How about Myra and Janet answering the proverbial question: Should you enter contests?
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.
National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award Contest-Deadline April 1. Open to Indies
The Unpublished Maggies. Opens January 2, 2015. Deadline April 3. Open to Indies.
Book Buyers Best-Deadline April 15. Open to Indies.
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 An entry consists of the opening pages of your unpublished novel, up to 2500 words.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
Linda Howard Award of Excellence. Deadline March 6. First 25 pages. Finalists must submit a synopsis. Cost is $30. OUCH! That's the cost of the Golden Heart.
Short/Long Contemporary (series)
Final Judge – Michelle Grajkowski, Literary Agent, Three Seas Literary Agency
Final Judge – Alicia Condon, Editor, Kensington Publishing
Final Judge – Pamela Harty, VP of Sales/Literary Agent, The Knight Agency
Final Judge – TBD
Romantic Sensual and Sizzling
Final Judge – Cheryl Yeko, Acquiring Editor, Soul Mate Publishing
Fire & Ice. Deadline March 14. Enter the first 6,000 words. Contest capped at 120 entries. 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.
CATEGORY (SERIES) ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
Susan Litman, Harlequin Special Edition
Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Literary Agency
HISTORICAL ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
Alex Logan, Grand Central Publishing
Cassie Hanjian, Waxman Leavell Literary
INSPIRATIONAL ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
Andrea Doering, Revell Books
Steve Laube, The Steve Laube Agency
PARANORMAL (PTTF) ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
Kristine Swartz, The Berkley Publishing Group
Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
SINGLE TITLE ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
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.
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)
The Rosemary. Deadline-March 31. Published and Unpublished Authors. Published and unpublished authors. Submitted manuscripts must be new, original, YA or NA fiction that has not been published, self-published, or contracted. First 25 pages of manuscript (manuscript word count of at least 40k).
YA Contemporary - Agent Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary, Editor Aubrey Poole of Sourcebooks, Editor Elizabeth Tingue of Penguin/RH
YA Historical - Agent Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary, Editor Jessica MacLeish of Harper Teen, Editor Robin Haseltine of Entangled Publishing
YA Paranormal - Agent Holly Root of Waxman Leavell Literary, Editor Kristin Daly Rens of Balzer & Bray, and Editor Natashya Wilson of Harlequin Teen
YA Speculative - Agent Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency, Editor Meredith Rich of Bloomsbury Spark, Editor Vicki Lame of St. Martin’s Press
New Adult - Agent Cate Hart of Corvisiero Literary, Editor Amy Stapp of Tor Forge, Editor Angela James of Carina Press.
Touched by Love. Deadline April 1. First 20 pages of an inspirational manuscript, 2-page synopsis. Eligibility: All authors who have not accepted a publishing offer from a publisher or self-published a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more in the past three years. Final Judges: published authors. Top Prize: Overall Winner will win $100 for writing-related expenses and an editor critique. This year's editor is Kim Moore of Harvest House. Categories are Historical, Long Contemporary and Short Contemporary.
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
The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest has been replaced by Kindle Scout. Check it out here.
Here's the Chicken Soup 2015 Line Up!
Time for our March Contest Diva! Welcome Eileen Barnes!
2015 Finalist for Great Expectations
2014 Florida Romance Writer – 2nd Place
2013 2nd Place winner of the Golden Palm
2013 Suzannah NOLA Stars
2012 2nd place for the Golden Claddaugh
2012 Winner of Celtic Category
I knew my plot for the historical romance was unique but I needed an encouraging voice, a corrective guide, an experienced instructor. Not only did I not know where to go for writing advice, I doubted that a market for a sweet historical romance about two Irish characters of opposing faiths existed.
One blest day, I discovered an author by the name of Julie Lessman. When I read her book, A Passion Most Pure, my hope soared. This award winning historical novel shared many similarities with mine—wholesome passion, Irish Catholic characters, historical storyline. I read about her publishers, stopped by her website and linked into Seekerville.
Contest Update was the headline. Hard to believe, but having no previous knowledge about contests, I hesitated about the value. Yet, Seekerville encouraged and, having seen the hand of God in bringing me to the site, coupled with the idea of being read and reviewed by my peers and possible agents/publishers, I was compelled to try.
My first contest score staggered and, honestly, depressed me a little. However, after the initial shock, I realized the comments had merit. Digesting the criticisms and clinging to the encouraging words such as “a very strong story line” and “wonderful voice” and “I like your heroine” and “Keep working on this. You have talent,” I persevered and entered the next contest.
Absorbing, correcting, rewriting, and resubmitting eventually improved my writing until, at last in 2012, I finaled in the Suzannah. A few months later, I placed 2nd in the Golden Claddaugh. In 2013 I finaled in the Golden Palm and also won the ‘top of the slush pile’ in the Seekerville Contest. Seekerville also honored me with a win in 2014 Perfect Pitch Contest resulting in a request for my completed novel from agent Susan Bower and this year, I finaled in Great Expectations.
So where is the value of these wins and losses? Honing in, tightening my writing, validation that the story is interesting and worthy of publication, notice by other authors, agents and publishers and, most of all, diminished doubt as to my ability to write.
I am still waiting for that homerun in one of the biggest contests, or a contract by an agent/publisher. One day, God willing, I believe I will be an author in Seekerville advising and instructing others how to get off the island.
I guess I am here…
That's it! Now Go Forth and Contest!
P.S. You can still enter Speedbo. Unless you are