Oh. Em. Gee. It’s about time. The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (linky love below) is holding its first contest for authors not yet published in women’s fiction. That’s right, if you’re not published at all, or if you’re published in another genre or non-fiction, YOU are eligible to enter. And I’ll tell you why I think it’s so cool, and why you should enter.
Reason #1: This is really a contest for women’s fiction, not for romance that borders on women’s fiction. Not for women’s fiction, but-really-for- romance-but-we-think-we-need-to-say-it’s-women’s-fiction. This is a contest that embraces all the nuances of women’s fiction, all the elements that are possible and all the elements that are present in today’s published women’s fiction.
Reason #2: As if #1 wasn’t enough, the final judges for this contest are acquiring agents of women’s fiction. Truly! If your manuscript is one of the finalists, it’ll end up before folks who could, possibly maybe you-just-never-know, offer to represent your work. And by represent your work, I mean, SELL IT TO A PUBLISHER.
Reason #3: The first-round judges are authors who are published in women’s fiction. You know, that genre you want to your book published within, that posse you want to be part of? Yeah, them. Those. Us.
Reason #4: You’ll be in on the ground floor of a fabulous organization. I am a member of WFWA, just finished an amazing Don Maass workshop with WFWA, poke around on the WFWA forums, and have some good aspiring and published author friends in WFWA. You don’t have to be a member to enter the contest, but I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to be.
Reason #5: I met my agent through a contest. It does happen. It could happen to you! I was a self-proclaimed contest junkie before I had an agent. I entered excerpts and pitches online, via mail, big and small, free and fee. It doesn’t hurt you to enter the contest, unless of course, your manuscript is not complete and polished. And I mean polished, not just reviewed by you, but by a multitude of readers, and by readers I mean, perhaps freelance editors and others who KNOW about writing, women’s fiction, and the marketplace. There is a limited number of entries accepted, so if you’re not finished, and your book isn’t as ready as it’s going to be, don’t take someone else’s place. Not fair. This fifth reason is key. In the current publishing climate, you must identify, collect, and capitalize on every opportunity to get what you want. This could be your time.
I know it is the time to polish your finished manuscripts, make those final tweaks and revisions. Double-check everything. There’s time. This is your official and friendly HEADS-UP!
Check out the information and links below, and then, go for it! Remember, I did. I met my agent. I revised my novel again. It sold. It was published. I have another novel coming out next year.
And after my years of writing THE GLASS WIVES, the next steps all started with A CONTEST.
The Rising Star Contest is limited to the first 75 entries.
Contest Opens: May 1, 2014
Entry Deadline: June 27, 2014
Finalists Announced: August 13, 2014
Edited Finalist Entries Due: August 20, 2014
Winners Announced: October 10, 2014
Entry Submission Details
Submit the first thirty-five (35) pages of a completed manuscript (60,000 words or more), plus a 2-3 page synopsis. The synopsis is not judged.
$30 WFWA Members $35 non-WFWA Members