Last fall when my eyes were blurry from staring at my computer too long, I started thumbing through my 2009 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. Not just hypnotically staring at the names of editors and agents I hoped to someday work with, but actually reading those Insider Reports about first time authors.
One that caught my attention was about Jay Asher. Heard of him? Yeah. I thought so. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t read his book, Thirteen Reasons Why. But the interview with him fascinated me because one of his strategies for getting the attention of editors and agents was to enter contests. He wanted his manuscript to be an award winner so that people reading his queries would have one more reason to see value in his writing.
I figured if the strategy worked for him, it might work for me. I entered SECRET OF UNDINE in the Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Contest and surprised myself by winning third place. It hasn’t earned me a contract. Yet. But I’m working on it 😀
I bring this up because the deadline to enter the 2010 contest is really close. And this year, they’ve got some amazing judges. Rachelle Gardner. Donald Maass. That got your attention, didn’t it? You can see the full lineup of judges and learn more about the contest from the Pikes Peak Writers website.
I paid extra for the critiques and it was SO worth the money. I got more than 10 pages of in-depth analysis of what did and didn’t work in my story along with encouraging comments about my writing. The people who run the conference and the contest are incredibly friendly and the conference was just plain wonderful. It was a great experience for me. (Yat-Yee Chong, another contest winner I hung out with last year, has a great two-part interview on her blog with contest coordinator Dawn Miller.)
I don’t know if it’s contest season or what, but I found two other contests with November deadlines as well. So here’s the scoop on all of them.
The Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Contest has categories for just about every genre: Childrens, YA, Historical Fiction, Mainstream, Mystery, Romance, SF/F/Horror, and Short Story. The deadline to enter is November 15. Download the brochure to find out more.
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If you’re writing for Young Adults but the thought of a query makes you quail, try the Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest, hosted by Serendipity Literary Agency, in collaboration with Sourcebooks and Gotham Writers’ Workshop.
The contest is open to writers 13 years of age or older. Entrants will be judged solely on the title and the first 250 words of their YA novel—no additional material will be accepted. You can submit your entry November 1-30.
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Wordhustler is running the Literary Storm Novel Contest. Submit the first 50 pages of your novel and Literary Agent Danielle Chiotti of Upstart Crow Literary will be the official judge.
This one costs $10 to enter, but you can enter YA or adult novels. The deadline is November 20.
So what are you waiting for? Get your entries in! It worked for Jay Asher. It might work for you 🙂