I’m quite competitive so I LOVE contests. I’ve stumbled across a few writerly contests and thought I’d share them with you, dear readers:
The first is a blog contest from Ruth Lauren Steven. It’s an agent judged contest that opens on April 18th (judged by Gemma Cooper of The Bright Literary Agency, and Julia Churchill of Greenhouse). You have to follow her blog to participate. Submit a query and the first five pages of your manuscript. It’s open to YA and MG fiction. You can find the details here.
Next up is a logline contest. The winner receives free registration to the Backspace Writers Conference and tickets to the play “Seminar” featuring Jeff Goldblum, Alan Rickman, Jerry O’Connell, and Justin Long. The loglines don’t have to be from a particular manuscript and can be something you created just for the contest. If you don’t know what Backspace is, it’s a huge conference at the end of May. Writers meet with agents, yes ACTUAL agents (like Janet Reid, Brooks Sherman, Kristen Nelson, Sarah LaPolla, and so many more!), one on one and in small group sessions. The agents will critique your queries and first pages, AND there are lots of great speakers. This year’s keynote speaker will be Donald Maass of the Donald Maass agency. It’s a great opportunity!
Finally, the publisher Strange Chemistry is opening its doors for unsolicited (i.e. unagented) manuscripts from April 16 through April 30. These entries must be YA science-fiction or fantasy. They’ve got some pretty strict guidelines so check out Open Door, 2012 Strange Chemistry. This isn’t exactly a contest in that there isn’t a winner. They’ll just read your manuscript, which is a BIG thing! Last year, they signed three authors from this opportunity. This is also something you should do at your own risk. If you get an agent later, and Strange Chemistry has already seen your manuscript, there is a good chance they won’t give it another look, even if you revise/rewrite, etc.
Other places you should continually check out are Cupid’s Literary Connection. One contest is wrapping up there, but another will be coming along soon! Janet Reid also frequently has contests and is famous for her 100 word stories. She’s also wrapping one up now, so check there in the future. Gabriela Lessa also hosts contests, so check her out too. Right now, she’s accepting submissions for a short story anthology, but has also offered query critiques.
Know of any other contests you’d like to share? Good luck to everyone who decides to enter these!