Saturday, October 31, 2015

November Contest Update

This is the Contest Update. Weekend Edition and the prize announcements is tomorrow. I love confusing everyone.

This has been a terrific month, starting off with a contest update and ending with one. And we know from all the contest reimbursement entries that many of you actually are going forth and contesting! Congratulations!

So tell us, what's your most lofty writer dream? A first sale? A three-book contract? An agent? A NYT best-seller?

Comment today for your last chance to get your name in the contest party hat for the Week Five $50 Amazon gift card and the Grand prize, iPad mini. 

Today's giveaway is a print copy of The 12 Brides of Christmas Collection featuring Mary Connealy & Pam Hillman, with a cast of thousands.

There's more. For two unpublished writers we have former Divas who will critique your first five pages. Raise your mouse if you want in! Inspirational romance only.

Our critiquers are:

Cate Nolan

Kelly Goshorn

Attention Readers! 

The NRCA is looking for reader judges. For more info check here.

The New England Reader's Choice is looking for judges. More info here

Published Author Contests

RWA RITA is open. Deadline November 20, 2015. 

NRCA is open. Deadline December 1, 2015. 

Golden Quill is open. Deadline January 8, 2016.

Bookseller's Best is open. Deadline January 8, 2016.

New England Reader's Choice  (Formerly Beanpot) Opens November 15. Deadline February 1, 2016. 

Unpublished Author Contests

Hook Line & Sinker. Deadline November 1.  Entry consists of the first three pages. All genres. Three judges at least two of them published will critique your first three pages. The top five entries will be ranked by Allison Lyons from Harlequin.  This is your chance to dip your toe/s in the contest waters all you diva-wanna-bees!

Golden Claddagh.  Deadline is November 1.  Entry consists of the first thirty pages. No synopsis.  Open to both unpublished and published authors. Manuscripts must be unpublished and un-contracted in any form, including self-publishing. Unpublished may enter any category. Published may enter any category in which they’ve not been contracted or published for three years. Open to Celtic Hearts Romance writers, RWA Members, and non- RWA Members. Cash prizes.

Contemporary (New Adult themes allowed)
Young Adult

Finalist judges (editors/agents) not listed yet. 

Sourcebooks Pitch. Deadline November 2. Free! Published and non-published authors. Pitches must be for books not under contract as of November 2, 2015. Judges: Editors Deb Werksman, Mary Altman, & Cat Clyne of Sourcebooks. The editors will select winners to submit partial and/or full manuscripts.

Great Expectations. Deadline: January 3, 2016 (midnight CST). 5,000 word entry limit instead of page count and NO synopsis or blurb. Early Bird rates apply from October 1 to December 1, 2015 (midnight CST). This contest is open to all authors who have never been published in book-length romantic fiction as well as authors who have not been contracted or published in the entered category during the last three years (during 2013, 2014 or 2015). Cash prizes.

Categories and Final Round Judges:

Contemporary Series: Karen Reid, Assistant Editor, Harlequin 

Historical: Gabrielle Keck, Editorial Assistant, Harper Collins

Inspirational Contemporary: Raela Schoenherr, Fiction Acquisitions, Bethany House Publishers

Mainstream with Romantic Elements: Isabel Farhi, NAL

Romantic Suspense: TBA

Single Title: Madeleine Colavita, Editorial Assistant, Grand Central Publishing

Specialized (Futuristic/Fantasy/Time Travel/Paranormal): Kristine Swartz, Editorial Assistant, Berkley Publishing Group

Young Adult: Alice Jerman, Assistant Editor, Harper Collins

New Adult: Julie A Mianecki, Editorial Assistant, Berkley Publishing Group

2016 Golden Heart Contest. Opens December 10, 2015.  The Golden Heart contest requires a full, completed manuscript. It is open to RWA members who have not accepted a publishing offer for, or Self-Published, a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more by January 11, 2016. Entered works must not be published as long as they are under consideration for the Award.The Golden Heart contest is open to 1,200 paid entries.Entries must be submitted to RWA's contest site no later than 5 p.m. CT, January 11, 2016. Entrants who fail to meet this deadline will be disqualified, and the entry fee will be forfeited.

Seekerville will be reimbursing three Golden Heart entries this year in honor of 2015 Golden Heart finalist, Villager Eileen Barnes.  Details will be in the December Contest Update.

Other Writing Opportunities

 From Cindi Myer's Market New's Blog: Mysterious Press is sponsoring a contest for the Best EBook Original  Mystery Novel. The contest is open to both established and new authors, and your manuscript must be complete and not previously published in any other format. For this contest, submissions will be accepted only from established literary agents. Your story may be in any mystery sub-genre — hard-boiled, historical, traditional detective, humorous, noir, police procedural. The story must feature a crime or the threat of a crime. No horror, science fiction or fantasy will be accepted. There is no fee to enter the contest, and the top prize will be $25,000. Submissions will open January 1, 2016 and the contest closes April 30, 2016. Find more details here.

Are you in the Omaha, Nebraska area? Check out It's All About the Book retreat coming in January.


 We present the November 2015 Contest Diva!

Kathy Bailey

I’m so glad to be in Seekerville as a Contest Diva. 

 I’ve wanted to write fiction all my life, ever since reading Maud Hart Lovelace’s “Betsy-Tacy” stories. I wanted to be like Betsy, scribbling stories in her tree house and keeping them in a cigar box. And I did, and learned the irreplaceable joy of Story.

 I took many detours and made every possible mistake. Yell at an editor’s boss for his taking too long to read my manuscript? Check. Misspell an agent’s last name in my cover letter? Been there, done that. Ignored a crit group’s advice to tweak something because “that’s the way it really happened?? Sigh.

 But with a really good crit partner and an iron-sharpening-iron mentality, I began to grow as a writer and master my craft. 

I had heard of the Seekers and visited the site once or twice, but I became a fan—and joined the Village—after Mary Connealy reached out to me through, you guessed it, a contest. Mary walked out from behind her judge’s mask to tell me she saw potential in my story, and before long I was Chatting Away with Seekers and Villagers. I soaked up their tips on craft, discovered new-to-me writers and won a lot of books. I also won a Deep POV class with Jill Nelson, a plot consultation with Cathy Yardley, and several five-page critiques. 

I learned different things from Seekers and their friends. Talking (and listening) to Ruthy gave me a new appreciation of what a privilege it is to write for Jesus. I use Debby’s Easy Editing Tips on all my manuscripts, and I go through Sandra’s Devotionals for Writers every October. 

I learned that the bigger they are, the nicer they are, which is good because if we keep eating Ruthy’s cookies, we’re all eventually going to be bigger.

I also learned the values of contesting, as I saw other writers connect with editors, publishers and agents in the process. My own crit partner found her publisher through a contest. I wrote and submitted and rewrote and resubmitted. My first final was the 2014 Unpublished Maggies and I was, as they say, hooked. This year so far I’ve semi-finaled in Genesis, won the inspirational category of the Lone Star and won the inspirational category in the TARA. 

 I’ve learned the value of feedback, and I carefully consider every judge’s opinion. They got where they are for a reason. I try to apply their critiques within a week after receiving them, so I don’t forget or let it get stale. 

The most important thing I’ve learned in my overall journey is that one size doesn’t fit all (especially if we keep eating Ruthy’s cookies). There is no formula for “getting there.” A friend may do well in her 15-minute appointment at a conference, resulting in a contract. But that doesn’t mean I will. My crit partner got her publisher through a contest. Doesn’t mean I will. Several of the Villagers went on in the Harlequin Blurb-To-Book promotion; I flamed out at the first level. Doesn’t mean I can’t write, and doesn’t mean I can’t write for Harlequin. 

Because God’s plan for me is uniquely tailored for me. And that IS the way it “really happened.”

Kathy Bailey is a  freelance writer with 35 years’ experience in the nonfiction, newspaper and inspirational field.  Born in 1951, she was a child in the 50s, a teen in the 60s, a young adult in the 70s, and a young mom in the 80s.  It’s been a turbulent, colorful time to grow up, and she’s enjoyed every minute of it and written about most of it.

This is it! Our final gift card winner is announced tomorrow along with our Grand Prize winner!

That's it Villagers! Now go forth and contest!


  1. TINA, another great WE and another awesome month of birthday celebration. Do you know what is required of a reader judge!
    Congratulations Kathy on being the November Contest Diva

  2. Tomorrow is the weekend edition!! This is the contest update!!! Lol. Email the coordinators and ask , Marianne!

  3. Thank you for this contest update, Terrific Tina.
    CONGRATS to DIVA Kathy Bailey!! Wear your tiara proudly - - you deserve it! :)


    I'm setting out some breakfast goodies for Saturday morning: Georgia peach pancakes, Pecan waffles, and Peach muffins (with *real* butter---yum!) ;)
    And for those who might not like peaches or pecans, I'm also setting out blueberry muffins - - Enjoy!

    Now off to snoozeland....zzzzzz....
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  4. Wow! Another great post, especially for all the wonderful authors and aspiring writers out there. Good luck to all writers. The dedication and amount of work you put into your works are inspiring. I'm not a writer, but I love reading. So I'll be cheering everyone on silently and maybe not so silently at times, especially if I have the opportunity to read your works once it's published! πŸ˜‰

    Happy Birthday Seekerville's. For the short time I've been here, I've enjoyed every one of your articles/posts. Here to many more years to come!

    Please put my name in the hat for the gift card and the grand prize. (Already read 12 Brides of Christmas- and it was great!)

  5. I was thinking, IF I was a writer, a lofty dream would be to be a NYT bestseller, especially if the book is a Christian fiction. I'm assuming the best-seller title will open the market of Christian fiction as clean fiction to the secular audience and hopefully be a light for many to God. I would hope my books not only glorify God but be a beacon to many lost souls, to find peace through Him.

  6. There are so many contests! My current goal to is get my writing to a point where I can submit it to one of them. Thanks for the post!

  7. Happy Birthday, Seekerville! I'm desperately hoping for a sale. I hope everyone's dreams come true.

  8. A happy birthday πŸŽ‚! My dream: my first trilogy finished & published.

  9. I hope the pain of my regret will fade away.
    Happy Birthday Seekerville!

  10. Congratulations Kathy! It,s been a great party Seekerville. I have lots of dreams and wishes. I will know I have finally achieved something wonderful the day I have my picture taken with Tina, and not that cardboard cut out thing . . .

  11. So many contests and I am horrendous at them. Although I can't really say that, I won the last one I joined. Perhaps I shall have to enter another one. Soon.

    Thanks for the listing.

  12. To answer the question, my goal is to one day published. My hubby is waiting for me right now--so I will come back later, but please add me to all the drawings where I qualify. Thank you.

  13. OK, I'm back. We waited too long and most restaurants were closed, so we came back to the hotel & ordered pizza from the bar. We had a lovely day in New Zealand on a Lord of the Rings Tour where we saw many of the filming locals in and around Wellington--an interesting way to spend Halloween.
    I have 2 novels that are in various positions and some ideas for later possible sequels, but I first must finish one of these. I'm currently taking a novel writing class that. I got with a Groupon (reg $199 for $19) and learning some good things, hoping to help me 'figure out the problems' in one I was feeling stuck on, and anticipate a phone call with Missy that I won from Seekerville. So that is a better idea of my dreams.
    Oh, and I forgot--I self-published my memoir about my breast cancer journey & 20+ yrs. as a survivor, last year and I'm currently working on some formatting tweaks and additions (like a section from the perspective of my hubby) for a 2nd Edition.
    Going to eat our pizza in a few minutes & considering getting up early (at 5 AM) for the Rugby Cup final that includes NZ. --Actually, my hubby is the one considering this--I will likely keep sleeping. ;-)

  14. I'd love to win a gift card. This has been a fun month.

  15. Kaybee, congratulations!!!!!!! HOW STINKIN' FUN IS THIS?????? I'm happy dancing for you, and yes, I brought COOKIES!!!!!



    I laughed at the first part of your story because I made similar mistakes. You learn to smile and nod and keep on working in this business... the story that an editor told me would never work because I had a Russian heroine... is now "Refuge of the Heart" with 28 five star reviews.

    I've looked at every manuscript as an opportunity for me to learn, and sometimes as money in the bank, when the time was right. Hang in there, I'm so proud of you!!!!

    And look at that, CONNEALY WAS NICE TO YOU!!!!!

    Well, there's a first time for everything, isn't there???? :)


    FOR REAL????

    I'm totally in, Patti Jo! YES!

    I haven't had those since Nashville, a long time ago!

  17. Thanks for the contest update and diva report. Please enter me for all the drawings. Happy birthday!

  18. Now I'm hungry! Thanks for the update! As a reader, I distantly dream of writing something, but I think it would be more for my own soul searching. I have so many thoughts written down, but then I get lost in piecing them together. Maybe someday....(o:

  19. @Marianne - I've been a reader judge a couple of times. Basically, you apply and if selected, you're committed to read a certain amount of books in the category (or several categories) and give feedback. Normally it's with a number scale (e.g. 1 = poor, 7 = best) and some ask for comments on the book ... For more detail, as Tina mentioned, check with the coordinator. =)

  20. Pecan waffles? Oh, yum! Thanks for sharing.

    Tina, thanks for the contest updates.

    Kathy, congrats on being the Contest Diva! Way to go!

    I hope you all have a great day and only see cute creatures at your door tonight!

  21. Look at all the contests to enter! I'm always surprised at how many have end of the year or January deadlines. That's a busy time for me, and for most of us, I'm sure. I need to plan ahead so I don't miss entry deadlines, which has happened in the past.

    Thanks, Tina, for the updates!

    Check out that contest with Mysterious Press. No entry fees. Good way for them to see lots of manuscripts. I'm sure they'll offer contracts to the best submissions. Any interested mystery writers out there?

  22. Kate, I think that's how a lot of us start.... and it's great therapy!

    Even journaling, and weaving a thread through the journal is great practice.

    I used to write in my head all the time when life was too busy for me to sit at a keyboard...

    And now I can give breath to those stories, those times. I called it mental practice... and I think it helped!

  23. Diva Kathy! Loved reading about your journey! Congrats on your freelancing success. That's how I started. Needed some positives in spite of all the fiction rejections I was gathering. LOL! But I learned so much writing for magazines, built up my confidence and my credits.

    Do you write for regional publications? Any specific topics or themes? Would love to hear more.

  24. Just your NYT Bestseller goal! #NOLIMITS!

  25. Woohooo -- congrats on being the November Diva, Kathy. I'm toasting you with a cookie...or two...or three. :-)

    This has been a fabulous birthday bash -- you Seekers sure know how to throw a great party! My writerly goal is to work faster and with a clearer mind. As it is I bumble along at a snail's pace. Some days it feels like my life is in slow mo but slow and steady wins the race -- eventually! I hope. :-)

  26. Kathy, what an inspiring story. Never give up. That's beginning to be my mantra. Right now I've stepped back from writing but hope to be back full steam after my surgery in January. I want to get to a place where I can enter contests and have a completed manuscript just in case I was blessed and one was requested. If it is to happen it will be in God's time. Right now I am waiting on Him to release me.

    My dream right now is to complete my WIPs, enter contests and learn as much about the craft as I can. That's why I hang out in Seekerville because the wonderful people here are so gracious with their knowledge and time.

    Continue to party on Seekerville! It's hard to believe the month is coming to a close.

    Cindy W.

  27. You're in NZ, Vicki! Wow. Home of our friend and Villager and debut Howard author, Kara Isaac!

  28. Good morning, Seekerville! I am starving! Thanks for bringing food Patti Jo!!

    Must find coffee.

  29. Thank you, Marianne! I'm thrilled.

  30. Thank you, Patti Jo! Sounds and smells delicious. We have peaches in New England, but the season is painfully short. I am filling my plate now. Good thing it's virtual.

  31. Thank you, Cindy R.
    And good morning Ruthy! Thanks for your encouragement in the past, present and to come, because I'm not there yet.
    Mary is nice, just not to you.
    My dream is not NYT best-seller, because that's not how I measure success. My dream is to sell my first trilogy, touch lives for God and have relationships with readers. My dream is to do at least the first books through a traditional publisher, but after that I'm open to what this Brave New World has for me.

  32. Kathy Bailey we are soooo proud of you! Way to go. No guts, no glory!! You did it!

  33. Thank you, Jackie.
    Debby, I have put magazine writing more or less on hold for now. That market is in flux, as much as the book world, and a lot of magazines are going down, going digital or changing their tack. Also, as you said a couple of months ago, it takes almost as much work to court a magazine editor as it does a fiction editor! My day job is for a small weekly newspaper covering town government, and I have a regular freelance gig on the side for another small newspaper. I can "retire" in a year and a half, and then I will be writing full-time. Can't wait (as long as my health holds out).

  34. Thank you, Kav.
    Cindy W., you WILL get back to it. After your surgery, get a laptop or a tablet and play around with some things while you are recovering. The good thing about writing, well, one of them, is that with technology you can do it almost anywhere and in almost any physical condition. I print out chapters and red-pencil them in some of the oddest places, but it gets done. OR you can use your recovery period for a time of soul-searching to see what to write next. It's all good, except for the surgery itself.

  35. My lofty writer dream is to be a great romantic suspense writer like Dee Henderson or a great historical writer like Julie Lessman. My toned down goal is to just finish my fiction work, publish it and have it be well received.

    Pecan waffles sounds really good!

    Thanks for the contest info and the giveaway!

  36. ABOUT CONTESTS...Don't underestimate what can happen. When I won my category in the TARA an editor asked to see the full MS, and when I won my category in Lone Star an agent asked to see the full. Doesn't mean either one will take it, but my name is out there. My crit partner, Peggy Rychwa of Arizona, got her publisher through a contest final, and another friend got HERS through a contest final. At this stage of my career it's $35 or $40 well spent. I may rethink it later but that's okay, there is no "one size fits all" in this business.

  37. My dream is to get an agent. Would love a critique!!! Thank you!

  38. Tina, thank you for inviting me.
    I have had the same crit partner for 20 years, Peggy Rychwa of Arizona, a.k.a. Sheryl Marcoux, White Rose/Pelican author who is publishing her debut this fall. She knows all my weaknesses and helps me shore things up. She's really strong on structure and I'm not. I have all the right stuff, but I often don't know why it's there! I'm grateful for all she does.
    I also have a supportive husband, and that makes a difference.

  39. As an unpublished writer, I guess my first dream would be of course to be published. But, I've always realized that the first sale is not crossing the finishing line, it's the starting gate. So, my goal would be to have a long, successful career where I reached lots and lots of readers. After all, that, I think, is why we do this

  40. Congrats Kathy Bailey! I enjoyed your journey to DIVA status and getting to finally see your smiling face. You really should get your daughter to help you get it to your profile, although I've grown rather fond of your rice krispie Christmas tree image ;)

    A big shout out and standing ovation to sweet T(ina) for all the time and energy in putting all the updates and posts together, especially in October.

    And another round of applause for ALL the SEEKERS for their encouragement and dedication to helping others succeed. I love that they let this reader sit in on their invaluable knowledge sharing.

    But mostly I love that I can feel the genuine support and caring friendship flowing here from the Seekerville community, what a priceless gift.

    Happy Eighth Birthday Seekerville, may there be many more!

  41. Is October over so soon? It's been a great birthday bash, Seekerville. May next year be the best. Congrats kaybee (Kathy) on your contest wins. It's been a pleasure getting to know you through the blog.

    My overall goal is simple. I'll keep writing, revising, editing, publishing and marketing until Jesus comes or I go. I'll meet one of my individual goals today, publishing my first Christmas novella before Nov. Yes, I know I've run out of time, but if all goes well, it'll go live on Amazon today, while I'm handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. That's okay, it's not enough to set goals. You have to meet them.

  42. What a fun month!! I learned a lot and was anxious to see who won the prizes. Congrats to everyone who won all month!! Put my name in for the gift card please. Congrats to Kathy for being the Contest Diva. Have a great week everyone as NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow for me. Happy Halloween!

  43. Congratulations on your official "Contest Divaship," KATHY! I enjoyed hearing about your writing journey! You've been working hard and the Seekers are proud of you!

  44. Ok....I'm awake now. My goal would be to get several books done and then be published by someone like Bethany House. Right now life is so busy but I know I just need to make some time for writing. I guess I better give my self a good kick in the backside and make that happen. Thanks again Seekerville for all you do.

  45. Congrats to Kathy.....and to all October winners! What a fun month...YAY. Writers...I do appreciate you! And Tina has done a great job with such a busy month.
    I would like to be in for the gift card and the grand prize...and the 12 Brides of Christmas- collection....THANKS.
    Looking forward to November in Seekerville!

  46. Happy Birthday, Seekerville!! Love all the support you give us. I'm spending my weekend writing, writing, writing while I wait for word back on a proposal I sent off.

    Kathy, your writing journey is very inspiring and I have a sudden craving for cookies.

  47. Congrats Kathy! I enjoyed reading about your journey! Seekerville, I had so much fun celebrating with you! Thank you for ALL you do for these amazing authors.

    Please put me in for the drawing!

  48. Congratulations Kathy! Wear that Contest Diva tiara proudly!!!!

    I love the contest update post! I went right over and entered the National Readers Choice Award. I'd forgotten when that contest opened. I thought it was November.

    I've already entered the RITA.

    As for lofty writing goals, I'd like to write for a line that is stocked on store shelves. I LOVED writing Heartsongs, but my readers seemed to think they were hard to find and didn't want to bother asking a 'box' store to order them in.

    Today, I'm doing hardcore housecleaning so I can concentrate on my unofficial NaNoWriMo project.

  49. Thank you for the breakfast goodies, Patti Jo. Congratulations to all the winners this month and to Diva Kathy. I love hearing about your writing journey and your contest wins so far this year. Your perseverance is an encouragement. Kudos to Elaine for meeting one of her goals of gong live on Amazon today. Thanks, Tina, for the contest update. I'm not sure which of my dreams is more difficult to realize. The one to be published with a novel or the other of publication with Woman's World Magazine. Still I haven't given up trying. I appreciate the support and friendship here. Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe weekend. I'm off to a fund raiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My friend is hosting an afternoon tea for the event. Put my name in for any of the prizes today.

    Happy Birthday, Seekers. It's been a great month.

  50. I wish we could just celebrate all through November. Birthday celebration is ending way too soon.

    I love your mistakes KATHY. LOL. We've all made them. Congrats for going forward and learning and submitting.

  51. TINA,

    I had to let you know my 16-year old daughter is reading Safe in the Fireman's Arms.
    Yesterday she's like, "This is the best book ever!"

  52. Thanks so much for the massive list of contests! I never knew so many existed. So now I'm off to enter! As for my lofty writer dream...can it be a three fold dream? It's dreaming right? I would love to have an agent, be a published author and see my book in bookstores. Simple sounding but definitely still lofty from this writer's chair.

  53. Yay Kathy! We're so proud of you. You rock!
    Thank you for a great WE, Tina. Who can believe it's the last day of October? This is crazy. Happy Weekend!

  54. Congrats KB on your Diva status! Loved your comment about how God tailors the journey for each of us. So true. He has sparked the passion at different times of our lives, embedded us with different strengths from humor, to description to crafting swoon-worthy kisses, and brings others alongside us for encouragement just when we need it. Although it can be tough to wait, we really don't want it any other way!

    So thankful for the wonderful community the Seekers have made where we can laugh, learn and grow together! Happy Birthday Seekerville!

  55. Diva Kathy, Congrats on all those fabulous contest finals and wins! Love how hard you've worked, your teachable spirit and trust in God's perfect timing for a sale. Wear that tiara proudly!!


  56. Congrats, Kathy!! You wear the Diva crown well!

    My lofty dream would be to replace my current income with writing income so I can walk away from the stressful day job, write full time, and attend workshops and conferences without having to worry about being able to schedule a day off. But first I'm waiting on the more immediate dream of being published. On Jan 1 of this year I declared this was my year to make my first sale. I'm trying not to get too nervous that the end of the year is approaching at warp speed. I mean I have two more months, right? Staying positive! ;)

    I'm saddened to see birthday month come to an end. :( However, I've learned there's always a celebration going on in Seekerville, so even though the birthday cupcakes are about to run out, I'm sure there will be other treats right around the corner.

  57. Tina, thanks for the contest update! You've made it easy for the Villagers to go forth and contest!! No excuses. LOL


  58. Tina P, we've seen the blessings contests can bring. Keep on keeping on! We're pulling for you.


  59. Patti Jo, thanks for breakfast! Blueberries are great but peaches served up by our sweet Georgia peach are the best!


  60. I guess it was too early for me...duh I knew it wasn't the WE even though Saturday is part of MY weekend! Now I've had my first cup of coffee, maybe I'll be more awake! Thanks, TINA

  61. Congrats, Kathy! I haven't entered many contests, but I got my first publishing contract via a contest and this year I took a deep breath and entered the RITA. {gulp} I figured if *I* didn't believe my book was good, how could I expect anyone else to.

    My lofty goal is to be able to retire from the day job and make enough to supplement my other sources of income and live comfortably.

  62. I echo Loraine's dream! I'd love to be on par with either of those ladies...but actually I'd just love to be a published writer to start :)

    And she has phenomenal taste in authors! Of course we already knew that, because she hangs out in Seekerville!!

  63. Congratulations Kathy!

    Mmm, peachy breakfast goodies? Count me in!

  64. THANK YOU, Seekerville Ladies!!!!
    Everything I write is better because of what I am learning from you!
    Even text messages & power points! :) :) Seriously!!

    Yall are the BEST!!

  65. Yay for contest updates, and YAYAYAY for Kathy! It's so fun o put a lovely face with your name. I loved reading your words and lessons learned. Congratulations on being the diva this month! :)

    For me, my biggest dream is probably too small, but it feels like where I should aim for now. And that's to find an agent and get a contract. And for my book to earn out so I'll get more contracts. :)

    I've loved this month and all I've learned from you ladies and your guests. It's been a fabulous month!

  66. Kathy B, Terri, Pat Jeanne, Laura R, Vicki M, Jamie, Cindy W, Bettie, Rhonda, Kelly, Sharee...all Villagers who've shared their heart's desire for publication, I've prayed over your dreams this morning. Keep on keeping on!


  67. Welcome to KATHY as our Contest Diva of the Month! Oh, honey, we have all made mistakes in this crazy business. I could tell you a few of mine that would make your hair curl! The key is learning from them and continuing to improve our craft and move forward.

    Another great contest update, TINA! Can't believe we're finally on Day 31 of The Great Birthday Celebration! What a super month of posts and guests and giveaways!



  68. Thanks, Tracey. My daughter and I are working on the photo over the weekend as well as helping me set up the Kindle I won from Sandy. This is great, now I can read Seeker and Villager books that are not between traditional covers.

  69. Thank you Myra, always a pleasure to chat with you.
    Saw that you have a new Love Inspired on the shelves, congrats.

  70. Janet, thank you for the prayers.
    Jeanne T., it is also nice to chat with you! I think we've also crossed paths at Writers Alley.
    Thank you Rhonda, Marilyn B and Sarah C. I can identify with wanting to be done with the day job. Mine is full-time nonfiction writing, and sometimes it works, I can fold the fiction into my day. Sometimes it backfires, I get tired of sitting at the computer and tired of words!

  71. Thanks to Kelly, Jill and Connie.
    Pat Davis, thanks. I enjoyed writing it.
    Thanks to Rose, Caryl, Jamie and Jackie.
    Hello to Glynna! Thanks for the encouragement.

  72. I have to go rake leaves and bake stuff with apples, all that New England schtick. Thanks so much for having me! See you all Monday.
    Kathy Bailey

  73. Congratulations, KATHY! Thank you for your totally relatable story :-)

    Dream-wise -- all six books and one novella in publishable form so they can go forth. And it would be lovely if I woke up one morning and the webpage of my dreams was magically there.

    Thanks for a terrific birthday month, Seekers! A good time to thank you for ALL I have learned from you through the years.

    Nancy C

  74. Congrats, Kathy, Ms. Contest Diva! You need to wear your tiara while you write. :)

    And happy last day of your birthday month, Seekerville!! Pecan waffles and Georgia peach pancakes. YUM!!!

    I have to admit I've been a slackard about entering a contest so far. But I'm putting the 2016 Golden Heart Award contest on my calendar, even though the competition will be fierce I assume.

    Dreams? Forty years ago, my fantasies all revolved around a NYT bestseller. Now I only want the thrill of a CBA contract to prove I'm following GOD's dream for me as a writer. Yes, sales are important, but doing the Lord's will is more important at this stage of my life.

    Please throw my name in the hat for the 12 BRIDES OF CHRISTMAS!!! I'll pass on the critique since I've already won one before and I'm sure there are Seekervillians who would love that, but an Amazon card or an iPad mini? You betcha!!

  75. My lofty writer's dream is a first sale.

    Congratulations Kathy

  76. This month has been a blast at Seekerville! My lofty reader goal is to read all 1,054 books on my to-read list... thank goodness for to keep track of them all! :)

    Please include me in the book giveaway!

  77. Happy birthday seekerville! Thanks for all the fun!

    Please enter me in all the drawings!. :-)

  78. Great WE, Tina!

    Congrats, Kathy! You have such a gracious and fun voice, and I love hearing your writer's heart in your diva experience.

    Hmm. Lemme see about answering Tina's writer-dream question... My most lofty writer dream right now would be to land an agent. I'm in the write-more-stuff-while-you-wait-for-them-to-read-it stage. Exciting, but I'm trying to let it be a regrouping and recharging time as well. I wouldn't exactly turn down a three-book contract, lol!

    Oh, and since I've been such an absentee this month with traveling and patchy internet, I've brought along a "no-limits" triple-decker chocolate fudge cake with raspberry drizzle and chocolate shavings. What better way to say, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Seekerville!" than with chocolate? :)

  79. Thank you for the list of contests. I had no idea there were so many out there. Right now completing my first book sounds like a pretty lofty dream.

    I just found this group about a week ago and love it. Happy birthday!

  80. Great contest edition Tina

    Love all the talk of contests. Yippee!!!!

  81. Congrats to contest diva Kathy, I am so delighted to hear your story. How insightful to understand that everyone's journey is unique. I love that and you can see it when you read all the contest diva reports.

    I am delighted to know that you still enjoy the devotions. I should bring those out again. smile

  82. Stopping back by this afternoon to replenish food table with pizza and birthday cake! (yes, it has *peach* frosting on it) ;)
    Forgot last night to post my loftiest writing goal: First Sale (Lord willing) :)
    Back to writing and preparing more treat bags for little visitors to my front door this evening!
    Hugs, Patti Jo :)

    p.s. THANK YOU SEEKERS for ALL you do for so many - - Writers AND Readers

  83. WAHOOOO for Kathy.

    Love that bio because "that's the way it really happened."

    Exciting to read of your Seeker adventures leading to more and more contests. Lots of wisdom there.

    As for the question of the day - my DREAM would be for May the K9 Spy's adventures to be seen on the big screen.
    Who knows, but I've had a fair amount of adults and a few children mention the books read like a movie and they'd love to see it. Only difficulty would be, who would play May? She was one of a kind.

    But I do have videos of her which could run through the credits because "that's the way it really happened." :)

    Thank you Seekerville for all you do. You guys are PAWSOME!!! ("") ("")

  84. Patti Jo Yummy peach pancakes and pecan waffles. Thanks for providing those.

  85. My big dream right now is to see a Seeker book as a Hallmark movie. It would be wonderful if it was one of mine. LOL, but I'll take one from a Seeker also. Or a Seeker friend. #no limits.

  86. LISA!@@ Good timing! Welcome to Seekerville. Don't forget to email us at for a welcome package- need your snail mail addy!!

  87. MEGA THANKS to all our Seeker friends who have made these past eight years so meaningful and blessed. You truly do bless all of us. Thank you for your comments, your support and your wonderful love. Happy birthday to us. Happy birthday to us. Happy birthday to us.

    We love you!!!

  88. I love the dreams of making Seeker's books into movies, SANDRA and KC.
    It could happen.

    I'm not entering contests this round. Already have 3 contest debuts out there. (2 in Hook, Line, and Sinker just to see how the opening is received.)
    Good luck to all those that enter.

  89. A new dream of mine? I just applied to be a reader judge. I dream I make the cut. Thank you TINA

  90. A fantastic month of learning, learning and learning!!! Thank you all and I would like to be entered into the drawings including the critiques (oh, my)!

    Happy Hallows Eve,


    PS- my dream is to write the stories God has put into my heart and get said stories to those that need to read them

  91. Congrats Diva Kathy!
    I'm traveling today. Stopping in to say thank you SEEKERVILLE, not only for the nice birthday month, but for all you do all year long!
    My dream is to contract a romance.

  92. Oh my gosh! I just had to stop back in for a slice of Natalie's "no-limits" triple-decker chocolate fudge cake with raspberry drizzle and chocolate shavings. I may not leave.

  93. My most lofty writer dreams: to get an agent would be at the top of the list. I've got one story almost finished and will be working on another one in November. Hoping to have both "completed" by the end of December, just in time for the New Year! I've got a few others started I'd like to finish next year and work on more. I'd also like to write devotions for publication. I'd like for others to read what God has given me to write and to know it is changing lives.

    I am raising my mouse high (see its tail wagging?!) for a five page critique. Like on Shrek, with the donkey jumping high, "Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!" lol.

    Diva Kathy! I so enjoyed reading your journey. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Thanks so much for the prizes and surprises offered. This has been a great birthday month! My signed copy of The Moral Premise will be treasured forever. Stanley D Williams inscribed it beautifully! That's another wish! That my signature would be considered an autograph lol. (Saw that on facebook this morning.)

  94. Kathy thank you so much for mentioning me. My rule is to remain anonymous when judging unless I read something and really want to talk to the author. Your book was a fresh, interesting idea that I have been struggling like mad not to copy. :)
    I think I put that in my judging comments but I wanted to make sure you knew it.
    Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    One thing I do when judging a contest entry is, if it's not a strong entry and needs really basic craft knowledge then I talk in general terms. "You need to study POV." You should work on Dialogue because you did it great on page 14 so I KNOW you can do it, but other places are weaker."

    Stuff like that.

    But when I see an entry I love, then I'm actually HARDER on an entry, all while telling them I want them to know all my criticism is to be taken with the understanding that I think this is GREAT.
    And that's when I leave my name too. So it's my little way of encouraging a talented author. Which you are.

  95. My dream? It's embarrassing.

    An Academy Award ... for best adaptation ... of one of my own books.

    I've got my speech written but there is plenty of time to revise it seems. :)

  96. Marianne,

    How did you do that? Link, contest--details, please :) Sounds like a fun dream!

  97. Kathy Bailey, what a great Diva story!! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm excited to see what's next for you! :)

  98. One of my dreams is to become a book reviewer for a publishing house.... Right now, I just review for myself, but it would be lovely to receive books and offer reviews as part of such a program!

  99. Sarah, the link is in TINA's contest update today.

  100. Litfuse Publicity Group sends books free for review...Sarah

  101. You can apply to review at net galley too.

  102. Kathy a Bailey why does Peggy sound familiar to me?

  103. I'm there, too, Tina....but it's so. much more fulfilling to read a PAPERBACK book for review, and with NetGalley there is a time limit and after it's archived, you can't go back and read it. I think Tyndale and ThomasNelson might have programs, too, Sarah

  104. Oh, and Sarah, there's Book Fun, as well They are great.

  105. Congratulations, Contest Diva Kathy. What wise words about one size does not fit all.

    Seekers, as to your question about my dream: it's a book contract.

    And please put me in the mug (or cat dish or empty chocolate bag) for the 5 page critique. I finished my first inspirational yesterday, and I'm starting a new one tomorrow for NaNo. And yes, I will be entering the Golden Hearts in inspirational this year. Hopefully my entry will be the one that will mean there will be enough entries for inspirational this year.

    Happy Birthday month, Seekers.

  106. Three contest entries is a nice number, Connie.

  107. Congratulations, Kathy! Great diva story. And Maud Hart Lovelace continues to be one of my favorite authors. Between Betsy, Laura (Ingalls Wilder) and Jo (March), we had plenty of author-heroines to emulate, didn't we?

    So many of my writing goals have been accomplished (thank you for your support, Seekers!), but one big one is to final in a published author's contest. I continue to enter, and I know that someday I'll make it!

    Have a great weekend, everyone :)

  108. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SEEKERVILLE!!! Can't believe it's the end of the month already! It's been a great birthday month! Good luck to all of you who have entered contests! I hope I get to read your books someday! Happy Halloween to everyone too. It's raining like crazy here in Oregon today!

  109. Sarah, here are links where you can apply to read and review links of ones that I have:
    Thomas Nelson:
    Waterbrook/Random House:
    Bethany House:
    Sweet Romance Reads:
    Pelican Book Group:
    Also, some authors will post on their facebook pages that they are looking for reviewers. I have several authors I receive free books from in exchange for honest reviews. Hope these links have helped!

  110. Marianne Barkman said...
    A new dream of mine? I just applied to be a reader judge. I dream I make the cut. Thank you TINA

    Yippy! Seeker Readers should be reader judges -- they already know good writing when they read it :-) Go MARIANNE!

    Nancy C

  111. My dream is to be published even just one time for poetry. I have been so passionate about my poetry since my days in high school. Blessings to all!

  112. The last day of October! How did that happen? :) Happy Birthday, Seekerville! Wishing everyone another outstanding year!

  113. Happy last day of your birthday month!! Wow did October ever go by fast! Probably because I'm on a deadline!
    Good news - I typed THE END today! Book 3 rough draft done! Now to edit!
    My dream now that I'm a published author is to be a finalist in the Rita or Carol awards. Big dreams,eh?

  114. Susan!!!! Good for you! THE END is soooooo sweet! And revisions are wonderful, make that baby book grow up!

  115. Seekerville family how is it possible it's already the last day of October ? Wasn't it just the Fourth of July yesterday ? It feels like it to me at least .Before we know it Thanksgiving and Christmas will be over, wow !
    Best of luck to all who enter the writing contests, May you get a contract and have many fabulous books for us to read. I have faith in you. Congratulations to Kathy, congrats on being the Contest Diva! Way to go!
    Please enter me for the books and all the giveaways, Thank you.

    Deanne Patterson

  116. Congrats Kathy on being the Diva! Such an honor!

    Can't believe this month has drawn to an end already.....doesn't seem possible, feels like Summer just began , no actually more like 2015 just started!! Time flies when you're having fun or is it time's fun when you're having flies??? In any case, it's been a fun month for me reading all the Seekerville posts, banter, comments, FOOD!! Especially anything brought by Ruthy :-) And coffee as a side, of course!

    Please put my name in for "The 12 Brides of Christmas" and the Amazon card. I can always use that to buy some more books by some of THE best Seekerville authors on the planet ;-D

    Thanks for such a fun month & because I just "discovered" you this month, definitely will be following every days post. I've enjoyed it so much...Blessings to all you Seekers out there!!

  117. Kathy, Love your post! Congrats on you contest wins! It's been a fun bday month with Seekers. My goal is a first sale. I'd love to be in the drawing for a critique! I love a good one and need all the help I can get!

  118. Great info. Please enter my name in the drawings! Happy birthday - I just love my Seekerville!

  119. Happy Birthday, Seekerville!!

    Congratulations Diva Kathy!!

    My goal is to finish that ms! Please enter me!

  120. Yay Kathy, on DIVA status!!! Your story is a great example of how awesome the Ladies of Seekerville are.

    Thanks, Tina, for the contest updates. Please put my name in the draw for the different prize offerings.

    I can't believe how fast this month passed. It was an awesome celebration!!!!! THANKS!!!!

  121. Wonderful post, Tina - thank you!!

    Congrats to Kathy Bailey as the Nov. contest diva, best wishes and prayers for all those entering contests!!

  122. Thank you Seekerville for a wonderful month of great posts, contests and lots of support and inspiration. I stumbled upon your blog a few years ago and it has so enriched my life and writing. The best point I can make is that it kept me from Quiting!! I always tell others about this website. All of Seekerville and it's members give so much of their time and urge you along in your journey. God is smiling on all of you.

    My dream is to sell a romantic suspense book and see my name on the cover. Our novels are like our babies, we nurture them and they grow and change along the way. I imagine doing the Happy Dance and smiling from ear to ear, the then working hard again and selling another one. I send Sunday blessings to you all.

    Happy Birthday Seekerville for 2015. Looking forward to all to that will come and the next's years party.

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