CONTESTS & AWARDS
Do not submit an entry before March 1.
Two awards will be presented at the banquet to alumni who attend this year. To be considered, mail a copy of the published book or a photocopy of another published manuscript after you register, postmarked by May 1, to Lin Johnson, Write-to-Publish, 9118 W. Elmwood Drive, Ste. 1G, Niles, IL 60714-5820. Only one entry per person. Indicate which award you are entering.
New Writer: For the best, first-published manuscript by a conferee who attended in 2018 or 2019 and who had never been published before attending. The winner will receive a package of books worth $75.
Writer of the Year: For the best work published since 2016. Not open to alumni on faculty. The winner will receive a check for $100.
Brimstone Fiction Editor’s Choice Award
Rowena Kuo, executive editor of Brimstone Fiction, will choose the best novel from a yet-to-be-published book author at the conference. This award includes mentoring and a full book edit with the intent to submit the work to the publication board on completion. The manuscript must be finished and should be 60,000 to 80,000 words, in any category of fiction for the Christian or general market. To be considered, bring your first chapter to the conference, schedule an appointment with Rowena, and attend any of the manuscript critique groups she leads.
Serious Writer Awards–Cancelled
Two awards are open to all writers, whether you attend the conference or not. Almost an Author Award: Unpublished categories are open to anyone who has not published a manuscript in the genre in which they choose to submit. Sponsored by Almost an Author. Serious Writer Medal: Published categories are open to anyone published in 2019, both traditionally and self-published. Sponsored by Serious Writer, Inc.
Contest fees are $35 per entry. Entry fees are nonrefundable. Entrants must pay via the following links:
Payment and submissions must be received by May 1 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. Serious Writer Medal entries must be postmarked by May 1 in order to qualify.
- To hold to our standards for promoting Christian and clean writing, no profanity, graphic sex, or R-rated content will be considered. Entries that contain these elements will be disqualified at the contest director’s discretion. Entry fees will not be refunded, nor will you be notified.
- All entries must be original works of the author or authors.
- All entries must be submitted in English.
- No author who has published in a category may enter an unpublished piece in that same category. For example, if you are published (traditional or self) in romantic suspense, you cannot enter the Almost an Author award in that category. Conversely, if you are published in romantic suspense, you are allowed to enter the Almost an Author award for speculative fiction.
- Entries will not be returned.
- Any category receiving less than the minimum submission requirement will be combined with the closest genre category. The contest director reserves the right to cancel a category if the level of submissions is not up to industry publishing standards.
- You may enter the contests even if you are entering one of the alumni awards or are not planning to attend Write-to-Publish.
Almost an Author Categories
- Inspirational: 1,000 words maximum; devotionals, Bible study
- Nonfiction: chapter summaries and first chapter; self-help, parenting, business/leadership, Christianity, memoir/personal experience, other
- Magazine article: 1,500 words maximum
- Flash fiction: 1,000 words maximum
- Poetry: 1,000 words maximum
- Romance, western, contemporary, historical novel (no erotica): first three chapters or first 15 pages, whichever is shorter
- Thriller, mystery, suspense novel: first three chapters or first 15 pages, whichever is shorter
- Speculative, fantasy (no horror) novel: first three chapters or first 15 pages, whichever is shorter
- Children: picture book and easy reader, entire work; middle grade, chapter book, first three chapters or first 15 pages, whichever is shorter
- YA fiction and nonfiction: first three chapters or first 15 pages, whichever is shorter
Serious Writer Categories
- Children and YA
If there are numerous entries in a subgenre, the contest director has the discretion to subdivide into new categories and award additional winners.
If these format guidelines are not followed, your entry will be disqualified with no refund and no notice.
- 12-point Times New Roman/Times Roman font
- 1″ margins
- Title of the manuscript included in the header with page numbers
- Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF (.pdf) format only
Submission Guidelines for Almost an Author
- Follow the formatting guidelines above. Include in one document a cover page with your name, manuscript title, category genre, and word count.
- Your name should not be listed anywhere in the document except on the cover page.
- Payment must be received prior to the deadline, or the entry will be disqualified.
- Email your entry to contests @ seriouswriter.com with the subject line “2020 WTP Contest.” Attach your document in the required format.
Submission Guidelines for Serious Writer Medal
Mail one copy of the book or other published work and a cover page with your name and submission category to: Serious Writer, 170 Penney Ln., Clarkville, MI 49234. If you are submitting an ebook, email email@example.com for specifics about submitting it. If your submission falls outside the guidelines, it will be up to the contest director’s sole discretion if entry will be allowed or not.
Winners will be announced at the conference banquet and do not need to be present to win.
Awards will be presented based on entry numbers: fewer than four entries, first place; five to seven entries, first and second places; more than seven entries, first through third places. If one person wins multiple entries in the same category, only the highest award will be presented.
Serious Writer Medals: First-place awards include an award medallion, 25 stickers for the winning book, and a certificate with presentation cover. All other places receive a certificate with presentation cover. One overall winner will receive a $100 discount for the 2020 Write-to-Publish or a Serious Writer Conference registration and $160-package of Serious Writer Academy courses.
Almost an Author Awards: All places receive a certificate with presentation cover. Two overall winners (one nonfiction, one fiction) will each receive a $50 discount for the 2020 Write-to-Publish or a Serious Writer Conference registration and $160-package of Serious Writer Academy courses.
All winners will also receive a graphic for their websites. Social-media graphics will be posted after the conference, announcing winners and winning categories. A standard press release will be distributed to the winners. After adding award and biographical information, these may be submitted to local newspapers.
If you have any questions about these awards, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EABooks Publishing Contest
Twenty to twenty-five submissions of a short story, article, devotion, poem, or prayer will be chosen for inclusion in Whispers of Grace, published by Living Parables, an imprint of EABooks Publishing. Manuscripts that best reflect the theme of the book title, meet submission guidelines, and represent the best writing of nonbook authors will be chosen for inclusion in the book. Winners will be announced during the conference and must meet with Cheri Cowell, publisher, to go over edits. (Time will be announced at the conference.) Authors will be able to purchase books at a reduced price and keep the profit from their sales.
Open to writers who attend the full conference and have not published a royalty book.
Submissions must be received by May 29 midnight Eastern time.
- 12-point Times New Roman/Times Roman font
- 1″ margins
- Word (.doc or .docx) format only
- You must be registered for the full conference at the time of submission.
- Only one submission per person.
- Only short stories, articles, devotions, poems, and prayers will be considered.
- Length: 1,500 words maximum.
- Include your name with contact information (address, phone number, and email) at the top of the first page, along with a title.
- Include a 50-word bio at the end of the manuscript.
- Email as an attachment to email@example.com.