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 For two unpublished writers we have former Divas who will critique your first five pages.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:
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Unpublished Author Contests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 Open to both unpublished and published authors. Manuscripts must be unpublished and un-contracted in any form, including self-publishing. Unpublished may enter any category.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)
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!
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!