Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fifth Thursday Fun - Contests by Terri Weldon




Terri here – again. Sorry, but it’s not often we have five Thursdays in a month so I’m improvising and filling in. I thought it would be fun to discuss contests. 
 
Contests can be a great way to get your manuscript in front of an agent or editor. The American Christian Fiction Writers have two great contests for unpublished authors – the Genesis and First Impressions. The Genesis requires you to submit a complete manuscript while the First Impressions only requires the first five pages of your manuscript. They also have a contest for published authors entitled the Carol. Published authors, either traditional or ACFW Qualified Independently Published, submit a book that was released between January and December of the prior year. 
 
One of my favorite contests, the Daphne, is sponsored by the Romance Writers of America’s Kiss of Death Chapter. This contest is geared towards mystery and suspense. Suspense is the genre I’m currently targeting. If you are a Christian fiction author they have a category for you. This contest is also open for published and non-published authors. They have great final judges, in fact they have an agent and editor as the final judge in each category. 
 
Harlequin offers some fantastic contests for authors who aspire to write for them. They recently held a contest for their Love Inspired Historical line. Our very own Sandra Ardoin moved on to the next round in that exciting contest.  
 
Right now Harlequin is sponsoring a contest called the Harlequin Heartwarming Blitz! Harlequin Heartwarming novels are wholesome and clean. They have no sex scenes. The novels are typically 70,000 words. Check out this link www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com if you are interested. The first round is open April 4-22, 2016. 
 
So far a contest hasn’t landed me an agent or a contract, but I enjoy entering them. If nothing else the feedback alone is worth the cost and effort of entering. And the Harlequin contests don’t have a fee. They are free and an actual Harlequin editor looks at your manuscript. You can’t beat a deal like that!
 
There are many other great contests. I don’t have the time or space to name them all. I wish I did. If you have a favorite contest, please share it here with us. 

I’ve already fessed up. I like contests, I’m selective about what I enter and due to being, well forgetful, I don’t enter as many as I’d like. What about you? Are you a contest junkie?  How about telling me why or why not? And if you’ve signed with an agent or received a publishing contract through a contest I’d love to hear about your good fortune.

Terri Weldon is a lead analyst by day and an author by night. She enjoys gardening, reading, and shopping for shoes. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction. She lives with her family in Oklahoma. Terri has two adorable Westies – Crosby and Nolly Grace. Terri is a member of ACFW and OCFW, a local chapter of ACFW. Her dream of becoming a published novelist came true in November 2013 when Mistletoe Magic, released from White Rose Publishing.

Readers can connect with Terri:
Website: www.TerriWeldon.com or Blog: Seriously Write


 




11 comments:

  1. Thanks for the mention, Terri! Yes, #Manuscript Matchmaker for Love Inspired Historical has been a wonderful learning experience. Through the forums, the editors graciously answer all questions pertaining to the process and what they're looking for. I did Blurb to Book last year, but (unlike you!) didn't make it to the second round. If I don't make it to the third round, I'm still promised feedback on my proposal.

    Feedback makes entering contests well worth the time. However, I would caution people to remember that comments and scores are subjective, so read the results, put them away for a few days, then go back and look for those golden nuggets you can use to improve your manuscript. They're there even in the comments from judges who might seem less than tactful.

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    1. Excellent advice about the feedback! Sometimes the first time an author reads it all they think is, "Ouch!" But a few days away truly helps.

      I'm excited for you and rooting for you in the Manuscript Matchmaker contest. The Harlequin editors provide invaluable advice.

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  2. Thanks Terri - lots of great information. I love contests as well and they afford great opportunities to interact with editors and agents.

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    1. Loves To Read - I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Contests are great and do provide wonderful opportunities.

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  3. Terri, I'm a big fan of contests. Before I was published, I found them to be a great, non confrontational means of knowing if my work was hitting the mark or not. Some contests offered feedback which I found invaluable in improving my writing. I encourage unpubs to enter and get that great feedback. This also a way to grow a thicker skin about critiques--which you're going to need in the publishing world!

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    1. Amen Linda! I'm so glad you stopped by. I know I've received invaluable feedback from contests and I've grown thicker skin.

      No matter what stage we are at in on our writing journey that is helpful.

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  4. Great thoughts about contests, Terri. When I first started writing, the feedback I got from the Genesis contest was priceless (and painful!)

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  5. The Genesis is a great contest. I agree about the feedback you receive - it is so helpful.

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  6. I haven't ever entered a contest. I hope to become a QIP author and enter the Carol next year. I will look into the Daphne. Thanks so much for the info!

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  7. Martha, how exciting to become a QIP author! I'll definitely be cheering you on in the Carols. Now that I know you write suspense we've got to talk.

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    1. Thank you Terri! Yes, let's chat sometime. :)

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