Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April Contest Update

Welcome to the jam-packed, April Contest Update. Now that you have new manuscripts from Speedbo, it's time to send your first chapters out into the world! 
Leave a comment today for the opportunity to get your name in the flower pot for your choice of any RWA RITA 2016 finalist book in the inspirational category (as available on Amazon in ebook or print), because you should be reading all the finalists in the category you write or read. Winners announced in the next Weekend Edition.

Librarians and Booksellers are invited to judge the Published Maggies. Entry form here. 

 Book Buyers Best. Deadline April 15, 2016.

Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award™  Deadline April 30, 2016.

National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award “NERFA. ”Deadline May 25.

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Webpage states opens April 1. 

The Duel on the Delta 2016 “Cover Me Contest." Deadline May 7.

The Pitch Contest. Deadline April 9. All Romance Sub genres accepted. Enter 200 word max. This would be the back cover copy or pitch letter blurb. There will be time to revise after round one. Must be for projected uncontracted as of March 1. Top Prize: Copy of “QUERY: Everything You Need to Get Started, Get Noticed, and Get Signed,” along with a 25-page developmental edit, a 30-minute Skype chat or phone call with an acquiring agent, and a bonus critique of your query by a second acquiring agent!
Final Judges:

Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency

Cori Deyoe, 3 Seas Literary Agency

Linda Camacho, Prospect Agency

Carrie Pestritto, Prospect Agency

Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers.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. 

Contemporary Romance  
Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements  
Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy/Futuristic Romance  
Historical Romance  
Romantic Suspense  
Erotic Romance  
Inspirational Romance  
Young Adult Romance  
Romance Novella (all genres, 20,000-40,000 words)

The Sheila. Deadline April 16. Participation is open to all romance writers (RWA members and non-members) who are unpublished, self-published, and published. The entry must be the author’s original work, unpublished in any format (including author’s website, self-publication, ebook, mass market, etc.) and not under contract when submitted to the contest. Entry consists of the first 20 pages of manuscript and up to 5 page unjudged synopsis. 

Single Title Romance – Junessa Viloria, Penguin Random House
Historical – Stephany Evans, Fine Print Literary Management
Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal – Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency
Erotic Romance – Sara Megibow, KT Literary
Romantic Suspense – Alicia Condon, Kensington Publishing

The Golden Rose. Deadline April 30. Entries must be the first 10,000 words of a full-length novel with a projected length greater than 50,000 words (no novellas or short stories).

 Final Round Judges

Contemporary Series Romance: TBD
Contemporary Single Title Romance: Gabrielle “Elle” Keck, Avon
Historical Romance: Robin Haseltine, Entangled
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: Amy Stapp, Tor
Paranormal Romance: Sinclair Sawhney, Tule Publishing
Romantic Suspense: Lizzie Poteet, St. Martin’s
Young Adult / New Adult Romance: Lauren Smulski, HQN

The Duel on the Delta. Deadline April 30.

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
Angela James
Editorial Director, Carina Press/Harlequin

Category/Short Romance
Laura Barth
Associate Editor, Harlequin

Inspirational Romance
Sarah Mason Rische
Senior Editor – Fiction, Tyndale House Publishers

Historical Romance
Nicole Fischer
Editorial Assistant, William Morrow/Avon

Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Latoya Smith
Executive Editor, Samhain Publishing

Young Adult Romance
Elizabeth Poteet
Editorial Assistant, St. Martin’s Press

 Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
Patience Bloom
Senior Editor, Harlequin

Romantic Novella
Tera Cuskaden
Senior Editor, Samhain Publishing

The Tara. Deadline May 25. Now open. The TARA Contest is open to unpublished writers and published authors of novel length fiction. The author does not have to be a member of Romance Writers of America® (RWA) to enter the TARA Contest; however, the entry must be the author's original work of novel length, unpublished, and not contracted at the time of the contest deadline. Entries previously published in any format visible to the public such as on a website (including blogs), as an eBook, mass-market copy, self-published, etc., or works in the process of publication with the intention of being released through any venues at any time prior to October 1st of this TARA Contest year, will not be accepted. Up to the first 25 pages.Per the request of our editor judges listed below, all finalists must submit a synopsis with their entry.**DING DING DING!! This is called an opportunity!!

Final Judges:
Category (also known as Series Contemporary)-Liz Pelletier -Entangled Publishing
Contemporary Single Title -Gabrielle Keck -Avon / Harper Collins
Specialized-(Paranormal, Futuristic, Fantasy, Time Travel)-Cat Clyne-Sourcebooks, Inc.
Historical - Brenda Chin-Imajinn Books
Inspirational-Raela Schoeherr-Bethany House
Romantic Suspense -Alison Dasho-Montlake Publishing
Women’s Fiction- Junessa Viloria-Ballantine Bantam Dell

 Linda Howard Award of Excellence. Opened April 1. Deadline June 30. Contest is open to unpublished and published authors. Published authors may submit only unpublished, non-contracted manuscripts that will remain unpublished until the contest has concluded.Entry consists of the first 5,000 words. Finalists have 7 days to submit a synopsis.


Short/Long Contemporary Romance
Final Judges:
Single Title - Alicia Condon, Editorial Director, Kensington Publishing
Series - Pamela Harty, VP of Sales/Literary Agent, The Knight Agency

Historical Romance
Final Judge: Patricia Nelson, Literary Agent, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Paranormal/Futuristic/Fantasy Romance
Final Judge: Ansley Blacksstock, Acquisitions Editor & Author Development Liaison, Liquid Silver Books

Young Adult Romance
Final Judge: Michelle Grajkowski, Literary Agent, Three Seas Literary Agency

Romantic Sensual and Sizzling
Final Judge: Cheryl Yeko, Award Winning Author & Senior Acquisitions Editor, Soul Mate Publishing

The Write Magic
For Southern Magic members only
Final Judge: Kristy Hunter, Submissions Coordinator & Associate Agent, The Knight Agency

 Announcing the Harlequin Heartwarming Blitz! (SYTYCW)

Submission dates: Monday, April 4th  – Friday, April 22nd  2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST

What Harlequin Heartwarming needs to see:
    A cover letter that introduces your book and includes any previous publishing credits, writing contest wins, or affiliations.    A 4 – 6 page synopsis and the first chapter of your manuscript (up to 25 pages). What you get:A quick response! Skip the slush pile and hear back from Harlequin within 20 business days after the submission period ends. Editorial feedback for every Heartwarming appropriate story received.The possibility of having your novel published in Harlequin’s Heartwarming romance line!

 WOW! Women On Writing welcomes queries for our upcoming e-zine issue (issue 69) on the theme of "Short & Sweet."  Deadline for Queries: April 10, 2016. This issue is all about short word count, tight writing, and having fun doing it! Word Count: This issue will be different than all of our other issues. We are cutting the word count in half! This time we're seeking posts between 600 - 1,500 words. Pay: $50 - $75 per post, on publication. Pub Date: mid/late May 2016 (as soon as we can pump it out!)  If this interests you, the entire call out can be found here.

Do you live in Missouri? Then here's an opportunity! Michael Hauge’s Story Mastery Sponsored by the Missouri Romance Writers of America Location: Drury Hotel, 1118 Central Park Drive, O’Fallon, IL 62269 (18 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri.)
Cost: Story Mastery $85, Advanced Class $300. Date: May 14, 2016 and May 15, 2016. Description: On May 14, speaker Michael Hauge presents an all-day event with an optional advanced workshop on May 15. He is a story expert, author, and lecturer who works with writers, filmmakers, marketers, attorneys, and public speakers around the world.
**DING DING DING!! This is called an opportunity!! If you can't afford a writer conference, do consider this workshop. It will change your life.

 WOW. Women on Writing SPRING 2016 FLASH FICTION CONTEST WITH GUEST JUDGE LEIGH EISENMAN OF HSG AGENCY. Do you need some writing inspiration? Contests are a great way to spark your creativity, and you may even win a prize! Get your best work together and consider entering the WOW! quarterly flash fiction contest with guest judge, literary agent Leigh Eisenman of HSG Agency. Stop by the contest page, download the pdf guidelines, and read all about Leigh's preferences. The Spring Contest is open to all genres of fiction between 250 - 750 words. Only 300 stories are accepted, so enter early to ensure your spot in the contest. Deadline: May 31, 2016. Details here.
Enter the Golden Donut Short Story Contest. Deadline July 1, 2016. The contest winner receives the prestigious Golden Donut Award AND and free registration to any 2017 WPA-hosted event! The Writers’ Police Academy is pleased to continue the Golden Donut short story contest in 2016. The rules are simple—write a story about the photograph above using exactly 200 words, including the title (each story must include an original title). The image in the photograph MUST be the main subject of the story. We will not provide clues as to the subject matter of the image, or where the shot was taken. That is for you and your imagination to decide. Remember, though, what you see in the image absolutely MUST be the MAIN subject of your tale.

Angels, Miracles, Cats, Dogs, Canada and more... The Chicken Soup upcoming topic line up can be found here.

Another terrific paying market for your short fiction is Splickety Magazine. Check out the guidelines here.

ACFW Virginia  Short Story Contest. Opens June 1, 2016. Deadline June 30, 2016. The theme is Christmas. Entry consists of an original 4,000 – 6,000 word short story. Entries must not have been previously published in any form. You do not have to be a member of ACFW to enter. Details here.

The Chicken Soup upcoming topic line up can be found here. - See more at: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2016/02/february-contest-update.html#sthash.3GoFsAlQ.dpuf

Seekerville welcomes our April Diva, Cynthia Herron!

April's Contest Diva!

2015 ACFW First Impressions Winner
2015 ACFW First Impressions Finalist
2014 Karen Kingsbury/Family Fiction “The Story” Short Story Top 50 Finalist (The Story 2014 Anthology-Salem Publications)

Like many of you, writing has been a lifelong dream of mine since I was a little girl. I stepped away for several years when our son became critically ill in 2003. That was a hard time—a time of transition and unease. I didn’t have a bucket big enough to hold my mama tears. BUT. But God stepped in, and from that situation, He crafted new words. Words that I ferreted away for future use someday. And… He gave our family a new story. A new dream. A new hope. (I blogged about it.)

Fast forward to today. 

When you almost lose a child, it gives you new perspective. You’re no longer afraid of the what ifs and if onlys. You’ve faced the fire and refused to burn. You’ve survived the crud and gained a courage you didn’t know you had.

Writing contests? Hey, that’s a snap compared to twenty-four hour days in hospital rooms.

I developed my sea legs on critiques and comments from some preliminary contests, honed my skills, and plowed forward.

When I entered the ACFW First Impressions contest, I felt good about the story. It was fun to write and I loved it.

I was thrilled to final, but I didn’t dwell on the outcome. I wanted everyone to win! (My nickname isn’t Cinderella for nothing.) *wink*

As it turned out, the day they announced the FI winners was also the day of my ACFW MozArks Christmas luncheon. I didn’t have anything exciting to report, but it was a great time of food and fellowship with some of my favorite people. I figured if I hadn’t heard anything by lunch that was God’s way of telling me Not this time. Keep trying. So…I did what all writers do when sucking up disappointment (the kind you didn’t really want to name). I ordered a big, fat Danish to go!

I was in the basket section of my favorite craft and hobby store when I heard my phone ding with an incoming e-mail. It was from the contest coordinator. Congratulations, Cynthia! You’re the winner of ACFW’s 2015 First Impressions Contest in the Novella category… (Do you see God’s sense of humor—me in the basket aisle, no less, when I found out?) I’m pretty sure the lady nearby wondered if I was crying over the great basket sale or the fact I realized I couldn’t use my twenty percent off coupon because of the sale. But I digress. And I can even laugh (now) about the raspberry filling still plastered across my cheek as I headed for the check-out line.

I’m blessed to have so many encouragers come alongside me during this wild and crazy fun journey. The Seekerville community is the best. Though I’ve been more of a lurker here, I always read, learn, and leave encouraged.

And here’s the thing. In life and writing there will always be highs and lows and in-betweens. I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum. What I’ve found out, though, is that it’s all relative. We overcome our fear—be it difficult circumstances or writing contests—by muddling through.

We learn, we grow, we move on.

We give back.

We encourage and uplift.

We always, always keep on keepin’ on.

And on those days you need reminded WHY you do what you do? Here’s the answer: 7 Reasons to Love What You Do.

Now, go. Contest. And Conquer!
Cynthia (Cindy) writes Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction from the beautiful Ozark Mountains. She has a degree in psychology and a background in social work. She’s a member of ACFW, ACFW MozArks, and RWA. 

Cindy loves Jesus, her family, sticky notes, and Starbucks. She has a fondness for gingerbread men, miniature teapots, and all things apple. Visit Cindy at her online home where she blogs every Wednesday and Friday. And if you’d really like a double dose of encouragement, please sign up for her monthly newsletters.  


That's it! Now go forth and contest!

Today's Contest Update was brought to you by Tina Radcliffe. Check out her January release from Love Inspired, Rocky Mountain Reunion. This week her short romance, and 14th sale to Woman's World, will be available on newsstands. Want more information on Woman's World. See the February Edition of the Contest Update here.


  1. Way to go, TINA! Great contest update. Congratulations to our April Diva Cynthia Herron. I don't think Herron is a common is it, Cynthia?

  2. Congrats Cynthia Herron on being April's Seekerville Diva! I was sorry to hear about your son's critical illness, and I am assuming he is well once again. I'm sure there were many, many prayers going up for him (and your family) at that much needed time :-) It's also funny/ ironic that you received THE CALL in the basket aisle of your favorite craft store...I had to chuckle at that!

    I was especially encouraged when you said this:

    "We overcome our fear—be it difficult circumstances or writing contests—by muddling through.

    We learn, we grow, we move on.

    We give back.

    We encourage and uplift.

    We always, always keep on keepin’ on."

    God is so faithful to us in those difficult times, isn't He?

    Looks like there are a lot of great contests for the writers out there...go forth and enter! :-) TINA....Please add my name to the flower pot for a choice of any RWA RITA 2016 finalist book! Looks like a great list of them :-)

  3. Great info! Thanks for the contests, Tina. :)

  4. Congrats Cynthia Herron!!

    And I LOVE these contest update posts. Thanks for compiling these lists, Tina! So many great opportunities all in one easy-to-find spot!

  5. Congratulations, Cindy! As you know, I'm a HUGE fan of yours.

    There are so many great contests. All the best to those who enter.

  6. Congratulations Cynthia for being the April Diva!

    What great opportunities for authors this Spring! Tina, great job posting them all! You ROCK!

    Love the new giveaway flower pot, so please add my name there! :)

  7. Tina and lovely Seekerville community, thank you for inviting me today. Such a blessing to join you! I'm stealing away in a bit to catch a few winks, but I'll be baaaack! :)

    MARIANNE, I'm not sure how common the name is, but let me tell you--over the years, I've spelled AND pronounced it for people more times than I can count. I always have to say "HAIR-IN"--like the bird, heron. (Except with two Rs) :)

    TRIXI, thank you for your kind words. Yes, our son is better. I linked to the post to offer encouragement for anyone else who may be struggling with a similar health situation. And yes--the basket aisle. I smiled at God's levity that day.

    JESSICA, MEGAN, AND KELI, *waves*. Thank you so much!

    JUST COMMONLY, thank you!

    What wonderful contest opportunities to check out! Thank you, Tina! (I'd hope to enter last month's Hemingway contest/retreat, but alas... I'm mom to a senior this year and it's been a very busy month!)

  8. Welcome Diva Cynthia. I shall keep your royal throne warm while you carry on your other royal duties.

    I meant to enter that one too and I have no excuse!!!

  9. I too love the contest update, so thanks writers and readers for mentioning you like it too. It fills me with hope of opportunities and surprises.

  10. Congrats, Cynthia on being the April Diva (and Tina for making it happen!).

    I've had a child in hospital for five days and that was heart breaking enough - I can't even imagine 24!

  11. A busy time for all of the writers.

  12. Thank you for the great post Tina.

    Cindy, thank you for sharing your writing life with us and the inspirational words. My question is, how long did you leave the 'raspberry filling' on your face, or did you care after getting your call?

    May you all be blessed today and throughout the week!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  13. Congratulations, Cindy! Thank you for sharing your amazing accomplishments with us.
    Thanks for the contest update, Tina! You spoil us. :)

  14. Congrats!!! Great accomplishments and hard work. It's fun to see it come to fruition.

    Please add my name to the hat!!!! (o:

  15. Cynthia! Congratulations to you, I loved, loved, loved your story! And the basket aisle, LOL!


    And look at all these contests, just waiting for brave souls to dip their toes further into the water! GO! GO!!! GO!!!!!!!!

    Tina, great contest update, absolutely marvelous!!!! Thank you!!!!!

  16. AND WAIT FOR IT!!!!

    Seekerville has been named to the 101 Best Websites for Writers AGAIN!!!!

    Tina, thank you so much for all you do to make this possible, the sacrifice of time and love that you put into things.

    What an exciting thing to share, and thank you to our villagers for the nominations!!!!


    Oh, happy days are here again!

  17. Tina, thanks for all the contest links.

    Cynthia, congratulations on being the April Diva!

    And Seekerville, congrats on making the top 101 AGAIN!!! Whoohoo! Thanks for all you do!

  18. Congratulations Diva Cynthia! My maiden name is Herren, spelled with an 'e' instead of an 'o'. And as uncommon as the name is I met another Rhonda Herren on my wedding day. Although, her name was spelled Herrin. We were getting married the same day and had chosen the same florist. The florist gave her my order...it was a mess, but it all worked out in the end. I've wondered about her through the years and wished that we'd kept in touch, but we were both too shook up about our orders being messed up on our wedding days to think about forming a friendship.

  19. Thanks, Tina! You always provide the opportunities!

    I saw a couple of contests I need to enter.

    Also, the reminders about short story submissions. I love short stories. Need to come up with an idea. :)

    YOU HAVE ANOTHER WW STORY OUT THIS WEEK!!!! You're on a roll. I just read your last one and loved it, of course! Looked at my check-out stand yesterday, and the new one wasn't out yet. MUST GO TO KROGER!!!

    Diva Cynthia! Congrats on your success. God bless you for the suffering you did when your child was struggling. When our children hurt, nothing else matters. Sending Mama hugs.

    We've visited the Ozarks a number of times. So beautiful. A perfect backdrop for your wonderful stories.

    Agreeing with Tina about Missouri folks taking that Michael Hauge workshop. He's amazing!

  20. Congratulations, DIVA CYNTHIA! And what a beautiful, encouraging story you've shared with the world regarding your son. Congratulations on that ACFW win!!

    Another GREAT contest post, TINA!

  21. Congratulations Cynthia!

    Tina thanks for the contest updates. I see a couple I might be interested in,

    Have a great writing and reading day everyone!

  22. Good Morning, all! Popping in before shuttling DD off to school...

    KARA, yes, after four (almost five) years of hospitals, so thankful it's a new day! I hope your child is doing better, too.

    CINDY, I wore it all the way to the car. Lol!!! (Noticed it in the rearview mirror when I went to back out.) I couldn't believe no one said anything at the ck out. Ha!

    MARY, JILL, JACKIE, AND KATE, thank you, lovely ladies! Wonderful to join you today!

    RUTHY, you inspire me! I love your stories! :)

    CONGRATULATIONS, Seekerville, for making 101 BEST WRITING WEBSITES again! I saw that, too! And congrats, TINA, on another release and another story sold to WW!

  23. Cynthia congrats on your Diva-ness! I couldn't imagine what you had to deal with with your son. My little guy is so precious to me, my heart hurt just reading what you had to go through. I'm so glad things are better.

    Thanks again, TINA for the contest list. I see a couple I might even enter (if I can get my keister in gear). If no one has said it lately, you're awesome!!!!! I look forward to seeing your next WW story.

    And hooray for Seekerville being a top 101 Best Writing Website. Personally I think y'all are TOP 10. Just sayin...

  24. Kara! Good to see you. And excited about your release. Thanks for stopping by. Going to ACFW this year?

  25. Wow ... So many contests! How does one choose? Of course I'd like to enter but I do better focusing on one thing at a time and, thanks to Speedbo, I have a story to be working on! (I'd love to be entered in the flower pot but, man oh man I've got a lot of reading to get caught up on :-). I'd get to it eventually.)

    Congratulations, Cynthia! I love the design of your website ... the photos, the color combos, the fonts. In another life I think I might've liked to be a graphic or webpage designer. Just read your "7 Reasons to Love What You Do" blog, and I can definitely relate to life's detours. In high school, I wanted to be a writer but I didn't have the patience or maturity to write novels. Then I got interested in caving, and then geology, and ended up going all the way and getting a doctorate in that field only to realize I had no idea what I wanted to do with my degree ... nothing really TO DO with my particular specialty besides research or teaching, so I spend three years basically as sabbatical replacements at three different liberal arts colleges in three different states! (Is there a cross-eyed icon?) Perfectionists aren't meant to be teachers so ... long story short, I kind of gave up and wandered for awhile until I decided to give writing another try. It seems like I wasted all those years and failed in using my degree ... but I'm much more mature now and gained experience with technical writing, met my husband, found a church that helped me renew my faith ... God works all things for our good, doesn't He? Blessings to all!

  26. LOLOL. Cindy W, wasn't that raspberry jelly story a hoot?? Still laughing. People who can laugh at themselves do well in this industry.

  27. Jill, thanks for stopping by before work. Contests still make me happy, after all these years.

  28. Thanks, Kate and you are in the hat. Kate, are you a writer or a reader, or both. (We now have TWO Kate's in Seekerville!!!)

  29. Here, here! A toast to Seekerville and our Villagers, without whom, we are an empty town with lots of food.

  30. You are very welcome, Rhonda my former roomie and contest diva.

  31. The new WW doesn't hit newsstands until Thursday and sadly my snail mail copy is late. Arrgh. I think my mailman snags them to read.

  32. Good morning, GK. Hope you have an amazing work day!

  33. Congratulations! ! Seekerville has been named to the 101 Best Websites for Writers AGAIN!!
    Looking forward to reading more of and about Seekerville's authors :)

  34. Good morning, Cynthia!

    Thank you for sharing your experience with how you muddled through critiques and contest feedback to hone your craft. It can be scary to put your work out there like that. It's inspirational to know that it paid off for you. Thanks, also, for sharing your story about your son's illness.

    Hey, Tina! Congratulations on the WW sale. I can't wait to read it.

    Now for a refill. My coffee cup is not allowed to be empty today. I must go forth and contest!

  35. Go Wilani. You are (to copy Ruthy's phrasing) Back in the Saddle!

  36. Thanks, Diva Cynthia and don't forget your crown before you start your busy diva day.

  37. DebH, consider this your official Keister-Kick.

  38. Yes, he does Lara.

    Our job is to walk through the doors he opens for us.

    Jones House Creative did Cynthia's web page. I am saving my pennies. They did Myra and Pam's as well. GORGEOUS.

  39. Applauding April Diva Cindy (aka Cinderella)! I know you wouldn't trade that funny raspberry-covered, basket aisle announcement day for anything.

    I read your blog post on your son, so encouraging in the face of trials. My favorite quote of yours today, "You've faced the fire and refused to burn". Pondering that one.

    Like you, I often lurk in the Seekerville background, but I always read, learn and am encouraged. Such amazing women to be able to draw from.

  40. Congratulations Cynthia! Thanks for sharing your story. So encouraging! Thanks for the contest update!

  41. Tina,
    I so respect and admire all your hard work, both in writing and keeping Seekerville organized with the WE and contest updates.

    So glad to be your sister-separated at birth. Now can we discuss calling off the book buying intervention? I NEED to buy Pam's Claiming Mariah!

  42. Thanks for gathering all the great contest info, TINA! You rock!

    And congrats to our April Diva, CYNTHIA! Oh, yes, Matt Jones does amazing websites. Yours is gorgeous!

  43. Oh yes and can't wait to read the WW story. That last one got by me, by the time I got to the grocery story, they were all gone!

  44. Oh, well, Tracey. I have extra copies of the last WW. Will send you one.

    Intervention lifted. Pam's book is amazing.

  45. Sally, you changed your profile pix. And you are now hairy with four paws. LOL.

  46. Thanks Myra. Once a diva, always a diva.

  47. Congratulations, Cynthia! You deserve the title of April contest diva!!

    Tina, you always do such an amazing job, finding all those contests to enter. Thanks!! I need more guilt. ;-) I know I keep promising to enter one, but . . . okay, I don't have a good excuse. I always come down with a case of chickenitis about this time. But please don't hold that against me and throw my name in the flower pot for one of the finalists books.

  48. LOL. Barb, we all need more guilt. A day without guilt is like a day without sunshine.

  49. Yes lol. Milo so enjoyed that day in the sun. I thought warmer temps were here to stay. But alas, no. It is cold again and they are calling for snow this weekend. I need sunshine!

  50. Anyone belong to the Virginia ACFW chapter? That short story contests looks good.

  51. RUTHY!! I just read your exciting post!!! "Seekerville has been named to the 101 Best Websites for Writers AGAIN!!!!" Whoo-hoo!!!

    Brought an amazing cake shaped like a bestseller made by my niece Charity Fent in Springfield, MO, for the celebration. Hmmmm...raspberry filling, Cynthia. (Yes, that is a shameless plug for Charity's cake design business. She's even won a Cake Boss competition there! Incredibly talented.)

  52. Cynthia, this is great. Yes, almost losing a loved one puts everything else into perspective, including writing.
    Aren't contests great? They have been good to me. Had two requests for a full last year. Didn't pan out, or at least not yet, but they're still out there. And I don't mind NOT winning, as long as I can use the judges' comments to improve.
    You were in a craft store? so cool.
    Kathy Bailey

  53. RHONDA, the story about mixing up the floral orders could be a Story. Just sayin'.
    Kathy Bailey

  54. Everything is a step towards your writing future, right Kathy Bailey. You have done an amazing job this year. So proud of you.

  55. Rhonda! Yes. Sounds like a great little short story. Good idea Kathy B.

  56. My goodness, things move fast here. Checking back in for a few moments while slugging back my favorite drink... coffee!!! (Although... that mimosa of RUTHY'S sounds interesting. I've never had one of those. :) )

    RHONDA, I can't imagine having that kind of flower mix-up on my wedding day. Yikes! So glad it all worked out for you. And I like your last name. :)

    DEBBY, those years in the valley were hard, I won't fib... BUT... guess what?! There was victory in the darkness. Today... our son's an educator of bright, young minds! The kid who spent his entire high school years in and out of hospitals, reading BOOKS and watching movie classics, is now wrapping up his third year of teaching! Praise!

    GLYNNA, thank you so much! There's much more to the story with our son, and that's part of my ministry, and why I love to encourage.

    LARA, (((HUGS))) You are so kind. Absolutely, you should pursue your writing dream! And...I understand what you mean regarding your degree. I worked in the human services field for a time before pursuing other things. Remember, your life experiences are never wasted--they're just God's way of preparing us for something better down the road. Go, you!

    RENEEE, thank you! TINA does such a fabulous job with the contest info. I'm amazed at how much work she puts in here AND still finds time to write. I need her tips!

    WALANI, thank you, also! And yes--you MUST enter. :)

    DEB, yes, the enemy knows where to hit us. I think God allows us to go through situations so he can ultimately reveal his glory. We all go through things. I'm sure everyone here has a story. (No pun intended...)

  57. He came along when Milo and Otis, the movie, came out. All I remember from that movie is that the pug went into the woods and found a mate and they had puppies. It was definitely a HEA for the pug lol.

  58. Felicitations, Cindy! And felicitations Seekerville! Of course you deserve to be in the top 101. Top ten! Perhaps even . . . number one? Yes, I think so.

  59. TINA -- SOOOO many contests, sooooo little time!! EXCELLENT compilation, my friend, and way tooooo tempting ... ;)

    WHOO-HOO ... Seekerville has been named to the 101 Best Websites for Writers AGAIN!!!! Thanks, Ruthy, for that amazing news and a big THANK YOU to all villagers who helped make that possible and the indomitable Tina Radcliffe, without whom none of it would be possible!!


  60. YAY, CINDY, and SUPER CONGRATS on being Diva of the Month. Certainly sounds like you deserve it, girlfriend! :)

    And, WOW, I moseyed on over to your blog link and ended up crying over the incredible journey you had with your son! I hope you don't mind, but I wanted to repost this paragraph from that blog because it really spoke to my soul:

    "The one thing I’d leave you with is this: Even on our worst days there’s always a thread of hope. It may come with a few kinks or some big knots. We might not recognize it for what it is at first. It may stretch us beyond our comfort zone, challenge what we believe, and grow our character. And sometimes– it even exceeds our wildest expectations."

    Absolutely beautiful, my friend, and a truth so eloquently written!


  61. TRACEY, yes, the community here is awesome! I lurked forever before I commented. And I always have things like the raspberry filling story happen to me for some reason. *blush*

    DEEANNA, SALLY, thank you so much! :)

    MYRA, thank you! Yours site is absolutely divine! So pretty and tranquil. My favorite spot EVER, besides the Ozarks, is the beach. And I can't say enough about Matt and the JONES HOUSE CREATIVE team. They saw my vision, considered my favorite colors, my personality, and my "brand," and I am tickled pink. (Or...red, if you've visited. ;) ) And they are wonderful to work with...and ohhh so patient.

    BARBARA, thank you for the sweet congrats. And did you say "Springfield"? We're only about 20 miles S of there, as the crow flies. I'll definitely have to check out your niece's cakes. :) Our ACFW MozArks group meets in Spfld once a month for our mtgs. I'm the VP of our small, but growing group, and CAROL MONCADO is our President.

    TINA, you so make me smile! And giggle! I always wanted a tiara.

    KAYBEE, yep. A hobby/craft store--my FAVE in the Spfld MO area. I could spend hours there. Congratulations on YOUR contest progress! *passes you chocolate*

  62. RACHAEL,SHELLI, thank you, sweet ladies!

    JULIE, I'll never forget meeting you at the first ACFW conference I attended in 2011. You presented the romance workshop. Well, I should clarify--the romance WRITING workshop.Lol You were so kind and encouraging. I love your spirit and your heart for ministry and for writers. (And next time, I'll know to bring my fan.) *wink*

  63. Thank you, TINA. I am real good at spotting stories for Somebody Else. :)

  64. Cynthia what a beautiful inspiring message for us.

    I LOVED THIS: You’ve faced the fire and refused to burn.

    That's just brilliant and moving and a deep truth. God bless you.

  65. Thanks for the contest update, Tina.

    Mega congrats to Diva Cynthia!!!! Loved your journey. Life has a way of putting things in perspective, but as you say, with God's help we can muddle through and stay strong.

    Congrats to Seekerville for being named 100 Best Websites for Writers!!


  66. Cynthia, your experience with your son is a wake-up call. We had a granddaughter go through a sudden hospitalization for disease last fall, and to watch a healthy child go downhill in three days to unable to talk, hospitalized and unable to move was so scary. It was Kawasaki disease, attacking her blood vessels, and once they got her stable, she began to improve, but it was frightening to see how quickly life can change.

    I've always believed our experiences help prepare us for those future experiences, because the stronger we become, the more helpful we can be. Thank you so much for sharing that time and wisdom with us!

  67. I just saw that Tina said "Everything is a step toward your writing future, KayBee."

    Yes. THAT.

    Even the non-writing experiences, the life experiences, help lay the groundwork for our future.

    Plot devices.

    Story fodder.

    What happens if.... It all adds up.

    Well said, Oh wise one!

  68. MARY, JANET, you ladies are such encouragers! Thank you!

    RUTHY, I'm so sorry about your precious grandaughter. So frightening! (((HUGS))) How is she now?

  69. I will try again.....(Posted last night right after this blog appeared, but when I hit "Publish your comment" my computer froze...*sigh*).

    THANK YOU, Miss T!! Another great contest update!! (Yes, I am polishing my entry for the unpubbed Maggies right now!). :)

    YAY CYNTHIA!! CONGRATULATIONS on being the CONTEST DIVA!! I really enjoyed reading about your journey and you deserve that Diva Tiara - - wear it proudly!!
    But I am so very sorry about the rough health struggles with your precious son. Yet I do know that the Lord uses our experiences so we can help others who go through similar times - - He has used me quite a few times to minister to folks in certain health-related situations (not just my own, but with a child too). Praying that all is well with your son now.

    TINA, ANOTHER sale to WW !! YAY!! Not to repeat myself (LOL) but you are AMAZING!!

    Everyone have a wonderful day - - it is GORGEOUS in my Georgia neighborhood - - wish I could share this perfect weather with everyone. But since I can't, I'll share the warm peach cobbler I just took from the oven (extra cinnamon--YUM!).
    Hugs, Patti Jo :)

  70. Thanks, Janet

    Did you see that???? Ruthy called me WISE.

    Taking that to the bank right now.

  71. CYNTHIA, I love Michael's and especially Hobby Lobby. We also have a traditional Ben Franklin Crafts in my town, one of the few remaining. The crafting gives me a nice break from writing, which gives me a nice break from Everything Else, so there's really no downside.

  72. Tina, thanks for the great contest edition! I just realized there were two more contests I had meant to enter! Bless you for reminding me.

    Contest Diva Cindy, what a wonderful story about perspective! Thank you for sharing!

  73. I always love the contest update! I found one more contest to enter my book, Reclaiming the Cowboy's Heart in.

    And I think I have a short story that will fit a Splickity theme so I'll be submitting to them in the future.

    AND I have a submission into Chicken Soup for the Soul that I was giving up hope on, but I followed your link and see that the deadline on that book was extended so maybe there is hope....

    Thanks for listing all of these opportunities!

  74. Patti Jo! Take a bow. You've been a diva on your own this month with all your hard work!!!

  75. Go Missy. Enter those contests. We can meet on contest road again. hahahaha

  76. Sounds like they were waiting for your story, Rose. Open door there. Love it.

  77. The need to buy books should never be taken as a BAD THING, darlings.

    Nay, 'tis good and beneficial to all, for books take us places we may not dare to go on our own... and keep us there, just long enough.

    So buy, my darlings, yes... (picture the wicked witch of the west, trying to get Dorothy and crew to do her bidding. Wicked witches are to be avoided at all costs!!!!)

    But book-buying should be encouraged! And book sharing.

    I found some of my favorite non-Seeker authors by someone loaning me a book they loved.


  78. Rose, which Chicken Soup did you put in for? I submitted for the Joy of Christmas. I've always loved Chicken Soup for the Soul!

  79. I did call Tina "wise"... she's one of the smartest cookies I know.

    We have gorgeous, just gorgeous blue sky here and the reeds in the marsh are waving...

    It is FREEZING COLD and no thought of spring in sight, but the April sun and the blue sky are stunning.

    Just a quick weather update!!!

  80. I am a wise cookie. Preferably a snicker-doodle.

  81. CONGRATS to Cindy; loved your post!

    CONGRATS to Tina.....hope I catch the next WW at stores; I keep missing them...gotta correct that...but been busy with doctors, pre-op stuff.
    Please put my name in the flower pot! THANKS.

  82. Great to see more contest opportunities.

    I sure hope Seeker friends will take advantage of the opportunity to get their manuscript in front of an editor. Yippee!!!

  83. No wonder I love you MIss Tina. Snickerdoodles are my favorite. chuckle

  84. CATMOM, thanks so much for your kindness! Yes, our son's better now. :) You're a Georgia peach? My daddy's from Georgia. Such beautiful country.

    MISSY, ROSE, yay for contests! I may enter a few... when I find time between all the madness of this last month and a half of school. Our youngest is a senior this year and we're in the midst of prom shopping, college planning, and graduation fun!

  85. Congrats Cynthia for all the contest wins and your perseverance and wonderful attitude. Best wishes and thanks for joining us today. Hugs and Best wishes.

  86. KAYBEE, yes HL is my FAVE! :) I do remember those Ben Franklins, though. I'm not sure if we have any in the area anymore.

    JACKIE, thank you! :)

  87. SANDRA, you're so sweet! (((HUGS))) back to you!

  88. Preop?? Preop what? Jackie Smith.

  89. Thank you for all this information!

  90. Hey, Karen! Great to see you here. Thanks for stopping by. We do this once a month. Once a contest diva, always a contest diva.

  91. Congrats, Cynthia, on your win! I love your story of being in the basket aisle.

    Tina, thanks again for all your work on a thorough and informative contest update. :-)

  92. Tina, I will be having total knee replacement....will keep you posted! Thanks!

  93. Another Seeker with knee replacement. Email me at the seeker address and let me know when I need to be praying!!!

  94. Feeling encouraged this evening. My friend just finished reading my manuscript and loves the story. Some of the areas I was concerned with she loved. I am also now noticing the bad habits that all those in the ACFW Critique groups are finding so hopefully now I can watch for them and start learning to correct it ahead of time.

    Tina, I have a question when it comes to short stories. I noticed one of the contests was for short stories. Do you still need to have all the plot points even with a short story? Are there craft books or other places I can read up writing a short story. I think I would like to try that.

    Ruthy, I ordered Back in the Saddle and it arrived today. I am so excited.

  95. Congratulations, Diva Cynthia! Your blog post about the strength needed throughout your son's ordeal and your attitude of "Hope in the hard stuff" is inspiring. Thankfully he is doing well now! It was fun to read of your contesting experiences....Danish and basket aisle! :)

    Congratulations Seekerville on the 101 Best award! So well-deserved!

    Tina, I looked for the WW at the store today, but your new one is not there yet. I'll try later this week. Must read Tina's story! Thanks for the contest update. I do have contest fever, so another one may be in my future.

    Please put my name in the flower pot. Thanks!

  96. Cynthia, congratulations for being a diva!!!

    Lots of contests. They can be really rewarding, so enter a few!

  97. MEGHAN, SHERIDA, AND CARA, thank you so much! :)

    And thank YOU, lovely Seekerville friends, for being so gracious and welcoming today. I've had a ball! You're such an inspiring group. :)

    Thank you, TINA, for your dedication to the writing craft and for your sweet and giving spirit.

    Congratulations again, SEEKERVILLE, for the wonderful accomplishment!

    And now... it's time to go eat baked chicken and stuffing. And homemade bread (right out of the package). Good, gentle night, everyone. :)

  98. Wilani, in this post near my bio is a link to the February contest update. In that update is a link to a post called, The Art of the Short Story.

    You do have rising action, climax and falling action with an ending in a short story. It's just shorter.

  99. Good night, Cynthia. Thanks for being with us. If you leave a bread crumb trail I'll join you.

  100. Good luck to all those who enter these contests!!! Nice job on the post, Tina!

  101. Sherida, the new WW always comes out on Thursday. If you subscribe it comes on Monday. Thanks for looking.

  102. Cynthia, Congrats on your diva tiara. It's always a blessing to read the stories of those persevering and striving to write.

    Tina, Thanks for the contest update. Always look forward to it and reading the contest diva's story. And the Maggie deadline is quickly approaching, too.

    Happy writing to the authors. And happy reading to everyone.

  103. Wilani!!! Thank you for buying it, sweet thing! I'm so grateful!!!!

    Wait, Tina, is this week's WW another Tina story? The week coming? With Dave no longer at the big store, I have to dash out to get them!!!! I will love dashing out to get Tina stories!

  104. Tanya the Triumphant. Who won TEXAS And you got a request! Wooot.

  105. Aw, CYNTHIA, thank you so much for your kind comment. I am grateful you came to the workshop and I hope I didn't embarrass you too much ... ;)


  106. Thanks for the contest update - I was actually thinking about it last might.

    Congrats to Cynthia!

  107. And I was thinking of you as well Terri. Manuscript pages to critique. hehehehe

  108. Wow, Tina, so much great information! I remember detailed revision letters that were easy to understand but hard and time consuming to fix. But my editor was spot on. They certainly knew more than I did so I learned a lot.

  109. Tina said:
    I like to highlight the bullet points. Cut them out with scissors, and then tack them to a display board and start going through them one by one.

    Mary sez: I copy and paste the whole revision letter to the beginning of the manuscript, then as I respond to the editor's advice, I leave the points, but line through them so I know I've done that, also I'll remember what was asked of me because sometimes that requires other changes later in the book and rather than delete it when I've done it, now I've got the reminder.