Oh my gosh I just typed 2016 in the title. I can’t believe it. Yup, this is the first Contest Roundup of 2016! It’s a new year with new opportunities so, if you have work polished and ready, get it out there! Contests can be a fun way to do that. There’s even one contest on the list this month that is open to works in progress and there’s a contest for illustrators. So, check out the list and see if you might find a fun way to get your work out there in the new year!
12/30: Dear Future Picture Book Author – Open to unpublished picture book writers only. Answer some questions about your writing via email to be considered for a 6-month mentorship with author Stacey McAnulty. Must have written a minimum of 8 picture books to be considered.
1/1: Writing in the Margins Query Contest – Open to manuscripts featuring an underrepresented group in the starring role. Post your query and first chapter in the forum. Moderators will give help in polishing up the submission. After three weeks moderators will vote. The best ten will be posted on the blog for the participating agents to weigh in on or request.
1/1: Writers of the Future Contest – Open to science fiction or fantasy short stories and novelettes up to 17,000 words. Cash prizes for 1st – $1000, 2nd – $750, 3rd – $500. Open quarterly. A $5000 grand prize is also given.
1/1: Illustrators of the Future Contest – Enter one set of three illustrations of three different subjects. Three co-winners to receive $500 each and a chance to compete for a $5000 grand prize.
1/8: #WritePit – Open to faith-based works only. Picture books, early readers, chapter books, middle grade, young adult, new adult, adult readerships, fiction, and nonfiction are welcome as long as the manuscript contains an element of faith defined as “affiliated with or based on a religious group.” Pitch your manuscript on Twitter using the #WritePit hashtag along with a tag for the readership and genre. Complete manuscripts only with the exception of nonfiction proposals which must also include the hashtag #WritePit-P. There are specific times to pitch specific genres so please read the lengthy instructions on the website. There will also be live pitch opportunities from 7-8pm EST via Google Hangouts. Scroll down on the page for info.
1/11: Pass or Pages – Open to Adult Mysteries and Thrillers. Enter your query and first 250 words along with title and word count of your completed manuscript. Five entries will be chosen randomly to be posted on the blog anonymously. A panel of agent judges will read queries and first pages from entrants and make notes of where they would stop reading and why or are welcome to request to see more.
1/11: Kidlit411 Birthday Bash – Enter the Rafflecopter giveaways for a whole lot of fabulous picture books!
1/12: Kidlit411 Birthday Bash – Enter to win writing and illustrating courses.
1/13: Kidlit411 Birthday Bash – Enter to win critiques of your work.
1/13: #PITCHBFB – Open to Middle Grade, Young Adult, and New Adult manuscripts only. Pitch your completed manuscript to Book Fish Books on Twitter using the #PITCHBFB hashtag from 8am to 8pm CST. Editors will be making requests via favorites and promise personalized feedback on submissions they have requested. A few submissions will receive critiques on the first three chapters of their work and one participant will receive a critique on their full manuscript.
1/14: Kidlit411 Birthday Bash – Enter to win Golden Tickets to get to the head of the line for agents!
1/22: #PitchCB – Open to fiction and nonfiction of any genre. (As far as I can tell this pitch opportunity is still happening on the 4th Friday of every month.) Pitch the Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh agents on Twitter using the #PitchCB hashtag. The pitch window is open for 24 hours. (Do keep in mind that these agencies are in the UK.) Tweet your pitch one time only. Curtis Brown has posted specifics on how to participate.
1/31: Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize – Open to works in progress of innovative literary nonfiction by a writer not yet established in the genre. Submit a one page cover letter, a 2-10 page overview, and a minimum 25,000 words of the manuscript via Submittable. Entry opens January 1st. Winner to receive a $12,000.00 advance, editorial guidance, and publication.
1/31: Nelson Algren Literary Awards – Enter your fiction, up to 8,000 words. Two entries allowed per person. One grand prize winner will receive $3,500. Four finalists will each receive $1,000. Five runners-up will each receive $500. All entries will be considered for publication by the Chicago Tribune. Enter via Submittable.
1/31: Deborah Rogers Foundation Writer’s Award – Open to unpublished writers who are residents within the British Commonwealth and Eire. Enter your 20,000 – 30,000 fiction or nonfiction WORK IN PROGRESS along with a brief synopsis and bio. Winner to receive £10,000.
2/1: Sun vs. Snow – Open to MG, YA, NA, and Adult. 16 agents have agreed to participate so far. 200 submissions will be accepted. The manuscript cannot have been in an agent round of any other contest. Enter your query, first 250 words, and answer this in 100 words or less: Which would your character find more helpful in fighting through their biggest obstacle–hot or cold. And why? Tell us which weather would be the most helpful to your character. Agent round to take place on 2/22. You have until 1/11 to enter to win a free pass.
2/3: #Pit2Pub Pitch your manuscript to publishers via Twitter using the #Pit2Pub hashtag from 8am to 8pm CST. Looks like it is open to any genre. See their hashtag post. Check out the blog list for features on participating publishers.
2/11 #PBPitch – Open to picture books. Pitch your picture book via Twitter using the #PBPitch hashtag.
2/26: Pitch Madness – Submit a 35-word pitch and the first 250 words of you completed manuscript. Readers choose 60 entries to go onto the agent round. Agents play a game against the other agents to win requests for more pages of their favorite entries. The best played agent request wins either a partial or full manuscript read of the entry. Agent round begins 3/9. More details to come.
3/7: #SonofaPitch – A new Twitter pitch party open to all categories of YA, NA, and Adult. Pitch your manuscript via Twitter. There is a variety of pitch help starting on 2/15 with an agent and editor week on 2/29. It is not clear whether you have to participate in all rounds to be eligible for the agent/editor round. Will look for more information to come.
3/17: #Pitmad – Open to any genre and category. Pitch your completed manuscript on Twitter using the #PitMad hashtag from 8AM – 8PM EDT. Please be aware of the new rules about pitching before participating.
My eyes are getting tired! Want to look for more contests? Check out this listing at freelancewriting.com and let us know in the comments if you find any good ones!