What doors are you walking through this month?
Published Manuscript Opportunities
ACFW Carol Awards. Opens January 2. Deadline March 15, 2016.
Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense for Published Authors. Deadline March 15.
Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest. Opens February 15. Deadline March 31.
Published Maggie's. Opens January 1. Deadline April 2, 2016.
Book Buyers Best. Deadline April 15, 2016.
Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award™ Deadline April 30, 2016.
Unpublished Manuscript Opportunities.
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 Unpublished authors only.Entry consists of a one page, single-spaced synopsis, followed by the first 15 pages of your manuscript.The top 7 semi-finalists in each category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. **DING DING DING!! This is called an opportunity!!
Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense Unpublished Division. Deadline March 15. For each entry, entrants will electronically submit the FIRST 5,000 words of the manuscript with a synopsis of no more than 675 words. The synopsis is not judged but included for the judges’ reference. **DING DING DING!! This is called an opportunity!!
AGENT: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates
EDITOR: Patience Bloom, Harlequin Books
AGENT: Maria Carvainis, Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc.
EDITOR: Esi Sogah, Kensington Publishing Corp.
AGENT: Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency
EDITOR: Raela Schoenherr, Bethany House
AGENT: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger, Inc.
EDITOR: Tracy Bernstein, NAL
AGENT: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
EDITOR: Elizabeth Poteet, St. Martin's Press
AGENT: Christine Witthohn, Book Cents Literary Agency
EDITOR: Michelle Vega, The Berkley Publishing Group
Fire and Ice. Deadline March 18. Manuscript must have a projected word count of at least 50K. Entry consists of first 3,000 words.New this year! Include an optional QUERY LETTER as the first page of your entry. Never fear, the query letter will not be included in your final score, but by submitting one, you’ll get the chance to find out if preliminary judges would request to read more. All finalists will have the option of including their query in the final round to be read by our final agent and editor judges.
Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks (editor)
Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management (agent)
Julie Mianecki, Penguin Random House (editor)
Daniel Barthel, New Leaf Literary (agent)
Peter Senftleben, Kensington (editor)
Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (agent)
Young Adult Romance
Suzanne Evans, Entangled Publishing (editor)
Elizabeth Copps, Maria Carvainis Agency (agent)
Allison Carroll, HQN (editor)
Jessica Sinsheimer, Sarah Jane Freymann Agency (agent)
Royal Ascot. Deadline March 27. Entry consists of the first 7,000 words. Open to unpublished authors and published writers seeking representation and/or a publisher. All works entered should be unpublished (self or traditional) and uncontracted. All entries must have at least partial Regency (Late Georgian) setting, broadly defined: within the United Kingdom between 1780 and 1840.
Categories are used to determine first round judges only, and include:
Regency Historical (longer Regency or Mainstream Regency-set)
Hot Regency (Very sensual to Erotic Regency, at author’s discretion)
Wild Regency (Paranormal, Time Travel, other similar Regency)
Sweet & Mild Regency (Traditional, Inspirational, Young Adult or other without explicit sex)
Final Round Judges:
Leanne Burroughs, CEO Publisher, The Highland Press
Allison Byers of The Wild Rose Press
Brenda Chin of Imajinn/Belle Books
and more to come!
Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest. Opens February 15. Deadline March 31.
An entry in the unpublished book category consists of a one-page synopsis and the first 15 pages of the manuscript for the following categories:
Contemporary Fiction Book
Historical Fiction Book
Speculative Fiction Book
Nonfiction Book: Note: The nonfiction synopsis may be written in either paragraph form or chapter-by-chapter outline, depending on the type of book.
Young Adult/Middle Grade Fiction Book
Children’s Chapter Book (ages 6–8) and Picture Book (ages 2–10+)
Fiction and Nonfiction: Entry consists of a one-page synopsis and the first 10 pages of the manuscript for Chapter Books. But for a Picture Book – submit the entire text of the book with no synopsis and without illustrations or artwork.
Romance Through the Ages. Contest Opens February 15. Deadline March 31. Entry consists of 25 pages max, plus optional 1-2 page synopsis (unjudged).Unpublished authors may enter any category.Published authors may enter any category in which they’re not published, or in which they’ve not been contracted for publication within the past five years.
Junessa Viloria, Penguin Random House
Allison Carroll, Harlequin
Jess Verdi, Crimson Romance
Post Victorian/World War II
Amy Sherwood, Samhain Publishing
Robin Haseltine, Entangled Publishing
Jennifer Glover, The Wild Rose Press
Historical Young Adult
Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency
Legends Award: A Man For All Reasons
Gabrielle Keck, Harper Collins
Touched by Love. Deadline April 1. This contest is for inspirational manuscripts only. Entry consists of the first 20 pages. The overall winner chosen from the three winners of the categories will receive a critique of their entry by an editor and $100 toward any writing related expense paid within one year of the end of the TBL contest.
Critiquing Editor for 2016 is Raela Schoenherr, Acquisitions Editor, Bethany House Publishers. **DING DING DING!! This is called an opportunity!!
Contemporary (under 75, 000 words)
Contemporary (over 75,000 words)
Fool For Love. Opens March 1. Deadline April 1. Contest is open to published and unpublished authors. Published authors may submit only unpublished, uncontracted manuscripts into the Published Category only. Enter the opening pages of your unpublished/uncontracted manuscript, not to exceed 7,500 words (approximately 30 pages).
Categories and Final Judges:
Short Contemporary – Michele Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency;
Long Contemporary – Isabel Farhi, Berkley Publishing;
Historical – Rebecca Strauss, DeFiore & Co.;
Dark Paranormal – Tricia Skinner, Fuse Literary Agency;
Light Paranormal – Madeleine Colavita, Grand Central Publishing;
Romantic Suspense – Allison Lyons, Harlequin;
New Adult – Amanda Leuck, Spencerhill Associates;
Young Adult – Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger Agency;
Published Author – Elizabeth Poteet, St. Martin's Press.
YA Contemporary-Kathleen Rushall, Andrea Brown Literary, Lisa Yoskowitz,Little, Brown Books & Vicki Lame, St. Martin’s Press
YA Historical-Laura Bradford,Bradford Literary, Emilia Rhodes,Harper Teen & Robin Haseltine, Entangled Publishing
YA Paranormal-Cate Hart,Corvisiero Literary, Jessica MacLeigh, Harper Teen & Natashya Wilson, Harper Teen
YA Speculative-Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency, Kristen Daly Rens, Balzer and Bray & Annette Pollert-Morgan, Sourcebooks
New Adult-T/B/A, Meredith Rich, Bloomsbury Spark& Amy Stapp,Tor/Forge
Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers. Deadline April 15. Entry consists of: a maximum of 35 pages, which includes the first chapters of the manuscript followed by a synopsis. Judges not listed. Final judging: The highest scoring manuscript in each category will be read by three acquiring editors and/or acquiring agents.
Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements
Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy/Futuristic Romance
Young Adult Romance
Romance Novella (all genres, 20,000-40,000 words)
Killer Nashville Claymore Award. Deadline April 30. Enter the first 50 pages of your unpublished crime literature manuscript in the contest. Judges will consider any subgenre of mystery or thriller, including political thriller, cozy, legal, police procedural, private eye, romantic suspense, paranormal mystery, and historical mystery. Enter your unpublished crime literature manuscript and win a publishing contract!
Unpublished Maggie Awards. Deadline April 30. Entry to consist of synopsis and prologue (if applicable) and first chapter(s). Total number of pages may not exceed 35 per entry. **DING DING DING!! This is called an opportunity!!
Contemporary Single Title Romance
Editorial Director, Carina Press/Harlequin
Associate Editor, Harlequin
Sarah Mason Rische
Senior Editor – Fiction, Tyndale House Publishers
Editorial Assistant, William Morrow/Avon
Executive Editor, Samhain Publishing
Young Adult Romance
Editorial Assistant, St. Martin’s Press
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
Senior Editor, Harlequin
Senior Editor, Samhain Publishing
Other Writing Opportunities
Florida Keys Flash Fiction Contest. Deadline March 31. Submit your finest flash fiction story, 500 words or less. Enter the Florida Keys Flash Fiction Contest to win a three-week Key West residency at the renowned Studios of Key West between July 5 and July 31, 2016. Inspire your creativity by spending up to 10 days writing in Ernest Hemingway’s private study at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum — and experience Hemingway Days 2016, celebrating the iconic author who called Key West home in the 1930s. Accommodations, an air travel card and a meal gift card are included as part of the prize as set forth in the official contest rules.
Seekerville Presents the March 2016 Contest Diva: Christy Distler.
Like many writers, I’ve been putting pen to paper for as long as I can remember. I started writing stories at the age of seven and continued to do so until I was in my twenties. Then I got married and had kids, and—lo and behold—writing pretty much lost priority. Chances are, some of you are nodding your head. Oh yeah. Been there, done that.
As my kids grew older and became a little less dependent, I felt God nudging me to get back to writing. So I started rewriting a contemporary novel I’d started before I got married. About a year later, I left my job as a medical editor and started a freelance editing business, and through networking met several other Christian editors who also wrote fiction. One woman and I became critique partners, and she introduced me to the wonderful world of ACFW.
Within a few months ACFW announced its 2013 First Impressions contest, and another friend and ACFW member encouraged me to submit the novel I was working on. I'd never been much of a contest person, but I kept thinking about it (an indication that God is trying to tell me something). I sent in my submission, figuring it couldn't hurt to get more feedback on it.
In November I received an e-mail that I’d finaled in the contest, and on January 1 the contest coordinator called with the news that my submission had won the contemporary category. I was blown away—but thrilled. Even better, the feedback I received from one of the agent judges greatly improved my first chapter. Eager for more feedback, I entered Clash of the Titles’ 2014 Olympia contest and semi-finaled in it, receiving more helpful feedback.
I started doing some genealogy right around the time I finished the contemporary novel, and soon realized I had no choice but to write a story based on one particular line of ancestors. Immersing myself in a new genre, I researched and wrote, then submitted to the 2015 First Impressions historical category—and won again.
While the contests have helped increase my confidence as a writer, I truly believe the feedback I’ve received to be paramount. Each contest has provided invaluable advice about what parts of the story needed clarification or tweaking, as well as encouragement on what worked well. As writers we’re often too close to our stories to see issues that are obvious to others, and I’ve found the recommendations from industry professionals to be worth far more than the contest entry fees.
Maybe you’re thinking about a contest in the same way I was in the fall of 2013, wondering if you should enter. Perhaps you’re questioning if God is nudging you to submit. If so, I just want to encourage you to give it a try. You might just receive some feedback that will make your good story absolutely great.
We've opened the contest prize vault and we've got books in your future. Comment today to be entered in this giveaway. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.
That's it Villagers, now go forth and contest...and Speedbo!
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This contest update was brought to you by Tina Radcliffe. Check out her January release from Love Inspired, Rocky Mountain Reunion. Next week her short romance, and 13th sale to Woman's World, will be available on newstands. Find her at www.tinaradcliffe.com and www.mycritiquepartner.blogspot.com