Friday, June 6, 2008

Contest Update

Where has the time gone?

June is here already.

That means we are five months to finish your manuscript for the Golden Heart.

Will you be ready?

As for me, Harlequin Super Romance author Rogenna Brewer challenged me to a book in a month. For the month of June I'll be using the program created by Chris Baty, founder of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The No Plot? No Problem! Novel Writing Kit, is a great tool which includes:

  • 48-page booklet

  • 31 Daily Noveling Briefs recommended allowances of writing advice and activities for every day of the noveling month

  • Guided, month long, displayable log for keeping track of progress

  • Motivational materials, pep-talking letters, and commitment coupons

  • The Mighty Badge of the Triumphant Wordsmith

I've got his No Plot? No Problem! book also. This challenge means writing 50,000 words in a month. That's about 11,669 words a week. I'll check in with you next month on the Seekerville Contest Update. But if I can do this and work 7 days a week...anyone can.

And by the way--I'm giving away one copy of the No Plot? No Problem Novel-Writing Kit to someone who posts in Seekerville. Just let me know you are out there by posting today and leave a method of contact. Winner will be announced tonight at 8 pm MST.

Remember the words of Jack Bickham: "Writers write. Everyone else makes excuses."

Now on to writing contests.

Summer is typically slow for contests but here are this month's offerings. Not all of the May Contest Update contests have passed their deadlines, so be sure to review that post again.

Unpublished RWA Contests
  • Indiana's Golden Opportunity Contest 2008. Reciept deadline, July 1. 35 pages total, which consist of the start of the manuscript and synopsis. A great line up of juges for the categories of Contemporary Series, Mainstream/Single Title, Paranormal, Historical, Romantic Suspense and Best of the Best.

  • Melody of Love. Reciept deadline, July 1. The number of entries to this contest is limited to 75 overall. First chapter, no synopsis. Electronic or hardcopy entry. Contemporary: Holly Root, Waxman Literary Agency--Historical: Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester Publishing--Paranormal: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency.

  • Mary Reade Award-A very interesting contest. Entries postmarked by July 5, Finalists in October and Winners announced in February of 2009. Sumbit the first 20 pages of your manuscript. "The Mary Reade is a second change contest. The 3 top entrants will be chosen from among the highest scoring finalists. They will be classified as 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, according to their scores. They will then chose their "prize" from the list of agents in The Literary Cartel to send their work to they've been given time to revise according to the judges' comments." Categories, Contemporary Romance. Mainstream/Single Title Romance. Romantic Suspense. Paranormal Romance. Category/Series Romance. Romantic Element.

    Other Writing Contests (Dream Big!!)

  • Pulitzer Prizes -- June 15. One prize of $10,000 given annually to a U.S. writer to honor the most distinguished book of fiction published in the U.S. during the preceding year. Submit an author biography and photograph and four copies of the book to: Pulitzer Prizes, Poetry and Fiction Prizes, Columbia University, 709 Journalism Building, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. (212) 854-3841. $50 entry fee.

Just for Fun

  • Nominate Your Best Friend. Best-selling author Brenda Novak invites you to nominate your best friend to win a 7-day Caribbean cruise. In 250 words or less, tell us why your friend deserves this trip. A semi-finalist will be chosen each Friday and you get to vote for the grand prize winner! Contest runs June 1-August 31.

  • Writers Weekly 24 hour Short Story Contest. Register for the Summer 2008--- 24-Hour Short Story Contest. Start time is July 26th, 2008 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) central time. Held quarterly and limited to 500 entrants. Don't miss out on the ultimate source for creative stress...and tons of fun! More than 85 prizes! Entry fee is $5.00. Guidelines available on the site.

  • Real Simple Life Lessons Essay Contest: What Was the Most Important Day of Your Life? Enter our first-ever Life Lessons essay contest and you could have your essay published in Real Simple with a prize of $3,000. Contest entries should be a maximum of 1,500 words. Online entries must be received by 11:59 P.M. on September 9, 2008. Mailed entries must be postmarked by September 9, 2008, and received by September 16, 2008.


  1. Tina, as always, you impress me!!! To write a book in a month is mindboggling, but to work full time and take on that challenge, awes me!! I'm pulling for you!



    Happy Friday, Seekerville.

    Janet, I may not reach my goal but I will have tried!!!

  3. I did the NANO challenge last November with my third novel and met the challenge. What an awesome feeling that was! So it can be done. Good luck to you!

    It would be interesting to see what the book has to offer.

    eileenastels [at] rogers [dot] com.

  4. I found a contest i can enter your best friend only i have more than one.
    (dont enter me in the contest)
    I see mays contest was in part to Port Orchard thats where im going in Sept for a few days!
    ok off to bed its saturday tomorrow and sleep in morning

  5. Hey! I'm a lurker who is coming clean in hopes of being a winner. Thanks for the invite!!

  6. While the thought of doing the NaNo program has me all in a twiddle, someday I'm going to find the courage to do it.

    On a side note...

    Two weeks or so, Camy recommended the book, Writing for Emotional Impact. After reading her post, I immediately ordered it.

    OH MY.

    The book is fabulous.

    Yes, the focus is on scriptwriting, but everything completely relates to novels. In fact, I figured out from reading why I was bored to death trying to read a particular historical recently.

    I didn't care about the characters.

    Sometimes I think authors get this idea because our characters are the leads that immediately makes the reader have to accept them as hero and heroine and, consequently, like them...or at least care about their struggles.


    Recently I got back a scoresheet where the judge told me that my heroine was very likeable, but the judge didn't understand why it was so important for the heroine to reach her goal. In other words, the judge didn't sympathize with the heroine's need to [goal].

    I couldn't figure out why the judge missed the one line mention of how miserable the heroine's life was. Hello, it was right there on page 7.

    But then I started reading the book Camy recommended.

    *light bulb*

    The tweak I did to the heroine's first scene isn't anything but adding a character to mistreat the heroine. And the new character doesn't even say a word.

    Okay, my word verification is informart. No joke.


  7. Tina, you're amazing!!! Such great info! And all the contests! Plus you do that wonderful cancer website!

    Thanks for keeping up on track!

  8. I meant to say, thanks for keeping US on track! :)

  9. Last Nov I signed up for NaNo, as well. I set my goal at 55,000 and finished 2 days before the 30th. I was elated!

    I couldn't turn off my internal editor, though. I love writing but don't like re-reading and editing, so I left my internal editor on and worked with it. I really liked the result.

    I even entered it in the Genesis this year and although it didn't final, I was very pleased with the marks and comments.

    So, 1st time Nano, 1st time contest and a lot of fun to boot. :-D

  10. Tina, wow! Can't wait to hear how you do on your goal. Personally, I'm aiming at a book in three months. I have a manuscript I want finished before ACFW in Sept.

    Thank you for mentioning the Best Friend contest. I have an amazing friend that I'd love to write about. The challenge will be the 250 words.

  11. Tina, the book in a month challenge sounds really intriguing! Will you be finishing up a WIP or starting from scratch? Either way I'm in awe. Please let us know how it works out. Even if you only wrote 25,000 words that would be great. Best of luck.


  12. My goal is always, always, always, 1000 words a day five days a week.

    So I write 20,000 words a month and I KNOW I should double that but so far not. But I think I'm capable of it. I sometimes go OVER my goal but I never go under.

    Except when I do.

    One day last week I wrote three thousand words, lengthening a novella. Then the next day, I came to a part of the novella that had to go and I ended the day 2,000 words shorter. So the forward progress isn't always without pain.

  13. My goal now is 10K a week, and that's with a full-time job and commitments 4-5 nights every week. But I'm actually hitting about 7K a week. I hope to increase those numbers and finish this puppy in the next 3 weeks. I'm afraid it's gonna take 4 because we have a revival coming up in a couple of weeks. BUT I did schedule Wed of that week to take a vacation day. If I can get 4K+ done that day, it'll sure help my feelings!

    I'm not using anybody's program to do this, because I don't need another commitment online somewhere! lol

    But I did pre-plot as much as possible, and I'm learning better ways to pre-plot that are beginning to show fruit.

    So, when this book is done, there will be a period of not many new words while I plot. Then when I'm ready, I'll go back to the 10k thing.

  14. You are my hero, Pam. I'm a little weeping thinking about 10K a week. Good for you.

    Hi, Anne. Nice to see you on Seekerville.

    I've never done nano either. Lots of people love it.

  15. Since you all know I'm a dollars and cents kind of gal, here's another tip to get on track and stay there:

    I use what I call the IOU system...because I'm very much motivated by money, even IMAGINARY money. (Love Monopoly)

    I assigned $.06 to every word.

    When I log in my 1,576 words for the day and KA-CHING, $94.56 pops up, I get really excited. lol

    Hey, I never actually SEE any of my real cash either, so what's the difference?

    I'll cash in my IOU when my agent sells the book!


  16. Anita, wow!! That is inspiring!!!
    Eileen, you too!!!

    New WIP, Anne, just want to do something from scratch. I love to revise so I don't care if it is rough.

  17. Pammy, you are a Book In A Month all by yourself. Wowza. Way to go dude!!!!

  18. Mary, really I like the balance you have. I'd like to go to 5 thousand a week after this. Heck, 5 will really sound lovely after 11 a week.

  19. We have a winner. As soon as our next Book in a Month writer contacts me I will post her name.

  20. Yay to Becky who won!!!

    We'll expect follow up in the coming months on how your writing journey is going.

  21. I don't think I've ever heard of this book and kit, Tina! Thanks for recommendation!!