, Marianne! LONG DAY!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hey, Sally, you are entered.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, Jackie. Any contest goals this month???

Mary Hicks said...

Nancy, girl friend, such good words of advice. Thanks for reminding me AGAIN how important it is to enter contests. :-)

My plan is to do better this next year. Right now every thing I have is either too long, too short, not finished, not the right genre...

Do you suppose I'm making excuses?

Tina Radcliffe said...

You're in DebH!!!!

Any contest goals this month?

Tina Radcliffe said...

I know Rose, that site looks like fun!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Walt, are you going to M and M? Or is that like standard requirement for all Georgian writers?? Silly me for asking??

Tina Radcliffe said...

Mary Hicks!! Is Nancy not cute AND wise or WHAT???

Mary Hicks said...

Tina, thanks for the contest up-dates.

I enjoy looking through the choices and thinking about which ones I would enter, if only... :-)

Audra Harders said...

Great contest update. Lots of biggies coming up including Finally A Bride. I loved that contest.

Congrats to our Contest Diva, Nancy Connally! Keep entering those contests!

Audra Harders said...

Where in the world did you find that "BUY" button? What a hoot!

Tina Radcliffe said...

A hoot is my goal in life, Audra.

Mary Hicks said...

Tina, I have the pleasure of spending time with Nancy ever now and then. She is more fun to be with! I leave feeling like I've been to a work-shop.

And so sweet and kind when I email 'HELP ME' Nancy.
She's right there, a true blue friend. :-)

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Oh KAYYYYYYY! I just posted my SYTYCW entry.

I don't know that I can write but I needed to do it to get over the fear factor.

I can't thank everyone on Seekerville for all their critiques, support and encouragement.

I will now go throw up.

And then go out to buy a dress for my son's best-friend-since-second-grade's wedding.

And maybe throw up some more.

Peace, Julie

Jeanne T said...

Thank you Tina for supplying these each month. I so appreciate it!

CONGRATULATIONS NANCY for being the Diva of the month. :)

My plans: Still working to finish my fast (or not so fast) draft, but I plan to enter the First Impressions contest this year. There are other interesting contests, so we'll see if I decide to enter more. I love reading all the contests. I'm amazed at how many there are.

PLEASE enter me into the drawing for the First Impressions critique!

Mary Hicks said...

Not only is our DIVA of the month smart, witty and adorable, she's married to one of the nicest guys around!

Her Greg is a creative also. He designs beautiful rooms in beautiful homes.:-)

pol said...

Good morning
You all look bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning-You are all diva's in my book.
I know there will be many contest winners here. determined souls who love to read and write cannot be kept go forth and win.
Eyes are watching ...I know this grp will do fine.
Paula o

Connie Queen said...

I'm not entering but good luck to all those who are.

Kudos to contest diva, Nancy Connally.

Janet Dean said...

Wow, 69 contest updates in the last five years! Your updates sent us writers into the game. Just think of all the good news those entries sparked. You rock, Tina!

Nancy C, Contest Diva Extraordinaire, congratulations on the impressive list of finals and wins!

Contests and critiques go hand in hand. Both are wonderful teaching tools.


Glynna Kaye said...

Congratulations on such fine contest showing, NANCY C!

Love these contest updates and accompanying links all in one place, TINA -- "back in the day" I had to scour the pages of RWA and other periodicals to dig them out of hiding. Now they're just a click away! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Congratulations on such fine contest showing, NANCY C!

Love these contest updates and accompanying links all in one place, TINA -- "back in the day" I had to scour the pages of RWA and other periodicals to dig them out of hiding. Now they're just a click away! :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Love the contest editions. Best wishes to all who enter.

Have a great weekend.

Walt Mussell said...

Tina, no, I'm not attending. I thought I might be able to attend but realized at the last minute that I couldn't. The sad story is that I would have been able to make the dinner, if I had made arrangements in time. I did not think there would be an issue if someone added me as a +1 after registration. One of the authors at GRW offered to bring me as a +1. However, the head of the M&M committee said "no," that I could not be added as registration had ended. Then, one of the attendees offered me her banquet ticket as she was going to have to miss the banquet. We discovered that RWA frowns on transferring any portion of a conference and that I would have been fined 150% of the conference price, had I shown up at the dinner.

In short, it's all my fault. I should have given up a week early on trying to attend and made +1 arrangements.

I'm in for the short story critique.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Nancy, is one of our quiet and faithful Seeker Villagers. She keeps writing and entering contests and on the side she is my secret information source!!! I love Nancy!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Walt! That's too bad. I'm hoping to attend someday!

Tina Radcliffe said...


I was remiss in not mentioning SYTYCW.

Will add it now. Thank you.

Debby Giusti said...

I went to bed with your short story collection, Tina, and read the first two...such delightful reads! Love the new book. Congrats.

Will look for WW at the grocery checkout.

Debby Giusti said...

Nancy, congrats on all your contest success! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today.

Debby Giusti said...

Walt, so sorry you won't be at M&M. IMHO, registration closed early this year. In the past, we've accepted walk-ins on SAT. Perhaps the conference is too large for that now.

We'll miss you!

Annie Rains said...

Oh, I LOVE contest updates. I haven't entered one in a few months now. The Emily looks good :) I might throw my hat in that one. And The Golden Heart again, of course.

Congrats, Nancy, on being a DIVA!

I'd love to have my name thrown into the critique giveaway.

Lyndee H said...

Some of my fav contests start this season. Thanks for the great post, Tina! And got your book of short stories right away. Looking forward to reading them and your new #10 WW story. Whoohoo for you!

Congrats to the Contest Diva, Nancy! Go Girl! You're an inspiration.

Hugs all. Isn't it nice that this is Friday?

Donna said...

Wow, so many short story contests!!

Tina, that buy button is a little puny compared to the one from yesterday. Just sayin' ; )

Hallee Bridgeman said...

Excited to see a contest for indies! That's great!


Donna said...

Congrats Nancy! You are wise and brave!

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL. You're right, Donna. Hopefully it will meet with Vince approval.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Friday!!! Yes, Lyndee. Going to throw a chicken in a pot! And thanks for the kind words.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Debby, thanks for the buy!! Hope you enjoy all 17 of them.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hallee! Good to see you!! The RITA will be open to Indies too I believe. Right? Someone help me out here.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Annie, Contest Diva of months gone by. Good to see you again. You are in the hat.

Walt Mussell said...

Debby, I'm sad that I won't be either.

Tina, downloaded your book. Can't wait to dive into it.

Carol Moncado said...

Great update as always!!!

I'm still debating contests for the rest of the year. Possibly Golden Heart but... It's so expensive [esp since I have to renew my RWA at the same time].

First Impressions? Depends on who the final judges in my category are most likely [and whether or not I have an agent by then - I'll have the requested MS out before the deadline but who knows what'll happen when].

As one of your friendly, neighborhood First Impressions coordinators, I can tell you there is more info on the site now that it's open. You can find it here.

The judges [as of now] are:
Contemporary: Ann Byle
Historical: Les Stobbe
Historical Romance: Karen Solem
Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: Chip MacGregor
Novella: Tamela Hancock Murray
Romance: Janet Grant
Romantic Suspense: Tamela Hancock Murray
Short Novel: Joyce Hart
Speculative: Mary Sue Seymour
Young Adult: Mary Sue Seymour

However, they plan for two agent judges per category for the final round.

Now... I get to have lunch with Diana Prusik!!!! [And clean house because hubs is coming home after being gone for a week. And work on that requested MS. And...]

Courtney Faith said...

I'm not done with my manuscript, so I'm thinking contests aren't for me. Maybe I won't need them??? Ha.
Prayers to all who enter. And all who don't. Hey, we all need the prayers.


Myra Johnson said...

Another fantastic contest update, Tina! You are the best!

Yay for our contest diva, Nancy!!!

And yay to Julie H.S. for entering SYTYCW!!!! No throwing up allowed. Go forth and shop!

Courtney Faith said...

Then again, I've had a goal of finishing the entire first draft by November 1. I'm sure I could revise the first five pages by then. Now I'm iffy. . . .opinions?? Should I enter the First Impressions Contest?
I like opinions. As long as they're nice. I trust all of you will be nice:)

Sybil Bates McCormack said...

Morning, ladies. I appreciate the October contest update and would love to win a box o' books.

I'd also like to get my potential "First Impressions" submission critiqued, but I haven't decided which of the many "starts" I've accumulated to actually use. :-D



Donna said...

Courtney absolutely!

Just get someone you trust to look over your first chapter (if not the whole MS) and then go for it!
I would be entering several if I had a completed MS.

Carol Moncado said...

Sybil - use the one with the most "pop" in the beginning.

If you're Mary Connealy, that means gunfire.

If you're Julie Lessman, it means smoochies on page one.

If you're Brandilyn Collins, it probably means a dead body. [Not that I've read much Brandilyn...]

Courtney - GO FOR IT!!! The manuscript doesn't need to be complete for First Impressions. I don't think. Does it?

I should probably double check...


And I'd love a box o' books :D.

Marianne Barkman said...

I was too tired to add that I wanted to enter as a reader, Tina. Thanks

Cindy Regnier said...

Thank you. Love the contest updates and not having to search them out myself. I'm repeating myself, I think, but I would love a short story critique or a First Impressions critique. That box of books sounds wonderful too. Now to go out and buy a Woman's World. . .

Courtney Faith said...

Count me in for a critique, please.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Carol Moncado, you goddess. Thanks for the judging info.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Here's how I look at entering contests with a partial Courtney.

You must know three things.

1. When is the announcements of finalists.

2. When is the announcement of winners.

3. How fast can you write.

If you get a request for a full you need to know if you can finish in a timely manner. Otherwise you are throwing money away.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Marianne, just click on that hot link to enter the reader judge thing. You just fill out a form.

This is not part of Seekerville.

Tina Radcliffe said...

You are in Cindy R.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, Sybil.

Carol gave you great advice. Not much chance to woo the judges so gotta hit with your best first line and first para.

Sherida Stewart said...

Hello, Contest Diva Chill N! So fun to "see" you! Love your Six Steps of Low Score Recovery. (I'm between discouragement and re-evaluation.) Cheering for your contest results!

Seekerville and Tina, congratulations on your 69 contest updates! I'll take Diva Chill N's advice---please put me in for a short story critique.

I bought my copy of LOVE IN BLOOM before the Vince-inspired "buy button" was on the page. I may just have to get another copy so I can push that button. Great!

CaraG said...

Hi everyone. It’s been a while since I've written anything here, but I've been lurking and appreciating everyone who does post.

With the mention of short stories these past two days, I wanted to share my news as well as say a big thank you to the Seekers. My short story just won first place in a contest sponsored by an author’s guild and a community college. Much of the credit has to go to Seekerville’s, “No guts, no glory,” sign that hangs above my computer where I see it EVERY day. Talk about motivation.

A special thanks, though, goes to Glynna Kay, who did the critique I was lucky enough to win. She was super supportive and made me think, well, maybe I can learn this writing thing. My short story was gleaned from what was to be a novel, but during the drastic cutting process I fell in love with the short story form. What a surprise. So glad I ventured into that territory.

Thanks for the contest updates. What a gift.

Congrats to Nancy C. Love those success stories.

Tina Radcliffe said...

CaraG!!!! This is so wonderful. Wow. Congratulations! I've emailed Glynna Kaye who is away at the day job. She will be DELIGHTED.

Courtney Faith said...

Tina, thanks. I looked it up, and it says the winners will be announced by Dec. 31. So my plan is to see if I completely finish the first draft and am revising by the end of October when I would need to submit for the contest. I only have about 30,000 words left, so it's quite doable for my speed.

Lord willing, it'll work out. If not, I'll take that as His cue that that particular opportunity wasn't for me :)

Kav said...

Oooooh, Tina!!!!!! You published a collection of short stories!!!!!!! Squuuueeeealllll! Rushing off to download it now. Wait a sec...Done and read the first story. :-)

How did you select the order to put them in? Did you agonize over that?

And thanks for the contest update! I need to get cracking on a couple.

Ohhhhhh --- and congrats to Diva Nancy! Great insights and advice for us fringe contesters.

Debra E. Marvin said...

yes. It's strange but I feel disappointment over not being able to enter the Finally A Bride.

I give Julie H S kudos for putting her story up on SYTYCW! I'm just going to submit the old fashioned way...

Lyndee _ I miss seeing you.

Seeker critiques are so very valuable--if someone is debating... go for it!

Carol (1k1hr and cookies Carol) - I'm with you on the GH--it's all about the pricetag for RWA! But boy, it's quite an achievement to win!

Nancy, what a great description of the low contest score symptoms. It's like labor and delivery (I'll NEVER do THAT again and then.. what do you know... you're entering another contest with mushy anticipation!)

Debby Giusti said...

Cara G!
You rock! Mega congrats on the short story contest win!!!

Good for you!

Thanks, too, for reminding ALL of us:
No guts, no glory!

Janet Dean said...

I can all but hear the ticking clock with Tina's clever graphics. The perfect reminder that times a'wasting.


Janet Dean said...

Cara G, huge congratulations on your short story's first place win!!! Know Glynna will be delighted to hear your news!


Chill N said...

Five-plus years of contest updates? Gracious!

Thank you for doing this, Tina. Time was I had to spend way too much time checking several different places for contest info. Having what I need to know in one place has been super.

I dunno ... do you think that 'buy button' is big enough?

And thanks for the Contest Diva Designation. Considering who the other Divas are, I'm in excellent company :-)

Nancy C

Janet Dean said...

Peaceful Julie, the nausea doesn't last long. :-) Proud of you!


Myra Johnson said...

CARA!!!! Congratulations--what a feather in your cap!

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Congrats to Cara! Yay! What a great testimony.

Got over the nausea. And am giving myself the weekend to recoup, finish Myra's book and read Tina's stories before I have to crack down and tweak my full I have done.

Peace, Julie

Tina Radcliffe said...


This is teeny, Diva Nancy.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Glad you are recovering so nice, JHS.

I feel like I am talking to the QUEEN.


Tina Radcliffe said...

Kav. LOL.

I did them in order of length. Long, short, long, short. Until I ran out.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Here's a secret. I discovered I like the name Jack and Tom way too much. I had lots of Jack and Tom heroes. Had to change them.

Chill N said...

JENNY - Yippy for you you signing up for the Reader Awards judging. Folks like you make those contests possible.

RUTHY - Love that "cool cat author dudette" title! Wonder if I can change my Google ID. Hmm...

MARY HICKS - Contests. Contests. Contests. Nag. Nag. Nag. Cheering you on ... and trying not to take it personally that you moved away. Sniffle.

TINA and MARY and JANET and RUTHY - Now I'm a cute, wise, sweet, kind, Contest Diva Extraordinaire, cool cat author dudette? I guess this means you got my checks in the mail yesterday, huh? :-)

JULIE HS - You entered the SYTYCW?? Majorly cool! Thinking good thoughts for you!!

Wishing good things for everyone entering contests. And thanks to ALL OF YOU for the congrats. As POL said, you are all divas.

Nancy C

Chill N said...

SHERIDA - You're between discouragement and re-evaluation? Just remember when you refine: you know your story best. And do pat yourself on the back for you determination. No. Wait. You know what ... congratulate yourself instead of patting yourself on the back because if you sprain your arm then you won't be able to refine that story and submit it to another contest and then we won't get to celebrate with you when the story finals. Yeah. It's all about us :-)

DEBRA -- "entering another contest with mushy anticipation" is a fun description. But we gotta persevere, right?

CARA G -- First Place!!! Wonderful! Aren't Seeker critiques the best?

WRITERS: Really. Enter for the Seeker critiques. Nag. Nag. Nag.

Nancy C

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL. No arm spraining allowed.

Michelle said...

I didn't know that Woman's World published short stories. That's great. I'd love to win a box of books. Good luck with your writing contests, everyone.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Michelle, check out yesterday's post on the short story. We talk about the guidelines. You are entered BTW.

Melissa Jagears said...

I get to enter 2013 copyright dated contests!

CatMom said...

Thanks for these contest updates, Tina - - and CONGRATS to Nancy C, the Contest Diva--YAY!! thinking about the Writers Digest contest and maybe one other. Love your reminder that we're "not getting any younger" - now THAT'S the truth!

Happy Weekend, Seekerville!
Enjoy the Georgia Pecan Pie and---especially for TINA: Pecan Pralines.

Jenny Blake, praying for you and hoping you feel better each day.

Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Jagears is a contest DIVA AGAIN!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL, Patti, time passes whether you enter contests or not.

Sherida Stewart said...

:) Chill N: As per your suggestion, I'll wait to pat myself on the back until after I submit again....I have too much writing to do (before I get any older) risk a sprain!

Congrats, Julie for pushing "send" and CaraG for a winning contest entry!

And (as of next Tuesday) Published Author Melissa Jagears, you have an awesome entry for the 2013 published contests! Best wishes!

Amanda said...

I'm entering the First Impressions contest for the first time this year and I'm so nervous! I'm looking through the list for others, too. Thanks for the great contest listings.

Glynna Kaye said...

OH, WOW, CARA G! First place -- CONGRATULATIONS!!! I LOVED your story, so I can see -- in long version OR short -- why judges fell in love with your rich, evocative writing. I hope we all get to read it some day! Thanks so much for letting us know of your success -- this is so exciting! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

OH, WOW, CARA G! First place -- CONGRATULATIONS!!! I LOVED your story, so I can see -- in long version OR short -- why judges fell in love with your rich, evocative writing. I hope we all get to read it some day! Thanks so much for letting us know of your success -- this is so exciting! :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Praying Amanda!!!! Congrats on this leap of faith!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love that Chill N paide us off to be nice to her. Youse all know I'll do whatever it takes to pay the bills!!!!

CARA G!!!!! Oh, that rocks the big kahuna, congratulations! That is super splendorifously marvelous! I'm happy dancing in upstate!!!!! With exclamation points!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Amanda, nervous is normal and good... It's so hard that first time, wondering what folks will say but you know what? You mature and develop rhino skin as time goes on and that's a huge step toward embracing this career.

That is excellent and brave news!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

You know, Nancy made a very good point... These five years of Tina doing the monthly contest update have been marvelous because it's all there, in one spot, and now with live links to the contest. Remember when we started, that wasn't the norm? It was all "copy and paste" and now BINGO! We can flash you here there and everywhere.

What an amazing 5 years that's been and with our 6th birthday coming up, I keep thinking of how cool this all is...And how wonderfully Tina took the helm to keep the boat upright.

If she was here I'd hug her but she's across the country so I'll just give her a well-deserved shout out. Tina, thank you for all you do for so many... the stuff that's seen and unseen.

God bless you.

(aw, I'm getting mushy, I always get mushy when I'm tired and we just finished a fundraising planning meeting and I'm sleepy... But what great people I'm surrounded by. God is good.)

Mary Connealy said...

All I want to know is is, Why do women's magazines always have the diet article headlines like SUPERSIZE YOUR WEIGHT LOSS sandwiched in between the CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUP CAKE PICTURES AND THE SWEET APPLE FUN RECIPE COLLECTIONS???????????

Mary Connealy said...

CARA G WINS Hurray! For You! I'm glad for encouragement you got from Seekerville and help you got from our sweet and wonderful Glynna but remember YOU did the work, Cara. YOU came through and put in the time and followed through and WON WON WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Julie Lessman said...

WHOO-HOO, JULIE H.S. for entering SYTYCW!!!! Throwing up is not fun, but understandable in this situation. But think of it this way ... you will have a flatter stomach when you go shopping, always a plus for me!!


And, PATTI JO, lovin' the Georgia Pecan Pie, girlfriend!!!


Tina Radcliffe said...

Mary Connealy, that's hilarious you noted that. I did too. And they do it EVERY MONTH!!! Watch for it.

Christina Rich said...

Another WW! Yay! I'll have to remember next time I go to the store.

I' getting contest fever. I'll have to see if any of these appeal to me.

I'm in for the critique if I'm not too late for the day.

Amanda said...

Thank you!

Barbara Thompson said...

This is great!! I would love to win a box of books. Thank you for this opportunity. Please enter my name for the box of books giveaway.
Barbara Thompson