Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July Contest Update


Welcome to the July Contest Update. Okay, writers, we stand at the midpoint. 178 days or six more months to this year. What are your writing goals for the next six months? Answer this question today to get your name in the sand bucket for your own door sign! Readers need simply comment for their chance to win a Seeker Book of Choice. Winners announced in the next Weekend Edition.

Published Manuscript Contests

Library Journal Indie Ebook Awards. Deadline July 31, 2016

Cover the WordsEntries accepted from August 15 – September 4, 2016.
Unpublished Manuscript Contest

 Put Your Heart in a Book. Deadline EXTENDED TO JULY 7!!!!! Entry consists of the opening chapter of your manuscript, along with a synopsis not to exceed five (5) pages. Submission should not exceed thirty (30) pages total, including text and synopsis.

Final Round Judges: 

Contemporary Series
Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel and Goderich
Editor:Theresa Cole, Entangled Publishing
Author: Katherine Gilles Seidel 

Single Title Contemporary Romance
Agent: Michelle Johnson, Inklings Literary Agency 
Editor: Sinclair Sawhney, Senior Editor, Tule Publishing
Author: Nancy Herkness

Agent: Miriam Goderich, Dystel and Goderich                     
Editor: Esi Sogah, Senior Editor, Kensington Books
Author: Tessa Dare         

Agent: Margaret Bail, Inklings Literary Agency
Editor: Lori Whitwam, Managing Editor, Limitless Publishing
Author: Terri Brisbin

Young Adult
Agent: Eric Ruben, The Ruben Agency
Editor: Jennifer Herrington, Editor, BookFish Books
Author: Christina June

Romantic Suspense
Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary
Editor: Patience Bloom, Harlequin
Author: HelenKay Dimon

The Rebecca. Deadline July 31. All authors are welcome to enter, regardless of published or unpublished status. Contest entry may not be contracted or published in any form when entered. Entry consists of the opening five thousand (5,000) words.

Contemporary Romance-Final Judge: Editor, Tahra Seplowin, Harlequin.    
Paranormal/Speculative Fiction/Urban Fantasy Romance-Final Judge: Agent, Tricia Skinner, Fuse Literary Agency.                       

Suspense-Final Judge: Editor, Peter Senftleben, Kensington Publishing.                     

Young Adult-Final Judge:  Agent, Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency      

Phoenix Rattler Contest. August 1, opens for entries. Deadline September 3, 2016. This contest is presented by the Christian Writers of the West, a chapter of ACFW. Submit the first ten (10) contiguous pages of your novel plus a one-page synopsis of the whole book no later than September 3, 2016. (Completed manuscript is not required to enter.) Overall winner receives a gift certificate for $150.
Final Judges:
  • Contemporary (includes Contemporary, Women's, Romance)-Michelle Grawkowski-Agent, 3 Seas Literary Agency
  • Historical (before 1960, includes Historical Romance)-Tamela Hancock Murray-The Steve Laube Agency
  • Mystery, Thriller, Romantic Suspense-Elizabeth Mazer-Editor, Harlequin Love Inspired
  • Young Adult (for under 18)-Rachel Kent-Agent, Books & Such Literary Management
  • Speculative Fiction-Susanne Lakin-Copy Editor, Writing Coach, Owner-Live Write Thrive

The Beacon. Deadline August 31. Open to all authors of romantic fiction. Published authors are eligible to enter any category in which they have not been contracted and/or published in book-length fiction (40,000 words and over) in the last 3 years.  (Self-published authors are considered published.)  Entry: First 25 pages of the manuscript. The entrant may also include an optional 5-page synopsis for a maximum of 30 pages. (Synopsis will not be judged.) Per the chapter president, judges not finalized yet. Will post the final judges as soon as available. Keep an eye on the Weekend Edition for notification.


Category Length Romance

Contemporary Romance

Erotic Romance

Historical Romance

Romantic Elements

Romantic Suspense

Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic Romance

Young Adult Romance

Heart to Heart. Deadline August 31. Enter the scene(s) in which the protagonists meet for the first time or for the first time in the book, if previously acquainted, up to a maximum of 15 page.Open to all writers unpublished by an RWA-approved publisher as of the entry deadline. Prospective entrants may be published with a non RWA-recognized publisher. However, they may not enter books/manuscripts that have been professionally edited or have ISBN numbers. 

2016 Final Judges

Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency - Agent
Elle Keck, Harper Collins - Print Editor
Toni Kelley, Extasy Books - E-Pub Editor

TBD - Agent
Adam Wilson, Gallery/Simon and Schuster - Print Editor
TBD - E-Pub Editor

Tamar Rydzinski, Laura Dail Literacy Agency - Agent
Nicole Fisher, Avon - Print Editor
Alycia Tornetta, Entangled - E-Pub Editor

Lane Haymont, The Seymour Agency - Agent
TBD - Print Editor
TBD - E-Pub Editor

Laurie McLean, Fuse Literary - Agent
TBD - Print Editor
TBD - E-Pub Editor   

Other Writer Opportunities

The Oregon Christian Writer's Conference.  August 15–18, 2016. Held at the Red Lion on the River Hotel (Jantzen Beach) in Portland. Twelve intensive morning classes and 26 afternoon workshops include a variety of fiction and nonfiction offerings, plus writing for young adults, writing for magazines, writing Bible studies, indie publishing, poetry, self-editing and a premium class with pre-conference manuscript reviews. Writers have opportunities to work on craft, get feedback through manuscript reviews, meet one-on-one with editors and agents, and receive “Next-Step” career advice from award-winning mentors. Each year contacts made during this conference lead to publishing contracts. More information check here.

Moonlight & Magnolias Conference. Date: September 29–October 2, 2016. Sponsor: Georgia Romance Writers. Location: Hilton Atlanta Northeast, Peachtree Corners (Near Norcross), Georgia.Fee: GRW Members – $225; RWA Members – $245; Non-Members – $265. Cost will increase after July 31 as we move into late registration. Publishing Houses: St. Martin’s Press, Harlequin, Sourcebooks, & Carina Press. Agencies: Bradford Literary Agency & The Seymour Agency. Conference Features: workshops, pitch workshop, book signing, editor & agent appointments.

Kiss of Death Coffin Online Classes can be seen here. Must be an RWA member. $15 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Check out the August Class:
Murder One: August 1 - 31-Instructor: Elizabeth Heiter
Description: It's crucial that characters in fiction are realistic, or you risk losing your reader.  This workshop will help you add realism to your FBI characters. It will cover the basics (the difference between the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, what the FBI investigates, the difference between FBI agents and other staff), how the FBI works (the Academy; headquarters, field offices and resident agencies; divisions, squads and partnerships; the leadership structure; FBI acronyms), investigations (when the FBI gets involved; how investigations work; joint investigations; fingerprints, labs and forensics; specialty units), and handcuffs, weapons and other tools of the trade (handcuffs, weapons, badges and credentials, Bucars, special rules and regs).  It will also cover how to find more (and accurate!) information after the class ends.

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.

Interested in selling to Woman's World Magazine? Details for submission can be found in the February Edition of the Contest Update here.

Another viable market is the True's (True Confession and True Story). Guidelines here.
Welcome to the July Contest Diva, Janette Foreman!

There are two main reasons I enter contests. #1: A shot at the grand prize (I mean, who doesn't want that?), and #2: To utilize the judge's feedback.

I grew up with an active imagination, and once I wrote a story in second grade for a school assignment, my dream was to be a published author. I was one of those strange kids who immersed myself in my dream from the beginning. I memorized the submission guidelines on a CBA publisher's website, I interviewed local writers to discover the secrets to getting books published. But I had a lot to learn. In order to improve my craft, I needed to see how readers viewed my work.

When I finished my first full-length, I submitted it to an organization called The Writer's Edge. It's not a contest, per se, but it's a manuscript service that works in a similar fashion to contests. You submit a portion of your work, receive feedback, and the manuscripts that rise to the top receive a grand prize: their back cover copy is included in The Writer's Edge monthly report, sent out to major Christian publishers and agencies. I was so nervous to send out that baby. My heart--because a book is basically the writer's heart--was about to be critiqued. Folks, I know it's hard, but trust me, building that rhino-tough author skin is necessary and worth it. The feedback I received made me a stronger writer. I learned things I never would've learned otherwise.

Fast forward a couple years to when I became a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). This is the first time I'd really heard of writing contests. I entered the Genesis contest a couple years in a row without moving forward in the competition. And you know what? That is okay! Because, again, the feedback I received helped me grow as a writer. Was it all gushy praise? Of course not. Did some of the comments sting? Definitely. But again, developing that rhino skin is a part of the author life. I would also add that reading others' feedback helps you hone your discernment as a writer. You become teachable. You discover what feedback is helpful for your story and what feedback is simply one judge's opinion and doesn't necessarily need to be included in your story.

Then last year, a friend of mine told me about the Love Inspired Blurb to Book contest. I entered and made it to the final round, ending the contest with a Revise and Resubmit letter. Again, the editors' feedback was fabulous. This year, I have entered two contests: the Love Inspired Manuscript Match contest and RWA's (Romance Writers of America) Faith, Hope, and Love chapter's Touch by Love contest. I'm excited to say that I'm currently a finalist in both! I even tried a new type of story for the Touched by Love contest--something I'd never tried before. I'd entered purely for the feedback, so I was shocked to move forward in the competition! I don't say that to show off any achievements of mine; I'm telling you this to encourage you to try. Put your work out there. See what others say. Learn new things. Develop your tough skin. Contests will help you grow and will make all the difference.

Janette Foreman can be found online here:
Fiction 411 (Blog and Book Reviews): 

Contest Entries:
Love Inspired's 2015 Blurb to Book - Finalist
Love Inspired's 2016 Manuscript Match - Finalist
RWA Faith, Hope, and Love's Touched by Love - Finalist

Janette Foreman is a high school English teacher with a passion for the written word. Through her romances, she not only hopes to show inspirational, God-centered relationships, but she also desires that people see themselves as having worth in God's eyes. She is a proud member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), secretary of the ACFW Dakotas chapter, and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray at the Steve Laube Agency. When she sneaks in time for extra hobbies, she loves to read, quilt, garden, make cloth dolls, and draw. A graduate of York College and Black Hills State University, she makes her home in the northern Midwest with her husband, polydactyl cat, and bird-hunting dog.


Today's Contest Update was brought to you by Tina Radcliffe. Tina writes humorous sweet romance and inspirational romance from her home in Arizona. She is a Carol Award winner for Mending the Doctor's Heart,as well as a 2016 Holt Medallion finalist, and a 2016 Greater Detroit RWA’s Booksellers’ Best Book Award finalist for Safe in the Fireman's Arms.

The fourth book in the Paradise series, Rocky Mountain Reunion is currently available.  Rocky Mountain Cowboy will be available in December.


  1. Oopsie. Someone set the post to PM instead of AM. MEA CULPA!!!

  2. Congrats on your diva status Janette! Lots of great opportunities for writers I see- best wishes to all who participate!!!

  3. Hey, I know where Jatzen Beach is (Portland OR)! The hubby and I were there for something or other years ago. All I remember for sure is, they have a huge mall, lol!

    A great lot of contests for the writer, both aspiring & established ones. Someone here says it like this "that's calls opportunity knocking"! Go forth and contest!!

    Congrats on being July's Diva Janette! Glad you were able to get some good feedback and are using it to hone your craft.

    Great post, please add my name to the sandbucket for a Seeker book of choice, thank you!

  4. Yeah, so ignore the late night typos...oy!

    That's supposed to be Jantzen Beach and here it's supposed to read "that's called" not calls.

    Time for me to get some shut-eye, me thinks :-)

  5. Congratulations Janette on building that tough rhino skin but also for you finaling in your two latest contests.

    Great post Tina! I loved the sunglasses....

    Cindy W.

  6. Congratulations to Diva Janette!
    Tina, thank you so much for all of the time and effort you put into this post. You're rocking those shades!

  7. I'm giggling at Trixi's typos.... and Tina's timing!

    What a marvelous contest update! Thank you so much for doing this, Tina, and the sunglass-wearing, semi-incognito promo rocks the boat!

    Sending out hugs and congrats to all of you who have finaled, and to all of you who HAVE NOT...

    I entered multiple books in multiple contests this spring/winter.


    We lose 100% of the races we don't enter. We lose 100% of the contests we don't enter. And I'm not pushing contests per se, but if you're aspiring and want some good, clean, fresh eyes on your work... and you've got backbone!!!!... enter something, then polish, polish, polish.

    And best of luck to you!!!!!

  8. I brought coffee.... and creamers.... and sweet tea and hot tea.

    And now I'm back to work!

    Have the greatest day ever!

  9. Good morning! Janette, congrats on being this month's Diva! Those are some impressive results!

    Tina, thanks for another great list of contests.

    Have a great day everybody!

  10. Janette, what a great road you've traveled! Good for you! I think that having to really work to get across that sandbar onto the mainland of publishing toughens us to a point where we can actually be successful on the "other side"....

    Rejections still come.

    We still lose contests.

    And we get Revise and Resubmit letters all the time... but that's okay, it's part of the job, and if we focus on the job and not our egos, well, that's the best way to attack the day!

    And I love my job!!!!

    Congratulations on your successes and I'm praying for your continued success!

    Go for the gold.


  11. Good morning, Heidi. BTW,I live vicariously through your adventures with your daughter on FB . She is a total kick!!

  12. Good morning, Trixi.

    You are in the drawing.

    And yes, first toast of the day to Janette, our July diva.

    She has a full manuscript due to the Love Inspired editors by July 15 with the other Manuscript Matchmaker writers. Praying for that deadline!!

  13. Thanks, Cindy. You are in the draw early bird.

  14. Morning, Jill. Lifting my coffee to you. The glasses hide the fact that I am really asleep.

  15. Thanks for the coffee, Ruthy. Crawling to the pot.

    Ooh, look. Some kind soul dropped off cheese danish.

  16. Morning to you, Jackie Layton, published author.

  17. R and R letters! Yes, Ruthy. All part of the package on either side of the fence.

  18. That which doesn't kill us, makes us a writer!

  19. WOW! I am amazed at all the contests for writers. Hoping an amazing one is discovered! Congratulations to Janette.

  20. Great update, TINA! Thank you! I can't believe that the year is half gone already!!! My goal for the second half of the year is the same as the first: write, write, study, study, research, rewrite, revise, etc. And I love it - so blessed to get to do this every day!

    Congratulations, JANETTE!! Thank you so much for sharing your journey, tips and advice! Wishing you all the best in your career!

  21. Congratulations, Janette!!!!

    My goals for the next six months? I saw an LI editor's twitter post for historical book ideas (submitted via agents) so I'm working on a blurb for that. My WWII idea was shot down, guess the era is a hard sell. I'm revising the first act of a cozy mystery and then continuing to write it.

    And of course, praying over a proposal on an editor's desk!

  22. Congratulations, Diva Janette!!! Two finals!!!

    My writing goals for this year are right on target, thanks to deadlines. I can fudge around my self-imposed deadlines, but when I know an editor is expecting something from me, I work smarter.

    Contest goals - like Ruthy, I submitted to multiple contests with no results until the IRCA finalists were announced! One final makes it all worth while. :)

    Enjoy your contesting, everyone!

  23. Congratulations Janette on your diva staus!

    My goals are to continue revising the 3 books I have finished. Finish my 4th book and hopefully begin and finish book five. I also would love to finish at least one of the Middle grade books I am writing. I also want to develop the short stories I wrote for a contest last month but weren't ready in time so they can be entered in the same contest next year. In addition I have a non fiction book I am in the revising stage on and an autobiography I am writing.

    That should keep me busy for the next 6 months. I am participating in Camp Nanowrimo this month. Since we can include editing and someone taught me how to count word count when editing I am already at 20,000 plus words for July. Of course most of that is editing. But I have also written.

    Have a great day everyone.

    I have a question about the first impressions ACFW contest. Would this be a good one to aim for this year since I got my feet wet with the Great beginnings and TBL contests. That is if I have it back from the editor in time.

  24. Congratulations on all your finals, Janette. You are definitely moving forward.
    I haven't finaled in anything so far this year, but I've received good feedback and encouragement. I rewrote one entry after my "Touched By Love" feedback and now I'm rewriting the other from my "Maggies" feedback. You never go back to where you started from.
    I used to get depressed about contest feedback, until I realized that it usually happened when I would have been depressed anyway. So I've learned to take a deep breath and step back, deal with whatever else is going on, and then apply the criticism. The "rule of two" is my best yardstick: if two judges mention the same thing, it gets dealt with.
    Thanks for the update, I already see one I want to enter.
    Kathy Bailey
    Undaunted in New Hampshire

  25. RUTHY is right. If we get tough before we're published, we can stand anything after. And if I've learned anything visiting Seekerville, there is an "After" and it's not always easy.

  26. I love you, Kathy Bailey.

    The rare times I am right, it is so good to get noticed!!! Go you!!!!

  27. Cheese Danish.

    I am totally in on that!

    Oh, how I love soft, chewy, sweet Danish.

    Anything bread-based.

    Give me bread.




  28. TINA, thanks for the contest update. Love the Popsicles, flip flops and the fun sunglasses, all delightful images of summer.


  29. Another fantastic contest update, TINA!

    And welcome to our July Contest Diva! Congratulations, JANETTE!

    My houseful of grandkids had me distracted for the last several days, but they're packing up right now to head home. Imagine son-in-law recovering from a very painful day surgery, daughter chasing after active 2-year-old, plus her 13-year-old son and two more daughters, 11 and 5!!!!!! Hopefully I can count on Project Guy to take over getting the house back in order so I can get back to writing!!!

  30. Congratulations JANETTE, July Contest Diva! Keep focused!!! You can do it.

    TINA, I love fun images of Summer!

    Please put me in the drawing for a chance to win a Seeker Book of Choice.

  31. Diva JANETTE, Congratulations on all those finals! You've worked hard to improve your craft and you're seeing the wonderful results. Go you!!! Thanks for sharing your journey and encouraging those teetering on the edge to jump in and enter. With your teachable spirit, you'll reach your goal of publication in God's perfect timing.


  32. Rose, I hear cozies are hot again.

    Must look into that.

  33. Morning to you, Becky in Ohio! You are in the draw!

  34. I like the way you think, Laura!!! Revising is actually my favorite out of all of those.

  35. Congratulations on IRCS, Jan. When you think of allllll the published inspy books in 2015....I mean Harlequin alone puts out about 200, then it makes your final all the more sweeter!

  36. Wow, Wilani!!! You are rocking and rolling.

    Not doing Camp NaNo. My life is Camp NaNo.

    Sure enter First Impressions. You already entered a few tough ones.

  37. A Popsicle wold taste good about now!

  38. Always moving forward, right Kaybee???? Congratulations for your contest progress so far.

    No guts. No glory.

    You have guts gal!!

  39. Laura I know what you mean about the year being half gone. It's shocking.
    Here in Nebraska, dry spring, cold, cold raining April, May. Brutally hot and dry June--still it took me most of the month to believe winter was finally over.
    It's called WEATHER.

  40. Another great contest update. Thanks Tina for all the super info.

    I'm hoping many of you will enter the Phoenix Rattler Contest. We started that contest in CWOW and it has proven to be a great one.

  41. I am wearing flip flops, and eating a Popsicle, Janet. (mango Popsicle)

    And you?

  42. Full house of guests does not = writing time, Myra.

    Glad you had fun and delighted you have Project Guy to hand things off to.

  43. You are in the draw Caryl.

    I lost a day this week.

    How can it be Wednesday??

  44. Phoenix's got bite.


  45. @Heidi, Trixi, Cindy, Jill, Jackie, Ruthy, Tina, Becky, Laura, Rose, Jan, Wilani, Kathy, Myra, Caryl, and Janet -- Thank you! It's fun to be here! I'm really enjoying reading about your writing goals. You all have some great works up your sleeves. I wish you each the best as your journey forward. You can do this!!

    @Ruthy - Well said! Writing is the best and hardest job I've ever done. What a fantastic way to live, though!

    @Tina - Ah, yes, the deadline! :) Working hard to meet that date. Editing as we speak. Haha.

    @Rose and Jan - Waving! Go ACFW Dakotas chapter! :)

  46. Breathing huge sigh . . . kids are on the road home! Sheets in washer/dryer, towels piled for next batch, Project Guy filling dishwasher . . .

    Except . . . THE HOUSE IS TOO QUIET!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Janette! I wondered if you know Rose and Jan. Do you know Meg Brummer as well?

    Congratulations on all your diva inspiring success.

  48. Congratulations Diva Janette! I appreciate the way you phrased this: I don't say that to show off any achievements of mine; I'm telling you this to encourage you to try. I plan to adopt your sentence, if you don't mind, because too many times sharing accomplishments can come across as bragging when it's intended as encouragement. Thank you for those words.

    Hmm. The Heart to Heart is tempting ...

    Good luck to all who contest. And if you never have entered a contest, please do ... the judges really are human, and there is so much to be gained :-)

    Nancy C

  49. Congrats Janette. Contesting is exhaustingly (is that a word?) stressful but I love it anyway. Now that 4th of July is over along with my family's fireworks stand and fireworks show, I am back to writing. 6 month goals are finishing WIP and getting mostly done with another WIP. Does anybody else have more than one WIP? sometimes kind of counter-productive but it's never boring.

  50. Diva know you wanna..

  51. Actually, Cindy R it is exhausting and stressful. But good training, right?

    YES!! Raising hand. Working on three at one time right now.


  52. @Tina - Yes, I do! :) It's a small world in the Dakotas.

    @Nancy - Go for it! Thanks for stopping by!

    @Cindy - Thank you! (And yes to multiple WIPs! Whew! Lots of work, but awesome just the same.)

  53. Congratulations, Janette! Great job at contesting!

    Tina, that FBI class through RWA sounds so helpful, but how does it work? Do they have specific online meeting times? Do they just send regular emails? I have a couple of obligations in August and want to make sure I can meet up whenever I'm supposed to before I sign up. Thanks!

  54. @ Steve - Thanks! And thanks for stopping by!

  55. Well, that's a new one. Not Steve Carver! Meghan Carver. My absent-minded professor husband didn't sign out of his email last night.... :-)

  56. Tina, THANK YOU for another impressive contest lineup! THANK YOU, also, for your hard work regarding these posts!

    CONGRATS to Janette! Fabulous accomplishments! I look forward to reading your books.

    I'm taking some time off from contests just now as I move forward on another WIP and I'm also getting our baby bird for college, but I love, love, LOVE writing contests. (...And I've entered a few. ;) )The feedback helps us to hone our craft and prepares us for the bigger picture.

    P.S. Did someone say "Poundcake"? ...Or was that just my imagination?

  57. What are my goals for the next six months? Well... I haven't even gotten past my goals for the summer, but I guess I'll just write, write, and write some more. Then read a bit to get some more ideas before I start writing again. I'm almost done writing my second book (Just two chapters to go!) So I guess I'll focus on getting that published then I have a whole list of books that want to be written so I expect to be busy for a while...

    It would be great if my name were entered into the sand bucket and i would appreciate that greatly. Thanks!

  58. Diva Janette, it was so encouraging to read your story! I wish you well in Manuscript Matchmakers. I'm waiting to hear about the TARA contest, and have started on my entry for Harlequins "Canadian Romance Hero" Blitz. My writing goals are to get that in shortly and finish the manuscript and have it's sister book in the hopper well before Christmas. I plan on targeting LIS and querying agents. Thank you, Tina, for putting together the contest lists every month! They're very helpful and a couple look quite enticing. :)

  59. @Meghan! Ha! Love it. :) Well, thanks, to you, too!!

    @Laurie - Hi! Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you well on your contest entries, too. Canadian Heroes sounds fun. :)

  60. @ Cynthia - Thank you! Best wishes as your get your child ready for college! What a step.

  61. I'm in one now called Prisons.

    It's all online. In a Yahoo group.

    They just throw the info at you in daily doses. People ask questions and they answer and then they throw more at you the next day. Rinse. Repeat.

    I always go digest. Save all the posts to a folder to read later. If the instructor provided the info in a handout as well, then once a week go in and download the handouts.

    Easy. No need to actually show up unless you have time.

    Of course my slacker way you don't ask questions. But that's okay.

    In the words of Billy Crystal. MIME IS MONEY.

  62. Really, did someone say poundcake?

    Looking for crumbs or evidence.

  63. Nicky, you are in the sand bucket. What are you writing?

  64. LAURIE!!!

    WHAT IS THIS????

    Harlequin's "Canadian Romance Hero" Blitz.


  65. I just found it and added it to the post!!! Thanks, Laurie.

  66. You're welcome although you found the link before I did! :) I'm so excited Harlequin's looking to add Canadian heroes and stories to their lines. I'd actually started this story in the winter and had no idea where it was going to find a "home" but hopefully LIS will be it's final destination!

  67. Well the book I am writing is actually the second in a planned four book series. My first book is already finished and published. It's a YA fantasy about four teenagers who are trapped in a magical world known as Amar, and are unable to return to their home world (i.e.Earth) until they finish a quest their fathers set out on over twenty years ago, but failed to finish. They only problem is that they have no clue what this quest is. The first book is called a Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses and is available on Amazon if you want more information about it.

  68. Wonderful, Nicky!! Congratulations!!!

  69. TINA, I'm wearing Fitflops. :-) Popsicles are pretty but I'm having a fudgesicle.


  70. Congratulations Janette!
    And yah for Rhino skin! It does help.

    I'm stopping one project and starting another this month. I may enter one of these contests if I can get my new opening done in time.

  71. Popsicles and a hot day go together, but then they melt fast. The trick is to hang over them. When I gave popsicles to our grandkids, I sat them on the grass so all the sugar running down their hands and arms fed the ants. :-)


  72. JANETTE, the next time my dermatologist says I have sun damage, I'll tell her that's rhino skin, a condition writers aspire to.


  73. @ Connie - Thanks! And YAY, go for it! What a perfect way to get feedback on a new project. :)

    @Janet - Ha! Love it. Yes, Rhino skin is all the rage; didn't dermatologists get the memo?

    I'm game for popsicles or fudgesicles. Both sound amazing.

  74. Congrats to Diva Janette!! And, Tina, once again you've provided us with fabulous opportunities!! Thanks!
    I'll be writing until time to head to the antique shop!!
    Happy-half-way-through-the-week to all!!

  75. I have fudgecicles in my freezer as well, Janet.

    Fitflops. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  76. Kate! I want to go to the antique shop with you.


  77. Congratulations on all your finals, Diva Janette!

    I'm a huge contest supporter. Honestly, I think I would have given up years (decades) ago were it not for contest feedback.

    I so clearly remember my first contest final. My reaction was sheer joy that people didn't think my stories were boring! That gave me so much confidence to continue. That's not to say that I'm not bedevilled by the same doubts as everyone else. (I'm here commenting rather than revising my current mss so that says it all.) But receiving positive feedback (or even constructive suggestions) is so very valuable to those of us who spend so much time working in isolation.

    Thanks, Tina, for all the work you do compiling this list.

    Go forth and contest indeed!

  78. @Kathryn - Thank you!

    I want to go to the antique store too. :) Best places ever!

    @Cate - Thanks! Great advice - thanks for sharing your story. And good point about working in isolation. Contests have the potential to build community when writers can feel so alone at times.

  79. MYRA.....I can relate to you right now! My mom and step-dad visited from New Zealand for the month of June and to watch our son graduate on the 13th. We also had my sis-in-law & neice four 3 days, talk about a houseful in a tiny 1080sq ft house with ONE (count it, one) bathroom!! OY, talk about adventure :-) But the hard part came when my mom and step-dad left at the end of the month. There was nobody to greet me in the morning or share my coffee with. :-( A house too quiet indeed!! We always miss what we can't have don't we? Wished they didn't live halfway across the world so I could vacation there!

    JANETTE....I don't write unless you count book reviews! I'm a very avid reader, so my days are filled in between the pages of a book! :-) My six-month goal is to finish ALL of my review seems they breed & multiply behind my back, haha! But I love the pace, you were born to write (it's in your blood, it seems) just like I was born to read....I probably had a book in hand when my mom had me! :-) Best of blessings on your contest entries (as I don't believe in luck).


  81. Books do multiply like rabbits, Trixi.

  82. Okay, I'll declare here that I'll enter the Rattler ... that way I can't not (got it?)Tina is taking note, I am sure :-)

    Nancy C

  83. I've had the honor of critiquing some of Jeannette's work,and it's obvious that she's studied craft! It was also fun saying hello at ACFW last year, too. I wish you the best!

  84. P.S. A polydactyl cat would be great in a story!

  85. @Trixi - Reading is awesome! I am such a SLOW reader, I would never do well as a full-time reviewer. I'm so thankful for those who can and love it!! You are MUCH appreciated! :)

    @Janet - Awe! Thank you so much for your kind words. I enjoyed meeting you, too. And congratulations on your release and soon-to-be release!

    P.S. @Janet - AH! That is a fantastic idea! My current hero has a cat .... How neat would it be if the cat was polydactyl?

  86. Noted and date and time stamped, Nancy C.

  87. Congratulations, Janette, and thanks for taking the time to encourage us.

    I just got feedback from two contests (my first), so I guess my goal is to deal with that. Strangely enough, even though I didn't final, it was mostly positive in at least one contest (the other I think I chose the wrong sub-genre--they didn't have inspirational). So now I'm scratching my head a bit as to what to do with the scant information. At least one of the judges said they didn't want to stop reading and that I shouldn't have trouble getting it in front of an agent/editor (I've never tried). I'm also submitting to Scribes, so we'll see.

    My other goal SHOULD be to finish my WIP, but it's a tangled mess. The characters are fairly well developed. I think it has the potential for some emotional impact, but I'm not sure about the marketing / genre. It has romantic elements, but it takes some development to get to the romance (two of them, so a bit complex).

    Guess I'm just having one of those doubting days. I need to just write and stop thinking. :-)

  88. I know. I love that whole polydactyl cat. How many toes does the cat have anyhow?

    I love looking up words.

    Love it.

    It gives me a sense of empowerment.

    A polydactyl cat is a cat with a congenital physical anomaly called polydactyly (or polydactylism, also known as hyperdactyly), that causes the cat to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more of its paws.

  89. So, Lara,

    You need your name on the cover of a book.

    Lara Storm.

    You were meant to be an author by virtue of the cool name. Even Hitchock is cool.

    Double coolness.

    Keep writing. Good self-advise.

  90. Fitflops are pricey but far more comfortable on my feet and back. I can shop in them, tour in them. But they may not work for everyone.


  91. @Tina - my polydactyl cat is 6 toes on both front feet. :) She looks like she has mitten feet. Very good for grabbing toys or bugs.

  92. Oh, yeah, I bet your cat wins all the battle of the paws.

    My two cats do those patty cats battles all the time.

  93. Well, Janet.

    All I need is Fitflops and a Fitbit and I'll be ready to roam.

  94. Thanks, Tina. I guess I should write a mystery-suspense involving a hurricane or something :-).

    Jokes aside, I believe publication will happen eventually. Just not sure about this particular story. But I've already learned important lessons from forcing myself to stick with it. I think I'm getting close on the first chapter, by the way, if I haven't waited too long for the critique. The story has changed considerably since Speedbo :-).

  95. Congrats, Janette, on your writing journey!!! BTW, did you revise and resubmit the Blurb to Book finalist story? Is that the story you submitted to the Match Contest? Sorry if you've mentioned it in the comments...I'll read through all of them in a minute!!! So thrilled about your success! Keep it up! And you teach English! Are there many budding writers in your classes?

    Tina, thanks for the contest update. Thanks too for mentioning the M&M. I'll be there. Hope to see lots of Villagers! It's always a wonderful event.

  96. As always, a great list. Thanks for the info, Tina!

  97. I think you are still an overthinker and a critique may not be in your best interests at this point. But happy to do it when you are ready. Offer stays open.

  98. Janette has a Manuscript Matchmaker FULL manuscript due by July 15, so she is exceptionally kind to spend her time with us today, Debby.

  99. Anyone else going to brave writing a Canadian Hero?? EH???

  100. Thanks, Edwina.

    Hope your hubster is resting!

  101. @Debby - Great questions! I have not turned in my Blurb to Book Revise and Resubmit submission yet -- still working out its details. I've had to change several pieces of the plot, which, of course, affect other pieces. Haha. It'll get there! So, no, it's not the same story I submitted to the Manuscript Matchmaker contest. This one is brand new, and I'm loving it! Takes place in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory during the 1870s Gold Rush.

    In my classes, occasionally I do have a few writers and readers. It's fun to see their creativity flourish. Thanks for stopping by!

    @Tina - a Canadian hero would be fun. I'm thinking Janette Oke's Canadian West series right now . . .

  102. Janette, you have a B2B out there too. WHOA! Somehow I missed that. Good for you!!!

    Multiple projects.

    Janette, I'm thinking Dudley Do-Rite. Lol.

    Ryan Gosling is Canadian though. Hubba Hubba.

  103. Ryan Gosling would make a good Mountie, right?!

  104. Yeah, he'd make a good ANYTHING!!!

  105. I'd like to submit for your consideration--- Ryan Reynolds and Nathan Fillion for his buddy Mounties.

  106. Yes! I think you have a Blockbuster in the works here.

  107. You guys are too funny :-). I could dig that ensemble of actors.

    And about the critique, Tina, I just don't like keeping you hanging. And I'm wondering at what point it would be better. Could be after I finish the first draft, but if I hadn't stopped to think about this first chapter I was going to give you, then I would still be working on an essentially plotless story (or a severely weakened plot anyway). The storyline still needs work, but that could take quite a while to work out, if ever :-). I've already got my next story lined up, but I'm forcing myself to stick with this one until "THE END."

    I will never give up! (I hope.)

  108. It's really nice to meet contest Diva Janette. I hope you do exceedingly well.

    Thank you, Tina for compiling all the contest info and for being very encouraging. I took the plunge last month and entered a contest. I wouldn't have known about it except for your June contest list. I'm thinking of trying another that was listed on ACFW today- Clash of the Titles? I'll have to reread Pimp Your Contest Entry

    I wanted to say hi to my ACFW scribes friend Lara. She's pretty awesome. Hi Lara.

  109. Hey there, Barbara! You're pretty awesome yourself! Really enjoying your story. Tina says I'm an over-thinker, but I guess it serves me well when I'm critiquing ;-). I just need to learn to turn it off a bit more when I'm trying to get down that first draft.

  110. My concern is making you start third guessing yourself. So wait until you are into your next book. Remember that a critique is one person's opinion. Only that.

    You aren't leaving me hanging. I am always in various stages of reading somebody's work. If I am on deadline and have to put it off for a short time, I'm honest. I will let you know.

    No biggie.

  111. Good for you, Barbara!!!! Pimp away!!

  112. TINA, I'm wearing Fitflops on my feet, a Fitbit on my wrist, but sitting at the keyboard with a bulging belly that would never make it around the block after a yummy Italian beef sandwich. Discipline trumps preparation every time.


  113. LOL, Janet. The curse of all writers. Butt in chair.

  114. Gads, I'm late in responding.

    Congratulations Diva Janette! Contests are fun, awful, wonderful, stressful...but I agree, builds rhino skin. :)

    Praying I get another 80,000 word novel finished by the end of the year. I'm 6,000 words in...

  115. @Barbara - Thank you! Yay for entering contests! Keep it up! :)

    @Sharee - Thanks! Ooh, and best wishes on your book. You can do it.

  116. eeeeeeeeeek! What does another 80K novel mean? You already wrote one 80k this year? Sharee? If so we need to give you the title of official Seekerville buns kicker. Let you kick all the buns in need of kicking around here.

    Wowza!!!! Way to go.

    1. Tina, can I fit that title on a business card? I'm all for it. :)

  117. "178 days or six more months to this year. What are your writing goals for the next six months?" WOW. I guess that's why I'm hearing about Christmas novellas. I have to think and pray about this question. I have several work projects going on, two of which require extensive writing - so that is good. BUT it is not storytelling writing, which was something I started thinking about seriously again during Speedbo this year. Decision time, huh?

    Janette, thank you for writing the post today. It was nice to hear your story. In the past, I can see where I've let my lack of rhino-skin be an excuse to not write as much (well, that and full time college). I'm glad to hear you are able to live your dream! It was an inspiring read.

    What kind of cloth dolls do you make? I bought 2 books talking about making dolls from old clothes. So I raided my clothes collection last month and now have a pile of disassembled fabric. I'm think up designs now. (It's a fun weekend hobby away from computer pixels).

    Sharee - that is totally encouraging considering I just want to write a shorter novella! You go girl. ;)

  118. I am thankful and in awe of writers. I have trouble putting two sentences together. Have a blessed day

  119. JANETTE!! SUPER CONGRATS on all the finals, girl, and here's to a sale in the very new future!!

    Sharee!! I'm with Tina -- you are a true bun-kicker, girl, so kick one my way because I've been slogging on vacation.

    Tina, my apologies for the late comment. Was on the road 11 hours yesterday, driving from Birmingham to Osage Beach, so not much computer time.


  120. I'm looking to enter some more contests over these next six months as well as write the sequel to my novella that released in May. I'd also like to start work on my next full-length novel.

  121. Great info!

    Please enter me as a reader for a chance to win a Seeker Book of Choice.

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

  122. Phyllis, you are entered!

    Megan! Thanks for stopping by and cheering on our diva!

    Jodie! Great to see you!

    Julie!! You gypsy you! Stay safe!!

  123. Yes. Let's do it, Sharee.

    "Official Bun Kicker to Seekerville"

  124. All these doll makers! You'll have to check out my Pinterest page. I make them too.

  125. Hey Tina! That's awesome!! I'll check it out. :D