Wednesday, December 30, 2015

January Contest Update

The amazing 2015 Divas! 
Welcome to a new year of contests! First, we're tipping our tiaras and crowns to the 2015 Divas who had guts and glory. They stepped out to make their dreams come true! Congratulations to Anna Weaver Hurtt, Tanara McCauley, Eileen Barnes, Patti Jo Moore, Sherida Stewart, Laurie Tomlinson, Deb Harkness, Janet Ferguson, Kelly Goshorn, Rhonda Starnes, Kathy Bailey, and Preslaysa Williams.

To prepare you for 2016 contests, we're offering a first chapter critique to one writer. For our lovely readers, what else?? Books.  A surprise book package. Leave a comment! Winners announced in the Weekend Edition!

 Published Manuscript Contests

Golden Quill is open. Deadline January 8, 2016.

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

Holt Medallion. Deadline January 15, 2016.

Judge a Book by its Cover Contest. Deadline January 15, 2016.

New England Reader's Choice  (Formerly Beanpot) is open. Deadline February 1, 2016.  

Colorado Award of Excellence is open. Deadline February 2, 2016. 

Carolyn Readers Choice Award is open. Deadline February 14, 2016.

Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards Opens January 1. Deadline March 1, 2016.

ACFW Carol Awards. Opens January 2. Deadline March 1, 2016. 

Published Maggie's. Opens January 1. Deadline April 2, 2016.

Unpublished Manuscript Contests

Great Expectations. Deadline: January 3, 2016 (midnight CST). 5,000 word entry limit instead of page count and NO synopsis or blurb.  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: Alex Logan, Senior Editor, Grand Central Publishing

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

Marlene Awards. Opens December 14, 2015. Deadline January 15,  2016. Please note **The Marlene Awards is a contest for unpublished manuscripts.**Every entry is evaluated by at least three judges.  Finalists are ranked by publishing professionals.  The grand prize winner in each category receives a detailed critique from a published author.  Entry consists of one electronic copy of a synopsis (up to 5 pages) and the beginning of the manuscript not to exceed 35 pages total for synopsis and manuscript pages.

Erotic Romance
Final Round Judge: Rhonda Helms, Carina Press
Critique Author: Lavinia Kent

Final Round Judge: TBD
Critique Author: Jennifer McQuiston
Coordinator: Kelly Maher

Final Round Judge: Latoya Smith, Samhain Publishing
Critique Author: Mindy Klasky

Romantic Elements
Final Round Judge: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates
Critique Author: Tracy Brogan

Romantic Suspense
Final Round Judge: TBD
Critique Author: Cristin Harber

Series Contemporary
Final Round Judge: Johanna Raisanen, Harlequin
Critique Author: Robin Covington

Single Title
Final Round Judge: Esi Sogah, Kensington
Critique Author: Kimberly Kincaid

Young Adult
Final Round Judge: Wendy Loggia, Delacorte Press, Random House
Critique Author: TBD

Great Beginnings Contest. Opens January 1. Deadline February 14.   Enter the opening five (5) pages of romance novels of all sub-genres (projected length of at least 50,000 words).Eligibility: Contest is open to published and unpublished authors. Published authors may submit only unpublished, uncontracted manuscripts that will remain unpublished until the contest has concluded.NOTE on Judging: Every entry will be judged 3 times, at least once by a PAN member.

Contemporary: Single title, category, mainstream, or inspirational.
Historical: Single title, category, Regency, suspense, mainstream, or inspirational. 
Paranormal: Time travel, ghost, futuristic, inspirational.

Romantic Suspense: Single title, category.

Final Judges:
Contemporary: Karen Solem, agent with Spencerhill Associates
Paranormal: John Scognamiglio, senior editor, Kensington Publishing
Romantic Suspense: Nicole Resciniti, agent with the Seymour Agency
Historical: Danielle Egan-Miller, agent with Browne and Miller Literary Associates

Cleveland Rocks Romance. Deadline February 14. Entrants must be unpublished in book-length fiction (minimum 40,000 words) in the last five years. For the purpose of this contest, unpublished means the author or authors have not accepted a publishing offer for, or self-published, a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more. Entry consits of the first chapter up to 5,000 words for all categories except novella category (first chapter up to 3,000 words).

Contemporary Long Romance–Mary Altman (Sourcebooks). Elaine Spencer (The Knight Agency), & TBA

Contemporary Short Romance–Adrienne Macintosh (Harlequin), Jill Marsal (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency), and Latoya C. Smith (Samhain Publishing)

Historical Romance–Allison Byers (The Wild Rose Press),  Heidi Moore (Samhain Publishing), and TBA

 Paranormal Romance– Cat Clyne (Sourcebooks), Trisha Skinner (Fuse Literary), & TBA

Novella–Tara Gelsomino (Crimson Romance), Vicki Selvaggio (Jennifer De Chiara Literary), and TBA

 Mainstream with Strong Romantic Elements–Bethany Blair (Penguin Random House), Char Chaffin (Soul Mate Publishing). Kerry D’Agostino (Curtis Brown Ltd)

Young Adult/New Adult– Rachel Brooks (L. Perkins Agency), Jennifer Herrington (Bookfish Books), & Lydia Sharp (Entangled Publishing)

Fab Five. Opens January 1-Deadline (received) March 1. Entry: First 2500 words of ms. No synopsis. Unpublished authors only.Categories will be capped at thirty-five (35) entries. Any submissions received after a category has been capped will be returned.

Historical: Elle Keck, Avon & Abby Saul, Browne & Miller Literary Assoc.

Inspirational: Raela Schoenherr, Bethany House & Claudia Cross, Folio Literary Management

P/F/F/TT: Chris Keeslar, Boroughs Publishing Gp. & Laura Zats, Red Sofa Literary

Romantic Suspense: Amy Stapp, Tor Books & Lane Heymont, The Seymour Agency

Series Contemporary: Alexandra Sehulster, St. Martin's Press & Rachael Dugas, Talcott Notch Literary Services

Single Title: Lydia Sharp, Entangled Publishing & Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Agency

Women's Fiction: Kate Seaver, Berkley Publishing Group & Carly Watters, PS Literary Agency

Young Adult/New Adult: Elizabeth Lynch, HarperCollins & Whitley Abell, Inklings Literary Agency. 

ACFW Genesis. Opens January 2. Deadline March 15. Unpublished authors only.Entry consists of a one page, single-spaced synopsis, followed by the first 15 pages of your manuscript.The top 7 semi-finalists in each category will be announced by May 5, 2016.The three finalists in each category will be announced by June 15, 2016.Winners will be announced on August 27 during the Awards Gala at ACFW's national conference in Nashville.


Historical Romance
Romantic Suspense
Short Novel
Young Adult 

Other Writing Opportunities

Check out Splickety Magazine's upcoming themes for submission in 2016! 

 Presented by the Chicago Tribune: The Nelson Algren Literary Awards starts at 10:01 p.m. (CT) on Dec. 1, 2014, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.  The Chicago Tribune invites writers to submit their short fiction stories to its popular Nelson Algren Short Story Contest. Open to all topics and styles, this award presents $3,500 to one grand prize winner, $1,000 to four finalists and $500 to five runners-up for an original unpublished short fiction story of less than 8,000 words. The newspaper will publish the winning stories in its 25-page popular literary insert called Printers Row Journal. Other selected stories may also appear in the Journal. 

  Check out the upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul Topics and Deadlines here.

Each year, Seekerville offers a Golden Heart reimbursement opportunity for the inspirational category yearly.  We offer this to encourage writers to enter the contest.

This year the Seekers are doing it with a bang and dedicating this opportunity to 2015 Golden Heart finalist and Seekerville Diva Eileen Barnes. Eileen went to be with Jesus in September. You can read about her contest journey here, and purchase her Golden Heart finaling book, Rescuing Mr. Gracey here.

The Golden Heart opened on December 10 for enrollment. Your full manuscript must be sent to RWA by January 11. The contest cost is $30.You must be a member of RWA to enter the Golden Heart. The Golden Heart does not provide a written score sheet. Your numerical score is emailed to you Here are the rest of the rules.

Enter and send proof of entry to Seekerville ( by January 11. Sit back and relax. If the category makes it, we will draw 9 names for reimbursement. Yes, you may enter this opportunity as many times as you like, as long as it is the inspirational category. So go ahead and take one for the team and ENTER. By entering you are thanking those RWA members who fought for that category.

That's it! Now go forth and contest!

And don't forget that we won't see you again until tomorrow at 6am for the start of our New Year's Eve Party!

YOU CAN SLEEP IN! The party starts at 6 am EST!


  1. How do you do it, TINA? You work full time, write awesome novels, keep Seekervillagers more than happy, keep track of contests and make sure other authors do, too. I'm always excited to see contests coming up, because I know that there will be novels coming out of them. Yep, I don't read 300 books per year but I'd say I read well over 100.

  2. Congrats to all the 2015 Divas! I'd encourage all you writers to go forth and enter those contests, especially the Golden Heart one :-)

    Thanks for the chance at the surprise book package. Can't wait for the New Year's Eve party :-)

  3. There's plenty of coffee for consumption as you prepare those contest entries!

    Looking forward to the new year.

  4. I was just thinking of coffee. Going for the decaf with some frothed cream sprinkled with nugmeg, cinnamon and cloves. My homemade. Starbucks Holiday Flat White.

  5. Oh my goodness, all the opportunities for writers. Must get the lead out of my behind and get my ms finished.

    Congrats to previous winners and good luck to new entrants!!!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I love being on vacation and getting to check in to Seekerville each night!

    Great contest update, as always, Tina!

    Super congrats to all the 2015 Divas. As a former Diva, I can only say, I'm proud of your accomplishments!!!! Now go make 2016 your best year ever!!!

  8. LOL, Tina. I obviously went for the caffeinated which is why you see so many exclamation points from me at 12:35 my time.

  9. Congrats to all the wonderful authors. I am amazed at all the talent. As you enter 2016, it is only going to get better as more doors open for your books and readers that will be excited to dive into the stories with excitement . Thanks for the chance for the prize. Sending you blessings for a exceptional 2016.


  10. LOL, Jennifer Pierce!! Welcome to Seekerville!

  11. Thanks, Deana! You sweet think. From your mouth to God's ears!

  12. Isn't VACAY wonderful, Mary Curry!!!! Happy New Year!!

  13. I made that mistake, LAST Night, Ms Curry/Nolan.

    Tonight it's decaf.

  14. Best wishes to all the authors who will be taking advantage of the opportunities available by participating this year! That's so thoughtful for Seekerville to dedicate the Golden Heart reimbursement to Eileen. I'm always so impressed by the support you offer each other.

  15. Thanks, Heidi and thank to you for supporting Seekerville by reading our books!! It's a two way street! :)

    I am always amazed when I remember that when the Seekers met NOT A ONE of us was published. God is good.

  16. You Tina and Cate, I'm on vacation too! Stayed up late last night reading Christmas In Hiding. Loved it! I'm looking at all the contests and debating whether I currently have anything ready to send. I'd love to win that critique.

    Unfortunately, I have a tendency to stay up late even when it isn't vacation time.

    Thanks to each of you Seekers for being so generous with Golden Heart reimbursements.

    Looking forward to seeing you gals and guys New Year's Eve! Oh, and by the way, I'm typing this on my awesome
    iPad mini I won during Seekerville's birthday bash. You gals are too generous - thanks again! I absolutely love it!!!

  17. Hmm, ignore the You in front of Tina and Cate. Maybe I shou stay up so late.

  18. Thanks for the contest update, TINA.

    Congrats to the 2015 Divas. SO COOL!

    Thanks SEEKERS for the opportunity for reimbursement.

    See everyone on New Years Eve...if not before!

  19. Late night typos. They are my norm, Terri!!

  20. Get those entries in, Lyndee!!! I can see you winning a Golden Heart. EASILY!

  21. Wishing everyone well with all of the contests.

  22. What an awesome list of contest divas featured this year at Seekerville! Can't wait for the big NYE party! =)

  23. Congratulations to the Contest Divas and for the Divas to follow.

    I would love to have my name put in for the book package. I'm starting off this next year with a knee replacement surgery so having lots of books available will be a wonderful thing.

    I pray you all have a wonderful and blessed New Years Eve and New Years Day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  24. Happy New Year, Mary Preston, down under!!

  25. I can't either, Jennifer, Artist Librarian!!!

  26. Good morning, Cyber Cindy!!

    Happy New Year. You are in!

  27. Thanks for the contest opportunities! I entered Great Expectations and I'll shoot for two more contests. I'd definitely appreciate being in the drawing for a critique.

    Thanks for all you do!

  28. Lyndee, I second Tina's comment! Be not afraid.

  29. Thanks, Tina. I need to get my entries ready. So many contests open at the beginning of the New Year. You're wonderful to keep us updated. Of course, you're wonderful for other reasons as well...and basically just because you're you and we love you!

    Looking back over 2015...

  30. Thanks for the great contest list, Tina! I'm considering one or two.
    The first contest I entered that provided a critique was Hook Line and Sinker. It was an excellent learning experience.

  31. Congratulations to all the 2015 Divas! Yay!!!

    I'm still on vacation but I just love checking out Seekerville - Awesome place for writers and readers alike! Thanks! Writers, look at all those opportunities! Please go enter, enter and enter! Love to read your works.

    Thanks again for another awesome chance to win some books. As a reader, that's what we love to hear! Yay! Have a fun day. I'll hop back in and out at the party tomorrow. See you all then!

  32. Thank you, Tina! Thanks to all the Seekers for their efforts to help other writers. Please enter me in the drawing for the critique.
    Kathy Bailey

  33. Please enter my name in the critique drawing. Thank you so much!

  34. thanks for the contest update Tina. So many contests... so little written *sad face*. Kinda kicks me in the ol' creative Muse keister to get writing. I do have a couple of short stories that have me eyeing the Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Lit one.

    I guess to that end, I wouldn't mind a critique. I really do need to get writing... *sigh*

  35. Good morning Tina and all of Seekerville!

    I entered Great Expectations and Hook, Line, and Sinker.

    I'm not a member of RWA anymore so I won't be entering the Golden Heart.

    We leave next week for vacation so I probably won't get much writing/contesting done until we get back. All those New Year's Resolutions will be on hold.

    Good luck to all those who are entering.

  36. Why a great contest update, Tina! Such great opportunities for feedback and growth! I'm inspired to get moving on my next story.
    I need something new to put out there. :)

    And congratulations to all the divas! Such an accomplishment!

    I'm excited to see everyone at the New Year's Eve party tomorrow. I love next year's theme! No fear! I need to grow in that.

  37. Good grief, WHAT, not WHY. I love it when I catch a typo AS I press Publish. :)

  38. I love seeing our 2015 Divas front and center! You all rock!

    Thanks Tina for the contest update. I'm still a contest nut, ah, sorry, Diva and can't wait to enter The Bounty Hunter's Redemption in the pubbed contests. And they're opening NOW! Yay!!

    Hoping to see lots of Villagers taking us up on entering the GH and possibly winning the entry fee.


  39. I have bookmarked a couple of these to consider. I will let you know when I take the plunge and conquer my fear of entering.

    Thank you for posting the contests each month.

    Have a great day everyone!

  40. Thanks for the update, Tina! I've got to get on the ball to meet a couple of contest deadlines.

  41. Wishing much success to all who enter the contests! I know there will be some great reading for the judges!
    See you tomorrow for the Party! Happy New Year!

  42. Jill! I love Hook, Line and Sinker. Good Contest.

  43. Well, Annie. Just Commonly. WE ARE AWESOME. I must admit. hehehehe

  44. DebH. Yes. You must get writing.

    Get up an hour earlier. You can do this. You are far too talented to not write.

  45. Connie Queen. Sure you don't want to rejoin RWA so you can win the Golden Heart??? Just a thought.

    But brava on entering those contests!!!

  46. Yes. Jeanne! I am trying to decide which pajamas to wear to the party!!!

  47. You and me both Janet Dean. I've entered three already.

  48. Get moving Tippens. No pain no gain. No guts no glory. You loose 100 percent of the contests you don't enter.

  49. Congrats to all the Contest Divas!!
    Thanks for the chance at the surprise book package. Can't wait for the New Year's Eve party and to 2016 at Seekerville!!

  50. Another fantastic contest update, Tina! And congrats to our 2015 Contest Divas! You inspire us all!

    Is everybody ready for the Rockin' New Year's Eve party starting bright and early tomorrow in Seekerville? Where else can you party all day long and into the night, hang out with some amazing friends, indulge in all kinds of yummies, and not ingest a single calorie?

  51. Morning, Jackie Smith!!! Happy New Year!!

  52. Sounds like the Seekerville ladies are rocking again. I'd love a chance to have my first chapter looked over!

  53. Yeah, too bad on the calorie thing, Myra. Note to self: buy supplemental calories, lest I lose weight or something.

  54. Good morning! I am finally home and through the Christmas hubbub, able to drop back into Seekerville again :) Merry belated Christmas, all!

    TINA, what a list of contests! Which mean lots of new books ahead to read...

  55. LOVE the Seekerville 2015 Contest Divas photo, Tina! That's quite a line-up of Villagers who've set aside their fears and dived in. They make us SO proud!

    And there are a BUNCH of new contest opportunities for 2016 -- opportunities to get feedback, hone skills, and maybe even land a book on an editor's desk!

  56. I would love to be added to the drawing for the surprise book package, TINA. Thanks for the giveaway!

  57. Waving to Jen (Artist Librarian)! How was your fall?

  58. p.s. Tina
    Thanks for the Diva montage. Very cool to see.
    And double thanks for your words of encouragement. I need them for some odd reason.

  59. LOL, Tina, I'm sure we can find plenty of calories floating around our own little domains if we try hard enough.

    Like the yummy box of See's nuts & chews hubby got me for Christmas!!!!

  60. Tina (and lovely Seekerville ladies and friends), thanks so much for a wonderful year! I appreciate all the time and effort that goes into each post. Thank you for uplifting us and nudging us forward to be the best we can be.

    Looking forward to 2016! Blessings to all!

  61. You are so right, Glynna. Brave and fearless writers here in Seekerville.

  62. DebH. We all need them. That's why my office is slathered with words of encouragement. LOL.

  63. Look at all those gorgeous Divas!!! :) You all look MAH-ve-lous!!!

    Oh, more coffee sounds like just the ticket. Tina, how do you "froth" your cream? Must figure this out!

  64. Here you go, Pam. Cheap frother. Remember to heat the milk or cream first for best results.


  65. Great contest update Tina. We do LOVE those contests. Thanks for the reminders of what's out there.

    Has anyone ever entered or heard of LYRA contest? I keep getting announcements but think it is a money making venture? Its for self-pubbed.

  66. Congratulations to all those with 2015 successes, and thanks, Tina, for the contest update. I'm planning to dive in and try to make 2016 my year of success. :) Seekerville is such a fabulous source of encouragement and inspiration!

  67. (P.S. - Yay, my comment published!!! I haven't been able to leave a comment on any Blogspot site from my usual Safari browser, but I tried Chrome, and...success! #happyfollower)

  68. Yeah, I used to put the Lyra in there but I have a not good feeling about that one as well, Sandra.

  69. Carol Garvin!! Happy New Year!!! Year of Success! I can stand behind that. I stand behind for better access to bun kicking.hahahaha


  70. Thank you for the frothed link, Tina! Added to my cart! :)

  71. I don't know anything about the Lyra contest, but I get unsolicited emails a lot. I have not clue how I got on their list. Just sayin'

  72. Thanks for the opportunity for a surprise book package! What a way to end the year! Still can't believe tomorrow is the end of 2015! Where did the time go? Looks like a lot of great contests are coming up for all of you writers! Good luck!

  73. Congrats to all the divas!

    Can't wait for the New Year's Eve party tomorrow. I am scheduled to host from 6-7. Can someone tell me what time zone the schedule is for. I am in Central time zone so just wondering what time I am actually "on." Thanks!

  74. Hi Sandy:

    My official Ruth schedule shows this entry:

    6 to 7 pm EST Meghan Carver and Sandy Smith

    I am also in the centeral time zone and that is one hour less than EST. So 6 to 7 pm EST should be 5 to 6 CST.


    P.S. I would cut and paste the entire schedule but it comes out in Japanese!!!

  75. Can't wait for the New Year's Eve party tomorrow - sounds exciting already!
    Best wishes to all the hosts!

  76. Thanks Vince! I thought it was probably EST so figured I was at 5 but wanted to be sure.

    OU vs Clemson
    Orange Bowl
    4 PM EST

    Don't miss it! This really is the National Championship Game. The winner of this game will win the title game.

    BTW: It looks like Walt and I will be hosting the New Year's Eve party from 8 to 9 am EST. I hope some of you are up by then! I'm going to award two of my favorite Seeker Kindle Books as prizes! Drop by and see which they are!

    Also, I'm going to ask what features you'd like to see more of in 2016! So be thinking of them now. Please.

    Something to think about:

    Fearless Fear Fears Fatalists.

  78. Thanks for the congrats from readers and for all Seekerville does to help those of us still on unpubbed island. Thanks to Tina or I would have stopped entering contests a couple of years ago. I'm enjoying gingerbread flavored coffee in your honor. With caffeine. As always, I'd love to be in the drawing for the critique.
    Happy reading and happy New Year!

  79. Happy New Year, Valri!!! I'm excited about 2016!!

  80. Sandy, everything is EST. I am scheduled for 11pm so in my time zone that is 9.

  81. Vince, figured it out. Thanks, Vince!!!

  82. Sarah, yes. The NYE party is a whooper. As opposed to a Whopper.

    1. I'm excited! I think this will be my first Seekerville shindig to attend :)

  83. Hi to Diva Janet Ferguson. You are in! No go forth and contest!!

    (Gingerbread flavored???OOOOOH!)

  84. TINA and DEBBY
    You know how to make me cry. Thank you...sincerely.

  85. Well, Lyndee. You are overdue for that first sale. I think we can all agree on that dear.

  86. When did Debby sneak in here? I missed her somehow. Quiet as a mouse.

    And Deanna Stevens. Hi to you too.

  87. I just finished a HUGE mailing at the post office. They were so nice to me there that I went back and brought them donuts. My post office is the best!!

  88. I love seeing all these sweeeeeet contests! Oh, that brings back the day, doesn't it?????

    Go Forth and Contest and May the Force Be With You!!!!!!

    Tina, this is awesome. I've got the food and drink ready for the party tomorrow, I've made more stinkin' appetizers than I would have thought a stove could handle and there are platters of fresh cream puffs!

    Now I must see what folks are jawin' 'bout!

  89. Jennifer Pierce is new....

    And she's got a great author name...

    and kind of old-time author, at that.

    Welcome aboard, Jennifer!!!

    1. Thank you! I've visited a few times before but I'm in for the long haul now. :)

  90. How fun to to see the 2015 Seekerville Contest Divas and anticipate books from these writers. Good to reflect on my tiara wearing days. ......I do love my sparkles! I do believe contests are a valuable way to get feedback, so 2016 will be a contesting year. Thank you, Tina, for keeping us updated! I'm cheering for the published authors submitting their books....and to the unpublished writers preparing their entries. We'll travel the contest trail together! I'll be praying especially for those entering the Golden Heart and praying the Inspirational category will continue. (And feeling guilty I'm not entering.)

    The Seekerville New Year's Eve Party starts tomorrow?!?! WHERE has the year gone? Wishing all a great celebration and a great 2016! Thank you, Seekerville! You gals make everything sparkle!

  91. Hehehe. We love guilt, Sherida. It builds character or hair on your chest. Take your pick.

  92. Cream puffs! Be still my heart. I love them. Right up there with creme horns.

  93. CONGRATULATIONS Seekerville Divas! May you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    GOOD LUCK in the contests!

  94. I have a question. Is it best to have someone else read through what you have written before submitting it to a contest? I have only entered one contest and I was a failure. But I did learn on my own where I had gone wrong and have worked to correct it. Because I am living off of a limited income, I am scared to pay money for contests unless I know it is good enough to enter if that makes any sense. I am struggling with the vertigo today which is affecting my ability to think clearly.

    I plan to join ACFW as soon as my Social Security check is deposited in my account. Then I plan to enter the Great Beginnings contest in February. I do not have a critique partner so I am the only one who has read this story that I wrote for Nano. I have already started the editing process.

    1. I have never submitted anything to an editor but I do have a couple critique partners and I think they are extremely helpful. You can find writing forums online that can help with that.

    2. I have never submitted anything to an editor but I do have a couple critique partners and I think they are extremely helpful. You can find writing forums online that can help with that.

  95. What a great list! I have lurked at seekerville before but think this is one of, if not the, first time I've commented. Will definitely be back as this is a wealth of information and advice I would love to take advantage of ;) congrats to the divas and good luck to everyone planning on starting 2016 off with some contest entries! :)

  96. Hey, Lyndee Henderson who is one of our Late Night Hosts for the Rockin' It NYE Party tomorrow!!!!!!!

    See you after the East Coast ball drops!

  97. And my Artist Librarian Jen!!!!!

    Also a late night hostess for the NYE extravaganza!!!! SWEEEEET!

  98. Jackie.... you entered!!!! GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!! Happy dancing!

  99. Connie, vacation on an "off week" .... that equals SMART PEOPLE!!!!

  100. Congratulations to the divas who through their hard work got published this year, I encourage everyone eligible to enter the contests and best of luck . I look forward to reading many more new and exciting books next year. Please enter me for the box of books giveaway. Happy New Year.

    Deanne P.

  101. Jennifer, I don't know what I would have done without my critique partner Sandra Leesmith... we worked together for several years, and she gave me so much great advice!

    And that's how we started all this, sweet thing: by working together! Strength in numbers!!!

  102. Hey Rachel Meyers.

    Anyone who is new to comment should drop us an email for a Welcome Packet. Under the about us tab above.

  103. Wilani, there's no rush. You could wait until you join ACFW and then have access to the critique partner thingie they do there. That way you are certain you are ready.

    While we do push people to step out, really, I push harder with those who I know are ready and and simply...CHICKEN!!!

    I agree that wasting money when you are not ready is not wise. Just don't wait forever. We aren't getting any younger.

  104. Caryl! This will be your second NYE with us!!! Cool beans!!

  105. Buckle your selt-belt Sarah! It's going to be a wild ride!!

  106. Hi Wilani:

    I hear you about waiting for the Social Security check to be deposited. I have also faced writing contests as you are and I learned something you might find very useful.

    You wrote:

    "I was a failure."

    I thought that too if I did not win a contest that I entered but I was very wrong. You're not a failure if you don't win; you're a failure if you don't learn anything from your experience.

    First of all, there is only one winner. I've been in contests where a contestant with a 98.5 score out of 100 didn't even finish third!!! You'll be competing with writers who have been entering contests for years -- often perfecting the same entry for years as well.

    The right contests are the best writing bargains for the money there are! I entered a contest where I think the fee was $15 and I got in return three comprehensive evaluation sheets with comments -- at least one was from a published author. That's like only $5 a critique! Amazing! (The authors who judge these contests are the true romance heroines to my way of thinking!)

    So here's the deal: find the lowest priced contests that give the most comprehensive feedback which have the most published authors as judges and enter those just to get valuable feed back. To get the best contests for this: read the evaluation forms that judges are going to use. (A good contest will post the evaluation forms on their website. If they won't do this, I pass them by.) Make sure you like the points covered in the evaluation forms. (There are expensive contests where you get no feedback for your $50!) If you want help on which contests are best for this: ask an old pro like Tina. I bet she knows them all!

    In my opinion these contest judges' opinions are far better than a CP or a writing club. Why? The judges don't know you. They will tell you the truth. (One judge said my hero was a jerk! Well, that was good to know. I just thought he was a funny guy.)

    A club critique tends to have the same people finding the same things wrong too much of the time. Some clubs are like the blind leading the blind. These contest judges are not 'blind'.

    So enter contests with the best evaluation forms and the most published* judges at the lowest prices. A lower entry fee does not mean you will get lower quality evaluations. Enter to learn all you can as fast as you can. Don't expect to win for years! But if you learn to write by getting really good contest judge feedback, you may well get to the publishable state years ahead of the crowd.

    I wish you well for 2016.


    *However, don't be a snob. Many a non-published judge will do a better job than some published judges.

  107. Vince is SPOT ON! Never ever enter a contest where you cannot see the score sheet first.

    Here is a link that may be helpful.Pimp Your Contest Entry

    Vince, you are totally spot on, on all counts. Thank you.

  108. Wow, all the contests! All the comments! I don't even want to think about entering a contest. I need to writewriteWRITE. Hoping and praying that 2016 will be the year to: 1) See our son and his family find a place of their own (they've been with us for almost 5 years), 2) And thus reclaim all of our space, 3) Organize said space, 4) Possibly find a job (Virtual Assistant, something at home, or something close to home), and--last but not least--5) WRITE. Hoping to be on Seekerville more, too. A blessed Happy New Year, everyone! :)

  109. Thank you for this update! I'm running late getting here today, but thankfully I have time now to read the comments - very interesting and helpful!

  110. Melanie Pike. Long time no see. Welcome back.Happy New Year!

  111. Thank you, Tina! Happy New Year to you, too! I just finished reading "Safe in the Fireman's Arms" and I loved it - truly an enjoyable read!! It's been difficult to make myself write this week, because all I want to do is read!! Can't wait to delve into the next book in the stack!

  112. Happy New Year (almost!) Tina and Seeker friends!!
    Thank you for posting the contest updates - - YES, I *will* enter at least 2. :)

    Not to repeat myself (LOL) but Seekerville is THE BEST!! And the Seeker ladies are the most encouraging, generous, and kind people ever - - you truly are.
    Being a Diva was a highlight of my year - - thank you Seekers!! :)

    Sooo excited about the party tomorrow, and I'm also excited about being a hostess! Need to get busy fixing more goodies to set out (I promise not everything will have peaches in it, LOL). ;)
    Holiday Hugs, Patti Jo

  113. Remember that the party starts at six am tomorrow. YOU CAN SLEEP IN!!

  114. DIVAS ROCK!!!! And, YES, Marianne, TINA ROCKS TOO!! That's because she's the bed"rock" of Seekerville. You might say she's the mayor who keeps us all in line.

    Long live the mayor!!

    And HAPPY NEW YEAR one and all -- see you tomorrow!!


  115. Contests? I see Great Expectations in my future. (Yes, the play on words was intended.) 😀

  116. Happy New Year Everyone! Hope to hop in and out during the party till my kids bring my grand babies to play with Grammy!

  117. Happy New Year Julie. See you at 6 am with mimosas!

  118. Pat W. How many parties have you been to around here? A Lot.

    This one starts at 6 am. Can't wait.

    Amazing giveaways.

  119. Walt, every year I say I am going to enter that one. Argh. Must listen to my own advice.

  120. Hi Tina:

    'Great Expectations'
    would make a great motto
    for a whole year!

    Remember Oral Roberts: "Expect a Miracle"?
    I think that fits me best when it comes to winning a writing contest. :)

  121. Oh my! Lots of wonderful reading material coming up. Thanks for all of this hard work!

  122. WOW! OH WOW! This is some party! I am a bit overwhelmed at all the hoopla! Very exciting things coming! I'm really looking forward to the New Reading Year.
    Thanks to everyone for making our reading so interesting and fun!

  123. Pam, do you prefer your hot wings spicy or mild?

  124. I love to win books! Please enter me. Thanks for all the gifts.

  125. I was so surprised to see my face in this post when I logged into Facebook. :) Thanks for the encouragement this year. Please throw my name in for the critique!

  126. Goodness gracious! I have to go back and read it all again. Writing Deep sounds really interesting. I'll have to find a copy.

    Happy New Year to all my seeker friends, it's been an honor to be a guest on your blog several times in 2015.

    With love, really.
    Leslie Ann

  127. Love this blog, ladies! Thanks for the opportunity. A first chapter read would be a blessing.

    Happy 2016!

  128. I would absolutely LOVE to win a one chapter critique. Bless you, lovely ladies. And HAPPY NEW YEAR!