What are your contest plans this month? There is an outstanding contest line up listed. YOU SHOULD BE CONTESTING!
Comment on today's post and we'll automatically put your name in the jar for a chance to win a copy of any Seeker book currently available or available for pre-order on Amazon- for Kindle or in print. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.
CONTESTS: This month we have combined categories as there are no current contests for published authors only. Red type indicates contests are open to published and unpublished authors.
The Phoenix Rattler is Open For Entries August 1-29th. Hosted by the Christian Writers of the West. YOU COULD WIN A KINDLE FIRE HD!! Entry consists of the first 15 pages of your manuscript.YOU CAN DO 15 PAGES!!!
Contemporary (includes Contemporary, Women's, Romance) Michelle Grawkowski Agent, 3 Seas Literary Agency
Historical (before 1960, includes Historical Romance) Susan Brower Natasha Kern Literary Agency
Suspense, Romantic Suspense/Mystery Elizabeth Mazer Editor, Harlequin Love Inspired
Young Adult (for under 18) Rachel Kent Agent, Books & Such Literary Management
Fantasy/Science Fiction/Speculative Steve Laube President, The Steve Laube Literary Agency & Editor, Enclave Publishing
Show Me the Spark! Entry Period: August 1, 2014 - August 31, 2014, midnight CST
Published and unpublished authors. Work must not be contracted in any form. If Work becomes contracted before October 1, 2014, entrant must withdraw Work. Entrants do not need to be members of RWA. First Chapter (including prologue); maximum of 3,500 words.
Contemporary Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency
Erotic Romance Leis Pederson, Berkley Publishing
Historical Julie Mianecki, Berkley Publishing
Inspirational Raela Schoenherr, Bethany House Publishing
Paranormal / Fantasy / Sci-Fi Dana Hamilton, Harlequin
Romantic Suspense TBA
Young Adult / New Adult Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency
Golden Palm. Deadline August 15. Entry consists of the first 25 pages.
Categories and Final Round Judges:
Editor:Leah Hultenschmidt, Grand Central Publishing
Agent: Beth Campbell, Bookends
Editor: Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks
Editor: Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks
Agent: Jordy Alberts, Booker Alberts Literary Agency
Agent: Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency
Young Adult/New Adult Category:
Editor: Lauren Smulski, Harlequin Teen
Agent: Mandy Hubbard, D4EO Literary Agency
Agent: Laura Zats, Red Sofa Literary Agency
Editor: Peter Senftleben, Kensington Publishing
Agent: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates
Editor: Angela James, Carina Press
Golden Pen. Deadline August 15. Open to writers who have not accepted a publishing offer for a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more by August 15, 2014. Entrant must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party prior to or by August 15, 2014.
Entry consists of a synopsis (not to exceed ten pages) plus the first consecutive pages of the manuscript in one document, together totaling not more than 55 pages.
Contemporary Single Title Romance – Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks
Inspirational Romance – Giselle Regus, Love Inspired
Paranormal Romance – Leis Pederson, Berkley
Romantic Suspense – Elizabeth Poteet, St. Martin’s Press
Series Romance – Susan Litman, Harlequin
Historical Romance – Susan Grimshaw, Loveswept
Young Adult Romance – Annette Pollert, Sourcebooks
Erotic Romance (New Category!) – Katherine Pelz, Berkley.
Unpublished Beacon. Deadline August 31st. Opens August 1. Limited to the first 125 entries. Open to all authors of romantic fiction. Published authors are eligible to enter any category in which they have not been contracted and/or published in book length fiction (40,000 words and over) in the last 3 years. (Self-published authors are considered published.)Entry: First 25 pages of the manuscript. The entrant may also include an optional 5 page synopsis for a maximum of 30 pages. (Synopsis will not be judged.)
Category Length Romance
Agent: Laurie McLean–Foreward Literary Agency
Editor: Allison Lyons–Harlequin
Agent: Rebecca Strauss–De Fiore & Co. Literary Agency
Editor: Elizabeth Poteet–St. Martin’s Press
Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan–Sandford J. Greenburger & Associates
Editor: Leis Pederson–Penguin Random House
Agent: Beth Miller–Writers House Literary Agency
Editor: Madeleine Colavita–Grand Central Publishing
Agent: Melissa Jeglinski–The Knight Agency
Editor: Shana Asaro–Harlequin Love Inspired
Agent: Marisa Corsiviero–Cosiverio LIterary Agency
Editor: Candace Havens–Entangled Publishing
Agent: Nalini Akolekar–Spencerhill Associates
Editor: Char Chaffin–Soulmate Publishing
Agent: Andrea Somberg–Harvey Klinger Agency
Editor: Chesley Emmelhainz–Harper Collins
Young Adult Romance
Agent: Michelle Grajkowski–3Seas Literary Agency
Editor: Rebecca Kilman–Razorbill/Penguin Group
Joyce Henderson Contest. Deadline September 1. Entry consists of the first 20 pages of an unpublished manuscript featuring romantic elements, INCLUDING a brief synopsis (up to one page, single-spaced). Synopsis will not be judged.
Contemporary (including Romantic Suspense & Women’s Fiction):
Sue Grimshaw, Random House
Laura Fazio, Penguin
Mary Altman, Sourcebooks
Aubrey Poole, Sourcebooks
Hot Prospects Contest is Now Open. Deadline September 1. Entry consists of first 25 pages and a 3-5 page synopsis.
Single Title Contemporary-
•Editor – Sue Grimshaw, Random House
•Assistant Editor – Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks, Inc
•Editor – Associate Editor- Lauren Plude, Grand Central Publishing
•Editor -Tera Cuskaden, Samhain
•Senior Editor – Esi Sogah, Kensington
•Editor – Editorial Assistant –Kristine Swartz, The Berkley Publishing Group
Gateway to the Best. Deadline September 5. Entry: submit up to the first 7000 words (approx 25-28 pages) of manuscript.
Contemporary Series AND Single Title/Mainstream Romance
Editor: Latoya Smith - Grand Central
Agent: Nicole Rescenti - The Seymour Agency
Editor: Kathyrn Pelz - Berkley
Agent: Jessica Watterson - Sandra Dijkstra
Editor: Kerri Buckley - Carina
Agent: Jim McCarthy - Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
Editor: Patience Bloom - Harlequin
Agent: Mary Sue Seymour - The Seymour Agency
Agent: Michelle Grajkowski - 3 Seas Literary Agency
The Stiletto Contest for Unpublished Contemporary Romantic Fiction. Deadline September 5. Entry consists of the first 25 pages. All authors, regardless of publishing status, are welcome to enter this contest. All authors must be at least 18 years of age.Submitted manuscripts must be new, original works of fiction that have not been published, self-published, or contracted to be published.
Single Title Contemporary Romance (70,000 words and up)
Final Judge: Amanda Bergeron, Editor, Avon Romance
Single Title Contemporary Erotic Romance (70,000 words and up)
Final Judge: Christa Desir, Editor, Samhain Publishing
Short Contemporary Romance (40,000 – 70,000 words)
Final Judge: Alethea Spiridon Hopson, Editorial Director of Indulgence, Entangled
Contemporary Novel with Strong Romantic Elements (60,000 words and up)
Final Judge: Allison Carroll, Editor, Harlequin HQN
Young Adult Contemporary Romance (50,000 words and up)*
Final Judge: Margo Lipschultz, Editor, Harlequin Teen
Young Adult Contemporary Novel with Romantic Elements (50,000 words and up)*
Final Judge: Elizabeth Poteet, Assistant Editor, St. Martin’s Press
New Adult Contemporary Romance (70,000 words and up)
Final Judge: Nicole Fischer, Editor, William Morrow Books
*The Stiletto Contest reserves the right to combine these categories if less than 10 entries per category are entered.
Melody of Love Contest. Deadline September 7. Eligibility: published and non-published. Entry consists of the first chapter (up to 25 pages) of unpublished novel-length manuscript (40,000+) including prologue, if applicable.
Danielle Burby - Agent at HSG Literary Agency
Angela James - Acquiring editor at Carina Press
Victoria Lowes - Agent at The Bent Agency
Brenda Chin - Acquiring editor at ImaJinn Books
Cindy Brannam - Acquiring editor at Soul Mate Publishing
Heidi Moore - Acquiring editor at Samhain Publishing
Janet Clementz - Acquiring editor at Soul Mate Publishing
Eric Ruben - Agent at Eric Ruben Literary Agency
Mary Altman - Acquiring editor at Sourcebooks
Mandy Hubbard - Agent at D4EO Literary Agency
Lauri Wellington - Acquiring editor at Black Opal Books
Kathryn Hayes “We Need a Hero” Contest. Deadline September 8.
Eligibility: Authors unpublished in romance as of September 8, 2014 and self-published authors. Entry: A maximum of 20 pages that show your hero in the best light as well as a brief synopsis (two pages maximum, not judged) to set up submission. Electronic entries only.
Final Judge: Cat Clyne, editor, Sourcebooks.
Keep Your Eye on the SYTYCW (Harlequin So You Think You Can Write) Web Page. The 2014 Contest launches in September!
Other Writing Contests
WD Short Short Story Competition. Early bird deadline is November 17. Deadline is December 15. Think you can write a winning story in less than 1,500 words? Enter the 15th 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! The winning entries will be on display in the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection.
The Seventh Annual Life Lessons Essay Contest. This contest begins at 12:01 A.M. Eastern Time (ET) on May 9, 2014, and ends at 11:50 P.M. ET on September 18, 2014.
Have you ever had a eureka moment? Tell us about it.Think back on the instant when everything became clear. The split second when you realized that you had chosen the right career. Or the moment when you knew that your dearest friendship would last forever. Whether your epiphany changed your life or just made your day, write it down and share it with us.
Enter Real Simple’s seventh annual Life Lessons Essay Contest and you could have your essay published in Real Simple and receive a prize of $3,000.
Seekerville is pleased to introduce you to our August Contest Diva, Elaine Manders!
2013 – COTT’s Olympia Finalist
2014 – Perfect Pitch Winner
I’ve always been persnickety about contests. I research them for categories, rules, judges, and competition. I’m looking for the potential ROI, and I’m talking about more than money or winning. Will my entry be a good fit? If it’s polished and ready for publication, are the final judges my target agents or editors?
Some contests just strike my fancy. The first contest I entered as an inspirational writer was the Olympia. It intrigued me because the second round of judging would be done by non-writing readers. They would be judging like a reader pulling a book off the shelf, for the hook and the story. I had a manuscript I thought would be well received by readers, but I wanted validation. Finaling in the contest encouraged me to turn the book into a series.
I didn’t notice the SYTYCW contest until two days before the deadline, but I felt compelled to enter since it might help me decide whether or not I should try to write for Harlequin. Something else intrigued me about this contest. All the entries would be out in full view of the reading public.
The jury is still out on whether I should write for Harlequin since I didn’t move on in the contest, but all the comments were positive. And there’s always another time. I have one more manuscript that might fit the strict rules, if I trim it by 10K.
I use contests to prod me into doing those tasks I keep putting off, like finally writing the proposal. That was my objective in the Perfect Pitch contest. Every detail of the process was explained so well, I had to take advantage of the opportunity. But I knew the competition was stiff. I’d have to re-write the first three chapters of my submittal. Why? Because judges from previous contests and my critique partners had reminded me the h/h should meet before the third chapter in a romance. It took all month to do the re-write, but when you have a deadline, you rise to the occasion.
I was shocked when I was listed as a winner of the Perfect Pitch. I was ecstatic when Susan Brower asked to see the full. This is my ultimate goal of entering any contest and the reason why, no matter how it turns out, when I publish my first book, the Seekers will be at the top of my credits.
In my opinion, contesting is an important part of building your writing career. Contest judging is subjective. It often depends on the luck of the draw whether you get a strict or lenient judge, but in the end, you may learn more from the strict judge. I’m grateful to all the judges and coordinators who make contests possible.
Hard work, perseverance, faith—the winning combination in any contest.
That's it for the Contest Update! Now go forth and contest!