Friday, May 1, 2015

May Contest Update

Published Authors

Aspen Gold. Deadline June 1st. Open to Indies.

The Carla. Deadline June 1st.

Heart of Excellence Readers Choice Award. Deadline June 1st. Open to Indies.

I Heart Indies Contest. Deadline June 1st. 

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Unpublished Authors

 Tara Contest. Deadline May 1st. LAST DAY! Open to unpublished and published authors of novel-length fiction; however, the entry must be the author’s original work, unpublished and not contracted as of the time of the contest deadline.  Entry consists of the first 4,500 words of a qualifying manuscript (actual word count). First and subsequent chapters up to the maximum entry word count of 4,500 words. 

 Series Contemporary JoVon Sotak Montlake Publishing 
Inspirational Raela Schoenherr Bethany House 
Historical Sue Grimshaw Penguin/Random House 
Romantic Suspense Chelsey Emmelhainz Avon Books/Harper Collins 
Single Title Brenda Chin Imaginn 
Women’s Fiction Abby Zidle Simon & Schuster –Gallery Books 
Paranormal Latoya Smith Samhain Publishing

Emerald City Opener. Deadline May 31st. GREAT GET YOUR FEET WET CONTEST! Entry consists of the first SEVEN pages

Young Adult/New Adult

Contemporary Romance

Romantic Suspense

Paranormal Romance

Historical Romance

Entries will be judged by a minimum of three first-round judges. Three highest scoring manuscripts in each genre will advance to the final round. All judged copies will be returned to entrants upon finalist selection late summer 2015. Final round of judges will be from representatives attending our conference Jessica Watterson of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, Jennifer Udden of Donald Maas Literary Agency, Mary Moore of Kimberley Cameron & Associates, Cat Clyne of Sourcebooks, Allison Carroll of Harlequin/HQN/Mira, and Rhonda Penders of The Wild Rose Press.

The Molly. Deadline May 31st. Entry consists of the first twenty-five pages and an unjudged synopsis of up to 5 pages.

Final Round Judges:

Contemporary: Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks

Historical: Mary Altman, Sourcebooks

Paranormal/TimeTravel/Futuristic: Renee Rocco, Kensingtonbooks

Young Adult: Kate Brauning, Entangled

Single Title/ Mainstream: Susan Brower, Natasha Kern Agency

Romantic Suspense: Angela James, Carina Press

Unsinkable Heroine: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 SEAS Literary Agency

Lone Star. Deadline June 7.First 5000 words. Eligibility: Open to both unpublished and published authors. Entry consists of the first 5,000.

FF&p (futuristic, fantasy and paranormal)   
                Chris Keeslar— Editor-Boroughs Publishing
                Holly Lorincz –Agent- MacGregor Literary Agency
                Tara Gelsomino- Executive Editor , Crimson Romance
Single Title
                Jessica Alvarez- Agent- Bookends
                Debby Gilbert, Soul Mate Publishing
                Katherine Pelz, Berkley Publishing

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

Romantic Novella
                Brenda Chin, Editorial Director, ImaJinn Books
                Char Chaffin, Soulmate Publishing

Romantic Suspense
                Jill Marsal-Agent- Marsal Literary Agency
                Lauren Plude- Associate Editor- Grand Central Publishing

New Adult/Young Adult 
                Pam Van Hylckama Vileg- Agency
                Piya Campana, Assistant Editor Harlequin Super Romance 

              Allison Byers  - WildRose Press
              Alycia Tornetta, Associate Editor, Entangled
              Laura Bradford, The Bradford Agency

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

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

Other Writing Opportunities

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! 

The May Contest Diva is Sherida Stewart

Treasures Along the Contest Trail

My contest story is unusual. 

In November 2011, with the first short story I’d ever written, I won the first contest I’d ever entered….the Tony Hillerman Mystery Short Story contest. There were 120 entries. My prize was $1000, banquet tickets to the Wordharvest awards dinner in Santa Fe, and publication of Turquoise Remembrance in New Mexico Magazine. Wow, this writing stuff is really easy….or so I thought.

After the contest win and brimming with the excitement of victory, I joined Romance Writers of America® and the Faith, Hope and Love® online chapter where I found Seekerville through Tina and Missy. Taking Seekerville’s advice on the value of contests, I entered the “Fab 5” in February 2013 and placed near the bottom. Hmmmm….I applied the judges’ suggestions, revised, and entered the “Category 5” contest in June 2013. This time I moved up to the middle of the group. But….. maybe this writing stuff wasn’t so easy after all! 

Time to reevaluate. I recognized that I needed to learn craft. So I took a break from contesting for a couple of years. Thanks to the treasure chest of knowledge found in Seekerville, learning with online classes, attending a couple of conferences, studying craft books, and reading inspirational romance novels, I’m about ready to try contests again. 

These are the gems of Seekerville advice I’ve picked up along the contest trail:

Review books. Posting reviews desensitized me to exposing my writing to the world. As a congratulatory gift, I was given a blog website from my older son and daughter-in-law. Reviewing books on Amazon, Goodreads, and my blog, plus writing various blog posts has helped me manage the fear of other people reading my writing. Not conquer…. but my fear is mitigated. With reviewing, you learn what to look for in a story and read what other reviewers like, which helps your own writing.

Read the guidelines. I haven’t confessed this to anyone, but for the Hillerman contest, I’d first written a sweet little romance. Right before sending my entry, I RE-READ the requirements. It needed to be a MYSTERY! Eeeek! By tweaking a few elements, I did change the story into a mystery to work for the contest.

Judge contests. Engage. Join a writing group. Find a critique partner. Make comments on a blog. Encourage the people God has placed in your path.

Say YES. Staying in our comfort zone is safe and cozy, but we miss some fantastic opportunities. So try reaching outside. Say yes to being part of an author’s blog tour. Say yes to writing a review. Say yes to including a story in an anthology. Say yes to a submission. Say yes to Tina’s request to be a contest diva. And say yes to a contest!

Do it now! Don’t wait.

And most importantly…. Find joy in the treasures you discover along the contest trail…. knowledge, humility, confidence, resilience, creativity, fellowship. The friendships found along this writing path are the best treasures! Let’s hike together on the trail--wherever it takes us!

Comment today for an opportunity to win:  With This Kiss (historical & contemporary!) And if you already have it we'll send a copy to a friend of your choice! Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.

And since we're short on contests this month, we'll give a three writers the opportunity to win a five page critique by a Seeker (any inspirational or sweet romance romance category). Are you ready for Tina Radcliffe, or Missy Tippens, or Ruth Logan Herne to read your pages? Time to writer-up!

PLUS! One more giveaway. 

If you like the cover go and like it on FB and share it.
And if you want a copy let me know. I have five more copies to share.

That's it. Now go forth and contest!~


  1. What ever would we readers do if you ever quit reminding authors about the contests? Thanks WONDERWOMAN TINA!!!!!

  2. So fun, Diva SHERIDA! Love your story. I agree, this is hard work. In fact, I was cranking about that all day today, lol. Congrats on your contesting crown.

    TINA, Love the kitty cover! Thanks for the contest update.

    I still have to get my thank you notes out for the last contest I entered. This has been a weirdly strange couple weeks, personally and professionally.

    Still standing! God's full of surprises...

  3. Thanks for the update, Tina! As always, great coverage!

  4. Wow, Sherida, what a first-time contesting experience! Neat to hear about your journey. =)

  5. I enjoyed reading about your writing journey so far Sherida! Best wishes for further success!

    Please enter me for the With This Kiss collections! I love the cover of your book Tina and look forward to reading my copy soon :)

  6. A busy time for all of the writers.

  7. Don't you LOVE that picture of Sherida hiking? Congrats DIVA!!

  8. This is a great month to try a contest. Diva Eileen Barnes did and now she is a GH finalist.

  9. I've liked it over on Facebook. I'd love a copy. It is on my want to get list.

  10. Thanks, Heidi. I love that cover too!

  11. Well, I thought I was done entering books in contests, but I am tempted by two listed here!

    I always enjoy contest update day.

    Congrats on being the Contest Diva of the Month, Sherida.

  12. Congratulations, Sherida! :-) Loved your hiking photo!
    And thanks for sharing your story.

    Another great WE, Tina. You must be a busy, busy girl.

  13. Congratulations Sherida!

    I have marked a couple of the contests I am interested in. Now to get the writing good enough in time.

  14. Congratulations Sherida, I enjoyed reading about your writing journey.

    Tina, I love your cover and the book too, one of my favorites.

    Hope everyone has a happy productive weekend!

  15. Hi Sherida,

    Congrats on being the Diva! I enjoyed hearing about your journey.

    Tina, thanks for the contest update. I'd love to have my name in the drawing for a five page critique. Thanks.

    I adore the kitten cover. It makes me smile. Have a great day!

  16. I looked at the Tara contest. It looks like they only want your synopsis if you're a finalist. So we only enter the first 4500 words now, right?

    I usually read the rules over and over, but we're running out of time. :)


  17. nice post.
    if I can manage to get my butt in gear (or more appropo... fingers on keyboard) - I may try entering a couple of the listed contests.

    already have a critique won from during Speedbo - just need to send the chap in.

    but always, always, always greedy for more Seekerville book opportunities to win, so please place my name in the draw for either the With This Kiss sets or a Tina book.

    Congrats Diva Sherida! Always fun to read diva stories. They're always so encouraging.

  18. Conrats to SHERIDA, our contest diva of the month! Loved reading about your journey and all you're learning along the way!

  19. I love Fridays because they hold so much potential for the next 2 days!!

  20. WE Ed is tomorrow, Mary!! And yes to BUSY!!!!

  21. Good morning, Seekerville!

    Tina and Seekers, thank you for inviting me to wear the tiara today. Since I love to celebrate with high tea....and it's May Day, I've brought lavender scones, rose jam tea sandwiches, and chocolate petit fours topped with candied plenty of tea...and coffee.

  22. LYNDEE, I agree, God is full of surprises. Seeing your progress is testimony that the hard work is worth it! Thank you!

  23. ARTIST LIBRARIAN, my first entry was a different way to enter this writing journey. More fun awaits. Thanks for your encouragement!

  24. HEIDI, love your "so far" comment! Thanks for the success wishes!

  25. ROSE, thank you! Congratulations to you on The Widow's Suitor Rita nomination. Exciting!

  26. Thanks, Tina. I'm looking over a story now, but I've got to go to work. Hopefully I can enter tonight.

    Thanks for all you do!

  27. MARY HICKS, thank you....the Grand Canyon is an amazing place for hikes and photos.

  28. WILANI, thank you and GOOD LUCK with the contests! Contesting is worth the time to and teaches us resilience. GO, go, go! I'm cheering for you!

  29. TRACEY, thank you! Hope you enjoy a great reading weekend!

  30. JACKIE, so true about studying the rules carefully. Good luck in your continuing contest journey!

  31. Tina, know how valuable these contest updates are for writers. Thanks for sharing them.


  32. DEB H, thank you for enjoying post. As you know, the contest path is exciting. I'm cheering for your writing career!

  33. Congratulations, Diva Sherida! Thanks for sharing your journey and cheering writers on. You rock!

    Love the photo, proof that you're having fun exploring that trail and seeing where it leads.


  34. MYRA, thank you...and thanks to you and Grammar Queen, I'm enjoying all the knowledge I'm picking up along the way.

  35. I've always considered Sherida a DIVA!!!! Hooray for you!

    Such a wonderful story, Sherida! I'm grinning! And I brought stuffed strawberry and cream croissants to celebrate May Day and Sherida and Contests!!!!

  36. Tina, that is a totally cool "Pygmalion" cover!

    LOVE IT!!!!


  37. I'm hiking with you, Sherida! Love your picture on the mountain trail! Impressive. Also love what you've learned on the journey. Hugs!

    Tina, thanks for the contest update. Love the pictures of the peonies. Aren't they beautiful.

    Bushes line one side of my daughter's house. Must ask her if they're in bloom. I saw a few in Fresh Market this week--$15 for 3 flowers. Oh my!

  38. No peonies in ARIZONA! Miss them and lilacs!

  39. First LI cover ever with a heroine in glasses!

  40. Your heroine in glasses is precious, TINA!

  41. What a beautiful day it is here in Seekerville!

    Sherida--You won your first contest?!!! That is so cool. I love your contesting experience.

    I entered the unpublished Maggie a couple of days ago. Would love to enter the TARA but I think I'm going to keep working on my B2B story instead. Too many irons in the fire.

  42. And Tina, you're heroine looks adorable in glasses. It goes w/the whole cute look.

  43. Did Sherida mean to go hiking?

    I mean, on purpose?

    Because I'm trying to imagine that.

    Give me a minute, darlings. :)

  44. I reccomend the Seekerville Contest Update to people ALL THE TIME!

    Aren't I a big helper, Teenster?)

  45. Great update. I had wanted to enter the TARA and forgot that the deadline was coming up! Just got myself entered into it. I got some very helpful feedback last year. :)

    Sheridan, congratulations on being the Contest Diva this month! I love that another Coloradan earned the title. :) And, I loved reading your contest journey story. :)

    And yes, please enter me for the critique drawing. :)

  46. Lavender scones????

    Oh, may I have one with whipped cream, please? Clotted cream is just so very...


    (thinks to self...)


    There. I said it.

    Grandma Eichas made her cheese kuchen by letting milk "klabber" on the counter, which simply means to let it sour and turn into yogurt-style sour stuff...

    :) And it works! But today I want fresh whipped cream as I "whip" my cowboy stories into shape!

    Thank you, Sherida, darling!

  47. I've got to go back and look at this cover Tina. All I saw was your name on the cover and I was sold. :)

  48. In my contesting days when we all met, I LOVED THE TARA... Great feedback, and honest critiques and I learned so much.

    I love that contest.

  49. Agreed! Tara is one of my top five favorites!

  50. I must say, Tina, you hit the jackpot with the "kitty" cover and Lyndee called it.

    A hunk of a fireman, a cute girl, and an adorable kitty.

    Swoon! :)

  51. Really? About the glasses on the LI cover? Cool!

  52. Sherida, congratulations! And thank you for sharing your contest knowledge with us. I am honored to be your cp and share this journey with you!

    Tina, I think your heroine is adorable. She is the first with glasses? How cool is that?
    Please enter me.

  53. I am in love with my historical I'm working on right now.

    The story line and the characters.

    The little town in South Dakota.

    The dust.

    The baby, left on the pastor's doorstep.

    LOVE IT.

  54. Thanks for another great contest update, Terrific Tina!! :)

    CONGRATULATIONS DIVA SHERIDA!!! I enjoyed reading about your writing journey AND seeing your hiking photo!! :)

    I know I've said this a zillion times (or more) but Seekerville is the BEST!!

    Hugs, Patti Jo

  55. Yes!! A hunky and a geek story Donna!!

  56. JANET, thanks for all you share here in Seekerville as we're finding our way....yes, exploring and having fun!

  57. RUTHY, thanks for all your encouragement...and the croissants. Yep, I'm doing all that hiking to take care of those pesky calories from celebrating. Need to do more hiking.....

  58. DEBBY, I know you are hiking (and praying) along this trail with us all. I sincerely thank you for your generosity!

  59. CONNIE, I know! First contest?!?! Congratulations on entering the Maggies, and you know I'm cheering you on in the B2B experience!

  60. JEANNE T, wishing you the best in the TARA contest! We just got back from a drive through the middle of Colorado. Love to see the flush of new green fields below the still snow-covered peaks....Spring in Colorado!

  61. DONNA, thanks for all the fun we're having along this trail and for keeping me on track! Yes, the friends we meet here are blessings! :)

  62. PATTI JO, aka April Diva, thanks for hiking along with me. Your peach cobbler has fortified the journey!

  63. TINA, love your cover...heroine in glasses, a kitten, and a cute fireman! Heading over to Facebook to share. Thanks for everything!!!

  64. Yeah for new contests & yeah for Sherida's inspiring post. Sometimes it is so hard to say yes...especially when our feet our frozen in fear. so glad you stuck with it!
    Please enter me in the drawings. :) Now, I'm off to look at those adorable covers.

  65. You are in Leanne and congrats on the Fsb 5

  66. Awe, thanks Sherida. Enjoy your diva status!!!

  67. One of these days I will be ready to enter a contest. Congratulations to Sherida for her success.

    Please enter me in the drawing for With this Kiss.

  68. LEANNE, the fear factor with "frozen feet" is a challenge for me. I do keep singing "Let It Go" to force myself to get it out the door. It's fun to see your contesting going well!

  69. SANDY, I hope you'll try contests soon. The shorter length contests, like the seven-page Emerald City Opener Tina mentioned, seemed like a good way to begin. Good luck!

  70. Thanks for the contest update Tina. And I'm absolutely in love with your cover!

    Sherida, I enjoyed reading about your contest journey. You're an inspiration.

  71. Rose, we are always tempted, aren't we? That's how you get to be a RITA finalist. Talent and a diva heart!!!!

  72. Lyndee, did I congratulation you publicly on your FAB 5 final? CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  73. Sandy! Seven page contest! You can do this. Get your feet in the pool.

  74. I've been so inspired by Julie and Ruthy who have lately been talking about their summer novella, that I plotted mine out on my break at work.

    Happy Writer.

  75. Hi Tina:

    Sophia Loren never looks sexier than when wearing glasses. See:

    (And she’s probably 65 in that picture!)

    Now if “Safe in the Fireman’s Arms” wins a CAROL, half the heroines on LI covers next year will be wearing glasses!


    P.S. Missy’s “The Doctor’s Second Chance” goes on sale today on Amazon. Five characters get second chances all inspired by the love of an adorable new born infant! Simply wonderful! Missy at her best! (The theme is like Ruth on steroids!:))

  76. Sherida, Congratulations on your contest crowns, and congrats on digging deeper into the craft of writing. You gave some great advice.

    Tina, I just noticed all the comments about the heroine in glasses after I shared the link on Facebook and commented on the glasses. Looks like I'm not the only one to notice it and love that. Please enter me in the drawings, especially for the critiques. I'm always looking to get feedback on my writing.

    Thanks for the contest updates and the post.

  77. I've missed Seekerville! The whole "getting married" thing seriously drained my writing time. And now I've got a husband who likes attention and supper when he gets home so... ;)

    Anyway, I'd LOVE to win a Seeker critique.

    Congrats, Contest Diva!!!

  78. Thank you for listing contests. I had a question about when it says "No entry may have been previously published in any format. (on author’s website visible to the public, self-published, ebook, mass market, etc.)" Would that include posting 1 or 2 lines a day on your FB page? I'm thinking it does, but was just wondering.

    I'd love to win With this Kiss or Safe in the Fireman's Arms. ☺ ♥

  79. Courtney! LOVED YOUR NEWSLETTER!!! Shared it with all the Seekers. Congratulations!!

  80. One or two lines does not count. You are safe, Becky.

  81. You are in, Tanya.

    I love her glasses. They did a great job.

  82. HA! Vince. I have Missy's book and Ruthy's can't wait to read!

  83. Congratulations, Diva Sherida! What a fantastic accomplishment winning the Tony Hillerman Mystery Short Story Contest. Gee, you're in company with the likes of Craig Johnson :-) Are you still writing mysteries?

    Thanks for this lovely thought: "The friendships found along this writing path are the best treasures!"

    Nancy C

  84. TINA, thanks for all the contest info. Wonderful cover for "Safe in the Fireman's Arms"!

    Nancy C

  85. Hi Sherida, Congrats to you as the May Diva!

    Say yes to Tina. Something we all learn to do, right? *wink wink*

    Congrats on the Hillerman win. Very cool. I didn't know that about you.

    Happy contesting all. :)

  86. RHONDA, thanks! You know how interesting this contest journey can be.

  87. TANYA, thank you. Crowns are fun to wear for a day!

  88. Tina Radcliffe you really are the energizer bunny. Some how you keep it all together, writing,working,remembering it all. You must take fabulous notes is all I can say. I am very impressed with how you keep it all together ! Please enter me for a copy of your Love Inspired as well. It looks great ! Have a great weekend all !

  89. COURTNEY, thanks and congratulations to you, Mrs. Balinger!

  90. NANCY, thanks so much! The Hillerman win was such fun and to meet Anne was great. I haven't tried any other mysteries....yet.

  91. MARY CURRY, thank you! Saying YES to Tina is a very wise thing to learn! :)

  92. TINA, thanks again for letting me wear the sparkling crown for the day!

    Hmmmm....the Lone Star and the Molly look interesting.

    I'm excited that you have a novella plotted. Yay!

    So glad I said "YES" and overcame my panic. I appreciate all you and the Seekers give to your Seekerville community! Blessings!

  93. Sherida, how fun to read your contesting story! I'm excited that you're ready to jump back in! I know you'll do well.

    Tina, thanks for sharing the contest list!

  94. Wishing you all success in the May contests!
    Toss me in for the Kiss contemp. collection please :)

  95. SHERIDA!!! The first time I'm late to a Weekend Edition, and I miss your story.

    HOLY COW ... $1,000 and banquet tickets??? I am soooooo jealous!! And then the ice water hit, eh? Welcome to the world of contests, my friend, and you sure gleaned a lot of info from your experiences, that's worth more than a 1,000 banquet tics, right??

    Good luck in future contests, my friend -- you are on your way!!


  96. YAY, TINA ... sooo glad Ruthy and I could inspire you to get started on your summer novella!!

    Now ... if somebody could just inspire me to FINISH mine ... ;)