Friday, August 1, 2014

August Contest Update

The sunflowers are blooming and it's time for the August Contest Update.

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 Red type indicates contests are open to published and unpublished authors.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 Published and unpublished authors.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:

Contemporary Category:

Editor:Leah Hultenschmidt, Grand Central Publishing

Agent: Beth Campbell, Bookends

Editor: Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks

Historical Category:

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

Paranormal Category:

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

Contemporary  Romance
 Agent:   Rebecca Strauss–De Fiore & Co. Literary Agency
 Editor:  Elizabeth Poteet–St. Martin’s Press

Erotic Romance
 Agent:  Courtney Miller-Callihan–Sandford J. Greenburger & Associates
 Editor:  Leis Pederson–Penguin Random House

Historical Romance
 Agent: Beth Miller–Writers House Literary Agency
 Editor: Madeleine Colavita–Grand Central Publishing

Inspirational Romance
 Agent: Melissa Jeglinski–The Knight Agency
 Editor: Shana Asaro–Harlequin Love Inspired

Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic Romance
 Agent: Marisa Corsiviero–Cosiverio LIterary Agency
 Editor: Candace Havens–Entangled Publishing

Romantic Elements
 Agent: Nalini Akolekar–Spencerhill Associates
 Editor: Char Chaffin–Soulmate Publishing

Romantic Suspense
 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

Paranormal/Science Fiction/Fantasy:
 Mary Altman, Sourcebooks

Young Adult:
 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

Romantic Suspense-
•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

Young Adult
Editor: TBA
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

New Adult
 Eric Ruben - Agent at Eric Ruben Literary Agency
 Mary Altman - Acquiring editor at Sourcebooks

Young Adult
 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!


  1. Way to go, Elaine!

    No contesting for me this year. Not eligible. Published, but no books with correct copyright date.

    So I'll continue working on my wip.

    Coffee's ready.

  2. Nice job, Elaine! Your story is very encouraging. Thanks for sharing!

    TINA, thanks for the new contest alerts. I can't believe that it's August already. And I marvel at how you faithfully keep this all straight!

    Happy Friday, everyone!

  3. Great work, Elaine!

    I'm biting my nails waiting for two sets of contest results in August. I think these ones should be worth double brownie points. They're for my just finished ms and the first time this new baby has gone out into the big wide world!

    I always find the first contest for a new story the most nerve wracking because you really are flying blind as to what the feedback might be.

  4. Tina, faithfully obsessive or obsessively faithful? You are awesome and do a supercalifragilisticexpelidocious job. CongrTulations, Elaine. And guess what. Contests mean winners, and winners should be putting new books in readers hands! Yeah

  5. Don't know how you keep up with all this info! Great job! Please enter me in the drawing.

  6. No contesting for me this month - I don't have any uncontracted stories (YAY!).

    But for the rest of you? What are you waiting for? Send that entry in!

    And way to go, Elaine!

  7. I have two contest I'm planning on entering. Question for you. Is it safe to enter an incomplete manuscript or is that a recipe for disaster?

  8. Conteeeeesssssssttttsssss!

    I love contests! But looking through this, I'd have to come up with another genre. I've published/ contracted in contemporary, inspirational, historical and paranormal YA. What's left?
    Scifi? Scary thought.
    Erotica? Even scarier.
    They could have a good laugh and nominate me for the Literary Review's annual Bad Sex in Literature. Hmmm... I like prizes. But I may pass on that honor.

  9. Oh, if nobody has heard of the BSI award:

    " Now in its 17th year, fiction’s most notorious honor was dreamed up by Auberon Waugh (Evelyn’s son) “with the aim of gently dissuading authors and publishers from including unconvincing, perfunctory, embarrassing, or redundant passages of a sexual nature in otherwise sound literary novels.” "

  10. Wow! It seems like the contest list continues to grow. That's a good thing.

    Elaine, thank you for sharing. I work better under deadlines than if I'm just tiptoeing through the tulips. I think it's the pressure of knowing I have a set goal for completion. I'm looking forward to being ready to enter contests.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  11. Congrats Elaine!

    Thanks Tina for the new list of contests.

    I'm going to enter The Phoenix Rattler.

    Way to go Kara. It took me forever to start entering. And then I had to learn how to process the in a non-emotional without tears. Ha! I still get nervous. I hope you get great results!

  12. Yay Elaine! Congrats! I love your picture!

    I'm in limbo contest wise, so it is good to read in each contest listing what I'm eligible for and what I'm not. Thank you for going the extra mile Tina!

  13. oh Lord, I need to get writing. I actually think I have something for a couple of these contests. Something I would never have thought this time last year.

    thanks TINA. you're amazing.

  14. Pounce on that "GOLDEN PEN" contest! That's how I got my manuscript on a Love Inspired editor's desk in late autumn 2008, a contract in January 2009, and a published book by October 2009!

  15. Woohooo -- congrats to contest diva Elaine! Love your approach to contests.

    And thanks for compiling this awesome list, Tina. You have spidey super powers when it comes to contest info!

  16. Great list of contests and congratulations Elaine!!!!

    It's been a while since I dropped in. Feels good to be back.

  17. Congratulations on the request from Sue, ELAINE! Love reading about our contest divas' success stories!

    Another great contest update, TINA! You always rock 'em!

  18. Congrats Elaine!

    No contesting for me this month.

  19. The BSI, huh, Virginia. Right up there with The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
    Edward Bulwer‑Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, A whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.

  20. Congratulations, DIVA Elaine!!!

    Toasting you with my java!

  21. Cindy W. You've been training in Seekerville long enough. Time to step out into the shallow end of the pool!

  22. DebH! You've come a long way, kiddo.

    GO FOR IT!!

  23. You are in the middle, but not in limbo, Piper.

    What are your writing plans for the next year, BTW?

  24. Kav, how are those revisions coming along? Do you need an accountability partner? My cat, Charlie, has offered.

  25. Jackie! You too have come a long, way! So proud of you!

    What contests look good in August?

  26. Good to see you, Crystal. I checked July and was surprised that you were the DIVA (and darling daughter). Was it only a month ago???

  27. Don't think I will be ready to enter a contest this month, but it is good to know what is out there. Please enter me in the drawing.

  28. Hi All,

    Thank you for this honor. Here I am crawling out of bed at 10 o'clock, but what did you expect from a diva?

    Helen: Isn't it a lovely predicament to be in--be ineligible for unpublished works. Thanks for the coffee. I needed it.

    Lyndee: Thank you. Time is flying this year. I can still remember August without AC--in Georgia. Yikes!

  29. YAY Elaine.....Congrats!

    As Marianne said, contests=winners=more books for us readers!!!

  30. Marianne, you and LovestoRead are the reason writers write. Wish there were a zillion more avid readers like you.

    Thanks Jan. You have arrived, no uncontracted books.

    Terri, I personally don't enter contests with uncompleted manuscripts, but if you're looking for feedback, why not?

    Virginia, I'd wait for the contests for published books, just saying.

    Cindy: I agree this is an impressive list of contests. Thanks, Tina.

    Jackie: I've been eyeing the Phoenix Rattler too. Best of Luck.

  31. Thanks, Piper. You're an inspiration to me. All your manuscripts are contest worthy.

    Deb: This is the perfect month to jump into the water. Wait, you're already in the water. Just keep swimming.

  32. Glynna, you make the case perfectly. One's career can change with one contest. And we're glad it did in your case.

    Thanks Kav. Wearing the crown is a humbling experience for me. I agree Tina's amazing.

  33. Sadly, right now I don't have any completed manuscripts, but it's helpful to know what's out there. Thanks.


    I have one word for you.


    How fast can you write a manuscript if you get a request??

  35. Liz, how fast can you write a manuscript?

    No guts, no glory.

    No risk, no reward.

  36. Helen's book three releases soon!

    Go, Helen.

  37. Marianne, thank you for your constant and unwavering support.

  38. Elaine, congrats on your contest success! It sounds like you do a really good job picking contests with ROI in mind.

    I usually entered with the final judge in mind. It's such a good way to get our work in front of them instead of sending it to the slush pile.

    Tina, thanks for the contest update!!

  39. Kara, good for you for getting the new story out there! But I'm with you. It's nerve wracking.

  40. Virginia, that BSI award is hilarious!

  41. KARA!! Somehow I missed you. Blame it on the lack of java. WAY TO GO!!!! Brave = Seekerville's motto.

  42. Loves to Read = Ann.

    Hi Ann and good morning.

  43. Hi everyone! Congrats to Diva Elaine!

    Glynna! I came second to your win in the GOLDEN PEN contest. My ms (then called "Threads of a Tapestry") was politely rejected by Melissa at Love Inspired. But perseverance does pay off because this is the story, now called "Betrayed Hearts" that is being published by White Rose, releasing ONE WEEK today! Yay!

    I'm surprised that the Fiction from the Heartland contest isn't listed. That's the one I entered on a whim last August which ultimately got me a contract with Bethany House! (I checked the website and there's no mention of a 2014 contest). But my name is still there as the 2013 winner! Did I tell you I got a gorgeous glass-etched plaque for winning that contest? Just received it a couple of weeks ago. I was stunned at how pretty it is!

    So contests are important people!! Be bold and enter often!

    End of lecture! Long weekend here for us. So happy!


  44. Oh, and listen to Tina people! If she hadn't emailed me personally for the Seekerville First Page contest, and MADE ME ENTER, I wouldn't have sold to Love Inspired! LOL!

    Thanks, Tina!!


  45. ELAINE!!!! Congrats on being the Contest Diva and I love the tack of your post... Return on Investment isn't mercenary, it's just good business sense. Good for you!

    And if I could tell you the # of contests (Harlequin and otherwise) I didn't win/place/show, it's a staggering number... and laughable now!

    But persistence pays!!!!!

    I love contest updates, it's like my fave because we met through contests... and lifelong friendships began. #ilovecontests !!!!!!

  46. Terri.... I agree with Tina. If you can produce a full manuscript in 3 months, then sure... Enter. If not???? Get more done.

    Of course I'm bossy, but not as bossy as TINA.

  47. Tina, thanks for always keeping contests front and center. Good luck to all those who enter.

    I "contested" my way to publication. Contests allowed me to get my manuscript in front of three different editors at Love Inspired, included the Executive Editor at the time, Joan Marlow Golan. I won the three contests and sold to LI soon thereafter.

    But, lest you think I was an overnight success, I had spent years honing my craft on the contest circuit. It worked for me. I know it can work for many of you!

    Go forth and contest! (Tina, is that your quote? May I use it?)

  48. Elaine, congrats on all your success. You are so close. I feel good things in your not-too-distant future.

    GRITS Rock!

  49. May I add a personal note?

    Happiness is a new computer and wifi that works. :)

  50. I know what you mean about 'was it only a month ago', Tina! Doesn't time fly? In four days my oldest daughter will be sixteen. Hardly seems possible.

  51. Welcome back Crystal. We've missed you. I know you take contesting seriously.

    Myra, it's exciting for me to submit to a professional and it's given me the boost to get other things ready. I'd probably still be in the closet if it weren't for the advice of other writers like you.

    Rose, there's always tomorrow. I didn't get that from Scarlet.

  52. Thank you, Tina, for all your encouragement. We all benefit from your hard work. What a list of contests this month!

  53. Sandy, isn't it good to know there's so much opportunity out there when we are ready?

    Thank you, Jackie. Contests are a good way toward publication and getting those books in the reader's hands.

  54. Mary - Yay back at you, and thank you for all those great, entertaining stories you give us.

    Liz, I've been there. Every manuscript begins with a single word. Somebody else said that first, but bottom line, you'll get there.

    Thanks Missy. I've learned so much from you seekers and villagers, like how to keep your eye on the prize.

  55. I ran to the grocery store. I WAS STARVING and hadn't gone to the store since I left for RWA.

    This nice lady named DIANE from Brooklyn, twisted my arm (I have bruises to prove it) to buy a fresh, mile high, warm lemon meringue pie, on sale for five bucks.

    Okay, so maybe I exaggerated about the arm twisting.

    I just ate a piece for breakfast/lunch.

    Amazing. Light and fluffy and lemony.

    I am bringing it to Seekerville.


  56. You are as bossy as Tina. Don't kid yourself, Rufus. You just boss smiling and I boss with a straight face.

  57. Well, I didn't realize that was the msc that sold, Susan Mason.

    Woot to me and to you. LOL.

    Bossiness pays off.

  58. You guys are so awesome for putting together these contest lists! :)

  59. I just love Elaine Manders' face. Have I mentioned that??????

  60. And I'm in need of food. I probably haven't mentioned that, have I???? how's about some grilled shrimp and pasta?

    Think: Grilled Shrimp Alfredo

    Well, now that I'm thinking that, I'm STARVING.... and there's nothing up here but old shoes to eat. Bah. Humbug on old shoes, I'm holding out for the Grilled Shrimp Alfredo....


  61. Sue, that's so fun about how all your sales came about!!

    Tina, thank you for the pie offer. I'll gladly take a big slice! And you don't have to twist my arm. :)

  62. Nice line up this month. I might enter one, depends on if I can get my WIP polished in time. :)

  63. Wow!

    Contests are blooming all over the place.

    'Tis the contest season!

  64. Elaine, loved reading about your contesting experiences. We are of the same mind on ROI! :)

  65. Congrats on your successes Elaine.

    I'm back in the contest circuit and trying to decide which one to enter. Lots of good ones at there...

  66. Tina, Thanks for the updates on the contests.

    Elaine, Thanks for sharing your equation of hard work + perseverance + faith. Enjoyed your blog.

  67. Congratulations Diva Elaine! Interesting about the contest where readers are the second-round judges. Did you find their scores and comments in line with the judges'? Was there anything that surprised you in the reader comments?

    Thanks for the update, Tina!

    Nancy C

  68. Thank you Elaine!

    Tina, I'm still working on putting out my 19th century series and shopping my single-title 20th century series around. I have some potential nibbles on that, so I hope something happens ...thanks for asking. :)

  69. Elaine, Tina, and Ruthy - thanks for the advice. I think I'd best skip entering an incomplete manuscript in a contest.

  70. Terri, that's smart. My first things were all done, and once I got cocky (Teeeeena will LAUGH at that) I sent in openings from incompletes, but by then I was doing the 1k/day and projecting where I'd be and it worked!

    But you have to feel comfortable at that point because if it's too much pressure and you KILL PEOPLE, that's counterproductive unless you're in a Mary Connealy book.


  71. Woohoo! Congrats on being the Contest Diva, Elaine!

  72. Someone put their finger in the pie.


  73. Yes, ANNA!! That's what we like to hear!

  74. Terri, (the person who asked if she should enter a contest with an incomplete manuscript), I'll present another viewpoint. Why are you entering the contest (rhetorical, you don't have to answer me, just answer yourself)? If you have a critique partner whom you trust, you might want to wait for a complete manuscript. If you're entering the contest for the judge's feedback, you might want to enter before you're completely done, depending on the amount of writing feedback you've received in the past. For some, the feedback is the reason to enter, providing valuable insight during revisions. Depending on the contest, feedback can come 6-10 weeks after entering. (Sorry for such a long post!)

  75. WOW, SUE! I didn't realize we were finalists in that same contest. CONGRATS on the story's upcoming publication!

  76. TINA -- I keep forgetting to tell you how CUTE you look in your new pic!

  77. ELAINE -- Congrats on being such an awesome Contest Diva!

  78. Jennifer, I agree Seekerville compiles the best list for contests.

    Anna, good point about polishing the manuscript before submitting.

    Pam, I like to think I have a mind like yours.

  79. Thanks, Connie Q (Have you ever been called that?) there are so many good contests this month it's hard to decide.

    Thank you Tanya, as someone who likes math, I like the way you put it. Hard work + perseverance + faith = success.

    Natalie, you've taught me so much about contesting by example. Thanks.

  80. "But you have to feel comfortable at that point because if it's too much pressure and you KILL PEOPLE, that's counterproductive unless you're in a Mary Connealy book."

    OMGoodness, *Ms.* Ruthy ... That just made my day (and very true). :P

    I'm not a writer, but as someone mentioned earlier, contests seem like an awesome way to get your manuscript out there. Hope to see some more Seekerville wins! :)

  81. Ruthy, Shrimp Alfredo is my favorite pasta. As to my picture, I have to give all the credit to my genius photographer. He got so excited when I told him I was an aspiring author, he insisted on doing a pose (not the one in the post)for my book jacket. I didn't have the heart to tell him I wasn't likely to ever publish a book requiring a book jacket.

    Glad you agree about ROI and of course it applies to things other than money. It's a wise person who counts the costs, and I hadn't followed Seekerville very long before realizing Ruthy is a very wise person.

  82. Thank you all for giving me the honor of contest diva today. As Tina would say, let's go forth and contest.

  83. Didn't get a chance to drop by earlier, but I wanted to say congrats and best contesting wishes to this month's Diva, Elaine. Rock those contests!

  84. No contests for me, Teenster -- been too busy with family, but this as thorough a contest update as I've ever seen!


  85. As a reader I didn't realize that writing contests were such a great avenue for writers until I started following Seekerville. I hope you all who enter will have a great experience! Please enter me in the drawing :)

  86. Being on Seekerville has definitely motivated me to get going again on my writing. Next year I should be ready!

  87. Excellent points, Tanya. The life cycle of a contest is 6-10 months. Find out how long the life cycle of your contest is and if you can finish your manuscript.

    I should add that just because I gave you my OFFICIAL answer doesn't mean that I followed it. LOL>