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In the past few years, I've entered the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest (twice), the My Book Therapy Frasier contest (twice), and Faith Hope Love's Touched By Love contest (once). My entries ranged from two different historical novels to one contemporary romance.
Both the Genesis and the Touched By Love contest deadlines have passed for this year.
However, it's not too late for unpublished novelists to enter the Frasier and receive the benefit of having their scenes critiqued by writing professionals.
Pat Trainum, one of my Imagine That! critique partners, shares how the Frasier helped her improve her writing in this video. Pat, who writes as P.T. Bradley, recently signed a multi-book contract with Revell so her contest experience is invaluable.
But you'll need to hurry -- the Frasier deadline is March 31st. For more information, visit the My Book Therapy website.
The Oregon Christian Writers Cascade contest, for both unpublished and published authors, opened just last week.
Other contests may be found through writers groups or an internet search.
ACFW sponsored a new contest, First Impressions, last fall. So there's plenty of time to polish your first five pages to enter this contest when it opens for 2013..
I'm a big proponent of contests because of the invaluable feedback. The judges in the contests I entered provided helpful, and sometimes stinging, feedback. But their comments gave me insight on what improvements needed to be made to the story.
Contests can also give recognition and affirmation. Last year, my contemporary placed as a Bronze Medal Finalist in the Frasier. In 2011, Where Treasure Hides won the Genesis Historical Category. One of the final round judges, Tyndale acquisition editor Jan Stob, bought the novel this past summer.
Join in the Conversation!
If you've never entered a contest, what's holding you back? If you have, what was the most -- and the least -- helpful feedback you received? We'd love to hear about your experiences.