Friday, May 29, 2015

June Contest Update

Welcome to the June (OH MY GOSH, IS IT REALLY JUNE?) edition of the Contest Update.

The first thing we'd like to is stand up and salute the brave divas/divos who stepped out and courageously entered contests so far this year. We have some recent results to Snoopy Dance about.

Take a bow if you are a Touched by Love finalist, a Blurb2Book finalist ... Or a 2015 ICRS Winner!

Way to go. That's what Seekerville is all about. Dreaming big and working hard!

Now On to our contests!

Published Contests

Aspen Gold. Deadline June 1st. ( Indie Friendly)

The Carla. Deadline June 1. (Inspirational Category. Indie Friendly)

Heart of Excellence. Deadline June 1. (Indie Friendly)

I Heart Indie. Deadline June 1.

Romancing the Novel. Deadline June 15. Electronic format  only.

WisRWA Write Touch Readers' Award Contest. Deadline June 30th. All entries must be electronic.

The term means that you should be willing to revise!

Unpublished Contests

Lone Star. Deadline June 7. First five thousand words. Open to published authors.

Categories and Judges

Junessa Viloria, Editor, Random House
Victoria Lowes, Agent, The Bent Agency
Terri Schaefer, Editor, Liquid Publishing

Fantasy, Furturistic & Paranormal
Chris Keeslar, Editor, Boroughs Publishing Group
Holly Lorincz, Agent, MacGregor Literary Agency
Tara Gelsomino, Execuitive Editor, Crimson Romance

Alycia Tornetta, Associate Editor, Entangled
Allison Byers, Editor, The Wild Rose Press
Laura Bradford, Agent, The Bradford Literary Agency

Kimberly Shumate, Agent, Living Word Literary Agency
Raela Schoenherr, Acquisitions Editor, Bethany House Publishers

Romance Novella
Brenda Chin, Editorial Director, ImaJinn Books
Char Chaffin, Editor, Soul Mate Publishing

Romantic Suspense
Cindy Davis, Editor, The Wild Rose Press
Jull Marsal, Agent, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Lauren Plude, Associate Editor, Grand Central Publishing

Single Title
Katherine Pelz, Editor, Berkley Publishing Group (Peguin Group)
Debby Gilbert, Editor, Soul Mate Publishing
Jessica Alvarez, Agent, BookEnds, LLc

New Adult/Young Adult
Pam Van Hylckama Vlieg, Agent, Forword Literary Agency
Piya Campana, Assistant Editor, Harlequin SuperRomance
Janet Clementz, Editor, Soulmate Publishing

Harlequin Present Pitch Contest. Deadline: June 24, 2015 No cost to enter.
 Published and non-published authors. Pitches must be for books not under contract as of June 24, 2015. Judges: Editors Carly Byrne & Pippa Roscoe with Harlequin Presents. Top Prize: The editors will select 5 submissions for which they will request the first 2 chapters. Each of the 5 finalists will receive a personalized response and critique of their work.

Pages From the Heart. Deadline June 30th. Entry consists of the first 25 pages. Open to published authors.

Published Division:
Long Contemporary: Cat Cline, Sourcebooks
Short Contemporary: Elle Keck, HarperCollins
Historical: Katherine Pelz, Berkley Publishing Group
Novella: Lauren Plude, Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Group
Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel: Deborah Gilbert, Soul Mate Publishing
Romantic Suspense/Mystery: Esi Sogah, Kensington Books
Young Adult: Alice Jerman, Harper Teen
Unpublished Division:
Long Contemporary: Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Short Contemporary: Mercedes Fernandez, Kensington Books
Historical: Alexandra Sehulster, St. Martin’s Press
Novella: Susan Grimshaw, Penguin-Random House
Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel: Kristine Swartz, Berkley Publishing 
Romantic Suspense/Mystery: Patience Bloom, Harlequin
Young Adult: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency

Golden Opportunity Contest  Deadline July 1.  First 55 pages including synopsis. 

TWO editor judges (one traditional and one ePub when possible) for all category finalists. Cash prizes even!

Contemporary Romance – (T) Latoya Smith, Samhain Publishing, and (E) Heather Howland, Entangled Publishing 

Erotic Romance – (T) Allison Janice, Berkley Publishing Group, and (E) Michele Paulin, Resplendence Publishing

 Historical Romance – (T) Laura Fazio, NAL at Penguin Group, and (E) Erin Molta, Entangled Publishing 

Inspirational Romance – (T) Shana Asaro, Harlequin Love Inspired, and (E) Becky Philpott, HarperCollins Christian Publishing 

 Paranormal Romance – (T) Kristine Swartz, Berkley Publishing Group, and (E) Angela James, Carina Press, Harlequin

 Romantic Suspense Romance – (T) Patience Bloom, Harlequin Books, and (E) Deb Nemeth, Carina Press 

Young Adult Romance – (T) Lauren Smulski, Harlequin, and (E) StephanieTaylor, Astraea Press; Best of the Best – Katherine Pelz, Berkley Publishing Group.

Put Your Heart in a Book. Deadline July 1. Cash prizes! Entry consists of: synopsis and first chapter/prologue (30 pages max).

Categories and Final Judges: (One agent, editor, and multipublished author for each category.) 

Historical – Agent Liza Dawson, Liza Dawson Associates, Editor Esi Sogah, Kensington Books, and Author Julia Quinn 

 Romantic Suspense – Agent Eric Ruben, The Ruben Agency, Editor Patience Bloom, Harlequin, and Author: TBA 

 Contemporary Series – Agent Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyons Agency, Editor Gabrielle Keck, Avon Books, and Author TBA 

Contemporary Single Title – Agent Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management, Editor Susan Litman, Harlequin, and Author TBA 

Paranormal – Agent Michelle Johnson, Inklings Literary Agency, Editor Renee Rocco, Lyrical Press/Kensington Books, and Author Kerrelyn Sparks 

Young Adult – Agent Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency, Editor Rachel Burkot, Harlequin, and Author Beth Ciotta.

Ignite the Flame. Opens June 1, 2015. Deadline July 15, 2015. First 15 pages and a 500 word synopsis. Final Judges are not listed yet. A good "get your feet wet opportunity!"


 Young Adult/New Adult

 Erotic Romance

 Romantic Suspense

Historical Romance

Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel


Other Writing Opportunities!

Reader's Digest 100 Word True Story. 
 Everybody has a story to share. What's yours? Send us a true story about you, in 100 words or fewer—if it's chosen by our editors for publication in our magazine, you'll be paid $100! We also may pick selected favorites to appear on our site at  

Not a writing opportunity but still a great opp!
Romancing The URL 2015. Deadline June 1.

The URL Contest is open to all romance authors, including aspiring authors, and to RWA chapters. It is an opportunity to showcase your website. Entering is easy, just show us your link (URL). Authors may enter in categories appropriate for their genre and/or can enter the multi-genre category.Judges will be industry professionals (publishers, agents, marketing professionals, publicists, etc.) and the finalists will be announced in July.


Contemporary Romance
Historical Romance
Paranormal/FF&P Romance
Romantic Suspense
Young Adult Romance
Aspiring Author
RWA Chapters (Best Chapter Website)

The Golden Donut Short Story Contest"The Writers' Police Academy has officially opened the 2015 version of its wildly popular and extremely fun Golden Donut Short Story Contest! So it's time to let this year's contest photo inspire a perfect entry. The primary rule is your story must be EXACTLY 200 words. The submission deadline is: Midnight June 30, 2015 (the precise point in time between 11:59 pm 6-30 and 12:01 am July 1, 2015).Good luck and have fun. The contest is open to all writers--regardless of whether they're attending this year's Writers' Police Academy. So be sure to tell your author friends about the contest.

Here's the Chicken Soup 2015 Line Up! 

And now for our June Contest Diva!  Laurie Tomlinson

My contest story began like many, with a very key ingredient: peer pressure. 

When I finished my first novel, I was finally willing to stop treating it like a classified nuclear launch code and let someone other than my husband know it existed. An acquaintance I’d met through a favorite Christian author blog years before appeared in my Twitter feed now married and—gasp!—newly agented. When I reached out to her, she pointed me toward the ACFW Genesis contest and even offered to critique my entry. It was the first of many obliterations Kara Isaac would inflict on my work, but bless her, she didn’t let me hesitate.  

Pressing send shifted something in my mind. I accepted that I wasn’t only a writer. I was a pre-published author. Before that, my writing self-perception was shaped by the memory of teachers who would spout off disheartening statistics whenever I even hinted that I wanted to be published someday. That first contest entry helped me go from smothering the desire to write, to acting on it in secret, to owning up to it and treasuring it. I recognized the doors God was opening for me—even if He had to shove me through them a few times. 

I would recommend finding a contest that fits well with what you write and going for it. Consider this your peer pressure! Doing so led the way to some of my most cherished friendships and writing partnerships. I received valuable feedback that taught me how to look at my work in a fresh way, even from *that judge* in every round with a significantly lower score. Whether it leads to publication or not, I’m convinced that pressing send on that first contest entry was the best thing I’ve done for myself as a writer.

Contest Awards: 

ACFW Genesis Winner 2013 – Contemporary

ACFW Genesis Winner 2014 – Romance

Today Seekerville is giving away three first five page critiques. Your critiquers are either Tina Radcliffe, Glynna Kaye or Janet Dean. If you are brave and would like one, let us know. 

For a reader we have a book from our Seekerville prize vault for you. You get to pick from several. Let us know you want your name in the hat.

That's it, Seekerville.

Now go forth and contest.


  1. NO LIMITS!!!! That list of contests makes my heart go pitted patter...YES I'm going to win with every author finalist.

  2. Marianne, you are such an encourager. Happy Friday. 108 on Saturday in Phoenix. Shoot me now! Time to stay in the house and read and write.

  3. That's a lot of contests. Best wishes to all the writers.

  4. Best wishes for all you writers participating in the contests! Looks like lots of fabulous opportunities!

    Please put my name in for the readers' drawing :)

  5. Congratulations to all the 2015 IRCA finalists. We had a great contest this year with some excellent books represented.
    Nancy J. Farrier
    IRCA Coordinator
    2015 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award Winners
    Long Contemporary
    A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert (Waterbrook)
    Dancing With Fireflies by Denise Hunter (HarperCollins)
    Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade (Bethany House)
    Short Contemporary
    High Country Holiday by Glynna Kaye (Love Inspired)
    Pine Country Cowboy by Glynna Kaye (Love Inspired)
    A Baby for Sarah by Carol Voss (Carol Voss)
    Long Historical – Tie in 2nd Place
    Then Came Love by Louise M. Gouge (Louise M. Gouge)
    Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund (Bethany House)
    The Ransom by MaryLu Tyndall (Ransom Press)
    Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House)
    Short Historical
    Her Holiday Family by Winnie Griggs (Love Inspired Historical)
    The Heart’s Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher (Zondervan)
    Song of the Prairie by Vickie McDonough (Whitaker House)
    Women’s Fiction
    Chasing the Butterfly by Jayme H. Mansfield (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
    All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon Press)
    Rachel: A Novel by Jill Eileen Smith (Revell/Baker)
    Romantic Suspense
    Her Secret Past by Lynette Eason (Revell/Baker)
    Firewall by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale House)
    Silenced by Dani Pettrey (Bethany House)
    Forging a Family by Vickie McDonough (Barbour Publishing)
    A Stranger on My Land by Sandra Merville Hart (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
    A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House)

  6. The Touched By Love Award contest coordinator
    Kelly Ann Riley and the FHL Board
    are pleased to announce the 2015 finalists.
    2015 Touched By Love Award Finalists
    Historical Category
    Martha Hutchens
    Joan Itaska
    Jan Davis Warren
    Long Contemporary Category *
    Courtney Ballinger
    Kelli Goodwin
    Lexie O’Neill
    Carrie Padgett
    Short Contemporary Category
    Cheri Arthurs
    Megan Besing
    LeAnne Bristow
    *Indicates there was a tie
    The finaling manuscripts will advance to the next round of published judges.
    The winners will be announced at the Faith, Hope and Love's annual meeting at RWA's National Conference in July 2015
    The overall winning and 1st place manuscripts will be forwarded to Kim Moore of Harvest House Publishers

  7. 108 isn't something, Tina.

    Good gravy, Mavy, that's startin' to spike!

    Laurie Tomlinson, congratulations, sweet thing! Oh my stars, that is just lovely to see! I love the Genesis...

    I love unpublished writing contests, I look back and see all the good they did me. The critiques alone were worth the time and money and ten years ago it was all on PAPER and snail mail! You printed 5 copies of your entry and mailed them (and heaven help you if your margins weren't the right size because almost every RWA chapter has one person with a stinkin' ruler!!!) I look back at that and it's soooo funny now, but they meant business!

    I learned so much, what an invaluable experience.

    Go forth and contest, my lovelies! I know you've got options we didn't have a decade ago, and I know the lure of self-publishing looms... but because this is a constantly learning business, it is okay... nay, it is GOOD to learn as much as you can before you hit that 'Publish Your Work" button because you only get one chance to make a good first impression!

  8. And an early morning shout out to our DIVA LAURIE who just had a baby. So you can write with babe in arms. Good for you~!

  9. Congratulations Laurie Tomlinson! Those are impressive wins!

    Tina, thanks for another great list of contests! Of course, I'd love to be entered in the drawing!

    Have a great day!

  10. Gotta love contests!
    Congrats to all finalists!
    Thanks for sharing your story, Laurie. I love your tagline. :)

    Of course I want to be entered for a Seekerville critique. Please and thank you!

  11. Congratulations, Laurie.
    I have entered four contests so far this year plus Blurb-To-Book, which I didn't make but that's okay. I appreciate the feedback and encouragement.
    Would love to win a critique.
    Kathy Bailey

  12. Tina, thanks for sharing all the contest opportunities! Contests are a great way to dip your toes into the world of publishing.

    Diva Laurie, mega congrats on your courage and your success! Genesis double winner is awesome!


  13. Laurie, thanks for sharing your story!! And congrats on making that big step and sending out your work. You have the contest success to show for it!

    Tina, thanks for the contest update!

  14. Congratulations to all who placed in the contests, and good luck in the future! :-)

    And we have such a pretty diva for the month . . . :-)

  15. Congratulations to Laurie!

    Congratulations to all finalists.

    Tina, thank you for the contest info. I would like to be entered for a critique of the first 5 pages.

  16. Congrats all finalists. I'd like my name in the hat for a book.

  17. Congratulations to finalists. Yay for contests.
    Go for it.
    Best wishes.
    Great reading your story Laurie.

  18. btw, Kudos for all who entered the IRCA contest. I think it is important to keep inspirational category alive and well in RWA.

  19. Congratulations June Diva Laurie! Impressive to have won the Genesis twice! Yay! Your mention that "even if He had to shove" you into the contesting made me smile. Thanks for your thoughts on entering contests. You are on your way to great things!

    Tina, thanks for a great list of contests. I appreciate the inspirational categories being highlighted in red. Focusing in on those......

  20. Yay for all the finalists and for our Contest Diva of the Month, Laurie!!! Wow, winning the Genesis not once but twice--congratulations!!!

    Yep, I think we've all had "that judge" at one time or another. Nothing to do but accept the critique as one reader's opinion and take out of it whatever helps you grow as a writer.

  21. Good morning Seekers! I'm so excited for all of you that have finaled in the contests! WAY TO GO!!!

    I'm praying about entering a contest in June. We'll see. :)

  22. Go Amber!!!!! No guts. No glory!!!

  23. Big Woooot! To Glynna Kaye for winning IRCA short contempt category!!!

  24. Great contest update, Miss T - - thank you!

    CONGRATS to Contest Diva Laurie!! YAY!! :)

    Please toss my name in for a (gulp) first 5-pages critique.

    Seekerville is the BEST!!

    Hugs, Patti Jo :)

  25. p.s. CONGRATS to GLYNNA KAYE !!!! :)

  26. I love the contest updates from Seekerville. And congrats to the IRCA finalists. I have both of Glynna Kaye's books on that list and love them. And wow, Laurie! What great wins.
    It was almost two years ago that I received a critique on here through a similar post and I'm so grateful for the feedback I received. It really opened up my eyes to how much work and research was needed to become a serious writer. I'd love the opportunity to try it again, so please, put me in the drawing.

  27. Congrats to the IRCA and Touched by Love finalists! Hugs to Glynna with her double final!!!

    Lots of contests to enter...I need to get busy!!!

    Laurie, loved reading about your journey! Taking the huge step of coming out of the writing closet and finally accepting that you ARE a writer is a turning point, for sure! I remember when I wouldn't tell anyone about my dream of publication. Silly to keep it as a secret, but so many of us do. Congrats on your success and your determination!

    Tina, as always, you're fantastic!

  28. Congratulations Laurie, what an inspiration!

    I would love to enter the critique giveaway, please.

  29. LeAnne is braving us AGAIN. Oh, honey, that's because my name wasn't on that list, isn't it????


    AMBER!!!! So good to see you, my busy friend!.

    I'm leaving fresh baked cookies for all. Because that's the nice thing to do, my friends. Sharing food is a sign of a civilized society.

    Feelin' the love!

  30. It is NOT JUNE, Tina. YOU TAKE THAT BACK!!!!!!

  31. You are welcome, Ladies!! Now step out of your contest comfort zone. Jan Drexler has two publishers because she entered contests after she sold!

  32. SUPER CONGRATs to the IRCA and TBL finalists -- YOU GUYS ROCK!

    AND MEGA HUGS to our own Glynna Kaye for a HUGE double final and our CONTEST DIVA OF THE MONTH, new mom LAURIE TOMLINSON -- you go, girls!!!

    Hugs and HAPPY WEEKEND!!

  33. Congratulations Laurie! And I'd really recommend the Lone Star for contesters. That was my open door to finding my awesome agent and my super wonderful CP. I'll go out on that limb that's looking pretty flimsy just now, and say I'm up for a critique. Needing some encouragement and always find it at Seekerville

  34. Tina, that is a profound statement.

    Jan has two publishers because she kept entering... and didn't stand still.

    Standing still gets us nothing. Standing still is watching while others move past us.

    Did you ever try and stand still on a NYC street? It's almost impossible, the flow of people pulls you along, tugging you in a direction.

    Standing still is for sunsets, sunrises and admiring babies that don't belong to you.

    For everything else, we should be using the gifts God gave us to make hearts happier and help folks to smile more!

    God is good!

  35. Congrats to Laurie on her new baby and diva-ship, and to all those finalists!

    What a list of contests and opportunities! Makes me itch to get get back to my own writing projects :)

    Please add me to the reader drawing! Seeker books are some of my favorites...just finished Julie's Heart of San Francisco series, including "Grace Like Rain," and wished there were more stories with the McClares to be had!! Maybe little 7-year-old Maddie will get a story someday, or crusty-but-lovable Rosie!

  36. Thank you all so much for having me today and for all the sweet well-wishes! I'm going to see if I can find a way to show you my view :)

  37. See if this link will work:

  38. LAURIE, Congrats, Diva! The Genesis is a hard nut to crack and you did it twice! Amazing!

    MYRA, YAY! Fantastic news!

    LeANNE B - Lady, you are a contesting force! Way to go!

    TINA, thanks for the great contest line-up. I'm taking a contest break since the fruits of my March contesting have taken over my life. WHOOHoo and MANY THANKS for listing those monthly opportunities.

  39. There's a Golden Doughnut contest?

    That sounds interesting.

    For the record, next Friday is National Doughnut Day. Supposedly, everybody can get a free doughnut at Krispy Kreme.

    Back to contests, though I won't be entering this year, the Lone Star is one of my personal favorites.

  40. Yeah, I am all over that Walt. Every place that sells donuts has deals going on. Yippie!!!

  41. The editors note??? Who is that masked person????

  42. I kept wondering what your view meant!! See what beautiful BaBY!!!!!! More congrats, Mom!!

  43. iPhone chaged my AWE to see. Goofy thing.

  44. Congrats to all the finalists whose name Tina posted, and a prayer of encouragement for each person entering the writing contests!!

    Please enter my name in the readers' drawing.

  45. Congratulations Laurie! What a great Diva Story. Thanks for the peer pressure!

    Tina, I'm being brave. Please enter me!

  46. please put my name in the hat for the critique contest.

  47. Hi Robin and welcome out of Lurkerville into Seekerville! You are in!

  48. Donna the Brave. I can see your super hero costume now. You are in!

  49. I don't want to mention NAMES...but you know some people do not claim their critique. You have 8 weeks folks.

  50. LeAnne you are in, another brave soul.

  51. Patti Jo, you and your cats are in.

  52. Oh, sign me up for the critiques. I learn such a lot that way...

    Also, I agree so much with Laurie about entering contests. I entered my first one at the beginning of April and oh my goodness it meant so much just to enter - 'cause if I was entering a contest, I had to be a "real" writer, right?! I was hoping for some good feedback from the judges, which I got, and I was shocked to hear I was a finalist (Fool for Love, RWVa). That right there, I'm ecstatic about, and I almost don't care if I win or not. (almost! results in two weeks!) Anyway, just entering is such a shot of confidence, making that step forward towards an actual writing career, instead of a hobby... and I never would have done it without you Seekers, so THANK YOU! :)

    Pam Jernigan

  53. TINA,
    If I have 8 weeks to claim, then I'd like to be in the five page critique hat. Thanks!

  54. Thanks for the June contest update, and love Laurie's post! I'd like to be entered into the critique drawing, please :-)

  55. Thank you, Tina, for the contest opportunities. I won't be entering any more this year. Kudos to the TBLA and IRCA finalists and to Glynna Kaye. Congrats to Laurie, our Contest Diva and on the new baby. Such a big accomplishment in winner in the Genesis twice. That's not to say having your baby is not a big deal too. Be encouraged, Cindy.

    If it's not necessary to be entering one of these contest, then I'd like to be considered for a 5 page critique. Thanks for a chance to win.

  56. My computer hasn't allowed me to open up anything on the internet for a couple of days. I have been trying everything...finally I thought, I need to pray over it and asked my pastor husband to do the same and here I am. Praise God! Nothing is too big or too small for Him. I've missed everyone here at Seekerville and will need to catch up.

    Cindy W.

  57. I'm feeling inspired to enter two more contests within the next month! Better hurry!

  58. Congrats to all the winners - and to the future winners!
    All of you ROCK!

  59. Thank you for all the wonderful information. I am planning on entering more contests this year. I have learned a lot from past ones. I would really like to be considered for a critique. Thank you so much!

  60. Congratulations to the winners! Well done :)
    toss me into the reader hat please... thanks

  61. SARAH!!! Soooo glad you enjoyed the McClares, and I honestly never thought of writing a story about Maddie, but good idea! ;) A novella in the making ... :)


  62. Thanks for the contest list! Put my name down for the critique, please.

  63. Belated congrats to Diva Laurie!! You reminded me of what it was like to hit that 'send' button the first time. Wish you the best.

    Nancy C

  64. Wow! So many contests to enter. Can't wait to see Seekers' and Seekervillagers' names on the finalist lists down the road. Congrats to those who finaled in other contests recently!

    So happy for your contest successes, Laurie!

  65. Thanks for the wonderful list and the opportunity to win great prizes. Put my name down for the critique please. :)