May Contest Roundup

SIC Contest RoundupWe’ve rounded up a few new contests for you this month, including one with a Contemporary YA publisher that is normally closed to unagented submissions! If you can’t find a contest your work fits into, don’t despair. Contests are a great supplement to your querying but submitting through the regular channels is always a good way to go too. Check out a market book to get a feel for what’s out there (keeping in mind that they don’t list everything).

There’s a lot to consider when entering contests so check out our About Contests post if you have any doubts or questions. And please, read those contest rules carefully! Contests are generally in order by deadline date. Scroll down to see the entire list. Here’s the Roundup:


4/28: Got YA Contemporary? – Pitch Spencer Hill Contemporary (they are normally closed to submissions) on Brenda Drake’s blog. You’ll need to hook them in 200 words or less. See the Brenda’s blog for details. The submission post  can be found at


5/1: The Writer’s Voice – Enter your Adult Historical, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance orYA or MG fiction of any genre. Post the first 250 words of your manuscript. There will be coaching leading up to an agent round.

5/1: #JustPitchIt – Open to nonfiction and middle grade only. Pitch your completed manuscript via Twitter using the #JustPitchIt hashtag. Go to the link and scroll down for details on the pitch party.

5/5: Pitchslap – Unagented writers are invited to pitch their YA, NA, and Adult Romance from 8 am EST to 8 pm EST on Twitter using the hashtag #RTslap. Agents and editors trolling the #RTslap feed. In addition winners will be chosen to have their pitch will be used as an example at a national panel, a copy of How to Discipline Your Vampire and a pre-order of How to Reprimand Your Rock Star, and a query critique by Jessica Sinsheimer and Peter Knapp.

5/5: A Very Short Story Contest – Just for fun! Submit an original, unpublished 10-word short story at Gotham Writers. Winner will be posted at

5/5: Criminal Lines – Open to unagented, debut authors born or residing in the UK or Ireland. Send your send the first 15,000 words and an 800 word max. synopsis of your crime, suspense or thriller novel. First prize: £1,000. Second Prize: entry to the Festival of Writing 2014

5/12: May Secret Agent Contest – Open to MG and YA. Qualifying entries are critiqued online.

5/15: Remixing the World’s Problems Challenge  Using the poems from Solving the World’s Problems by Robert Lee Brewer as inspiration, write your own remix poem. Winning remix will receive $500 from the author.

5/22: Query Kombat – Submissions window on the 22nd. Send your query and first 250 words of your completed manuscript. Open to MG, YA, NA, and Adult. You can read about the judges and the participating agents. See this post for more information and formatting guidelines.

5/23: New Leaf Twitter Pitch Contest 1-3PM EST. The assistants at New Leaf Literary Agency will be taking pitches on Twitter for MG, YA, NA, and Adult fiction and nonfiction. Include the #NLpitchperfect hashtag in your tweet.

5/31: Write Club 2014 – Submit a 500 word sample to be considered for one of 32 participants that compete in weekly bouts. There are agent and editor judges participating. (Thanks to Pat Harris for bringing this one to my attention!)

Adventures in YA Publishing, First Lines Contest – I couldn’t find a specific date as of yet but the blog says: “We will accept the first 50 entries. The first line of each entry will be posted on the blog, and our judges will determine which lines they want to see more of. The 2nd line of each entry that is moving on will be posted, and so forth and so on, through line 5 of the manuscript. At that point, the judges will choose the top 10 entries, and we will post their pitches and 1st pages. The winners will be chosen from those entries.” Open to completed MG, YA, and NA manuscripts.


7/1: Bookstar UK 2014 Competition – UK Writers Only! Bookstar is open to works of fiction and biographies. There is a reading fee of £5.00 for each submission. Enter via the form on the contest information page.

8/15: Pockets Magazine Fiction Contest – Stories should be 750–1,000 words. (Stories shorter than 750 words or longer than 1,000 words will be disqualified.) From the Pockets website: “Our primary interest is in stories that can help children deal with real-life situations. We do not accept stories about talking animals or inanimate objects. Fictional characters and some elaboration may be included in scripture stories, but the writer must remain faithful to the story.”

8/31: International Children’s Story Competition –  This year’s theme is, “Grandpa, grandma and I in the multicultural society.” Read about the previous year’s competition at Inclusive Works. There is lot information there to be aware of before entering.

10/2014: Nightmare on Query Street – What is your main character afraid of? Check out the details from last year’s contest.

Know of a contest we missed? Contact us at subitclub (at) gmail (dot) com!

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? We want to hear them!

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