Friday, January 30, 2015

February Contest Update

Welcome to the February Contest Update. 
A dedicated chocolate edition.
Writers-What are your contest goals this month? 
Readers-What's on your TBR pile?
Let us know for a chocolate giveaway surprise!
Be sure you tell us if you want to be entered 
by indicating your favorite. 
White, Milk, or Dark.
Published Author Contests:

Reader's Choice Bean Pot Award. Deadline February 1, 2015. Open to Indies.

The Carolyn Readers Choice Award. Deadline February 14. Open to Indies. IF YOU ARE A READER THEY NEED JUDGES. SIGN UP!

Inspirational Reader's Choice. Deadline March 1, 2015.

Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence. Deadline March 2, 2015. 

ACFW Carol Award. Opens January 2, 2015. Deadline March 15, 2015. See Indie 

Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense for Published Authors. Deadline March 15. 

 The Unpublished Maggies. Opens January 2, 2015. Deadline April 3. Open to Indies. 

 Unpublished Author Contests:

The Pacific Northwest Literary Association Contest is now accepting entries. Contest closes February, 2, 2015. Cash prizes.
Categories include: 
1. mainstream
3.romance/women's fiction
6.young adult
7.middle grade
10.short story
11.children's picture/chapter book short topics (articles/essays/memoir) 

 The Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest. Opens January 1, 2015. Deadline February 14, 2015.  For  Novella category, submit the first 2000 words of an unpublished work of fiction.For all other categories, submit the first 5000 words of an unpublished work of fiction.A one to two page (max 500 words) synopsis is optional and will not be counted as part of the entry. The synopsis will not be judged.

2014 Categories and Final Judges:
Contemporary Romance–Adrienne Macintosh (Harlequin) & Kathleen Rushall (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency)

Historical Romance–Erika Tsang (Avon) & Elaine Spencer (The Knight Agency)

Paranormal Romance–Mary Altman (Sourcebooks) & Miriam Kriss (Irene Goodman Agency)

Erotic Romance–Nina Gooden (Ellora’s Cave) & Laura Bradford (Bradford Literary Agency)

Mainstream with Strong Romantic Elements–Leis Pederson (Berkley) & Courtney Miller-Callihan (Greenberger Associates)

Young Adult/New Adult–Heather Howland (Entangled) & Becca Stumpf (Prospect Agency)

  Fabulous Five Writing Contest opened for enteries January 1. Deadline March 1. An entry consists of the opening pages of your unpublished novel, up to 2500 words. Categories capped at 35 entries this year. Get your entry in early.

The top five entries in each category will move to the final round.

Finalists in each category will be ranked by the following editors and agents:

Erotica:Cheryl Yeko, Soulmate Publishing-Jessica Alvarez, Bookends, LLC

Historical:Laura Plude, Grand Central Publishing-Elizabeth Pomada, Larsen Pomada Literary Agents

Inspirational:Giselle Regus, Harlequin-Joyce Hart, Hartline Literary Agency

New Adult:Nicole Fischer, Avon Romance-Patricia Nelson, Marshal Lyon Literary Agency

Futuristic/Time Travel:Brenda Chin, Imajinn Books-Shira Hoffman, McIntosh & Otis, Inc.

Romantic Suspense:Madeleine Colavita, Grand Central Publishing-Lucienne Diver, The Knight Agency

Series Contemporary:Christina Brower, NAL/Penguin Random House-Saba Sulaiman, Talcott Notch Literary Services

Single Title:Mercedes Fernandez, Kensington Books- Courtney Miller-Callihan, Greenburger Associates

Women’s Fiction: Jennifer Herrington, Lyrical Press-Victoria Lowes, The Bent Agency

Young Adult: Alycia Tornetta, Entangled Publishing-Taylor Haggerty, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

 Fire & Ice. Deadline March 14. Enter the first 6,000 words. Contest capped at 120 entries. Did you know that Rachel Renee Russell (on the cover of this month's Writer's Digest) and author of the Dork Diaries entered this contest and said, “Participating in Fire & Ice was the motivation I needed to take my manuscript and writing to the next level. I received excellent critiques from your judges and a lot of encouragement. That manuscript evolved into Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life. It spent seven weeks on the NYT Bestseller List and my publisher, Simon & Schuster, just purchased Books 3 and 4.”

Each finalist will be judged by both an editor and a literary agent.  2015 final round judges are:

Contemporary Romance-Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks (editor)
 Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (agent)

Historical Romance-Debby Gilbert, Soul Mate Publishing (editor)
Sara Megibow, kt literary (agent)

Women’s Fiction With Romantic Elements-Gabrielle Keck, Harper Collins (editor)
 Melissa Jeglinski, Knight Agency (agent)

Young Adult/New Adult Romance-Tera Cuskaden, Samhain Publishing (editor)
 Shannon Hassan, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (agent)

Paranormal Romance-Mary Altman, Sourcebooks (editor)

Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management (agent)

 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense for Unpublished Writers. Deadline: March 15, 2015.  Entry consists of prologue/first chapter up to 5,000 words. 

Susan Litman, Harlequin Special Edition
Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Literary Agency

Alex Logan, Grand Central Publishing
Cassie Hanjian, Waxman Leavell Literary

Andrea Doering, Revell Books
Steve Laube, The Steve Laube Agency

Kristine Swartz, The Berkley Publishing Group
Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Paula Eykelhof, MIRA
Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management

Kristen Sevick, Tor/Forge
Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary Agency

 ACFW Genesis.  Contest closes: March 15, 2015 at 4:00 PM central time. All contest entries and contest fees must be received by that time. Entry consists of the first 15 pages and a single spaced, one page synopsis. Finalist judges announced in January.
Historical Romance
Romantic Suspense
Short Novel
Young Adult

The Royal Ascot. Opens February 16, 2015. Entries must be received by March 27, 2015.Open to unpublished authors and published writers seeking representation and/or a publisher.  All entries must have at least partial Regency (Late Georgian) setting, broadly defined: within the United Kingdom between 1780 and 1840. Judges to be determined. 

Categories are used to determine first round judges only, and include:
Regency Historical (longer Regency or Mainstream Regency-set)
Hot Regency (Very sensual to Erotic Regency, at author’s discretion)
Wild Regency (Paranormal, Time Travel, other similar Regency)
Sweet & Mild Regency (Traditional, Inspirational, Young Adult or other without explicit sex)

Unpublished Maggies.  Deadline April 30.  Entry consists of first pages and synopsis, not to exceed 35 pages. 

 Single Title Romance-Madeleine Colavita Editorial Assistant, Grand Central Publishing

Contemporary Category Romance-Ann Leslie Tuttle-Senior Editor, Harlequin

Inspirational Romance-Stephanie Broene-Senior Acquisitions Editor, Tyndale

Historical Romance-Gabrielle Keck-Editor, Avon

Paranormal Romance-Rose Hilliard Editor, St. Martin’s Press

Young Adult-Candace Havens Editorial Director, Entangled Publishing

Novel with Strong Romantic Elements -Sarah Murphy Editor, Ballantine Bantam Dell

Erotic Romance-S.N. Graves-Senior Editor, LooseId


Other Writing Opportunities:

Ever want to write for BBC Radio? Here's your chance. Deadline February 13. Once a year a window opens for new writers with no experience of radio to submit a short story  to Opening Lines – BBC Radio 4’s showcase for short stories.  Send one story which must be between 1,900 and 2,000 words long to fill a 14 minute time slot.

Now we welcome our February Diva. 

I began my contest journey perched on a high horse, from which I was immediately relegated to a wooden pony. After completing a novel in 2012, I entered it into Operation First Novel, all but certain of victory. The judge congratulated me on finishing a manuscript, then went on to encourage me to learn how to write. Ouch.

Though humbling, that experience became one of the best things to happen to me as a writer. I amassed a collection of writing books such as The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King, and Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. I learned to read as a writer, taking note of what authors did well and why their books resonated with me. And I discovered the value of contests.

After much study on the craft of writing, and despite a jumble of nerves, in 2013 I entered ACFW’s First Impressions and Genesis contests. Becoming a finalist in First Impressions encouraged me. Though I didn’t place in Genesis, I received great feedback from three helpful judges. Each provided a unique, eye-opening perspective.

In 2014, I re-entered First Impressions and Genesis with two manuscripts, nerves still buzzing. It’s hard to offer up my work for critique, and even harder still when the feedback is unfavorable. This time, however, I won the First Impressions contemporary romance category, and achieved a spot as a Genesis semi-finalist in the contemporary genre. Both full manuscripts have been requested by agents. In addition, the judges still pointed out how to make the stories even better.

Through personal study, a critique group, constant reading and writing, and entering contests, I’ve learned (and am still learning) to do well what that first judge insisted I do—write. My pony now has a pulse, and on it I follow behind the high horse, whose rightful rider is the Most High.

And I’m thrilled to see where He’ll take me. 


That's it for this month, Villagers! 
Now go forth and contest!~


  1. Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton
    Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma
    And about 10 on kindle for reviews
    I'm still hoping for the Homestead Brides....
    Have a great day. It's Friday!

  2. Thanks, Tina, for the contest update! I need to enter at least some of them.

    Tanara, loved reading your post! Congrats on your contest success. Congrats too on studying your craft, which is so, so important.

    1. Thank you, Debby! Studying the craft is indeed important and worth it!

  3. Dan Walsh's When Night Comes is next up on my Kindle.

    I'm getting ready to go to bed and finish Ruthie's Montana story.

    Way to go, Tanara!!!

    Coffee for everyone. Except me that is. :)

    1. Oh, and I'll piece off some of my chocolate for that coffee you're passing on :-).

  4. Milk chocolate is the bestest.

    Helen, I don't drink your coffee either, we need to have hot chocolate offered: hot drink, caffeine, and chocolate.....why is THAT not the preferred writerly drink? Coffee, bleck!

    I entered the Carol, though I don't stand a chance this year, but I entered anyway, since I told myself to enter every single time just because I like throwing away $40 apparently.

    That was my only contest goal this year, the only other one I'd want to enter is the RITA, but I'm not a RWA member yet, maybe I'll rectify that this year and do it next. Maybe.

  5. I'm torn between dark and white so I'll go for a surprise!

    My writing goals for February are getting some words down on my newest ms and editing editing my last one :)

  6. Hit publish too soon. Congrats Tanara on your great contest progress!

    1. Thanks, Kara. You and I have the same writing goals this month :-).

  7. Hi Tanara! Congrats, Contest Diva! Those judges comments can really bite, but be assured that with every endeavor, we are all learning how to write! Thanks for sharing your victories here.

    TINA, thanks for the contest update. I'm committed to entering two of these contests.

    Dark chocolate. Yum.

    1. Hi Lyndee! Hugs to you friend! Thanks so much for the encouragement. And dark chocolate? A woman after my own heart :-).

  8. the Carolyn Readers Choice awards are also looking for readers to be judges. you just need to love reading and not be an author to be a judge.
    Im still reading a Christmas Novella. Then want to read a couple of Narelle Atkin's books.
    I love milk chocolate but white is nice but don't enter me for a chocolate prize as I have put on way to much weight. (does tennis elbow add weight you know the fluid in the swelling?) Oh I have tennis elbow now!
    I saw the pain specialist and have Occipital Neuralgia which I knew but its nice its confirmed now plus daily chronic headaches or migraines. Will be going on a new med when I see my dr and they are talking about doing nerve blocks in the back of my head! But I feel so much better knowing we have a plan now.

    Oh I want the Homestead Brides too.

  9. Congratulation Tanara!

    I currently reading Remember the Lillies by Liz Tolsma and next up is The Trouble with Patience by Maggie Brendan, then Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton.

    I love all kinds of chocolate but my favorite is milk chocolate.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    1. Thanks Cindy! Milk chocolate cookies with walnuts. Yum.

  10. Did someone say chocolate?

    My reading pile tends to be rather fluid & unwieldy.

    1. I read coffee too, though I don't smell any. I've got to remedy that ASAP :-).

  11. TANARA!!!!!

    Oh, that's a great story and I can totally identify with your words. I was so sure I was marvelous when I was new!!!

    Hahaha! SMACKDOWN!!!!!

    Sometimes I wonder how published authors would do if they entered unpubbed contests... and I bet we'd have our hats handed to us, LOL!

    Tina, great contest update, thank you!

    1. Good morning Ruth :). That newbie syndrome...I still laugh every time I think about it. And yes, I've had my hat handed to me and my umbrella tossed after :-). All for the best though. A dose of reality does wonders for the teachable.

  12. My to-be-read pile is crazy high on the table and the Kindle...

    My bad!

    And I'm not big on published author contests, but I'm a champion on Unpubbed contests because the feedback and the learning process they provide... and the chance to be noticed, to be on an editor's desk!!!... that's HUGE and entering contests to gain that notice/edge is way cheaper than footing the bill for a big conference, right?

    I am so grateful for all the help/advice/encouragement I received from those unpublished contests back in the day and it brought me all these SEEKERS!!!!!!

    A total blessing, total win!

  13. Tina, thanks for the contest update. I'm still polishing my story for Genesis, and I'll try the Daphne.

    Tanara, congrats on your success!

    1. Good morning and happy Friday to you Jackie! Thank you and wishes on the Genesis and all of your contest endeavors :).

  14. We're going to work on Melissa Jagears 2015 Carol Award Winner's SELF TALK next.

    You are a wonderful writer and a lovely daughter of God and a great mom and wife too. We love you.

  15. I have several writing projects going so believe it or not I am still trying to finish the Seeker Christmas books that came out this year.


    1. I'm behind too, Tina. Just keep writing. Just keep writing. Just keep...

  16. Kara, meeeee too. Dark and white are the bestest and go well with a little writing endeavor.

  17. Good for you divas for entering contests this month.

    Congrats to our February Contest diva for her focus on her path to success!!

    A WOOT for Tanara!

  18. Friday.


    Friday is my favorite day.


    Because there is so much potential in the next days! A clean slate ready to be filled to the brim!

  19. Pouring rain here. Two days straight. Superbowl is indoors and sunshine is forecast for Sunday.

  20. Tina, thanks for the contest update!

    Tanara, congrats on the contest success! And good for you for keeping at it, studying, and trying again. I have no doubt you'll have an agent soon. Best of luck with that!

    BTW, I love your headshot! You are gorgeous.

  21. Great WE. Always love to read about the contests since that is how we all met. smile

    Congrats Tanara. so glad you took the contest comments to heart and made to the finals and victory. You'll be published soon. smile

    1. Many thanks, Sandra. Feedback from contests are a great way to get coaching and different perspectives, so I'm always thankful for the opportunity :-).

      I read your post below about the Super Bowl and the Glendale Chocolate Affair, and I agree. I'll be using the time to write since my husband and guests are headed to the game festivities. Writing is always good, but chocolate plus writing workshops plus writing afterwards is better :). Bummed to be missing it.

  22. My favorite is the dark chocolate btw.

    What a way to start the day with all those chocolates staring at me. Yum.

    Oh yes, its Superbowl weekend. The rain is dampening much of the pre-game activities Im sure. I'm thinking of the Chocolate Affair in Glendale. :( That will teach the city for putting it on Superbowl weekend instead of the usual weekend before Valentine's.

    Ladies out there. The best time to go shopping is during the Superbowl. There is literally no one in the stores. Also a great time to write.

    Can you tell I don't give a fig about football?

  23. I'm a white chocolate fan.

    As a fledgling writer my goal is to continue writing and hoping for something good enough to enter in a contest.

    As a reader I'm reading Crimson Cord by Jill Smith, Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman and several other books

    1. Best wishes in your writing Wilani. Keep in mind it doesn't have to start good enough. Sometimes contests serve the purpose of showing you how to get better. It's always good to get an outside, unbiased opinion of our craft :-). Blessings!

  24. Sandra, the Superbowl is on at 6:30 on Sunday night here.

    The malls are closed. The stores are closed.

    Everything is closed.

    And honey, I know it's not as exciting as PICKLEBALL but why wouldn't we want to watch the game with a room full of cute guys?????


  25. I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel on finishing my WIP. But I know that even then I have a lot of work ahead to get it finished! I prefer milk chocolate.

  26. Happy Friday everyone,

    Tanara, you're such an inspiration. Congratulations.

    It's funny how tastes change. I can't stand milk chocolate anymore. Dark all the way, and I've convinced myself it's healthy.

    I just downloaded a bunch of novellas on my kindle and I'm reading Love by the Letter by Melissa Jagears today.

    1. Happy Friday, Elaine! And thank you for your kind words :-). Have a wonderful weekend.

  27. I do like Dark Chocolate! I'll take anything though if it's offered :)
    please enter me for the CHOCOLATE ! !

  28. I have Petticoat Detective, The Story Keeper and Beyond All Dreams at the top of my TBR pile. I read about a dozen a month.. Please enter me into the dish :)

  29. January is always a great time to see what contests are coming up! Thanks for another great update, TINA!

    And congrats to TANARA, our Contest Diva! Love your high-horse-to-wooden-pony-with-a-pulse analogy! Contests truly can be humbling experiences, but also growth experiences if we're up for the challenge. Sounds like you are well on your way!

    1. Hi, Myra! I'm trying the Diva title out at home and they all think I've lost it ;-). Thank you for your kind words.

  30. SANDRA, I'm with you on the football. Of course, I don't care much for shopping either. I might be curling up with a good book.

  31. Congratulations Tanara!
    My Mom just sent me Julie's "A Passion Denied" for my birthday! So excited. STill Hoping for Homestead Brides too! And I will be entering Genesis. Thanks for the chocolate and coffee!!

    1. Thanks Cindy! And best wishes on the Genesis, I'm sure you'll do great. My TBR list is out the door and around the block, but right now I'm reading Dee Henderson's Full Disclosure. It's been raining all day, perfect reading and writing weather :).

  32. Congrats on your successes, Tanara!

    I need to get on the ball where entering contests is concerned... :P It's been over a year since I've entered anything at all.

    As for reading...I'm reading Max Lucado's "Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe" right now. :)

    And you can enter me for milk--or dark. :) I feel happier eating milk chocolate, but healthier eating

    1. Thanks Jennifer! Now's a good time to jump back in the contest arena. New year, limitless opportunities :-). All this talk about chocolate is liable to send me out in the rain for a box of that healthy dark ;-).

  33. What's on my reading list? The whole Price of Privilege series (Jessica Dotta) and a book for endorsement.

    What contest am I entering?

    I GET TO ENTER THE CAROLS!!!!! I'm so excited. Could you tell? :D

    1. That's amazing, Sally! Best of blessings on the Carols!

  34. Sandra, is it the Chocolate Affair this weekend, and will you be there?

  35. Congratulations, Tanara, sounds like you not only listened to the critiques the judges gave you in your earlier contests, but you actually applied what you learned. Way to go!!!!!!!

    No contests for me yet but my TBR's dwindling again. Just finished Dubiosity by Christy Barritt -- awesome, awesome, awesome. So, what's left on the pile?

    Always on My Mind by Susan May Warren

    Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma

    Taken by Lisa Harris

    Manhunt by Lisa Phillips

    To Save a Child by Margaret Daley

    Fugitive Trackdown by Sandra Robbins

    Falling for Texas by Jill Lynn

    And on my retro TBR pile (courtesy of my public library)

    Snowfall by Shelley Shephard Gray

    Nightshade by Ronie Kendig

    Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig

    Firethorn by Ronie Kendig

    1. Thanks Kav! I do try to apply what I've learned, especially when the feedback is specific about room for improvement. I like your tbr list. I've got all the Kendig's on mine as well. Happy reading!

  36. I just turned in my last scores for the RITA so right now I'm in the middle of The Homestead Brides Collection.
    Also, I eagerly await the release of the 15th C.J. Box book from his Joe Pickett Series

    March 12 release date

  37. Congrats TANARA on your diva status and for sharing your story. I hope to be like you (minus the high-horse) and take contest feedback to heart. I wish great success for your next contest entries.

    SANDRA and RUTHY: laughing about the football side conversation because all I can think about is a college roommate who knew nothing about football commenting as she saw me avidly watching my team play. On TV was an end zone shot of the backside of the offense team. Her comment? "wow... look at all those tight ends."

    please put my name in the draw for DARK chocolate. yummmmmmmmmmmmm...

    i'm not sure about which contest to enter because i'm still trying to fix my one manuscript according to the R&R I already got from the editor who saw it.

    alas... I have not followed the Mary Connealy school to publication process of having 20+ manuscripts waiting on my computer. Must rectify. (love you Mary - Seekers are currently my writing heroes)

    1. Thanks DebH! Have fun learning and succeeding in whatever contest you choose to enter. Plenty + manuscripts???? I've got work to do :-).

    2. *Twenty* plus. Auto correct...grrrr.

  38. Congrats and applause on your Feb. diva status TANARA!

    I love the opening line of your post from high horse to wooden pony, I have been there a time or two, not in writing, but in life.

    Also appraicate your quote, "A dose of reality does wonders for the teachable", such wisdom!

    Hey TINA! I'm a dark chocolate fan so put me in for that, virtual if you must, but real is better;)

    I'm currently reading Sabotoged by Dani Pettrey.

    The best finished book in Jan. was A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings.

    The best novella was Out of the Storm by Jody Hedlund.

    Next up will be Kept by Sally Bradley that I've heard so much about.

    Happy weekend everyone!
    Whether you're writing reading watching the game or shopping, ENJOY!

    1. Thanks Tracey! I think we've all had our life lessons in humility. Good for the soul :-). I love Dani's Alaskan Courage series! Hope you're enjoying the read :-).

  39. I'll be entering Unpublished Maggies and Genesis at this point. I have my entries formatted, just working on the synopses and waiting for the money to roll in. Will probably enter more as year goes on. Cheaper than an MFA in fiction, especially for a genre writer. And you meet nice people, virtually, but they're virtually nice.

  40. Have always loved dark chocolate, even before I knew it was "good" for me. I have to make a dessert for church's super bowl party, think I'm going to do the thing where you melt chocolate chips and butter over saltine crackers and chill it, it's a kind of bark, I only make it when I'm going somewhere because it is lethally good and I would eat it all at home. Yay. I use dark chocolate chips for this one.

  41. Forgot to sign the chocolate one but everyone knows me by now.

  42. Well I am reading short stories this week, took a notion to do that for a change, so I've read Katherine Hall Page's "Small Plates," B.J. Novak's collection and am toggling between one by Ellen Gilchrist and one by Laura Lippman. KAV, I also have "Snowfall" on my pile! What a small world!

  43. All those contests look great, but the chocolate looks even better!

  44. It is snowing here. Again.
    I would read Homestead Brides if I had it.

  45. Congratulations Tanara,very impressive! I love to read the backgrounds on the contest divas each month.
    No contests for me this month, but I do plan to submit another Woman's World story. I mailed my January story earlier in the week. Thanks for the inspiration, Tina! :)

    1. Thank you, Jill! Best wishes on your WW submission :-).

  46. Tanara, I LOVE seeing that your the contest diva this month! :) And I love your story. Congratulations on your wins and finals. I'm looking forward to holding one of your books in my hand one day.

    Oh, and before I forget, I'm a dark chocolate girl. All the way!! :)

    This is a great contest update. I'm always so glad you guys present these each month! I'm definitely entering the Genesis. I"m thinking about entering Fire and Ice and the unpublished Maggies. There's only so much time to write and to prepare entries!

    I have too many books on my TBR pile to list. Let's just say it holds a nice mix of genres to read. :)

    Writing goals for February? To finish rewrites (note I didn't say polishing yet!) on the novel I hope to submit to an agent this spring. There. I said it. :)

    Have a great day everyone. :)

    1. So looking forward to holding YOUR books in hand one day, Jeanne! You're a good writer and it's only a matter of God's timing. I'm praying His best for you in your contest and agent submissions :).

  47. Thanks for the updated contest list! I've been entering a few which have editor final round judges since I have an agent. Just looking for more exposure and connections, which has been helpful so far. I see the Maggie's bumped up their timeframes. I'll have to see whether my current WIP will be ready in time for the unpub deadline in April. I did well in it last year, so that was encouraging!

  48. Congratulations, Tanara!

    My contest goals this year were to enter the Rita and the Carol (both done!). I'm thinking of the Colorado Writer's contest, and seriously thinking about the Maggies.

    And dark chocolate. No contest there!

    1. Thanks Jan! And good job getting your submissions in already. You're on it! I'm seeing a lot of dark chocolate lovers here. Yum and yum!

  49. Sally!! I love that you can enter the Carols!!!!!!

  50. Jennifer Smith!!! I have read your work. You are ready for prime time!!!!

  51. The End! Becky D. Two beautiful words!!!

  52. It's scary dangerous to hear everyone's TBR list because I know I will now be hitting Amazon tonight!!

    1. You'll have company on Amazon. I'm trying not to add more to my tbr just yet but I don't think I can resistz

  53. Tanara, your post was interesting and informative. Congratulations on your contest success and best of luck as you continue your writing journey. I have historical fiction and Amish fiction , also a few contemporary fiction. I am hoping to add Homestead Brides to my tbr list. I love Pioneer historical fiction.

    1. Many thanks, Deanne! Blessings to you in your writing career also :).

  54. Ugh, forgot to say, yes I do wantt o be entered for some milk chocolate please. Isn't chocolate the most important food group ? I don't think many can disagee with me there ! Have a wonderful week ladies !

  55. So excited about the contest update! I'm looking to enter a couple and trying to make up my mind.

    It's been awhile since I've entered so I need to enter a new ms to get feedback.

    Congrats Tanara on being the contest diva. I can so relate to you.

    When it comes to chocolate, I'm not picky. I love 'em all!

    1. Thank you, Connie! Best wishes on whichever contests you enter. Chocolate ...mmmm!

  56. Congrats to the Feb. Diva, Tanara!! :)
    Thanks for the contest updates, Tina - - you still amaze me with ALL you do (whew!).
    I am definitely entering the Genesis, and considering the unpubbed Maggies and the Fabulous Five.
    Any kind of chocolate is YUMMY (imho). ;)
    Happy Friday!! Hugs, Patti Jo

    1. Thanks and happy Friday to you too Patti Jo! Best of blessings with your contest submissions!

  57. CONGRATULATIONS, TANARA!! Enjoyed reading your post. Reminded me of my first entry :-)

    Wow, so many contests. A couple interest me ... hmm.

    Tina, I'm still reading the Christmas Seeker books, too. Wrapping up one of Jennifer Delamere's books -- I won the third in the series here -- and have bookmarks in several others, including a re-read of Jack Bickham's "Scene and Structure," and a non-fiction titled "The Republic of Imagination" (Christmas gift).

    I'm pretty sure my 'to read' stack and the unread books on my iPad multiply while I'm sleeping.

    Nancy C

    1. So good to know I'm not alone, Nancy :-). The excitement of just finishing the book carried me to all manner of lofty thoughts on my abilities :-). The aftermath has made me a much better writer and reader. Best of all is the blessing of the writing community. Have a great time with your tbr :-).

  58. Thanks Tina, your encouragement means a lot!

    And Tanara, I agree with you about wanting to make a special trip for some chocolate now! ;)

  59. What a fun, busy day in Seekerville!!!!!

    The great chocolate debate: I'm dipping apple/caramel cake balls in dark chocolate tomorrow. They may be horrible. But Godiva had caramel apple truffles and they were amazing....

    I might just start with one, cool it and test it. Sure, I'd take one for the team... :)

    Writing Saturday coming up... #psyched! Hoping to get 5K done on a novella this weekend, that's the pre-Superbowl goal.

    I love weekends SO MUCH.

    1. I can't even imagine caramel apple cake balls dipped in dark chocolate being anything close to horrible. I'll take ten for the team if you want a taste-tester ;-).

  60. Jill! Just saw your WW entries. Score for you!!!

  61. Stephanie Scott, Welcome to Seekerville and I want your hair. Great author name btw.

  62. Congratulations Tnara. Your story is so encouraging!
    Next up on my list is Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl and then Blind Trust by Sandra Orchard. I also recently won Dakota Love by Rose Zediker. I'm excited about all of them. I am also excited about taking on the writing challenge wrote about yesterday. Maybe next year I'll have a chance to enter contests too.
    Cheering you all on.

    Dark chocolate totally the best. :) I hear it's healthy.

    1. Thank you Kelly! Cheering you on too. May the Lord bless and direct your writing this year, make you bold in penning the stories He places on your heart, and bring you joy and growth on the journey. Blessings :-).

  63. I just read DebH's tight end comment and nearly spewed. Should have posted WARNING in large letters.

  64. Tina, I've had a wonderful time today! Thanks so much for having me and for all the work you do for the writing community. Everyone, I appreciate all of the encouraging comments and many of you sharing some of your own experiences. Thanks also for all of the book recommendations. I love seeing what everyone is reading. This has been a blast! Have a great Super Bowl weekend, however you choose to spend it. And blessings on everyone's contest endeavors :-)!

  65. Congratulations, Tanara. I love how you are taking time to read craft books and are persevering. That's a great lesson for all of us unpublished writers.

    Right now, I'm reading Tina Radcliffe's first book on my Kindle and I'm reading Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass.

    (Please enter me for dark chocolate.)

  66. Tanya, go you!!!!! Learning and practicing are the only secret passageways I know of in this biz.



    I double down on weekends to try to get 2K day, so 5K is stretching it for me. But even if I only end up with 3K... I'll be psyched because then I'm closing in on "the end".



    I'll share the top five of my EXTENSIVE TBR pile(s):
    Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund
    Dreams & Supernatural Encounters by Julie Meyer
    Passion with a Purpose and
    Daughters of Boston Series by Julie Lessman
    Tried and True by Mary Connealy

    DARK CHOCOLATE is my favorite.

    Have a wonderful weekend. I'm off to make a cuppa Chai tea and curl up with Rebellious Heart.


  68. Milk or dark, they are both great, especially on these dreary winter days.

    I'm finishing a new ms with an eye towards Cleveland Rocks and Fire and Ice deadlines. It's the first try with a contemporary, so I'm excited to get some feedback.

  69. Tina and Tanara, thank you. :) My exclamation points are under control now--I think.

    How cool to see that you're reading KEPT, Tracey! I hope it's your kinda book.