Another year. Another opportunity to diva/divo!
Don't waste a single opportunity to get your name out there
in front of editors and agents and new readers.
Published Author Contests
Golden Quill Awards are now open. Deadline January 9. 2015.
National Readers Choice Awards are now open. Deadline January 15, 2015.
Judge a Book by It's Cover. Deadline January 15, 2015. Open to Indies.
Gail Wilson Award of Excellence. Deadline January 15, 2015. Open to Indies.
Holt Medallion. Opens December 1. Deadline January 15, 2015. Open to Indies.
Reader's Choice Bean Pot Award. Deadline February 1, 2015. Open to Indies.
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 Guidelines.
The Unpublished Maggies. Opens January 2, 2015. Deadline April 3. Open to Indies.
Unpublished Author Contests
2015 RWA Golden Heart® Contest is open as of December 2, 2014. Entered works and related contest fees must be submitted to RWA's contest site by the deadline of January 12, 2015: The Golden Heart contest is open to 1,200 paid entries. Once again Seekerville is offering two entrants in the inspirational category a refund of their entry fee. The goal is to keep that category open. Once you enter, submit proof of entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Share this information with your writer friends. Winners will be announced once RWA announces that the category made it.
Desert Diamonds. Inaugural Contest. Opens January 1, 2015 and ends at midnight MST on January 31, 2015. Open to Published and Unpublished authors. Submit the first 20 manuscript pages and a 3-page (max) synopsis, all in one file. Total page length must not exceed 23 pages.Final round judges are agents and editors attending the 2016 Desert Dreams Conference.Genres are Contemporary, Inspirational, Historical, Erotica, Young Adult, New Adult, Fantasty/Futuristic/Paranormal, and Romantic Suspense.The three finalists from each category will be announced on February 28, 2015. JUDGES TBA.
ACFW Genesis. Contest opens: January 2, 2015 at 8:00 AM central time. 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.
Let's do it again! If you are reading this and considering entering the Genesis, and would like your name entered in a drawing for a critique of the first fifteen pages of your manuscript, then send an email to Seekers@Seekerville.net by tonight at 9 pm EST. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition (which is tomorrow).
The Pacific Northwest Literary Association Contest is now accepting entries. Contest closes February, 2, 2015. Cash prizes.
11.children's picture/chapter book
12.adult short topics (articles/essays/memoir)
Great Expectations. DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JANUARY 4.· Send in the first 5000 words. THIS EXTENDED DEADLINE IS HUGE TO YOU UNPUBS. ENTER!!! This is opportunity knocking! ANSWER.
Final Round Judges
Karen Reid - Associate Editor, Super Romance, Harlequin
Gabrielle Keck - Editorial Assistant, Avon / William Morrow
Raela Schoenherr - Bethany House
MAINSTREAM with ROMANTIC ELEMENTS
Laura Fazio - Assistant Editor, NAL
Julie Mianecki - Assistant Editor, Berkley
Alex Logan - Editor, Grand Central Publishing.
Madeleine Colavita - Editorial Assistant, Grand Central Publishing
SPECIALIZED (Fantasy, Futuristic, Time Travel, Paranormal)
Kristine Swartz - Assistant Editor, Berkley
Alice Jerman – Assistant Editor, HarperCollins
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
Paranormal/Fantasy/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
If you are going to enter the Inspirational category of this contest and want a quick critique of your 2,500 words (turnaround by Monday, January 5). Send an email to Seekers@Seekerville.net by 9pm EST tonight. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition (which is tomorrow). This is an exciting opportunity and Giselle is my editor.
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)
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)
Unpublished Maggies. Opens January 15. 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
More Writing Opportunities
Chicken Soup for the Soul. Christmas and Holiday Story Call-Out. Deadline: January 15!
Announcing the 19th Annual Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest-Deadline April 14, 2015. With an unbeatable lineup of over 300 of the greatest literary works the world has ever known, Signet Classics is the publisher that students, education professionals and the public turn to more than any other. Now, we are proud to host our eighteenth annual Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest, in which five high school juniors or seniors can each win a $1,000 scholarship award to be used toward their higher education plus a Signet Classics library for their school! Essays must be submitted by a high school English teacher on behalf of students who write an essay on one of six topics for this year’s competition book, Pygmalion and My Fair Lady. ALSO OPEN TO HOME SCHOOLED STUDENTS so pass this along!
Check out the Writing Contests available at Literal Latte!
AND NOW....Introducing Anna Weaver Hurtt, our January 2015 Contest Diva!
Contesting has impacted my writing journey in many ways. I've entered 3 contests (one for each manuscript, ironically) and have learned something from each one. It's difficult to send your precious words out into the world, but it can provide some helpful feedback.
I've gotten widely ranging feedback in the contests I've entered. Some good, some bad. I entered a contest last year and placed 31st out of 32. Ouch! While some of the judges' comments were hard to accept, I took what I learned and wrote my third manuscript over this summer, which is the one that won the 2014 First Impressions Contest.
Here are some tips that worked for me:
Develop a writing schedule. Write every day or every other day.
Study the craft. I read several books over the summer as I wrote and revised. Two that immediately come to mind are "Writing with Emotion, Tension, and Conflict" by Cheryl St. John and "The Story Template" by Amy Deardon.
Find some critiquers. I got some very valuable help with polishing my entry from the ACFW Scribes Critique Group.
Don't give up! Let your bad scores fuel your desire to be a better writer. I'm so glad I didn't throw in the towel last year, even though I really wanted to at the time.
Stay connected with other writers. It was much easier for me to stay motivated to write when I spend time with writers, both here at Seekerville and though blogs and Facebook groups.
That's all I have for you today. I hope everyone has a wonderful week. God bless!
My recent list of contest placements:
2014 ACFW First Impressions winner
And today we're giving away a copy of Woe is I (print), to one commenter who shares their contest goals for the new year. To a reader, a copy of any Seeker book currently available on Amazon (print or ebook). Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.
From Publishers WeeklyStarred Review. Former New York Times Book Review editor and linguistic expert O'Conner (Words Fail Me, You Send Me) updates her bestselling guide to grammar, an invigorating and entertaining dissection of our ever-evolving language. In this third edition, O'Conner guides readers through conversational conundrums with aplomb, filling in not only the logic behind the appropriate choice for, say, possessives, but also explaining such oddities as the spelling of restaurateur (instead of a "restauranteur"), the proper pronunciation of prix fix ("pree feeks") and a slew of mnemonic devices to help amateur grammarians keep ifs, ands and buts in check. It's these small digressions that make the book so readable, even for those with a deep-seated hatred for grammatical do-goodery. O'Conner gleefully eviscerates poor sentence construction and dangling participles, soothes verb tension and debunks the frequently intimidating semicolon with finesse. Tempered with a heavy dose of wit (reaching its nadir in her chapter on clichés), O'Conner's lively treatise is as vital as a dictionary for those who wish to be taken seriously in speech, in print or on Facebook.
That's it! Now go forth and contest!