Category Archives: Writing Contests

Agent Contest for YA with Critique for winners. Hurry! I almost missed this one.

Oh! I love me a contest or two. Especially when the prize is something like a critique, and bonus points for no entry fee.

And easy entry, too. Just the first 200 words of your manuscript.

This one is put out by Writer’s Digest, which is super cool. I am shamelessly re-blogging this from the Writer’s Digest Web Site:

PRIZES!!!

Top 3 winners all get:

1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge.

2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com ($50 value)!

MEET YOUR (AWESOME) AGENT JUDGE!

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 10.31.23 AM

A literary agent for close to fifteen years, Andrea Somberg represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including projects aimed at a young adult and middle grade audience. Previously an agent at the Donald Maass Agency and Vigliano Associates, she joined Harvey Klinger Inc. in the spring of 2005. Andrea has also been a MediaBistro instructor, teaching courses on writing nonfiction and memoir book proposals. Learn more about Andrea on Twitter, Facebook, or Publishers Marketplace.

Click below for the scoop. But Hurry!  You need to enter by April 9th!

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/15th-free-dear-lucky-agent-contest-young-adult-fiction

 

_JenniFer____EatoN

 

If you are thinking of entering a contest – READ THE FINE PRINT

I was going to keep my big alligator mouth shut, but I can’t.  I just can’t.

A call for submissions was recently announced that is an incredible opportunity…  A contest to write a prequel to one of the classic children’s movies from the 1980′s. How cool would that be. Right?

A group of friends and I gathered our kids, and we watched the movie.  We brainstormed, and we were excited.

Afterwards, I breezed over to the web-site and looked up the history of the time period that they provided as a basis for the world-building… and ideas started to flow.

Then I checked the fine print

As I looked over the terms and conditions, a few things popped out at me as HUGE red flags.  I thought, “Hmm, this is a major publishing house, and a big American iconic company.  There’s no way that I can be reading this right.”

So, I did the smart thing, and contacted a lawyer.

I’m so glad I did.  What they told me, horrified my socks off.  Really, it did.  Those suckers flew right across the room.

In a nutshell, whether you win or lose… if you enter the contest they have the right to use your story, and your name to sell it at any time.  Even years later… once you’ve hit it big.  They have a story by you that they own… and there’s not a dern thing you can do about it.

Here’s the worst part — We writers enter these things all the time.  We figure that if we don’t win, we can change the names and the world and sell it as something else, right?

Nope.  You can’t. NEVER. They own your story for eternity.

I’m going to give you the direct quote sent to me. If you re-write the story and publish it with different names and change the world…

“Are you sitting down? – they can sue you for using your own story that they now (and forever) own, and they would 100% win in court.”

That’s insane. And I’m ashamed.  I’m ashamed because I LOVE the brand behind this contest and everything having to do with them.  I grew up with them and I was uber-excited to have a chance at being part of it.

Not anymore.

In respect of the brand that I love so much, I will not tell you who it is.  If you don’t know, then you are not in danger, but if this sounds familiar, and you are considering it, PLEASE take a look at the terms and conditions.

Do I still think this is an incredible opportunity?  Yes, I do.  But you need to weigh the risks against your chances.

If I spend six months creating a masterpiece, and it is not chosen, I deserve the right to revise and use my story elsewhere.  In my mind there is no such thing as a story “Dependant on” the original.  Anything can be revised.

If you are going for it, good luck.  I wish you the best.

Sadly, I will not be any competition.

JenniFer_EatonF

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest: Did you make the first cut?

The top 400 pitches in each category have been listed.  Did you make the cut?

I didn’t recognize anyone on the YA list, but congrats to everyone who made it.  I wish you the best of luck.

And, yes, that means that my name was NOT on the list.

Am I upset?  Honestly, not really.

The only thing I could really be upset about is that I stopped doing what I SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOING and spent two weeks polishing my manuscript, rewriting the beginning, and writing an (unsuccessful) pitch.  I am now behind on a writing project that I should have finished and sent to beta yesterday. (I haven’t even written the climax yet)

***However***

My Fire in the Woods manuscript now has a KICK BUTT beginning that I believe fixes everything that was wrong with my first draft, and I also have a pitch that I know needs some tweaking, because there were 400 out there that were better than mine.

So, yes, I am behind on my current Work in Progress, but my “Big Tamale” Fire in the Woods is now quite a bit closer to being ready for query land.

So, am I mad I didn’t make the first cut?  Nope, not at all.  It was no reflection on my novel.  They didn’t even look at it.  My pitch didn’t grab them.  No harm, no foul.

Thanks, Amazon, for giving me that extra pressure to fix the overall problems.

What about you guys?  Did anyone make the first cut? Are you in the same boat as me? What do you think about all this?

JenniFer_EatonF

Flash Finish Contest for a FREE COPY of “For the Love of Christmas”– Part of the Still Moments Halloween Blog Hop

This post is just supposed to be a spooky story, but I decided to bend the rules a bit and have fun.  Yes, this is a giveaway.

One random participant will receive a free copy of Still Moments Publishing’s “For the Love of Christmas”, so you can cuddle up with my Holiday Tale “Connect the Dots” as soon as it is available.* Yay!  It’s so cool to be giving away something I wrote!  Wahooo!

Oh Yeah!  By entering here, you will automatically be entered into Still Moments’s main prize drawing, where you can win one of the prizes listed here:  Click me to see the pretty jewelry PLUS books too!!

Okay.  Rules.  Don’t worry, I’ll make it easy.

Click here to follow me on Goodreads (Extra brownie points if you add my book to your “to read” list

Follow this blog (Easy.  Just press the follow button on the right)

Click here to make friends on Facebook.

Okay.  Now the fun part.  I’m going to start a short Halloween story.  All you need to do is finish the story in as few as one line, or as many as 100 words.  (I won’t count your words :-) )

NOTE:  YOU MUST INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT TO BE ENTERED INTO THE GRAND PRIZE DRAWINGS

Winners will be chosen at random from everyone who’s followed the rules.  (Which means this isn’t rocket science.  We are out to have fun here, by golly!)

Oh Yeah!  By entering, you will automatically be added to Still Moments list of participants, where you can win one of the prizes listed here.

Okay… The spooky story all ready for you to finish… Here we go!

The hinges creak as I push the door open with trembling fingertips.  The light from my candle casts an eerie glow throughout the chamber.  I set the taper down, and search the room.  Where had that sound come from?

A dull thud from behind chills the very blood in my veins, cooling my heart and transfixing me. No one else should have access to this hall.

The glow of the candle flickers over the poker leaning against the fireplace, the only weapon close enough for me to …

A footstep sounds behind be, and cold fingers wrap around my arm.

***

There you go!  What happens?  It could be one sentence, or a few.  I can’t wait to see what you come up with.  Have fun!

The contest will close October 26th and I will announce a winner soon after.

Note:  Still Moments will draw their Grand Prizes from all participants across the entire blog hop.  Please feel free to visit the other participating blogs to increase your chances.  Grand Prize drawings will take place on October 26th. Email Addresses are required for the Grand Prize drawings.  Entries without email addresses will be discarded.

Want extra chance to win?  Hop along the Blog Hop trail below, and good Luck! (I want that stinking necklace… so cool!)

Participating SMP Authors:

October 22, 2012
Terri Rochenski – http://www.terrirochenski.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Eaton – http://www.jennifermeaton.com/
Ceri Hebert – http://cerihebert.wordpress.com/

October 23, 2012

Liv Rancourt – http://www.livrancourt.com/
Denise Moncrief – http://denisemoncrief.blogspot.com/
Dani-Lyn Alexander – http://www.danilynalexander.com/blog.html

October 24,
2012
Mackenzie Crowne – http://mackenziecrowne.com/
Maggie Devine – http://maggiedevine.blogspot.com/
Liberty Blake – http://libertysspells.blogspot.com/

October 25, 2012

Darlene Henderson – http://dandwh.wordpress.com/
Em Epe – http://www.emeperomances.blogspot.com/
Clara Waibel – http://www.pomadness.blogspot.com/

*Note:  “For the Love of Christmas” Will not ba available until December, BUT I’M GOOD FOR IT! — PROMISE!

Did anyone save Jennifer? Who will take home a free copy of the Make Believe Anthology?

Oh, Okay.  I will let you go.

Whew!  Thanks.  That gag was really starting to hurt!

I’m sad

Hey!  I’m the one who’s been tied to a chair for three days.  What’s your problem?

They like you.

Huh?

They like you.  Did you see?  All those people came to beg and plead… and now I can’t explode anything.

Awe, it’s okay Little Blue Lady.

No it’s not!  No one likes me!

Umm, well, maybe if you didn’t always try to blow everything up…

No one likes me.

Okay, well, whatever… so I guess I need to send someone a copy of the make Believe Anthology, huh?  So, who was it?  Who pleaded the best to set me free?

They all did.

All?  Umm, I don’t think that will make my publisher very happy.  You need to pick just one.

That’s my problem.  I liked a lot of them.  I liked them enough to let you go.

Awe!  Super thanks to everyone who helped set me free!

Okay, let’s take a look at this.  Who was the most creative?

Oh look!  Vanessa Chapman wrote a poem.  That’s creative.

Yeah, it reminded me of a song.  Shall I hum it?

Ummm… No.    Hmmm.  You talked to Wendy Reid for a while.

AAAA!  Wendy Reid scared me!

Ha!  Really?  You should read her book if you want to see scary. [Jennifer Shivers]

I think she likes you

Huh?

Nevermind

Ummm… okay, so… What’s this with Heylookawriterfellow?

Mike Allegra?  He’s an abomination!  He lured me to his website, and made me feel welcome… but it was all a distraction while he tried to set you free! And I was going to buy his book!  He’s a children’s author, you know… and he has this great post on…  Wait!  No!  Ban Mike Allegra for tricking me! Heylookawriterfellow is not my friend!

Well, I kind of liked Mike’s distraction… it stopped you from setting off firecrackers under my chair for a while.

And what’s with Widdershins?!

Oh!  Widdershins is a fellow alien.  I must make a note to friend Widdershins on Facebook.

Ha!  What else do we have here?

Richard Leonard tried to convince me that there was something wrong with Mars.  Pfft.  I checked.  Sandy and red as usual.  It’s fine.

And Jmmcdowell threatened to dump nuclear waste on Mars… Like it wouldn’t explode on the way… silly archaeologist.

Oh!  I have an idea!  To be totally fair, l let’s take our top picks of the most creative and let people vote, okay?

Oh!  Then can we vote on how I take over the world?

Umm, yeah, I guess, but for now let’s see who wins the contest, okay?

So, here we go!  The finalists are below.  Please vote for your favorite.  The highest number of votes gets a copy of the Make Believe Anthology and can do their very own review of my debut story “Last Winter Red”.  So let’s get voting for your favorite!

And then will you finally give me an interview?

Ugh… Here we go again.

.

Please vote for your favorite in the form below! You can see their full entry in the comments from October 3rd’s post

In review…

Vanessa Chapman – Poem “Ode to the Little Blue Lady”

Wendy Reid – Scared the pants off the Little Blue Lady (Maybe I should rephrase that)

Heylookawriterfellow (Mike Allegra) – Kept Blue Lady occupied on his own site to give Jennifer time to escape.

Widdershins – Fellow alien, keeps humans as pets

Richard Leonard – Planet Mars Is Dead.  There’s nothing to go back to.

JMMcdowell – Dump Earth’s garbage, politicians, has-been entertainers on Mars. Ticking time bomb.

(By the way, convincing all your followers to vote for you is completely and utterly not fair … but I have no possible way of proving you did it, so… umm… never mind… I shouldn’t have even said anything.)

Voting closes tonight (Saturday, October 6th around 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time)

Good luck to the finalists, and thanks again everyone for convincing the Little Blue Lady to set me free!

Help! I’ve been Kidnapped! Get me out of here! (And get a free copy of the Make Believe Anthology while you’re at it.)

Ha!  It’s me!  Thought you’d rid yourself of me, didn’t you?  Well you were wrong!!!!

I sat and twiddled my fingers, patiently waiting my turn, but Jennifer M. Eaton refused to interview me.  So now I have tied her up, and taken over her meager, unworthy website.

What?  You think the Little Blue Lady from Mars knows not how to run a website?  Well, if the scrawny author can do it, why not a formidable Martian like me?

Now where is that instruction manual?

What!  Did I hear a snicker?  Perhaps there are those of you who do not know my power?  I have taken over worlds!  This website will be no problem!

However, I am not completely heartless.  Well, I am… but today I am feeling charitable.  I realize the destruction of this little domain may poison some against me.  So, I will give her one chance.

Do you hear that?  One chance!

So, mere driveling humans, you must beg and plead for me to release Jennifer M. Eaton or you may never see her again.  Ha Ha!

Oh, you may see posts, but these were pre-programmed.  These posts will run out unless I, The Great Little Blue Lady from Mars agrees to set her free!

So, you might ask… What do you need to do to set her free?

Beg!  Beg I tell you.

Give me good reasons to set her free!  And if no one can come up with a good reason, then I will tire of this endeavor and just blow up her blog with her in it!

Wait, What?  Jennifer M. Eaton is rocking in her chair, struggling with her gag.  What do you want Jennifer M. Eaton?

Ha!  She is afraid no one will want to save her!  That’s good!  It will give me a reason to explode something!

Wait… what, Jennifer M. Eaton?  Oh!  She says that she will give a copy of the Make Believe Anthology, her publishing debut, to whoever convinces me not to blow her up.

Ha Ha!  She resorts to bribery, knowing that I am more than willing to blow this place up, just for the fun of it!

So, simple humans, start begging.  Tell me why I should not blow up Jennifer M. Eaton… and should one of you succeed, I will untie her, and you will get a copy of the Make Believe Anthology for free!

Let the begging begin!  I will give you three days to convince me.  On Saturday, October 6th, I will make my decision.

So humans, will you beg to have her back, or shall I let the explosions begin?

Your choice.

Lynda Young

Kelly Said

J.A.Belfield

Terri Rochenski

Jenny Keller Ford

 

And the winners are? – The Sunshine Awards Flash Fiction Contest – Read and pic your favorite

Wow, I really love these three entries.  These guys put a lot of thought into this.

I am so glad that I can give the award to all three of them, so here is your little flowers badge ladies!  Thanks for playing!

Just for fun, I am going to open this up for voting.  It doesn’t matter who wins, but which one do you guys think is the best?  Give your favorite a click!

Entry from the Lovely Ms Erin

The late August sunshine filtered through the leaves, playing patterns over her face. Sweat glistened on her forehead and pasted the grey tank-top to her back. Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, she peered into the viewfinder of her Nikon. It was worth it to brave the southern summer heat for this. She adjusted the focus on the zoom lens until the object of her attention came into sharp focus. She smiled.

Note from me:  Wow, what a visual.  I totally see this!

The entry from the Lovely Ms Beth

He’d been following her since daybreak.   It was not for a full mile past the ribbon stall that she laughed aloud, tickled as a little boy chased his sister with a bug-eyed fish.

He hastened to snatch the vial from his threadbare cloak and collect the threads of shimmering yellow that danced before his eyes, invisible to all but him.   Once it was a third full he stopped it up with the cork and stored it in his pouch.

The Master would be pleased. At long last, he had succeeded in his final test.  He had bottled sunshine.

Note from  me:  Fantastic concept

Add the entry from the talented and gutsy Wendy Reid

Huddled behind a jetting outcrop, she pressed her knees to her chest so hard that her muscles ached. Shoulders hunched against the frigid cold of the moonlit desert, she put her hands up to her ears in the hopes to stop the cold wind from entering her head. The sand under her bottom was bitter cold and hard as ice, a far cry from it’s daylight properties.

Facing Eastward, she watched as the orange ball slowly appeared over the horizon. Nikki had never been happier to see the sun shine and feel the heat of its rays.

Note from me:  Oh, this sounds so much like the start or middle of something good.  This one had me wanting more.  I mean really wanting more.  Nicely done, Wendy.

If you like spicy adult recreational reading material, check out Wendy’s collection of short shorts called BEDTIME STORIES on Amazon.

For an intense read, for the not-so faint at heart, check out Wendy’s suspense novel:  A MOTHER’S LOVE on Amazon.

Okay, so here we go.  Which entry was your favorite?

Writing to a Deadline Part 2: “I still got Nothing.”

In Part One, I told you about this publisher’s writing prompt.  I told you I decided to pass, even though it was a great opportunity.  It nagged at me, though.  I have written two Epic 400,000 word series.  Why the heck couldn’t I do something with this picture?

I opened the web site back up.  I stared at that picture.  I was brutally aware that I was now two-weeks behind all those happy writers that seemed to be all over this story.  I could do this.  I stared at the picture some more.  I put it on my desktop.  Looked at it all the time.  Thought about it all the time.

Had I lost my touch?

“Just do it,” my son says. “Just write it.  Get it over with and see what happens.”  I ground my teeth as my own words came back to haunt me.  (See my previous post)  Problem was… this was a publisher, not a fourth-grade teacher.  They wouldn’t be happy with a “B”.  This needed to be “A” grade work.

I had no idea where to start, so I used a trick that I’ve used in my novels when I’m not sure how to start a new chapter.  I took the character in the picture—  I knew nothing about her, just what she was wearing and a setting.

I sat down to my keyboard, and had her take a simple step.  The wind whipped up around her.  Her shoes got dirty in the mud.  The air chilled her face… I engaged myself into her setting.  I allowed myself to feel her.

You know what happened?

Within one paragraph, I knew who she was.  I knew where she was going.  I knew how she had to get there.  I knew why she was going.  I knew what she had to do.  Her character snowballed in my mind.

Do  have a story?  Well, no.  Not yet.  I need more characters.  I need to develop those characters.  I need conflict.  I need antagonists.  I need explosions.  I need overlying theme and plot.

But I had a start.  And, to my surprise, I was suddenly interested in that woman in the picture.

Stay tuned.

“Can you hit a perfect pitch?” Writer’s Contest

Yay!  I love contests, especially when they mean MAJOR EXPOSURE.  Here’s a great one, sponsored by Brenda Drake.

Here’s the scoop (Copied from Brenda Drake’s website.)

Here’s how the contest is going down …

On January 15th post a two sentence pitch (no more than 35 words) along with the first 150 words (if it falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of that sentence) of your finished Young Adult or Middle Grade manuscript to your blogs. From January 15th-16th hop around each others’ blogs and critique or praise them. Revise your entries, if you want, and post them by 8:00am (EST) January 17th to the official entry post. DO NOT POST THEM TO THIS POST. If you want, you may skip the blogfest/critique portion of this contest and just enter the contest. I will have the official post up, along with details on how to format your entries, on January 15th so that you can start posting when you’re ready. To participate, sign up on the linky below. (Go to Brenda’s site to jump on the linky)

You want to know the prizes? The prize (or prizes) is a request to read more from agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette. I’m crossing my fingers for all of you. Have I told you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this agent? Okay, well, I can’t say it enough! I totally <3 her!

What are you waiting for? Sign up now!

Here is my entry.  Please help me decide on Pitch #1 (My original pitch) or #2 (One I came up with tonight)

Please feel free to comment and/or make suggestions.

Title: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT
Genre: YA Science Fantasy
Word Count: 110,000

Pitch #1:

A common boy unknowingly imprinted with the dangerous powers of the Goddess, must find a way to change his fate and the fate of the galaxy, before a jealous prince manipulated by Darkness murders him.

Pitch#2

A young boy, cursed with a power he cannot control, must save the Goddess before she is smothered by Darkness.  It would be easy, if he could only remember who he really is.

First 150 words:

“I’m not going to sit here locked in a closet all day.” Magellan pulled away from his mother, leaving his whimpering brothers and sisters clinging to her skirts.

“Magellan, come back here.”

“No. I wanna hear Dad’s speech.” He pressed his cheek against a large crack in the door and closed one eye.  Sconces lit the long stone hallway that lead to the auditorium. “I wish I could see something.”

“Get back mine scum!” A guard threw something against the door, slamming the wood against his face.

“Ouch,” Magellan rubbed his cheek. “Jerk.”

Footsteps clomped away, and his mother exhaled. “Magellan, your father said…”

“I know what he said.” Magellan furled his eyebrows.  “Right before they locked us in here.”  He flicked a bug from the damp stone wall beside him. “I’m not a baby anymore. I want to help.”

He ran his fingers across the locking plate, and jumped as flames flashed across the metal, spinning and swirling around it

Thanks for looking!

Brenda Drake Contest Entry: Can we guess your character’s age?

Brenda Drake’s blog is hosting a contest on your manuscript’s first 250 words.  The contest is open to all genres.  All you need to do is post your first 250 words on your Blog on December 8th so everyone can read and comment.  You cannot tell the title or genre.  Your work needs to stand on its own.

After you get feedback from your followers and other contestants, make any changes you think are necessary, and when you are ready, email your final entry to Brenda by midnight December 10th.

Finalists will be chosen by Brenda and her gang of word lovers, and the three winners will be chosen by Gabriela Lessa, a professional editor and literary agent assistant

The winners get free editing.  Not too shabby.

Without further ado… here’s the beginning of my novel.

Can you guess my characters age?  If you already know how old he is, does it sound right?

*****************************************************************

“I’m not gonna sit here locked in a closet all day.” Magellan pulled away from his mother, leaving his whimpering brothers and sisters clinging to her skirts.

“Magellan, come back here.”

“No. I wanna hear Dad’s speech.” He pressed his cheek against a large crack in the door and closed one eye.  Sconces lit the long stone hallway that lead to the auditorium. “I wish I could see something.”

“Get back mine scum!” A guard threw something against the door, slamming the wood against his face.

“Ouch,” Magellan rubbed his cheek. “Jerk.”

Footsteps clomped away, and his mother exhaled. “Magellan, your father said…”

“I know what he said.” Magellan furled his eyebrows.  “Right before they locked us in here.”  He flicked a bug from the damp stone wall beside him. “I’m not a baby anymore. I want to help.”

He ran his fingers across the locking plate, and jumped as flames flashed across the metal, spinning and swirling around it.  What was that?  Nothing in the room could have made that reflection.  He wrinkled his nose and reached for the lock again, but it fell right into his hand before he could even touch it.

“What the…” The door swung open by itself.  Magellan gasped.  “What’s going on?”

He leaned out, and carefully considered the three guards arguing at the far end of the hallway.

The Goddess must be with me today! he thought.

He placed his hand on the doorframe, and his mother stood.  “Magellan Talbot, don’t you dare!”