Friday, May 21, 2010

Summer Contests...

There’s a lot of buzz around the Internet right now about contests. And what better way to kick start the summer writing (or perhaps lack of it) than to send off some entries and sit back and enjoy the cool summer breeze, the gardening, the wine spritzers on the patio (my preferred way to spend the hot summer days). You’re still technically involved in your writing. And when the results roll in you’ll be ready to buckle down in the fall when kids go back to school, the sun retires earlier and earlier, and the nights end up being too cold for wine spritzers on the patio (but not too cold for say a Blueberry Tea).

So, here’s some links to contests taking place over the summer months -

Northwest Houston Romance Writers Lone Star Writing Contest ~ http://www.nwhrwa.com/contest.htm. Deadline for the early bird entries ($5 off the entry fee) is May 23rd – contest closes June 6th. First round judges include two published authors and one unpublished; top three entries in all categories go to both an editor and an agent for final judging. Check out the fabulous list of final round judges – and get your entries in ASAP to save a little bit of money.

Having issues with your opening scene (*raises hand*), here’s the Emerald City Opener ~ http://www.gsrwa.org/contest.php Deadline is June 1st (electronic entries, no worries). Again, final round judges include editors and agents, but how’s this for an added incentive – finalists will receive a private appointment with an editor or agent at the Emerald City Writer’s Conference in October!

Really need to know if the first 5 pages (a standard request in submitting to agents with the initial query) hooks the reader? How about this contest: http://solawriters.org/the-dixie-kane-memorial-contest/. The Southern Loisiana Romance Writers sponsor this one and only ask you send the first 5 pages and a one page synopsis. Again, great judges in the final rounds. And with this contest, you don’t need to be a member of the RWA to enter!

The Toronto Romance Writers sponsor another great contest: http://www.torontoromancewriters.com/contest.html. Not only do all entries receive a comprehensive score sheet from the judges, but score sheets will be returned in enough time for tweaks before sending your baby of to the Golden Heart! Again, final round judges are editors from prestigious publishing houses. And a bonus – all category winners are entered into a separate contest where agent Kristin Nelson, of Nelson Literary Agency, will be the judge. That winner gets a three-chapter critique from NY Times Bestselling Author Kelley Armstrong. Entries must be in by June 1st.

Indiana’s Golden Opportunity Contest - http://www.indianarwa.com/contest/ has an entry date of June 27th. This contest gives a four page score sheet and offers final round judges in the agent and editor field. This contest also has a Young Adult Category (with the caveat of not having to be a romance) – final round judge there is Holly Root, from Waxmen Literary Agency. First place winners in all six categories go toe to toe for the Best of the Best!

Put Your Heart in a Book
http://njromancewriters.org/index.php?/njrw_contest/put_your_heart_in_a_book_contest/ offers an in-depth score sheet which judges are encouraged to fill out and add comments. The top three in each category goes through to be judged in the final round by three judges (editor, agent and published author). Entries to be received no later than June 15th.

That should get you started – and really, if you’re waiting for results from contests, why would you continue to work on your manuscript? Go - garden, sip wine, camp – or start a new manuscript.

Any advice from our readers on these or any other contests held over the summer? Did I miss an important one? Feel free to leave the links in the comment section. And another question – how many of you write continuously and consistently over the summer months?

Janet (who’s seriously looking at those opening pages contests)

8 comments:

Anita Mae Draper said...

Thanks for doing the research, Janet.

Might I add that the contests I like best are the ones where the lowest score is dropped.

Anita.

Jana Richards said...

Hi Janet,
Those contests for openers sound interesting. I think they'd be worth entering.

I haven't checked out the contests you mentioned, but I know that some contests are open to published authors in addition to unpublished authors.

As far as consistent writing over the summer, not so much. When my kids were young, writing was pretty much a writeoff over the summer. I haven't figured out what my excuse is these days. I'll say it's the lovely weather luring me outside and away from my computer! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Jana

Karyn Good said...

I've been thinking about entering the Toronto Romance Writers contest because I'm seriously considering entering the Golden Heart.

As for the summer, I'm planning on getting up early and doing the majority of my writing early in the day!

Janet said...

And some of these have that option, but I didn't get too detailed thinking people could click the link if they wanted to know more.

Any appeal to you, Anita - or are you hunkered down for the summer with Emma's Outlaw?

Janet said...

Again, some of these contests have that option of both published and unpublished authors - most of them state if the published author is 'unpublished' in that category, they can enter.

You entered the Toronto one a couple years back, right? Good score sheets?

And I hear you, Jana, on being drawn outside for whatever reason. We live with darkness and cold for so long, who wouldn't want to spend as much time outside in the summer as possible!

Janet said...

I thought of you specifically with the Toronto contest, Karyn - knowing that you're thinking of entering the Golden Heart. That would give you some great feedback in time to tweak before the 'big' contest.

Up early - man, I wish my body would cooperate with that idea - I'd get so much more done AND still have time in the evening just to veg. Good luck with your plans, Karyn :)

connie said...

Hi Janet,

Thanks for the addresses !!

I may have to start smaller than these, but then again, I might go for the gold to (hopefully) get some feedback.

Summer? I am going to grub after the grubs for two weeks, entertain a honeymoon couple from Germany for two weeks; visit Europe (we were going to use that tourist biz that folded and left people stuck all over the place - see? procrastination does have rewards; then the cabin for what remains of half decent or better weather.

Write? Depends on how many other people think they would like to relax at the cabin (our's)

have a glorious summer and take a walk on the beach for me

thanks

connie

Janet said...

Wow, Connie, you have one very busy summer ahead of you. Take a little time for yourself - either writing or reading, k?

And I promise to walk on the beach for you!

BTW - there are some great short story contests out there, if that's more your style.