Welcome to the February Contest Update.
A dedicated chocolate edition.
Writers-What are your contest goals this month?
Readers-What's on your TBR pile?
Let us know for a chocolate giveaway surprise!
Be sure you tell us if you want to be entered
by indicating your favorite.
White, Milk, or Dark.
Published Author Contests:
Reader's Choice Bean Pot Award. Deadline February 1, 2015. Open to Indies.
The Carolyn Readers Choice Award. Deadline February 14. Open to Indies.
Inspirational Reader's Choice. Deadline March 1, 2015.
Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence. Deadline March 2, 2015.
ACFW Carol Award. Opens January 2, 2015. Deadline March 15, 2015. See Indie
Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense for Published Authors. Deadline March 15.
The Unpublished Maggies. Opens January 2, 2015. Deadline April 3. Open to Indies.
Unpublished Author Contests:
The Pacific Northwest Literary Association Contest is now accepting entries. Contest closes February, 2, 2015. Cash prizes.
11.children's picture/chapter book
12.adult short topics (articles/essays/memoir)
The Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest. Opens January 1, 2015. Deadline February 14, 2015. For Novella category, submit the first 2000 words of an unpublished work of fiction.For all other categories, submit the first 5000 words of an unpublished work of fiction.A one to two page (max 500 words) synopsis is optional and will not be counted as part of the entry. The synopsis will not be judged.
2014 Categories and Final Judges:
Contemporary Romance–Adrienne Macintosh (Harlequin) & Kathleen Rushall (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency)
Historical Romance–Erika Tsang (Avon) & Elaine Spencer (The Knight Agency)
Paranormal Romance–Mary Altman (Sourcebooks) & Miriam Kriss (Irene Goodman Agency)
Erotic Romance–Nina Gooden (Ellora’s Cave) & Laura Bradford (Bradford Literary Agency)
Mainstream with Strong Romantic Elements–Leis Pederson (Berkley) & Courtney Miller-Callihan (Greenberger Associates)
Young Adult/New Adult–Heather Howland (Entangled) & Becca Stumpf (Prospect Agency)
Fabulous Five Writing Contest opened for enteries January 1. Deadline March 1. An entry consists of the opening pages of your unpublished novel, up to 2500 words. Categories capped at 35 entries this year. Get your entry in early.
The top five entries in each category will move to the final round.
Finalists in each category will be ranked by the following editors and agents:
Erotica:Cheryl Yeko, Soulmate Publishing-Jessica Alvarez, Bookends, LLC
Historical:Laura Plude, Grand Central Publishing-Elizabeth Pomada, Larsen Pomada Literary Agents
Inspirational:Giselle Regus, Harlequin-Joyce Hart, Hartline Literary Agency
New Adult:Nicole Fischer, Avon Romance-Patricia Nelson, Marshal Lyon Literary Agency
Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel:Brenda Chin, Imajinn Books-Shira Hoffman, McIntosh & Otis, Inc.
Romantic Suspense:Madeleine Colavita, Grand Central Publishing-Lucienne Diver, The Knight Agency
Series Contemporary:Christina Brower, NAL/Penguin Random House-Saba Sulaiman, Talcott Notch Literary Services
Single Title:Mercedes Fernandez, Kensington Books- Courtney Miller-Callihan, Greenburger Associates
Women’s Fiction: Jennifer Herrington, Lyrical Press-Victoria Lowes, The Bent Agency
Young Adult: Alycia Tornetta, Entangled Publishing-Taylor Haggerty, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency
Fire & Ice. Deadline March 14. Enter the first 6,000 words. Contest capped at 120 entries. Did you know that Rachel Renee Russell (on the cover of this month's Writer's Digest) and author of the Dork Diaries entered this contest and said, “Participating in Fire & Ice was the motivation I needed to take my manuscript and writing to the next level. I received excellent critiques from your judges and a lot of encouragement. That manuscript evolved into Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life. It spent seven weeks on the NYT Bestseller List and my publisher, Simon & Schuster, just purchased Books 3 and 4.”
Each finalist will be judged by both an editor and a literary agent. 2015 final round judges are:
Contemporary Romance-Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks (editor)
Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (agent)
Historical Romance-Debby Gilbert, Soul Mate Publishing (editor)
Sara Megibow, kt literary (agent)
Women’s Fiction With Romantic Elements-Gabrielle Keck, Harper Collins (editor)
Melissa Jeglinski, Knight Agency (agent)
Young Adult/New Adult Romance-Tera Cuskaden, Samhain Publishing (editor)
Shannon Hassan, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (agent)
Paranormal Romance-Mary Altman, Sourcebooks (editor)
Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management (agent)
Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense for Unpublished Writers. Deadline: March 15, 2015. Entry consists of prologue/first chapter up to 5,000 words.
CATEGORY (SERIES) ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
Susan Litman, Harlequin Special Edition
Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Literary Agency
HISTORICAL ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
Alex Logan, Grand Central Publishing
Cassie Hanjian, Waxman Leavell Literary
INSPIRATIONAL ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
Andrea Doering, Revell Books
Steve Laube, The Steve Laube Agency
PARANORMAL (PTTF) ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
Kristine Swartz, The Berkley Publishing Group
Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
SINGLE TITLE ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
Paula Eykelhof, MIRA
Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management
Kristen Sevick, Tor/Forge
Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary Agency
ACFW Genesis. Contest closes: March 15, 2015 at 4:00 PM central time. All contest entries and contest fees must be received by that time. Entry consists of the first 15 pages and a single spaced, one page synopsis. Finalist judges announced in January.
The Royal Ascot. Opens February 16, 2015. Entries must be received by March 27, 2015.Open to unpublished authors and published writers seeking representation and/or a publisher. All entries must have at least partial Regency (Late Georgian) setting, broadly defined: within the United Kingdom between 1780 and 1840. Judges to be determined.
Categories are used to determine first round judges only, and include:
Regency Historical (longer Regency or Mainstream Regency-set)
Hot Regency (Very sensual to Erotic Regency, at author’s discretion)
Wild Regency (Paranormal, Time Travel, other similar Regency)
Sweet & Mild Regency (Traditional, Inspirational, Young Adult or other without explicit sex)
Unpublished Maggies. Deadline April 30. Entry consists of first pages and synopsis, not to exceed 35 pages.
Single Title Romance-Madeleine Colavita Editorial Assistant, Grand Central Publishing
Contemporary Category Romance-Ann Leslie Tuttle-Senior Editor, Harlequin
Inspirational Romance-Stephanie Broene-Senior Acquisitions Editor, Tyndale
Historical Romance-Gabrielle Keck-Editor, Avon
Paranormal Romance-Rose Hilliard Editor, St. Martin’s Press
Young Adult-Candace Havens Editorial Director, Entangled Publishing
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements -Sarah Murphy Editor, Ballantine Bantam Dell
Erotic Romance-S.N. Graves-Senior Editor, LooseId
Other Writing Opportunities:
Ever want to write for BBC Radio? Here's your chance. Deadline February 13. Once a year a window opens for new writers with no experience of radio to submit a short story to Opening Lines – BBC Radio 4’s showcase for short stories. Send one story which must be between 1,900 and 2,000 words long to fill a 14 minute time slot.
Now we welcome our February Diva.
My fellow Christian Writers of the West pal,
I began my contest journey perched on a high horse, from which I was immediately relegated to a wooden pony. After completing a novel in 2012, I entered it into Operation First Novel, all but certain of victory. The judge congratulated me on finishing a manuscript, then went on to encourage me to learn how to write. Ouch.
Though humbling, that experience became one of the best things to happen to me as a writer. I amassed a collection of writing books such as The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King, and Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. I learned to read as a writer, taking note of what authors did well and why their books resonated with me. And I discovered the value of contests.
After much study on the craft of writing, and despite a jumble of nerves, in 2013 I entered ACFW’s First Impressions and Genesis contests. Becoming a finalist in First Impressions encouraged me. Though I didn’t place in Genesis, I received great feedback from three helpful judges. Each provided a unique, eye-opening perspective.
In 2014, I re-entered First Impressions and Genesis with two manuscripts, nerves still buzzing. It’s hard to offer up my work for critique, and even harder still when the feedback is unfavorable. This time, however, I won the First Impressions contemporary romance category, and achieved a spot as a Genesis semi-finalist in the contemporary genre. Both full manuscripts have been requested by agents. In addition, the judges still pointed out how to make the stories even better.
Through personal study, a critique group, constant reading and writing, and entering contests, I’ve learned (and am still learning) to do well what that first judge insisted I do—write. My pony now has a pulse, and on it I follow behind the high horse, whose rightful rider is the Most High.
And I’m thrilled to see where He’ll take me.
That's it for this month, Villagers!
Now go forth and contest!~