Friday, November 6, 2009

November 2009 Contest Update

The countdown has begun...

9 days left until the 2010 Golden Heart is closed to entries.

25 days left in NaNoWriMo.

55 days left until 2010!

Today the prize vault is open and we have two lovely prizes. Winners will be announced in the Weekend Edition.

One commenter will win a copy of Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing,

and another will win a copy of The Grammar Devotional: Daily Tips for Successful Writing from Grammar Girl.

Catch a podcast with the author, Mignon Fogarty here.

Upcoming Contests for Published and Unpublished Writers:

Enchanted Words. The Perfect Pitch.
Final judge is an editor and agent. "Enchant us with your submission packet, and send us your query letter, synopsis (up to 7 pages), and the first five pages of your unpublished romance novel. Published authors may enter, provided they have not had a book published by an RWA-eligible publisher in the past three years."

Categories and final judges:

Contemporary (includes category length books)
Editor judge: Tracy Bernstein, NAL
Agent judge: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Editor judge: Leis Pedersen, Berkley
Agent judge: Emmanuelle Alspaugh, Judith Erlich Literary Agency
Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-fi/Time Travel
Editor judge: Margo Lipschultz, HQN/Luna
Agent judge: Alexandra Machinist, Linda Chester and Associates Literary Agency

RWA Golden Heart. Registration ends November 15, CST. You may register online. Manuscripts must be submitted to RWA by December 2. Entry requires a complete manuscript and synopsis. Categories mirror the RITA, Contemporary Series; Contemporary Series Romantic Suspense / Adventure; Contemporary Single Title; Historical; Inspirational; Novel with strong Romantic Elements; Paranormal ; Regency Historical; Romantic Suspense; YA.
The Golden Heart provides no feedback.On March 25, the RWA staff shall send finalists an Official Letter of Notification via two-day delivery.

The top 10 percent of each category’s entries (based on number of qualified entries received), with a limit of eight (nine in case of tie), will advance to the final round, provided the minimum total score for each finalist equals 80 percent of the total possible score.

The Pikes Peak Fiction Writers Contest: The Paul Gillette Awards. E Deadline is November 15. Submit an entire short story, or 1st 15 pp of novel plus synopsis (2-5 pp max) 4,000 word count limit on manuscript pages and a 1,250 word count on synopsis. All short story genres are entered into one category.

Categories and Judges for Novels:

Jennifer Rees

Historical Fiction
Rachelle Gardner
WordServe Literary Group

Donald Maass
Donald Maass Literary Agency

Kathleen Gilligan
Thomas Dunne (St. Martins) Books

Brenda Chin

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
Jennifer Jackson
Donald Maass Literary Agency

Short Story
Denise Little

Young Adult
Stefanie Von Borstel
Full Circle Literary Agency

The Write Stuff Contest. E-deadline: December 1, 2009. Entry: The first 20 pages of your manuscript (double spaced) and an optional one page synopsis (single spaced). The synopsis will not be judged. Entries will be limited to the first 85 submissions. Top prize: $100 in each category!

Young Adult: Jennifer Shober, Spencerhill Associates

Historical: Megan Records, Kensingon

Series Contemporary: Victoria Curran, Harlequin

Single Title: Leis Pederson, Berkley

Paranormal: Karen Solem, Spenerhill Associates

Mainstream with Romantic Elements: Holly Blanck, St. Martin's Press

Mystery/Suspense: Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks

National Reader's Choice Awards.
Deadline for receipt of entries and checks: December 1, 2009. The deadline for receipt of books: January 15, 2010. All entries must have
an original copyright date of 2009, or "First US Printing" date of 2009 as evidenced by the copyright page or a letter from the publisher, and must have been available for sale in the United States sometime during 2009.

RITA Awards. Completed entry forms and appropriate fees must be received at the RWA Office no later than 5 p.m. Central Time, December 1, 2009. Books must be received by RWA at 14615 Benfer Road, Houston, Texas 77069 no later than 5 p.m. Central Time, January 4, 2010. Have an original copyright date of 2009 (During the 2010 transitional contest year, those books with BOTH a 2008 original copyright date and a 2009 North American printing date or 2009 first printing date may be entered.) Five copies of the book are required for the preliminary round, and additional five copies for the final round, and an additional five copies if a finalist qualifies for the Best First Book category.

Just For Fun:

Besides their other monthly contests, Writer's Journal has a short story contest, called Write To Win. The deadline for the next one is December 30th and the winner takes home a nice cash prize. The reading fee is $5.00. Maximum 1500 words, and stories must start with the starter phrase, may be dialogue—author's choice. This is a snail mail contest.

The starter phrase is:

As the boot flew across the room...

As you can see, November is a very slow contest month. Now is a good time to start preparing for the 2010 contest circuit.

How are you going to pay for those 2010 contest entries?

Last month I blogged at Missy Tippens F.A.I.T.H blog on how to support your writing habit.

In January 2009, Seekerville featured an entire week devoted to the working writer. Check out:

Sin, Suffer, Cash the Checks by Michael Bracken

The Working Writer by Cindi Myers

Hone Your Craft and Build Your Credits with Magazine Writing by Myra Johnson

A Beginner's Guide to Freelance Blogging by Deb Ng

Writing Romantic Fiction For Woman's World by Tina Russo.

We've also shared in Seekerville on how to organize your writing in the post, Organization for the Organizationally Challenged.

That's it for this month, see you in December.


  1. Tina:

    In response to your post about a need for entries in the inspy category of the Gotcha, I sent one.

    Haven't yet made a final decision on the GH.

    Keep the updates coming--they're appreciated.


  2. Teenster, thanks for the updates!

    I loved the reminder that as things slow for the holiday lull, it's time to start planning anew.

    Amen, Sistah!

    2010 looms.

    Plan your work. Work your plan.

    I made coffee, good strong stuff for the die-hards and chocolate velvet for the frou-frous.


    With flavored creamers for all and flavor shots to boot.

    Super yum.

    Donuts. No time to bake. Writing new book and LOVING IT!!!!


    Oven's on hold.

    But they're great donuts, and save me a cream-filled for mid-day, 'kay?


  3. Tina,

    Loved the connection to your article on keeping a steady paycheck. Would love to find a way to make the blogging I do pay.

    Sipping the first cup from a new coffee maker this morning. My old one broke last week and I've been living on instant. The old one was a "Mr. Coffee." When it broke, the words "Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio" floated through my head.

  4. Way to go Helen. And I know someone else around here who did also.

    Go Seekerville.


  5. I have been a slacker this year, Walt. Working so hard on other novel length writing I have failed to keep my non fiction and short fiction balls juggling. But I am going to remedy that ASAP.

    Pass the java, Joe DiMaggio.

  6. Thanks, Tina, for the update. I'm gearing up ...

    Happy Friday!!


  7. Tina
    As usual, you deliver. Thanks a bunch.

    I'm going to check out all those lovely past posts about how to get paid through writing. I never thought my first 'published' something would be nonfiction, but - hey- it's such a nice surprise either way :-)


    good practice.

    Writing short is tough (for me anyway, especially short fiction).
    Incredible practice, though. It really makes you focus on tight writing, doesn't it?

    Great article, btw, Tina. I'm off to read it again.

  8. Tina,

    Thanks for the update and good luck to anyone who enters these contests!

    I'm going to be a frou-frou today because the chocolate velvet coffee sounds great.


  9. I need to start moving on my Christmas shopping!
    Thank you for the contest updates. As always you rock!

  10. Pepper mentioned difficulty writing 'short'...

    Think of it as the last chapter of a romance novel...

    the crux.

    The moment where you know it won't work, but does, suddenly, because he or she or both got a clue.

    If you look at the end of most romances this way, you can emulate an ending in your own 'story'.

    Not plagiarize, mind you! :) But just turn it and twist it with your words because a short story is actually the 'end' of the book.

    In Reader's Digest form.

    Try it and see.

    Then send me chocolate.

    Lots of chocolate. :)

  11. Ooo,
    Thanks Ruthy. You're splendind!
    And endings are my favorite parts.
    Ending the story
    Ending the moving
    ending the housework...well, not in this life, but hey, I'm an optimist.

    Chocolate, you say?
    You're in luck. Preacher cookies...aka...No Bakes, aka, Chocolate Oatmeal cookies coming from my house. Since it has oatmeal in it, it's okay to eat before lunch, you know. That's a rule.

    Breakfast food item.

  12. Tina, 55 days until 2010! Talk about putting a little pressure on a gal who lives day to day!!

    Walt, happy you got a new coffee maker. The thought of instant coffee makes me shiver!

    Ruthy, thanks for the donuts! Somehow these don't end up on my hips. Love the advice you gave Pepper. I never thought of short stories that way, but you're exactly right.


  13. PEPPER!!! Recipe please. No bake are my favorite.

  14. I entered the Genesis and TBL contests but no other ones this year. A few more, selected contests in 2010, to be sure. And a return to short fiction writing (and sales, I hope) too, if I can work out a good writing schedule to support both.

  15. I found your wonderful site through the @GrammarGirl twitter. Thanks for offering her books in a contest!

    Daily slogging along with my nanowrimo project,


  16. I clicked through from Grammar Girl's tweet about your draw for her books, and what a treasure trove of information here! I've just added Seekers to my RSS feeds.

  17. Visiting your site for the first time via GrammarGirl's Twitter. I'm adding you to my feed reader!

  18. Congrats, Patricia!!!! Way to go.

    GRAMMAR GIRL tweetadees, welcome.

  19. Preacher Cookies or No Bakes
    (these dont' have coconut in them - because I'm not a big coconut fan)
    2 c. sugar
    1/2 c butter
    1/4 c cocoa
    1/2 c milk
    2 1/2 c quick oats
    1/2 c peanut butter

    mix sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk in saucepan. Bring to boil. Rolling boil for 2 1/2 minutes (stirring lots)
    Remove from heat
    add one tsp vanilla, oats, & peanut butter. (mix well)

    drop by tsp on wax paper or spread in pan and cut into squares.

    (remember, these are affected by the atmosphere. If it's raining, sometimes they won't harden ;-)

  20. Tina, thanks for the update.


  21. Last year I didn't even know about all you Seekers and now I'm a devoted fan and follower! I look forward to checking out your organizational posts from earlier this year. Thanks, too, for the contest reminders!

    Have a great weekend, Ladies.


  22. Thanks, PepAH!!

    Hi Cheryl.

    Heho, Connie. We haven't dusted in ages, but we still welcome you to our archives.

  23. Contests, Contests, Contests.

    Thanks for the info, Tina.

    However I must say that the 55 days till 2010 is what really caught my eye.

    Where does time go?

    I sent out two contest entries last week, I may just send another one, who knows. I may try for a short. I can do short, I think I can do short. We'll see.

    For some of the others, my stories don't fit as Romance, so I don't even send them in.

    Printed off your recipe Pepper.

    I will remember not to make them in the rain...

  24. One question, do you think a time travel with cloningwould fit under the paranormal genre? Or would that go under straight women's fiction. There is no breakdown for time travel, in one contest, only paranormal

  25. Tina! This post made me SO sad : ( Everytime I hear 2010 it reminds me of my graduation. I do not(!!) want to graduate....big fear of mine, I'll confess. So, great job on the updates. It's so cool to hear about those, but don't talk about 2010 *tear*

    One of my friends was talking with me about college last night at musical rehearsal and it was so sad....neither of us wants to leave. We've known each other since kindergarten and are STILL it'll be really hard.

    Okay, loving that it's FRIDAY!!!! However, I'm going at 4pm to order my senior pics. Then, I have to be at high school for musical rehearsal by 5pm. It's cutting it pretty close : /

    6 hour rehearsal tonight!!

  26. Another great update, Tina!

    And welcome, welcome, welcome to the newest Seekerville arrivals! We hope you'll come back often and join in the lively repartee!

    Hannah, so sorry you're dreading graduation. But think of the new adventures you'll have! It's scary, but you'll do fine! You have such a lively, hopeful, giving spirit!

  27. Time travel would be under the paranormal umbrella for sure, Tina.

  28. Great reminder of all the contests coming up, Tina! Golden Heart is a biggie! Still on the fence for that one. Which way should I fall??

    Thanks for the links to the prior posts on making money writing. Actually I'm excited about the link to organization for the unorganized...

    Great, great job, Tina!

  29. Thanks, Tina! And Pepper, thanks for that recipe! It sounds totally awesome! I think I will try it.

  30. Hey, Hannah darlin' I teach GED. You think you're afraid of graduating, try NOT graduating. Then you'll know fear.


  31. Audra, you won't be excited once you see my desk---in the natural--when Seekers are not visiting.

  32. Welcome to all the Tweeters!! We're so glad you found us! (Okay, so I admit I'm not on Twitter yet, so I apolgize if my terminology is lame. My son's made so much fun of me on Facebook that I'm afraid to speak! LOL)

    Way to go, those of you who've entered contests recently!!

    Tina, thanks for the update!

  33. Wow, so many contests, so much writing! And Grammar Girl books to boot! I need to step it up!

  34. Thanks, Tina, for all the great info.

    Only 55 days until the New Year? Yikes!

    I'm always stopping in late. Thought I'd bring some hot tea and fresh baked cookies for the night owls. Enjoy!

  35. Yum! Great cookies!!

    Thanks to Myra and Mary(did you know that you have all the same letters in your names, just different spellings?!).
    Mary, my mom is a kindergarten teacher, has been for 25 years now. We always tease her that she's never made it out of kindergarten! However, now I want to be a kindergarten teacher too! Ironic, eh!?

    I know I need to move and I'm making too big a deal about it, but it is so hard for me. Not good with change or making new friends : S Plus, I've had some bad experiences being away from home(like not at a friend's house or an hour away, I'm talking states away!)....really bad homesick : ( Anyway, sorry to rant! I'm just really nervous...

  36. I just discovered your site and am excited by all the great info & insight you have to offer. I was reading about 'genres' and thought it was interesting how she was successful in more than one area. As a newly published author of a romantic suspense, I can identify since I have also written what I would consider more romantic comedy. By the way, my newly published book is called "And The Beat Goes On" - about an archeologist who discovers dinosuar and human remains together. If you want to check it out it is at
    Tracy Krauss