In the contest world it's already January 2014! Comment today for a chance to win a five page critique (of an inspirational romance) or a surprise Seeker book (print) for one reader!
Published Author Contests
International Thriller Awards. Received deadline December 31.
Golden Quill. Now open. Deadline January 10.
Bookseller's Best. Now open. Deadline January 15.
Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Now open. Deadline January 15.
Judge a Book by Its Cover. Now open. Deadline January 15.
Winter Rose Award for Excellence. Opens December 1, 2013. Deadline January 26.
Bean Pot Contest for Published Authors. Deadline February 1.
Write Touch Readers' Award Contest. Deadline February 3.
2014 Carol Awards. Opens January 2. Deadline March 15.
Unpublished Author Contests
Deadline Extended due to holiday distractions! For the THIRD YEAR, Seekerville is 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.
Send proof of entry to the Seekerville email address by January 11. (may send multiple proofs if you enter multiple times in the inspy category). Winners will be announced in January 2014.
Great Expectations. Deadline December 29. CONTEST LOW ON INSPY ENTRIES! This contest is open to all authors who have never been published in book-length romantic fiction as well as authors who have not been contracted or published in the entered category during the last three years (during 2011, 2012, or 2013). Entry includes 5,000 word entry limit instead of page count. NO synopsis or blurb.Finalists will be asked to include an unjudged synopsis for editors.
Contemporary Series – Megan Long
Associate Editor, Harlequin Publishing
Historical – Chelsey Emmelhainz
Assistant Editor, William Morrow Avon
Inspirational– Raela Schoenherr
New Adult– Elizabeth Poteet
St. Martin's Press
Mainstream with Romantic Elements – Alex Logan
Editor, Grand Central Publishing/Forever
Romantic Suspense – Laura Fazio
Assistant Editor, NAL
Single Title – Madeleine Colavita
Editorial Assistant, Grand Central Publishing
Specialized – Kristine Swartz
Editorial Assistant, Berkley Publishing
Young Adult – Julie Mianecki
Editorial Assistant, Berkley Publishing
The Smooch. Deadline January 8. Entry: “First Kiss” scene, 4–8 pages, unpublished work-in-progress; electronic only. Judges: published romance authors
Final Judge: Barbara Vey of Publisher’s Weekly’s Beyond Her Book blog.
Marlene Awards. Opens December 15. Deadline January 15. Open to published and unpublished manuscripts. 35 pages maximum (story opening and synopsis). Winners in each category receive a full manuscript critique by published authors.
Series Contemporary – Johanna Raisanen- Harlequin
Single Title – Esi Sogah-Kensington
Historical – Leah Hultenschmidt-Grand Central
Paranormal – Latoya Smith-Grand Central
Romantic Elements – Rhonda Helms-Carina
Young Adult –Reka Simonsen- Harcourt Children's Books.
Unpublished Winter Rose Contest. Deadline January 26. Entries consist of the first 25 pages of the novel. A prologue and/or second chapter may be included if within total page guidelines.
Contemporary Series: Dana Hamilton, Harlequin
Contemporary Single Title: Emilia Pisani, Simon & Schuster
Erotica: Amanda Dawn, Siren
Historical (includes Regency):Nicole Fischer, Avon
Paranormal: Tera Kuskaden Kleinfelter, Samhain
Romantic Suspense: Junessa Viloria, Random House
Young Adult: Holly Blanck Ingraham, St. Martin’s Press
First Kiss Contest. Deadline February 1.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. Ten pages plus one page set up. Final Judge: The final judge to be announced. Cash prizes.
The Sandy. Deadline February 10. Entry: First 20 pages and 2 page synopis.
Romance - Tessa Woodward, Editor at HarperCollins
Mainstream Adult Fiction - Sarah Branham, Senior Editor at Atria
Suspense / Thriller / Mystery - Stephany Evans, President, FinePrint Literary
Fantasy / Science Fiction - Whitney Ross, Associate Editor at Tom Doherty
Children's & YA - Tracey Keevan, Senior Editor at Disney Hyperion
2014 ACFW Genesis Contest. Opens January 2, Closes on March 15, 2014. First 15 pages of manuscript and one page, single spaced synopsis. See webpage for finalist judges.
Other Writing Opportunities
January Good House Contest Ends January 13, 2014. Readers will input their name, email address, and their answer to the question ‘What Makes My House a Home?’ in 25 words or less. Good Housekeeping editors will pick the best idea from the entries received, and the chosen winner will receive a $100 American Express check. (Good Housekeeping Magazine)
AARP & The Huffington Post Memoir Writing Contest. The winner will get a $5,000 prize will be excerpted in AARP The Magazine and featured on The Huffington Post’s website. In addition, Simon & Schuster will consider publishing the work. The first 5,000 words of the memoir is due February 15, 2014. Finalists from this round are invited to submit their complete memoir by June 15th. The books should run between 20,000 to 50,000 words.
Valentine’s Day Ideas Romantic Story Writing Contest. Deadline February 14, 2014.Tell your romantic story in a minimum of 3000 words. First prize $1000. Nine authors will get one of nine $100 Amazon Gift Cards.
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.
Seekerville is delighted to present the January 2014 Contest Divo!
The Samurai’s Heart
2009 Unnamed Contest (Historical Category) – Finalist for two minutes
2010 Phoenix Rattler – Finished 3rd (entry in late 2009)
2010 Lone Star – 3rd place
2010 Heart of the Rockies – 2nd place
2011 – Maggies – 1st place
The Samurai’s Strength
2012 Maggies – DNF but received great comments
2012 Lone Star – 1st place
2013 Maggies – 2nd place
I have many fond contest memories, with an emphasis on judges’ reactions to my setting of medieval Japan. Whatever people see judge historicals, they’re expecting Scotland, not Shogun, and the idea of treating such a setting as romantic is alien to the typical judge’s upbringing. The following comment came from one Genesis judge.
“Honestly, I dreaded reading this entry, but your writing and story telling pulled me in to the point that I hated to see it end!”
Japan-based historicals are not uncommon. However, my contest results suggest something: I appear to be the ONLY person targeting the inspirational market. It’s probably this fact that makes feedback most important. Two themes pervade the comments I’ve received.
Setting was a plus to my stories. Judges would read my entries and, from their comments, I could tell that I’d brought them to medieval Japan. In one entry, a judge asked what happened to a beautiful night scene that she had read in a previous contest. (In my thank you letter to the judge, I responded that the entire scene was backstory and that I’d broken it up and moved it to later in the book.)
Characters were a minus. Judges had trouble identifying with hero and heroine. At first, both characters were superficial. As my writing improved, judges began identifying with my hero and then with my heroine. Still this area is my greatest challenge. When I went to Nationals, I took a number of workshops on improving my characters.
As you may have noticed, I have two contests where I’ve had particular success. One is the Maggies, which is the contest of Georgia Romance Writers. The wonderful thing about this contest is that both judges are published authors. I’m also a fan of Lone Star. Lone Star drops one judge’s score. It also gives finalists a week to edit their entries before submission to final judges. When I finaled in the Lone Star in 2012, I used my judges comments and also comments from Maggie judges to rewrite my eventual winning entry. I’m convinced I wouldn’t have won the contest without the chance to edit.
One of my most inspirational moments, though, came from my very first contest final. As I wrote above, my very first final lasted for two minutes. The category coordinator called me with the good news and I asked about my scores. I told her something was wrong and twice asked her to repeat them. The coordinator recalculated my scores, then confirmed what I already knew. I was depressed. However, when the finalists were announced, I noticed one of the finalists was a story called Butterfly Swords, an obviously Asian-themed historical. I immediately e-mailed the author (Jeannie Lin) to congratulate her and introduce myself.
Lastly, one comment (question) has been asked by at least one judge in every contest I’ve ever entered.
Women can be samurai?
The answer is “YES!”
My beautiful and talented wife is making an origami ornament for one commenter. An example of one is below. And to another commenter I brought a giveaway of coffee from a recent trip to Costa Rica!!
If you’re interested in being the origami winner, please say so in your comment. Let us know if you are a java drinker for the coffee giveaway.(Standard Seekerville rules on contests apply.) Winner announced in the Weekend Edition
That's it! Now go forth and contest!