Friday, February 4, 2011

February Contest Update

Welcome to another monthly edition of the Seekerville Contest Update.
The prize vault is open and today's prize is a Seekerville Love Inspired 3 Pack,

featuring Glynna Kaye's February release, Second Chance Courtship
and 2 other hand selected Seeker written Love Inspired releases.

Unpublished Author Contests

Hearts Through History. All electronic. Deadline February 11. Participation is open to both published and unpublished authors. The contest entry shall consist of ONE (1) copy of the opening of the manuscript (including any prologue) not to exceed 30 pages. The contest entry also shall include a 1-2 page unjudged synopsis.

Colonial/Western/Civil War
Post-Victorian/World War 2
Time Travel/Historical Paranormal
Historical Erotic
The Legend

Category details on the website.

The Sheila. Deadline February 12. All electronic. Entry includes title page, beginning of manuscript, and synopsis (up to 5 pages). The manuscript and synopsis may not exceed 35 total pages.

Categories and Final Round Judges:

Single Title Romance:
Emilia Pisani, Simon and Schuster

Historical (short or long and Regencies):
Holly Blanck, St. Martin’s Press

Leah Hultenschmidt, SourceBooks

Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements/Chick Lit:
Alex Logan, Grand Central

Romantic Suspense:
Leis Pederson, Berkeley

The Sandy. Deadline for electronically submitting entries is February 13. Entry consists of the first 20 double-spaced pages of your novel and up to a 2 page double-spaced synopsis for a total page count of 22 pages.

Romance - Holly Blanck, Assistant Editor, St. Martin's Press
Mainstream Adult Fiction - Leis Pederson, Associate Editor, Berkley
Suspense / Thriller / Mystery - Sarah Knight, Senior Editor, Simon & Schuster
Fantasy / Science Fiction - Suzie Townsend, FinePrint Literary Management
Children's & YA - Holly Root, Agent at Waxman Literary Agency

Fire and Ice: . Deadline February 16th. Entry consists of the first 25 pages. This is an electronic contest.

Single Title Romance- Angela James, Carina Press

Series Romance- Victoria Curran, Harlequin Superromance

Historical Romance- Jenny Bent, The Bent Agency

Women's Fiction w/Romantic Elements-Alex Logan, Grand Central Publishing

Paranormal Romance-Lindsey Faber, Samhain Publishing

Young Adult Romance- Naomi Hackenberg, Elaine English Agency

Dixie First Chapter. Deadline March 1.The first 25 pages or first chapter (up to 25 pgs), of your manuscript. Synopsis is not required. All electronic contest.

Contemporary Single Title-- Alicia Condon-Editorial Director, Kensington Books
Contemporary Series - Wanda Ottewell, Sr. Editor Harlequin Superromance
Romantic Suspense - Allison Lyons, Editor Harlequin Intrigue
Paranormal - Kelli Collins, Editor-In-Chief Ellora's Cave
Inspirational - Tina James, Sr. Editor Steeple Hill
Historical - Kevan Lyons, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Young Adult - Leah Hultenschmidt,
Editor, Sourcebooks Young Adult Line

Fab Five. Deadline March 1. All electronic. An entry consists of the first pages of your unpublished novel, up to 2500 words. No synopsis.
The top five finalists in each category will be ranked by the following editors/agents:

Historical: Emilia Pisani, Gallery Books

Paranormal: Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich

Romantic Suspense: Kimberly Whalen, Trident Media Group

Series Contemporary (L/S): Kathryn Lye, Harlequin Enterprises

Single Title: Latoya Smith, Grand Central Publishing

Women’s Fiction: Holly Blanck, St. Martin’s Press

Young Adult: Leah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks

Great Beginnings. Deadline March 1st.Enter the opening five (5) pages of romance novels of all sub-genres (projected length of at least 50,000 words). Eligibility: Contest is open to published and unpublished authors. Published authors may submit only unpublished, uncontracted manuscripts and must not published in category entered or not be published within the last three years. NOTE: All entries will be judged collectively.

Contemporary: Laurie McLean - Larsen Pomada Literary Agency
Historical: Kelly Mortimer - Mortimer Literary Agency
Paranormal: Elaine Spencer - The Knight Agency
Mystery/Suspense: Robert Fleck - Professional Media Services
Young Adult: Sara Megibow, Nelson Literary Agency, LLC

Query Quandry. Entries will be accepted from February 1 through March 1. jAll electronic. You may include an optional 1-2-pg. UNJUDGED synopsis.

Historical: Esi Sogah, Avon
Contemporary Series: Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Literary Agency
Contemporary Single Title: Elaine Spencer, The Knight Agency
Mystery/Suspense: Janet Reid, Fine Print Literary Management
YA: Molly Jaffa, Folio Literary Management
Paranormal: Suzie Townsend, Fine Print Literary Management
Erotica: Raelene Gorlinsky, Ellora's Cave

ACFW Genesis. Deadline March 4. All electronic. NEW THIS YEAR: If an entry does not have a one-page single-space synopsis, the entry will be disqualified. The entrant may enter a maximum of 15 manuscript pages (not including the one-page synopsis) even if this is more than the first chapter. Prologues are acceptable.

  • Contemporary Fiction: Beth Adams (editor, Guideposts books), Rachelle Gardener (agent, WordServe Literary), Ami McConnell (editor, Thomas Nelson)
  • Contemporary Romance: Melissa Endlich (editor, Love Inspired), Raela Schoenherr (editor, Bethany House), JoAnne Simmons (editor, Barbour Publishing)
  • Historical Fiction: Janet Grant (agent, Books and Such Literary), Sarah Long (editor, Bethany House), Jan Stob (editor, Tyndale)
  • Historical Romance: Tamela Hancock Murray (agent, Hartline Literary), Charlene Patterson (editor, Bethany House), Emily Rodmell (editor, Love Inspired Historical)
  • Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: Stephanie Broene (editor, Tyndale), Susan Downs (editor, Summerside Press), David Long (editor, Bethany House)
  • Romantic Suspense: Susan Brower (editor, Zondervan), Tina James (editor, Love Inspired Suspense), Karen Schurrer (editor, Bethany House)
  • Speculative Fiction: Jeff Gerke (publisher, Marcher Lord Press), Julie Gwinn (marketing manager, B&H Publishing), Annie Tipton (editor, Barbour Publishing)
  • Women's Fiction: Sandra Bishop (agent, MacGregor Literary), Natasha Kern (agent, Natasha Kern Literary), Becky Monds (editor, Thomas Nelson)
  • Young Adult: Jacque Alberta (editor, Zondervan), Terry Burns (agent, Hartline Literary), Rachel Kent (agent, Books and Such Literary)

Published Author Contests

Inspirational Reader's Choice. Deadline March 1st.

More Than Magic.
Deadline March 1st.

The Carol Awards. Deadline March 18.

Other Contests

2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Do you have an unpublished or self-published novel you know readers will love? Enter your novel in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for a chance to win one of two $15,000 publishing contracts with Penguin USA and distribution of your novel on Two categories: Young Adult and General Fiction. Contest open now and until February 6th! (Unpublished and Published Authors Eligible)

Wow! Women on Writing Quarterly Flash Fiction Contest. Deadline Feb 28th.

Word Count:
Maximum: 750, Minimum: 250 OPEN PROMPT! That’s right, this is your chance to shine, and get creative. You can write about anything, as long as it’s within the word count and fiction. So, dig out those stories you started way back when and tailor them to the word count.

Any style and genre. From horror to romance! So, get creative, and most of all, have fun. . The winner not only gets cash and goodies but an agent read! The guest agent judge is Elaine Spencer of The Knight Literary Agency.

Simply For Fun!

Win a Vegan Chocolate Box at the PETA Blog. Contest ends February 9. Just share how you plan to show your love for animals on February 14.

Harlequin Patent Your Kiss Contest! Deadline March 30!So pucker up!
Next year it's not who you kiss at midnight but where
We want to hear all about your unique kiss, from romantic to downright quirky. And if yours gets the most votes, you could win a trip for two to spend New Year’s Eve 2012 in fabulous style. 3-Night, 4-Day trip for 2 to Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino + Airfare

Time to start contesting people!


  1. Thanks for the info! Always appreciated! And good luck to anyone that enters!

  2. Ooo la la great contest info! Best wishes everyone!

    XOXO~ Renee

  3. Thanks for the info!

    Genesis is probably about as far as I'll get. Unless, by some miracle, I hear from the editor with my full by then.

    I've got chocolate. Lots of it. And ice cream. Or frozen custard. Or frozen yogurt. Whichever you prefer.

    Another extra kiddo tomorrow. Am thinking about braving the outside with the 5 of them by myself... I may be crazy. They're also talking up to another 6" by Monday.


    Where were we? Right. Chocolate. And cold creaminess to go with it.

    And caffeine. Gotta have that. Know it's cold when the 20oz Dr Pepper isn't just cold but is actually slushy. And it wasn't near the outside of the garage either. Nope it was in the 1/3 or so closest to the house and not near the outer wall.

    Bought stuff for S'mores tomorrow too, so I'll drop some of it off here.

    My first ever guest blog is supposed to be up on Reflections in Hindsight at some point today. Not sure what time they do their posts. It's all about Valentine's Day. And peeing on a stick. You'll have to read it to see how the two go together.

    I so need to be asleep but the 3yo woke up and hasn't given the ghost back up yet.

    I'll leave chocolate chip cookies too.

    Someone else will have to supply breakfast...

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  4. Thanks for the great info! I entered a contest you mentioned a few months back--my first one. I so enjoyed the feedback from the judges. It was a great experience! I'm going to check out a few of these . . .

  5. Looks like lots of great contests...good luck to all those who enter!

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  6. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraFebruary 4, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    Thanks for all the contest info. Good luck to all of those entering! Have a good weekend everyone!

  7. Thanks for compiling this, Tina! Lots of great contests right now. Y'all should go for it!

    Renee Ann, so glad you tried entering!! Yay for you!! Also, I'm glad you got good feedback. :)

  8. Thanks, Tina, for your faithfulness and dedication to this blog and its readers. You deserve accolades. And a party. And chocolate.

    Have a great weekend!

  9. Tina, if it wasn't for you I'd miss contest deadlines! Thanks for being so organized.

  10. Great contest information!

    Thanks, Tina, for compiling everything so we don't have to search it all out.


  11. What a line-up of contests! It's going to be a great year!

    Lead me to the coffee....

  12. Morning, Seekerville.

    Snow's back in Denver. Here's a shoutout to my wonderful neighbor and is snow blower who did my sidewalk.

  13. So many brave contest entrants!!! Good for you!!

  14. Wow! Lots of opportunities. Thank you for the information.

    Jodie Wolfe

  15. Hey folks....scroll down...I just added a new contest to the list. Harlequin's Submit Your Kiss Contest!!

  16. Love Seekerville blog....looking forward to Feb. contests!!!

  17. Seekers and Friends will be well-represented among the winners and finalists!

    Thanks Tina, as always!

  18. Wow, Teenster, GREAT compilation of contests, girlfriend -- YOU ROCK!!!



  19. Where do you FIND all these?? Never mind, I think I'll let you keep your well kept secret. :)

    I FINALLY buckled down and wrote a synopsis. I'm entering Susan May Warren's Frasier and I have to have a 500 word synopsis. By the time I was all done I had over 800 and had to cut, cut, cut!

    But I tell you it is so satisfying to now I have conquered that monster! (now to just perfect it :)

  20. Looks like some great contests. Thanks for the list! Have a great weekend!

  21. Argh. Did you HAVE TO post this? Huh? I've successfully kept my head under a rock through all the contest chatter, trying to stay focused and get this "one thing" done. But now I'm distracted. Majorly. There's TWO contests you listed that are screaming now. Two! What's today? February 4th. Maybe if I...

    I can tell this is gonna require lots of grape koolaid.
    Thanks, Tina.
    I think.

  22. Thanks, Tina! Great info...always!

    Good luck to all those who enter. Let's have lots of winners in the Seekerville community. :)

  23. Oh my stars, this is aweeeeesomeeee!

    Couldn't get back over here. Dagnabbit.

    Leaving homemade croissants stuffed with chocolate. Oh my stars, and fresh strawberries.

    Soooo yum!!!!

    Will be back to play.

  24. Okay - Seekervillians. My first ever guest blog is up. Julie stopped by. You know you want to.

    A Rather Unexpected Valentine's Day Present by yours truly.

    I'll offer chocolate. The guilt-free, calorie-free cyber kind ;).

    In an effort to keep this remotely on topic...

    I finally heard from Great Expectations. Didn't final. Didn't expect to, but it was worse than I'd anticipated as well. Haven't been able to bring myself to look at the judge sheets etc yet. Two of my friends have though and gave me some ideas of what to expect. I don't have the emotional fortitude to look at them right now.

    Maybe tomorrow. Or next week. Or after my book is published and I can say 'See?! Someone loved it!' Or maybe never.

    Okay - Monday/next week is more likely. After the kids go back to school. Bawling like a baby with 6 kids around probably isn't the best plan. Especially when two aren't yours and they'll go back to their moms and dads and be like 'dude, that friend's mom is crazy'.

    /snort/ If they only knew...

  25. Way to go, Casey!!!

    And Patty! You know you want to.

  26. Carol, I generally can't surf around until after work. So my dedication to blogs is to Seekerville until then.

  27. Now here's a secret to make you feel better about Great Expectations, Carol.

    I entered. In a different genre. That's allowed for published authors.

    I did not final.

    It's all about that fresh read. And I got huge feedback. Very excited to apply it.

    Interesting to note. The two unpublished judges were pretty harsh with quite low scores, but gave me great feedback.

    The one published judge was much more insightful and gave me a 95. I have to believe she is a genius of course.

    It's all about perspective.

    Don't look at it as I didn't final. They hate me.

    Look at it as, how can I grow as a writer from this. Because we ALL can grow. No matter where we are the the writing path.

    So put the 24 hour whine rule into effect immediately and after than you move on. Got it???

  28. Hi Tina:

    Don't look at it as I didn't final. They hate me.

    You mean they won’t hate you? Does this apply if you’re a man?

    Really, do you think I should use a female pen name for contests? I kind of like Vivian Marie.

    We have been stuck in the house since Monday. There is 12 to 14 inches of snow on the driveway and it looks like there will be no relief for the next 8 days. (That’s as far as the extended forecast goes.) It’s snowing right now and they predict more snow on Sunday and a lot more on Wednesday. This is the worse in Tulsa’s history. (The storm might make good copy for the Sullivan Ranch.)

    This would be a good time to work on some contests but most of my stuff is on my work computer. Of course, the very short contests could be written from scratch. A good snowbound story might pantser right to the surface.


  29. Great info!!! Now, I can spend less time searching!!



  30. Vince - I'm near Springfield. I managed to get out last night but that's it. Barely made it back. We're supposed to get a dusting today and then possibly another 6-8" on Sunday/Monday with more mid-week. Dad's near Tulsa and my stepmom made it to work yesterday just long enough to pay the guy to clean the parking lot of the business she manages.


    Stay warm and safe friend.

  31. What I mean is that it doesn't matter if they hate you. The only thing that matters is what the editor thinks.

    You're using them for feedback but don't sell the ranch on what a contest judge says.

    Contests are anonymous so it doesn't matter what your name is, right?

    Vince, you're talking about being a pantser? Wow, the snow must be affecting your thought process.

    One year in Tulsa the ice was so bad we lost power on Christmas. For several days. We were grateful for the grill and we put the cooked turkey out on the back patio.

  32. From Steve's Sundry..newsletter.

    Blizzard Update-We're Open!

    Steve's is Open for Business!

    Bob, Jerry & I are here until 4:00 Friday! Depending on the weather (more snow forecasted) we will be open Saturday from 10:00-4:00, and Sunday, 10:00-4:00.

    There have been no all you newspaper and magazine junkies...nothing new as of now!

  33. Thanks, Tina, for keeping us up to date with contests and making the post pretty too! Your list makes me want to enter one more but I'm low on copies of The Substitute Bride.

    I agree, Mel. We owe Tina a lot.
    Glad her neighbor is pitching in with his snowblower.

    Carol M, Mmm Thanks for the chocolate!

    Renee Ann, congrats on entering!

    Keep warm. Be safe.


  34. Excellent update. THANK YOU!

  35. Hi all,

    I love all the contest info (thanks Tina), but I've got a super-newbie question -

    If your manuscript isn't done (I mean, say, 1/2 written in the rough draft...), should you consider entering it in any contest? Or should you have it ready to pitch it to someone first? In other words, at what point do you say "okay, this one's ready for a contest"?

    I brought cinnamon rolls - tried a new recipe and they turned out great. I think my boys left a few in the pan...

  36. Wow, it really is contest time, isn't it? I'm working on an entry for the Romance Slam Jam Aspiring Author contest (deadline 2/28), which I'll also enter into the Genesis. Gotta take a look at some of these others.

  37. Hi Tina:

    Contests are anonymous so it doesn't matter what your name is, right?

    I don’t know. How secret is anonymous throughout the entire process? How hard would it be to draw a little circle with an arrow coming out of it in pencil at the top of the entry? It would still be anonymous. I know this is somewhat paranoiac given I’ve had 11 out of 12 judges like my entries. I’m sure one hated it.

    Besides I don’t think things are still anonymous at the important point where an editor might ask for a full – or is it? When an editor asks for a full, does she not know the name of the author?

    Pantserism works great for 25 to 30 pages! It is trying to tie-up the loose ends in the middle that’s hard. Every choice a pantser makes in the early part of the book closes options that might have been perfect at the end of the book. But you can’t use those options at the end without a messy rewrite. And if you are going to rewrite to a plot line, why not plot in the first place?

    Here’s a quote:

    “Pantserism is leaping without looking.”

    It’s snowing hard now. Looks like six more inches. St. Francis hospital people are staying at the Double Tree Hotel and my nurse has spent the last four days sleeping in the hospital. She just called to cancel a Monday appointment.

    I think it’s time to enter the two very short contests.


    P.S. You can still download books. I’ve already read “Wanted: A Family”.

  38. Thanks for all this great contest info. Tina! Have a wonderful, warm weekend! ~ Patti Jo :)

  39. Jan, here are some Seekerville links to check out that answer many, many newbie questions.

    Q&A With Marlena Fortune

    In fact, I highly recommend ALL of Marlena's posts.

    Pimp Your Contest Entry

    Basically, a contest cycle is at least four months long. Maximum six months. Averaging. So do the math. If you get a request for a full, can you have the msc completed in time to send it out say...15-30 days after the request? I don't know. Can you?

  40. I know where our tax return will go! Or at least my portion... :D

  41. Wow! So many contests, so little time. Opps, that's a cliche - I knew I shouldn't have said it! :) I'd like to enter the first five page critique contest, if it's still an on going contest. Thanks! Now I'm going to check out Q&A with Marlena Fortune.

  42. LOL, Virginia. But they are deductible expenses for a writer!!

  43. Wow! The prize fault is open! I'm here.

    What contests am I looking at?

    Dixie First
    Great Beginnings

    That one page synopsis is difficult. I see a lot of chocolate in my future.

  44. Fresh strawberries. My fil had us order my mil some chocolate-covered strawberries to be delivered on Valentine's Day.


    It's a secret.

    I hope she's not hanging out in Seekerville...

  45. Everybody keep in mind that the ACFW Carol Awards (formerly Book of the Year), and The Genesis ends a bit earlier this year.

    Don't wait too long, and get left out in the cold!

  46. Tina, such a useful list- thanks for compiling it.

  47. Jan, there are varying opinions on that question. Some people will say to only enter when the mss is about done or done. Other say they like to test out new manuscripts before they bother writing the whole thing. I've actually done both.

    What were the results? The one that was nearly complete did great in contest. The one that was new and basically a first draft (with maybe one critique) did not do well.

    I've found that my manuscript opening chapters can change a good bit as the story develops. And I think they get better with each draft of the mss.

    So... I guess the answer would be: Do what fits your goals for the story. Are you trying to sell it or to test out a new idea?

    Okay, that was really long!! Sorry! haha

  48. Thanks, Laura and welcome to Seekerville!

  49. Goodness, tempting, oh so tempting.
    Thanks so much for this list.

  50. Thanks for all the great information. Many great contests out there. Kind of overwhelming, actually. But a lot of great opportunities.
    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

  51. Contests are a great way to get your manuscript in front of an editor, and they can sometimes lead to getting a contract. Don't let your fears keep you from entering.