Friday, August 5, 2011

August Contest Update

Hard to believe, but the Christmas Countdown Clock doesn't lie..

The Golden Heart and RITA are open for entries September 21 and the next few weeks are some of the busiest on the contest circuit.

Are you ready? Or are you OUT OF CONTROL?

To prepare you we've linked to some of our great contest posts from the archive:

Pimp Your Contest Entry

Staging Your Manuscript

Contests: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Savvy Diva's Guide to Contests

How To Win Writing Contests

And... the prize vault is open and today we're giving away a copy of Mary Connealy's Out of Control! Just comment! Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.

Heart-To-Heart Contest. Deadline August 15, Electronic. Enter the scene(s) in which the hero and heroine meet for the first time or for the first time in the book, if previously acquainted, up to a maximum of 15 pages. Each entry may only be entered in one category. However, you may submit as many different entries as you wish. Each new entry must have a contest entry form and payment. The top three finalists in each category will have their entries read by a literary agent, a traditional publishing house editor and an e-publishing editor. Categories: Paranormal, Contemporary, Historical, Erotic, Young Adult.

No editors names listed but for $15 bucks this may be a good test-the-waters contest to enter.

The Golden Palm. Deadline midnight, August 15th. All electronic (but allows mailing of checks).

Categories and Final Round Judges:

Short/Long Contemporary: Megan Long, Associate Editor, Harlequin Superromance
Single Title: TBA
Mainstream with Romantic Elements: Elaine Spencer, Literary Agent, The Knight Agency
Historical: Elizabeth Bistrow, Editorial Assistant, New American Library
Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Time Travel: Deb Werksman, Editor, Sourcebooks
Erotica (new this year): Kelli Collins, Editor-in-Chief, Ellora’s Cave

Golden Pen. Electronic Deadline August 15. This contest closely parallels the Golden Heart and is presented by the Golden Network of past Golden Heart finalists. Entry shall include a synopsis plus manuscript pages, together totaling not more than 55 pages. The synopsis may not be longer than 10 pages.

Judges and Categories:

Historical – Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks Inc.
Inspirational – Melissa Endlich, Steeple Hill
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements – Valerie Gray, MIRA Books and SPICE Books
Paranormal – Leis Pederson, Berkley Publishing Group
Romantic Suspense – Holly Blanck, St. Martin’s Press
Series Contemporary – Susan Litman, Harlequin Enterprises
Single Title – Katherine Pelz, Berkley Publishing Group
Young Adult – Regina Griffin, Egmont USA

Launching A Star. Deadline Midnight August 25th. Entry is the first twenty-five pages of your manuscript-no synopsis. Agent and Editor final judges.

Single Title (including WF) -Emilia Pisani,Simon & Schuster/Sara Megabow,The Nelson Literary Agency

General Paranormal-Meredith Giordan,Berkley/Marlene Stringer,The Stringer Agency

Futuristic / Fantasy-Leah Hultenschmidt, SourceBooks/Ethan Ellenberg,Ethan Ellenberg Agency

Historical-Amanda Bergeron,Harper Collins/Laura Bradford,The Bradford Agency

Series Contemporary-Susan Litman,Harlequin Special Edition/Roberta Brown,The Brown Agency

Romantic Suspense-Holly Blanck,St. Martin's Press/Chelsea Gilmore,Maria Carvainis Agency

Inspirational-Natalie Hanemann,Thomas Nelson/Suzie Townsend,Fine Print Literary Management

Young Adult-Kristin Daly Rens,Harper Collins/Becca Stumpf,The Prospect Agencyy

The Beacon Award for Unpublished Authors. Deadline August 31st. Electronic Contest. Open to all authors of romantic fiction, not contracted/published in book length fiction (40,000 words and over) in the last 3 years. RWA membership is not required for entry. Contest is limited to the first 125 entries. First 30 pages with optional synopsis (synopsis will not be judged, but should be included within the page count constraints).

Agent: Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Editor: Holly Blanck of St. Martin’s Press

Single Title Contemporary
Agent: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency
Editor: Leah Hultenschmidt, Senior Editor, Sourcebooks

Contemporary Series
Agent: TBD
Editor: Laura Barth, Assistant Editor with Harlequin

Fantasy, Futuristic, or Paranormal
Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan of Sanford J. Greenburger Assoicates
Editor: Lauren Plude, Editorial Assistant of Grand Central

Romantic Suspense
Agent: Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates, Ltd.
Editor: Leis Pederson, Associate Editor, Berkley

Young Adult
Agent: TBD
Editor: TBD

Agent: Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency
Editor: Ralene Gorlinsky from Ellora’s Cave

Agent: Mary Sue Seymour, The Seymour Agency
Editor: Rachel Burkot, Harlequin Love Inspired, Editorial Assist

Chick Lit, Women’s Fiction, or Mainstream
Agent: Lauren Ruth of Bookends, LLC
Editor: Tessa Woodward, Associate Editor, Avon/Avon Impulse

Melody of Love. Deadline September 1st. First 25 pages or less. All electronic.
Historical: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Literary Agency
Contemporary: Latoya C. Smith, Grand Central Publishing
Paranormal: Angela James, Carina Press
YA: Leah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks Fire

Hot Prospects. Electronic Deadline and Postmarked Deadline September 1st. This contest is open to both published and unpublished authors. Entry consists of a synopsis (up to five pages) and the first 25 pages of the manuscript.

Categories and Final Round Judges (Editors/Literary Agencies):
1) Historical/Regency Editor - Katherine N. Pelz, The Berkley Publishing Group/Agent - Jennifer Schober, Spencerhill Associates

2) Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal -Editor - Deborah Werksman, Sourcebooks, Inc/ Agent - Jenny Bent, The Bent Agency

3) Romantic Suspense- Editor - Amy Pierpont, Editorial Director, Grand Central Publishing/Agent - Paige Wheeler, Folio Literary Management

4) Contemporary Long/Single Title- Editor - Jennifer Enderlin, St. Martins Press/Agent - Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency

5) Series Contemporary - Editor - Johanna Raisanen, Associate Editor, Harlequin/Editor - Leanne Morgena, Senior Editor, Sweetheart Rose, The Wild Rose Press

Finally a Bride. Electronic Deadline September 2. Each manuscript must have finaled, but not won in a previous RWA or RWA chapter-sponsored contest. Submit the first thirty pages of your manuscript. The first place winner in each category will receive a lovely engraved knife and cake server, suitable for cutting the cake in celebration of THE CALL. In addition, any book that is published as a result of this contest will receive a free entry into the National Readers' Choice Award the first year of eligibility. TWO EDITORS JUDGES EACH CATEGORY.

Melissa Endlich -- Steeple Hill
Nicola Martinez - White Rose Publishing

Series Contemporary
Patience Smith -- Silhouette
Wanda Ottewell -- Harlequin

Romantic Suspense
Charles Griemsman -- Silhouette

Historical/ Regency
Deb Werksman -- Casablanca Sourcebooks
Carly Corcoran -- Harlequin Historical

Margo Lipschultz -- HQN

Mainstream with Romantic Elements

Young Adult
Leah Wilson -- BenBella Books
Nicole Sohl -- St. Martin's Press

Gateway to the Best. Deadline September 9. Electronic only. The Grand Prize winner will receive US $100, a full reading and critique of her entire manuscript by a MORWA Published Author, a certificate, and a "Gateway to the Best Grand Prize Winner" electronic banner announcing the win for the author's website. Submit up to the first 7000 words (approx 25-28 pages) of manuscript.

The final judges for each category are:

Contemporary Series - Laura Barth, Editor, Harlequin

Historical - Esi Sogah, Editor, Avon

Single Title - Katherine Pelz, Editor, Berkley

Paranormal - LaToya Smith, Editor, Grand Central Publishing

Romantic Suspense - Margo Lipschultz, Editor, Harlequin

Young Adult - Adam Wilson, HQ Teen

No details yet, but the Mills & Moon New Voices Contest launches September 13.

The Laurel Wreath Award. Deadline August 31. The contest is judged exclusively by booksellers and librarians. The winners of each category are awarded a Laurel Wreath Award Pendant.

Romantic Suspense
Historical / Regency
Paranormal / Time Travel / Fantasy/ Futuristic
Young Adult (NEW)
Inspirational (NEW)
Erotic Romance (NEW)

WOW: Women On Writing Fiction Quarterly Contest: June - August 31st, Midnight (Pacific Time). "WOW! hosts a (quarterly) writing contest every three months. The mission of this contest is to inspire creativity, communication, and well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. They are open to all styles of writing, although they do encourage you to take a close look at the guest judge for the season and the flavor of our sponsor, if you are serious about winning. They love creativity, originality, and light-hearted reads. That's not to say that the guest judge will feel the same... so go wild! Express yourself, and most of all, have some fun!"

Maximum: 750--Minimum: 250 The title is not to be counted in your word count. Use MS Word's word count to determine the submitted entry's word count.Open Prompt: Open to any style and genre. From horror to romance!

Entry Fee: $10.00 Entries limited to a maximum of 300 stories. Please enter early to ensure inclusion. At 300 entries, PayPal buttons are disabled.

Check out the great prizes, including cash! Final judge is Literary Agent, Kim Lionetti.

The Fourth Annual, Real Simple, Life Lessons Essay Contest.

When did you first understand the meaning of love? Maybe you were a child, witnessing a generous act by your father or mother. Maybe the lesson came later, as you grappled with the challenges of being a friend, a spouse, or a parent yourself. Whatever made you understand love—and yourself—better, tell us about it.

Enter Real Simple’s fourth annual Life Lessons Essay Contest and you could:

  • Have your essay published in Real Simple
  • Win round-trip tickets for two to New York City, hotel accommodations for two nights, tickets to a Broadway play, and a lunch with Real Simple editors
  • Receive a prize of $3,000

To enter, send your typed, double-spaced submission (1,500 words maximum, preferably in a Microsoft Word document) to Contest begins at 12:01 A.M. EST on May 3, 2011, and runs through 11:50 P.M. EST on September 15, 2011. Open to legal residents of the United States age 19 or older at time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. (Entries will not be returned.)

Good Housekeeping's Short Story Contest-Enter your story for a chance to win $3,000 and be published in the May 2012 issue! Submit a short story, no longer than 3,500 words, to Your story should reflect an aspect of women's lives today. Please include the title of your story in the subject line. Submissions must be an original work of fiction, not previously published or a finalist for any other prize or award. Please include your full name, address, daytime phone number, and email address. Deadline September 1. Rules are here.

That's it ...NOW GO CRAZY!@!!


  1. Looks great!

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone happen to know if any of these contests are open to Canadians? I can check each of them out individually, but in case someone here already knows, I thought I'd ask.

    Thank you!

  2. Here's the day's ration of coffee!

    Gotta think about these. Right now my savings fund has "Conference" written on it.


  3. Let me clarify. I know the Golden Heart is because Sue Mason, a Canadian, has been a finalist.

  4. have to say I have been thinking of Christmas thinking i dont have much shopping done yet. but have been thinking of something to make as unless I get a job money will be tight this year.

  5. Widsith, don't know. Usually electronic ones are open to everyone because there are no extra mailing costs, but some hard copy ones are as well.

    So that was a lot of help, right? ;)
    But since I love your name, it's just fun to confuse the situation a little more.


  6. Oops, that sent w/o breakfast...

    Quick food today. Panera. I ordered a full buffet to prep for weekend stuff.


    This is a given, you realize this young and just roll with it, hence my love for winter writing times. Not too many people care what I do on a November or February Saturday.

    June, July and August are different.

    So working early, working late, lovin' me some contest update!

  7. Once again we have irrefutable evidence that I cannot count. The post says 141 days and the Christmas Countdown clock says 142 days. Apparently it doesn't know we open our gifts on Christmas Eve.

    No snickering, Carol M.

  8. Tina in a couple of hours it will be correct for Aussies.

  9. Thank you, Jenny for covering for me.

  10. Okay -- I did the research on account of I'm a librarian and I can't resist a reference question. So Regarding Canadian entries:

    Good Housekeeping – No

    Real Simple Life Contest – No

    WOW Women On Writing Essay Contest – Yes

    Gateway to the Best – Yes

    Finally a Bride – Yes…maybe…it says it’s open to ‘all’ but doesn’t specify international, however this one is for people who have finaled in other contests.

    Hot Prospects – Yes, but you must be a RWA member

    Melody of Love – Doesn’t specify so I’m thinking Yes

    Beacon Awards for Unpub – Yes (again doesn’t specify but says open to ‘all’)

    Launching A Star – Yes (again because it doesn’t specify but it says open to ‘any’)

    Golden Pen – Yes

    Golden Palm – Yes (doesn’t specify but says open to ‘all’)

    Heart to Heart – Doesn’t specify so I’m thinking yes

    I'm going to get brave and enter at least one...My WIP is still being operated upon but I'm hoping to have her all sewn up by the end of the month. And I noticed that one doesn't require a synopsis -- now that's mighty attractive. LOL.

    Please don't enter me in the Out of Control contest because I'm reading it right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe what Mary did to Audra. That's just plain mean.

  11. I just don't have enough time in the mornings to peruse all these contests...even the ones I can't enter are fun to read who the judges are!

    Guess I'll be back later....

  12. Good morning, Seekerville! I see it's time again for entering "The Golden Pen." Fabulous contest with very helpful feedback. This is the contest that I entered in 2008---it led to a 1st place win and Senior Editor-Judge Melissa Endlich asking to see the full manuscript. That's how I sold my first book!

  13. Morning Seekerville and don't we love contests.

    Kav, thanks for looking up all of that information. And best wishes on entering. woo hoo

    Best wishes to all of you.

  14. Good morning! what a great day - starting with Snoopy and Panera!! have to work though...oh well 2 out of 3 ain't bad!


  15. Wow, Tina. It is a busy contest time!! Y'all get busy! :)

    Hope everyone has a great Friday!

    Helen, thanks for the supply of coffee!

  16. Am I ready to deal with more contests?

    I think I need more coffee. I have a mixture of Einstein's Euro-Roast and Vanilla Hazelnut next to me at the moment. (It doesn't come that way. However, the Euro-Roast was low.)

  17. Also, I'm still up for any critques.

  18. It IS busy - but I don't have anything ready yet ;) So I'll just cheer the rest of you on and hope i win Mary's book :)


  19. Thanks for all the contest information. A couple look interesting, I'll have to check them out.


  20. Contests are GREAT!

    That's all I have to say.


  21. Would love to read Mary's book. Love her writing.

  22. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraAugust 5, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Thanks for all the great contest info! However I don't think I wanted to know that there are only 141 days left till Christmas. That means that there are only 148 days left of 2011. Where did the year go?

  23. Thanks for the information. I'm still having problems writing a good synopsis. I think I need to take a class on this. Any suggestions?

    Enter me into the drawing too! :)

  24. Love the prize for finally a bride! That is marvelous!

    Yes Melanie - you sure would!!
    Well, Mom's out of the hospital, but they still don't know the situation. More bloodwork Monday. Till then we're salting her food like crazy.

    I've not read what Mary did to Audra yet, so would love to win and see! :)

    May at maythek9spy dot com

  25. GREAT line-up on contests, Teenster -- THANK YOU for all the hard work you put in on researching this!!


    GO FOR IT!!


  26. Thanks for this contest update, Tina! Until I began visiting Seekerville, I had NO IDEA there were so many contests available to unpubbed. writers--WOW! ~ LOVE the cute pics of Snoopy--he's my all-time favorite character (even though he's not a feline,LOL).~ Christmas? Seems like I just put away Christmas decorations from 2010 *sigh*. ~ Happy Friday to all, and enjoy some Georgia Pecan Pie, along with a large tray of Chick-fil-a nuggets (Truett Cathy lives not too far from me, and has an awesome grill where we're frequent diners!). ~ Blessings, Patti Jo :)

  27. Chik Fil hit the weakness button!!

  28. p.s. Also meant to say the my pie will go great with Helen's delectable coffee! ~ AND: Julie Lessman, LOVE your profile pic - GORGEOUS!!!! :)

  29. Sheri, check out Camy Tang's Story Sensi blog, link is on the right. She does synopsis workshops at intervals and I think has handouts for purchase.

  30. I had no clue that there were so many writing contests out there until I started reading this blog! I have a few more months to get feedback from my first one...a little nervous about that. I know it'll be great experience, though. Thanks for all the great info! I'd love to read Out of Control! ~Stacey

  31. I know what you mean, KC. WHAT DOES MARY DO TO AUDRA???

  32. p.s.s. Good grief! That's what I get for rushing--My last comment is supposed to say: "...that my pie" NOT "the my pie" - SHEESH! Helen, I need COFFEE!!! ;)

  33. I might try for one of the contests. Gonna wait until I get back from the TD conference, though.

    I wanted to do Launching a Star, but my book doesn't fit the categories since most of them are for single titles. The contemporary? My word count is too long.

    Count me in the drawing, please.

    What's for lunch? I'm hungry. :D

  34. Oooh, I'm so tempted!! Even though I said I was done. I finaled in The Fab Five and the Tara (winners not announced yet) but it sure took a chunk out of my funds... But maybe, just maybe I'll just enter ONE MORE, itty bitty, teeny tiny contest... I need to call the contest addiction help line.

  35. And Out of Control is a really great book! Mary is brilliant.

    And that's all I have to say. Right now.

  36. So many contest, so little time. Thanks for the list!


  37. Great list of contests. Love the snoopy pictures!

    Jodie Wolfe

  38. CatMom:

    Here's an extra pot of coffee.

    And I'm in good with hubby. Made chocolate pies.


    Surprise package arrived today. My TBR pile just grew!!! Thanks so much.


  39. Whew! Thanks for the extra coffee, Helen!! ~ And my surprise package also arrived today - - YAY!!! Thank you soooo much---I'm thrilled with my books! :) PJ

  40. Way to go, Virginia.

    Contest Divas UNITE!!!

    Tina Radcliffe

  41. WOW!!! What a fantastic list!
    Thanks so much, Tina.
    Although my savings fund is like Helen's, I might could splurge for $15 or a little more.

    I'm definitely thinking of trying out my short story. WOOHOOO!

    Good luck to all - and to all a good night ;-)

  42. Sheri, when you're writing a synopsis, think 'technical' not creative.

    I usually set mine up with several paragraphs of back story, then ease into the book's beginning/opening so it makes sense.

    We've got some good synopsis posts if you scroll down to the archives listed on the right of the page.

    I learned to avoid contests with synopses, though, because if someone doesn't like your synopsis (for any reason) it can color their opinion of your entry. So I learned to go for no synop contests.

  43. Oh, and just sayin'... It was Finally a Bride that got me on Melissa Endlich's desk AND a query letter contest that got me on Paula Eykelhof's desk.

    Seriously, when God decides you're ready, he makes sure there's a back-up quarterback waitin' in the wings. Oh, that God! ;)

  44. Oh, I love contests. But I told myself I wouldn't enter more until until my manuscript is finished.

    I've got to get to writing.

    Please enter me into the drawing.


  45. SHERI-- I used to have a TERRIBLE time writing a coherent synopsis until I started breaking it down into 3-4 sections. First a 1-2 page(double spaced)section on the hero's (or heroine's) situation up until the time the story starts. Then same thing for their romantic counterpart.

    Next I launch into the "as the story opens" situation and go from there touching on the MAIN plot scenes, turning points, and character development.

    Because I already laid the foundation of the hero and heroine's character, background, goals and motivation in their own sections, it's very evident with the opening paragraphs of the 3rd section that they have a conflict. So I don't have to stop and explain all their backstory in the middle of the "action." Trying to do that is what always messed me up and made things sound too convoluted and confusing.

    Now it's "clean" and straightforward as I can keep moving ahead with the basic plot/character development without explanatory "asides." I've sold 4 books to Love Inspired using that synopsis format and so far no complaints--and few or no requested revisions to it from my editor!

    I sometimes add a 4th section that's just a few lines long outlining what happens in the epilogue of a Love Inspired, just to wrap things up.

  46. My ms is nowhere near completion, so I'm going to keep typing away, and maybe by next year, I'll have a decent story to submit.

    I love the picture of Woodstock and the musical notes. He's my favorite. :)

  47. Glynna Kaye, here I was thinking I would pass on this great list of contests, then you go and pump me up for the Golden Pen AND give such a succinct explanation of writing a synopsis. Now I have no excuse!

    Except maybe that it's 10 days away...

    And RUTHY - I'm with you on the no free weekends in the summer. So what if there's a pile of boxes in the garage to unpack? We're going to have months of snowy, cold, blizzardy weather to do that kind of work in! Summertime is playtime!

  48. Glynna - wow - that was fantastic.
    Saved that little jewel of an explanation to my file and passed along to my critique partner too.

    Once again, Seekerville is da place! :)

  49. SORRY JAN to wave the Golden Pen under your nose like a carrot! I did get great feedback from that one. The cool thing about this particular contest is that if you final, you receive your feedback before your entry is forwarded to the finals judge. You get about a week to incorporate any of that feedback into your entry if you so choose.

    I was very fortunate to have several awesome preliminary judges provide insightful feedback, so my entry was in top form by the time it reached the Steeple Hill editor-judge.

  50. KC -- Glad that synopsis tip helped! Believe me, I STRUGGLED for years trying to write a coherent synopsis. Now I actually ENJOY writing them and they've become a WONDERFUL compass that I follow as I progress through my WIP.

  51. Glynna, feedback is why I enter contests! I've been going through my WIP page by page, incorporating the great comments judges have given me and analyzing why they commented the way they did. It's slow, but I can see my story unfolding in a way it never did before!

    Thanks for the carrot!

  52. JAN - contest feedback is really what upgraded my writing craft skills. I owe so many judges so much for encouragement and their courage to deliver news that I may not always have wanted to hear. But they helped me see my stories through a reader's eyes and provided insights on how to fix things that only another writer might understand how to address.

  53. Glynna, that is SUCH a good synopsis idea! I would nevre have thought of doing a page on the hero, and then a page on the heroine, and then go on to where the story starts. That makes me want to pull up my synopsis and work on it!
    And Ruthy, you made me grin when you used synopses and synopsis in the SAME SENTENCE! :D You rock.
    Thanks, Tina! The judges all had helpful comments and pointed out things I hadn't noticed, usually because I created the characters so I see them through those 'lenses'.

  54. And Seekers, re: KAV... Don't you just LOVE librarians?? Especially reference librarians? We have a kids' book called 'The Boy Who Was Raised By Librarians' that really shows you what that breed is all about. :)

  55. Great list. BTW, the Where the Magic Begins contest extended their deadline from Aug. 1 to Aug. 15.

    Would love to win the book.

    And, did you let us know how many entries you received for the 24-hour fiction contest you held a couple days ago? I didn't enter but am curious.

    cathy underscore shouse at yahoo

  56. VIRGINIA -- Glad my "at the end of my rope" synopsis-writing technique gave you some new ideas to try out. :)

  57. Yes, Virginia, I think librarians are wonderful!!!

  58. What great contest! Man, I wish I were a writer! Anyway I'm really good at reading - and love Mary's writing. Would love to read her book Out of Control.

  59. I guess you'll want to place a facebook button to your site. Just marked down the site, but I must do it manually. Just my advice.

    My site:
    Rachat de credit

  60. Kav, I appreciate your help! Thank you so much! :)