Share your contest thoughts for a chance to win a Seekerville Valentine's Day package. For a reader we have winners choice of any two Ruth Logan Herne books, hard copy (if available) or e-copy (all are available). Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.
Published Author Contests
Bean Pot Contest for Published Authors. Deadline February 1.
Write Touch Readers' Award Contest. Deadline February 3.
The Carolyn Readers Choice Award. Deadline February 14.
Inspirational Readers Choice. Deadline March 1.
2014 Carol Awards. Opens January 2. Deadline March 15.
Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence: Published. March 15.
Unpublished Author Contests
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: Patience Bloom, Senior Editor, Harlequin.
FIRST PRIZE: $50.00 or FREE registration to the New England Chapter’s “LET YOUR IMAGINATION TAKE FLIGHT” Conference (2014 value: $189.00), to be held in May 2014. (Not including hotel, transportation or conference extras.) SECOND PRIZE: $35.OO THIRD PRIZE: $25.00 Entries will be scored by one published author and one qualified, unpublished judge. Score sheets and marked manuscript pages will be returned to entrants.
Touched by Love. Deadline February 1st. Entry consists of up to the first 20 pages of an unpublished inspirational manuscript and an unjudged synopsis (no more than two pages double-spaced) for a maximum of 22 total pages. Categories, Long Contemp, Short Contemp and Historical.
Critiquing Editor for 2014 is Raela Schoenherr of Bethany House Publishers
The remaining two First place category winners will receive $75 toward any writing related expense paid within one year of the end of the TBL contest and 1st place category entries will be sent to editor to review (not critique). Â Second place winners will receive $50 toward any writing related expense paid within one year of the end of the TBL contest. Third place winners will receive $25 toward any writing related expense paid within one year of the end of the TBL contest. Writing expenses include the Golden Heart or other writing contest entry fee, conference fees, National RWA dues, etc. Receipts are required for reimbursement.
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
Fire and Ice. Deadline February 14. Entry consists of the first 6,000 words of a manuscript.
Amanda Bergeron (editor)
Nicole Resciniti (agent)
Christa Soule (editor)
Suzie Townsend (agent)
Women’s Fiction With Romantic Elements
Alex Logan (editor)
Melissa Jeglinski (agent)
New Adult Romance
Elizabeth Poteet (editor)
Sara Megibow (agent)
Young Adult Romance
Margo Lipschultz (editor)
Laura Bradford (agent)
* Judges subject to change.
Linda Howard Award of Excellence. Deadline February 25th. Entry consists of first 25 pages Finalists have one week to provide 5 page synopsis with final, re-edited entry.
Category Series Romance Final Judge – Rhonda Helms, Carina Press
Single Title Final Judge – Chelsey Emmelhainz, Avon Romance
Historical Final Judge – Gwen Hayes, Entangled Publishing
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Final Judge – Sasha Knight, Samhain Publishing
Laurie Contest. Deadline February 28th. Entry consists of first chapter (up to 17 pages) and short blurb. The Top Prize in each category is a $50.00 gift card. Updated!!
Final Round Judges: The top three entries in each category will go on to the final round to be judged by editors at the following houses:
Contemporary (ST, series) Allison Carroll, Harlequin
Historical (incl Regency) Elise Hepner Secret Cravings Acquisitions Editor
Young Adult (All subgenres) (tba)
Inspirational (All subgenres) Giselle Regus, Love Inspired
Romantic Suspense (ST, series) Allison Lyons, Harlequin
Paranormal (All subgenres) Brenda Chin BelleBooks/Imajinn
Great Beginnings. Deadline March 1. Published and Unpublished authors. First five pages. All first place entrants recieve a $10 gift card.
Contemporary: Elaine Spencer - The Knight Agency
Historical:Pam Ahearn, The Ahearn Agency
Paranormal: Victoria Curran - Harlequin
Mystery/Suspense: Mary Sue Seymour - The Seymour Agency
Young Adult/New Adult: Judith Engracia - Liza Dawson Associates
Fab Five. Deadline March 1. An entry consists of the opening pages of your unpublished novel, up to 2500 words. No synopsis.
Historical: Sarah Murphy, Ballantine Books
Inspirational: Mary Sue Seymour, Seymour Agency
Paranormal: Whitney Ross, Tor
Romantic Suspense: Adam Wilson, Pocket Books
Series Contemporary (L/S): Rebecca Strauss, DeFiore and Company
Single Title: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary
Women’s Fiction: Lizzie Poteet, St. Martins Press
Young Adult: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger, Inc.
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.
Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence: Unpublished. Deadline March 15. First 5,000 words and judged synopsis.
Mystery/Suspense Categories and Judges
Contemporary Series -Allison Lyons, Harlequin Intrigue; Pattie Steel-Perkins, Steele-Perkins Literary Agency
Historical-Katherine Pelz, Berkley Sensation; Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli, JET Literary Associates
Inspirational-Tina James, Harlequin / Love Inspired Suspense; Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency
Mainstream- Kendel Flaum, Henery Press; Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary Agency
Paranormal/TT/Fut-Brenda Chin, Belle Books; Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates
Single Title-Amanda Bergeron,Harper Collins; Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Other Contests and Stuff
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.
Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for submissions for a new collection scheduled for sale at the end of 2014. "The Power of Forgiveness" a "New Year, a New You, 2015" is looking for first person stories showing forgiveness in our lives. See their website for details on submitting your touching, sad, inspirational or humorous story.
Seekerville is proud to present our February Contest Diva: Courtney Phillips
2013 ACFW First Impressions Finalist-Romance category
Why on earth did I, a shy girl who normally flees from any competition, enter a contest?
Why on earth did I, a shy girl who normally flees from any competition, enter a contest?
My answer is pretty simple—I was curious about them.
For the past nine or so years, I’ve written but never called myself a writer. Now I do.
Here’s the speedy version of my first contest experience.
Checked out a Seekerville contest update. Noticed the ACFW First Impressions contest. Won a critique from Missy Tippens. Sent her my entry. Heeded her suggestions. Submitted to FI. Waited. Waited. Waited some more. Kept the secret from my family and friends, fearing their expectations. Checked the ACFW website 20,741 times the morning the finalists were scheduled to be announced. Answered a phone call from a strange number and realized, “Hey, they call finalists!” Shared the joyful news. Decided I loved contests. Waited another month. Didn’t win. Connected with a sweet writer who also finaled.
Now here’s what I learned. In a less fast-forward manner.
Let someone critique your entry before you submit. Missy helped with mine—thank you again! Fresh eyes notice odd word choices, the need for extra description, etc.
Remember that entering a contest should not take the place of writing the rest of the story. Be ready for an opportunity. Sure, you want to perfect those first five pages, but you can’t publish your opening by itself. Submit the entry. Then move forward, not sideways.
Don’t think that low scores mean God doesn’t intend for you to write. Keep this quote in mind: “God doesn’t call the Equipped; He equips the Called.” Moses had a speech problem, but the Lord used him to confront Pharaoh. The Lord used David, a mere shepherd boy, to kill Goliath. He uses those who are willing to follow Him. Think of a critique as the Lord’s way of preparing your work. Never stop learning.
Pray and read the Bible. That’s something I’ve heard all my life, for good reason. The road is smoother when you’re walking with Jesus. He’ll bring contentment and peace, no matter if you win, get published, or decide to take a writing break. He is ultimately all that matters.
My first contest experience was fun! What’s stopping you from entering?
That's it, divas and divos! Now go forth and contest!