Contests for Authors
A Resource for Writers

This is  by no means a comprehensive list of contests.
Rather this page spotlights contests I have entered,
some I have won won, and some are contests run by people I know
so I'm confident that they aren't scams.
It also includes some lesser-known contests which
may give new authors a better chance at winning.


Scroll down for a how-to article on contests
and and the short,
but valuable contest list.

 

Click Here for Recent Media Releases.
Use them as resources (some of them announce my contest wins).
Use them as templates for your own contest coups.


Other Writers' Resource Categories

Find an excerpt from the Audio Divas' MP3 on contests.


How-To Article
Contests as Valuable Promotion Aids

Everybody Loves a Winner

(This is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of
The Frugal Book Promoter: )

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson (c)

 

CONTESTS: Awards Set Your Book Apart But Ya Gotta Enter Contests to Get 'Em

 

I pity the poor reader these days. Reviews can’t be relied on for unbiased opinions, so a reader may have trouble telling which book is most likely to set her heart a’ beating. As she shops, she often turns to the blurbs or endorsements on the back of the book. She may read a few of the first pages. But a book that has won a contest for book awards from organizations like Jeff Keene’s USA Book News award (usabooknews.com) or the New Millennium award (indiebookawards.com.com) or, yes, from universities like Columbia’s Pulitzer, will probably clinch a sale faster than many others.

Let’s take that one step farther. Authors who have won literary contests (contests run by journals, publishers and the like for poetry, short stories, novellas, novels and other literary entities) also gets bragging rights that might get inserted into their media kits, query letters, and Web sites. That makes it easier to sell a promotion idea (or a next book!) than someone who is new to writing. Gatekeepers—anyone from acquisition editors to feature editors at newspapers—can be influenced by a contest. Make that a contest win, place, or show. It may be what’s needed to set you apart from the many authors clamoring for attention. In fact on a slow news day, just about any award looks like a nugget of gold to a busy editor.

So why are authors so ready to hate contests? Fear of rejection is an easy answer. An article in the revered Poetry & Writers’ magazine mentions that writers often consider contests rigged and resent the fees (usually from free to $25 for literary contests and from free to $125. for book awards.). The magazine article pointed out that publishers and organizations become dependent on the fees they charge for contests and note that rarely does an unknown author win. I’m not sure the last part isn’t sour grapes; the point of many contests is to find delicious new voices that will keep the not-so-voracious appetite of publishers for new material well fed. If it is the truth, perhaps we should do something to hone our own skills to approximate those of more established authors.

 

Hint: There are other benefits to contests. Some offer critiques of entries—a value that cannot be overestimated in terms of learning more about the contest-winning process and one’s craft. Some publishers sponsor contests to attract submissions of great new manuscripts.

 

Regardless of the category (and there are some that don’t seem to fit neatly into either category), a contest win is a contest win is a contest win in terms of marketing.

Some contests only accept nominations from publishers. You may need to prod your publisher a bit if you know of a contest for which you think your book would be suitable.

Here are some guidelines for using contests to gain exposure and expand your credentials:

  • Choose contests that fit the size of your pocketbook. No-fee contests work well until you refine your contest IQ. Those include following submission guidelines to the nth degree and selecting contests that suit your material and your voice. Pick contests that impose fees at least as carefully as you might select a tomato from the produce department at your market. Sometimes journals that award prizes to the best work submitted for their pages in a given year are a good, frugal way to start.
  • Choose contests based on the kind of writing you do. Read up on past winners. Examine past winners for genre, voice, length.
  • Find contests from a source that lists less popular contests as well as those that have names attached to them like Hemingway, Faulkner, and Pulitzer. (See resources for finding some later in this chapter and some I like because even beginners have a chance at winning on my Web site at howtodoitfrugally.com/contests.htm)
  • Pay attention to the contest’s guidelines, except for the one that calls for no simultaneous submissions. This rule is patently unfair to the author. You know it and they know it. It’s a rule, not a law. It is a courtesy, however, to notify those contests or journals you have submitted to if your entry wins elsewhere.
  • To increase your chances and to keep you from worrying about each entry, submit work to several contests at a time.
  • Keep track of entries so you don’t submit the same material to the same contest twice.

 

Hint: Some journals still don’t accept online entries. Don’t recycle paper copies that have been returned to you. Editors complain about entries that look as if they have spent a night in the rain.

 

Find suitable contests on the Web, in books, and through organizations. Here are a few leads:

  • Use the “Deadlines” section of Poetry & Writers magazine to find reputable contests. Most are very competitive and charge fees. Check them out at pw.org
  • CRWROPPS is an announcement list for contests and calls for submissions. To subscribe send an e-mail to crwropps-subscribe@topica.com.
  • A fat volume called Writer’s Markets (budurl.com/WritersMarkets) publishes an updated edition each year. It lists contests, publishers, agents, and tons more. Buy the book and get online access to updates.
  • Check professional organizations like your local Press Women, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Wisconsin Regional Writers’ Association (WRWA).
  • Do a Google search on “writing contests” plus your genre.
  • Subscribe to Winning Writers newsletter at winningwriters.com. I love this one for finding free contests.

Once you’ve won a contest—finalist or first place—you are newsworthy:

  • Add this honor to the Awards page of your media kit. If it’s your first award, center it on a page of its own. Oh! And celebrate!
  • Write your media release announcing this coup.
  • Post your news on media release distribution sites that allow you to post your release yourself. Find a list of these sites at howtodoitfrugally.com/mediareleasedisseminators1.htm.
  • Notify all your professional organizations.
  • Notify bookstores where you hope to have a signing and those where you have had a signing.
  • Notify your college and high school. Some have press offices. Most publish magazines for alumni and their current students.
  • Add this information to the signature feature of your e-mail program.
  • Add this honor to the biography template you use in future media releases—the part that gives an editor background information on you.
  • Use this information when you pitch TV or radio producers. It sets you apart from other others and defines you as an expert.
  • If your book wins an award, order embossed gold labels from a company like labels-usa.com/embossed-labels.htm. You or your distributor can apply them to your books’ covers. If you win an important award, ask your publisher to redesign your bookcover or dustcover to feature it a la the Caldecott medal given for beautifully illustrated children’s books? If you don’t know this medal, visit your local bookstore and ask to see books given this award.
  • Be sure your award is front and center on your blog, your Web site, your Twitter wallpaper, and your social network pages.
  • Your award should be evident on everything from your business card to your checks and invoices.

 

Robert W. Schaefer, one of the readers of the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter, wrote to tell me that he would appreciate a plan of attack for getting an award for a book:

§ First and foremost, write a great book. One with great content. One that is organized well. A reminder here. It’s almost impossible to do this without some personal guidance, which is why I recommend writers conferences (see the next section of this chapter), and well-vetted writing classes in your genre.

Caveat: When you change genres, take another class. Do it even if you have been supremely successful at writing in another genre. Authors who have achieved stature should be especially cautious about embarrassing themselves by launching into another arena without knowing all the new stuff they need to know. Poetry is not fiction. Writing a romance requires some skills science fiction does not, and vice versa. Journalists have a great start, but they’ll find knowing more about some elements of fiction like dialogue may inform their news stories as well as help them write a better novel.

 

§ Get your book edited by a professional editor. You’ll have an easier time of selling it if you do this before you begin the submission process, and because many publishers have cut their editing budgets, you’ll be more assured that the job is done well enough to have it qualify for an award. Read my The Frugal Editor (budurl.com/TheFrugalEditor) to know more about editing and how to choose a qualified one.

§ If you are self publishing, hire an excellent book cover artist. Mind you, I didn’t say a graphic designer or fine artist. People like Chaz DeSimone (charlesdesimone.com) know things about book cover design and marketing pitches that others may not know.

§ If you are self publishing, hire a good formatter or interior book designer, too, one that knows the intricacies of frontmatter, backmatter, headers, footers, and page numbering.

§ If you write nonfiction, learn the art of indexing. It isn’t as easy as the word processing programs seem to make it, but I think it’s one uphill battle that’s worth fighting on your own because no one will know your book—know what you feel is important for your reader to know—like you do. There are, of course, also excellent professional indexers who will work closely with you. If your publisher provides an index for you, check it to see if important categories or details have been overlooked.

§ Follow the guidelines above for finding the perfect contest, one that is a match for your book.

§ Attack this process with confidence and be willing to make an investment of time and some money.

As you can see, the more you know about publishing, the better equipped you will be to produce a product (and your book is a product!) you can be proud of—perhaps even a prize-winning book. You wouldn’t expect to become a computer programmer without knowing how the hardware worked, now would you?

-------

Carolyn Howard-Johnson promotes her multi award-winning poetry and fiction using contests of all kinds. She also sponsors contests as a way to market her writing career. Learn more about her methods in any one of her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers: www.howtodoitfrugally.com. That series has won five awards and the marketing campaign for The Frugal Editor won the New Millennium award for marketing. Permission to reprint her articles on your blogs, in your newsletters or elsewhere is readily available at hojonews@aol.com.

 


Contests for Your Consideration

Scroll down for poetry contests.

 

The contests below are contests that accept entries for books in many categories, from traditional, small press, subsidy press and self-published books. The ones I've entered and won I can personally recommend but It is your responsibility to research contests that you pay to enter. Some are more prestigious than others. There is always a chance that a contest could be a scam. But winning any contest can be an opportunity for recognition and promotion (scroll up and down to see articles on this subject). 

 

 

 

 

Reader Views Annual Literary Award
The Reader Views Annual Literary Awards are granted in 20 fiction and 30 nonfiction categories, as well as 15 specialized, sponsored categories. The entries are judged by Reader Views reviewers, all avid readers with a wide range of experiences, considered experts in their respective fields.

 Reader Views is an Austin, Texas, based company that publishes reviews and offers  publicity services to authors. Now they are a one-stop center for budding authors. For more information, visit www.readerviews.com.

Entry information, registration forms and further information can be found online at http://www.readerviews.com/Awards.html.

Feathered Quill Book Awards offers a low nomination feel, special awards for self-published books, and monetary prizes. www.featheredquill.com. It’s been advertised in IBPA’s (Independent Book Publishers Association) print magazine.

Book Contest Searches for Green . . . .
The 2009 Green Book Festival has issued a call for entries to its annual competition honoring books that contribute to greater understanding, respect and positive action on the changing worldwide environment.

The 2009 Green Book Festival will consider published, self-published and independent publisher works in the following categories: non-fiction, fiction, children's books, teenage, how-to, audio/spoken word, comics/graphic novels, poetry, science fiction/horror, biography/autobiography, gardening, cookbooks, animals, photography/art, e-books, wild card (anything goes!), scientific, white paper, legal and spiritual.

Entries can be in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese or Italian. Our grand prize for the 2009 Green Book Festival Author of the Year is $1500 and transportation to our April, 2009 Earth Day celebration in Los Angeles OR an equivalent amount donated in your name to the environmental charity of your choice.

A panel of judges will determine the winners based on the following criteria:

1) The overall writing style and presentation of the work;

2) The potential of the work to enhance understanding of the environment and its issues;

TO ENTER: Entry forms are available online at http://www.greenbookfestival.com or may be faxed/e-mailed to you by calling our office at 323-665-8080.

The Green Book Festival is produced by JM Northern Media LLC, producers of the Hollywood Book Festival, New York Book Festival and DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books and is sponsored by eDivvy, Larimar St. Croix Writers Colony, Westside Websites and Shopanista.

The Clive Cussler Award
The Clive Cussler is for adventure writers: Here is the link. http://www.cusslersociety.com/writers_competition.html.

The Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize
The Noble (Not Nobel!) a feature of MyShelf.com, sponsored by Carolyn Howard-Johnson. It is her answer to the Nobel and is for poets and literary writers only. Learn more at  http://www.myshelf.com/backtoliterature/column.htm Check the archives on the Back to Literature Column page for past winners and guidelines. This contest is free, but a copy of the book is required.. Anyone may nominate a book.

 

From one of the winners of the Noble (Not Nobel!):  "I can't tell you what an honor it is to have Healey's Cave up on your 9th Annual Noble (not Nobel!) Prize for Literature awards. I'm thrilled, I'm deeply honored, and I love what you wrote about it!  I'm about to send out a big email blurb with links to your site and thanks to you - and I am going to post about it all over creation. Natch. ;o) " ~Aaron Paul Lazaar, winner 2010.
 

Hollywood Book Festival Awards
The Hollywood Book Festival holds a contest in conjunction with its fair each year. Learn more at:  HollywoodBKFest@aol.com and www.hollywoodbookfestival.co. This contest should not be confused with the West Hollywood Book Fair events.

USA Book News Award

This one is a favorite of mine. The name carries clout for readers.

www.USABookNews.com

Contest Director, Jeffrey Keene

 

Military Writers' Society of America
A modest membership fee entitles your to have your book fairly reviewed and then nominated by the reviewers for awards. You need not be military or even write about military subjects to belong to this supportive group ( http://militarywriters.com  ).  Here is the slideshow they put out this year featuring their award finalists:

Global E-Book Awards 
This contest from Dan Poynter et. al. offers tons of benefits to the authors of nominated books and winners. Just following the process will help authors new to marketing understand the process--especially how to make awards work for them.
http://awardsforebooks.com/book-writing-contest/enter/top-10-reasons-your-ebook-should-be-in-our-competition/

International Book Awards (IBA)
International Book Awards Finalist. The IBA is sponsored by USA Book News in Los Angeles, CA. http://www.internationalbookawards.com/2012awardannouncement.html lists all awards and finalists. The 4th annual book awards are currently accepting nominations; they are open to books released from 2011 through 2013. You can find the information and nomination application at http://www.internationalbookawards.com/2013callforentries.html. p.m.terrell, an award honoree for her suspense/thriller Vicki's Key,  says, "Once you've won a book award, you can forever place the moniker "Award-Winning Author" on all your press releases, web site, and any other marketing or promotional materials. My publishers have even used it on my book covers. It makes a huge difference when trying to schedule book signings and talks and garnering media attention."

The Nebula Award
This is an award offers awards for different kinds of books (novella, novel, etc) in the science fiction and fantasy genres.  http://www.sfwa.org/awards/

Premier Book Awards
Premier Book Awards is now accepting entries for the 2008 Awards in both fiction and non-fiction.

With so many new titles published every year it is increasingly difficult for any given title to stand out.  One of the best ways for a book to gain credibility, exposure, and increased sales is to win an award for writing excellence

These awards were established to recognize meritorious works by writers who self-published or had their books published by a small press or independent book publisher. POD books are welcome.  The contest is open to selected book length fiction and non-fiction titles with a 2007 or 2008 copyright, published in the English language and targeted for an adult audience in the North American market.  There are $100 cash awards for the winners in each category, plus a $500 award each for the best fiction and best non-fiction of the year.  Winners also receive a certificate suitable for framing and Premier Book Awards will issue a press release to announce the achievement.  Check out the Web site for details: www.PremierBookAwards.com.

The Beach Book Festival
The 2008 Beach Book Festival is looking to give your book a "hottest reads" designation. They will consider independently published books. The grand prize is $1,500. Learn more at www.beachbookfestival.com  or by phone!! 323 665 8080. Here's the fun part. Your marketing plan will be considered in a tie situation.

The address is: JM Northern Media LLC, Beach Book Festival, 7095 Hollywood Blvd, St 864, Hollywood, CA 90028--0893 

Business Book Awards
Jenkins Group give the Axiom Business Book Awards. Find them here: http://www.axiomawards.com/entry.php.

The Next Generation Indie Book Award
The HowToDoItFrugally Web site was part of the overall marketing campaign that won Carolyn Howard-Johnson the Next Generation Indie award for marketing.

Enter the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards by March 2, 2009 to have your book considered for cash prizes, awards, exposure, possible representation by a leading literary agent, and recognition as one of the top independently published books of the year!

Next Generation Indie Book Awards,  19 Horizon View Court, Calgary, Alberta, CA, T3Z 3M5 http://www.indiebookawards.com/index.php

The Parthenon Prize for Fictionlogo
The Parthenon Prize for Fiction will award $15,000 and publication for an unpublished novel under a standard traditional book contract with Hooded Friar Press (formerly Magellan/Cold Tree Press.) The purpose of this competition, open to both published and unpublished writers nationwide, is to discover book-length works of literary excellence written in English. Literary novels only. www.parthenonprize.com . info@parthenonprize.com.

British Book Contest Offers Americans Awards
The London Book Festival offers a contest with a trip to London as a prize. Learn more at http://londonbookfestival.com

Nautilus Book Awards
Nautilus Book Awards has 33 categories. For life and world-changing books.

Erica Hoffer Book Award

SMALL PRESSES  * ACADEMIC PRESSES  * MICRO PRESSES  *  SELF-PUBLISHERS -- $1,500 GRAND PRIZE -- LOW ENTRANCE FEE .

New or old, we want to read your book. … Each year, independent publishers release extraordinary books to little or no recognition. The Eric Hoffer Book Award recognizes excellence in publishing. A single submission gives you five ways to win: By genre, press, the Montaigne Medal, the da Vince Eye, and the Hoffer grand prize. There is a category for every book. (See submission guidelines below or check our listing in Writer’s Market or visit www.HofferAward.com.) There is a $1,500 grand prize. Deadline is usually in January of each year.

AWARDS/BENEFITS:
* $1,500 GRAND PRIZE (the Eric Hoffer Award for Books)
* Winner of the Montaigne Medal for most thought-provoking book
* Winner of the da Vinci Eye for best cover
* Winner and First Runner-Up awarded for every category
* Honorable Mentions for every category
* Individual Awards for Micro, Small, and Academic Presses, as well as Self-Published Books
* Coverage in The US Review of Books (www.theUSreview.com) and on www.HofferAward.com
* Gold Seal Certificates
* Worldwide Exposure

CATEGORIES: Art, Poetry, General Fiction, Commercial Fiction, Children, Young Adult, Culture, Memoir, Business, Reference, Home, Health, Self-Help/Spiritual, Legacy Fiction, and Legacy Nonfiction.

In this tough economic time, your book is always a great value, and the Eric Hoffer Book Award is the most economical way to achieve publicity and recognition. Read previous contest coverage in the US Review of Books (www.theUSReview.com) and view past winners and press releases at www.HofferAward.com.

Internet payment for entrance fee now accepted. (visit www.HofferAward.com ) Also submission guidelines.

CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARDS


Moonbeam Children's Book Awards
  is open to authors, illustrators, and publishers of children’s books written in English. Go to: www.MoonbeamAwards.com.

Mom's Choice Awards for Children’s Books with Special Discount for HowToDoItFrugally Visitors
Are you using awards programs a part of your marketing and publicity strategy? If so, we hope you’ll consider the Mom’s Choice Awards®!  Their award winners represent the best in family-friendly media ... which includes books, ebooks, and apps. The Mom’s Choice Awards® is unique in many ways.  Three things set the MCA apart from other awards programs:

1) Your entry is matched with five evaluators, combining both subject matter experts and consumers. The product is judged from a parent/educator/consumer perspective – not by your industry peers.

2) Theirs is the only awards with an open cycle. That means you can submit your work when it fits with YOUR marketing, promotional, or launch schedule, not an arbitrary set of dates. Decisions are announced within 120 days from receipt of your product.

3) Honorees receive educational and promotional support for as long as they are marketing their work. Should your entry earn our seal, the Mom's Choice Awards becomes an extension of your marketing and promotional team — providing complimentary social media services and low-cost exhibit opportunities at shows like the ABC Kids Expo, Book Expo America, Int’l Toy Fair, and others.

I are also encouraged to take advantage of some of the information the Mom's Choice Awards® offers.

Comparison Chart that shows how they match up with other Awards Program

 List of the benefits that their Award-winners receive.

There is a fee to enter, but it is NOT a pay-for-award program. Judges use a strict protocol for judging entries, and not everything makes the grade. The fee helps offset operational costs of running a company - like matching your book with the best judges for it. The fee is normally $300 / entry (or series of up to three titles), but Terry Doherty has given me a promotional code that will allow you to take $100 off that fee.

To get the discount, simply enter the promo code "TD100" on the checkout page of your online application.

SHORT STORY CONTESTS

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
17th year. Fifteen cash prizes totaling $5,350. Top prize $2,000. Seeks short stories, essays and other works of prose, up to 5,000 words. Winning entries published online. Both published and unpublished work accepted. Fee per entry is $15, payable to Winning Writers. Postmark deadline: March 31. Judges: J.H. Reid, D.C. Konrad. Submit online or mail to Winning Writers, Attn: Tom Howard Short Story Contest, 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060. Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2008). More information: www.winningwriters.com/tomstory

POETRY CONTESTS

Sports Poetry Contest
Fifteen cash prizes totaling $5,000. Top prize $2,000. Submit 1-3 unpublished poems on the theme of war, up to 500 lines in all. Winning entries published online. Sponsored by Winning Writers. $15 entry fee, payable to Winning Writers. Postmark deadline: May 31. Judge: Jendi Reiter. Include cover sheet with contact information. No name on poems. Submit online or mail to Winning Writers, Attn: War Poetry Contest, 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060. Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2008). More information: www.winningwriters.com/war

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest  (no fee)
F
ree contest with a special twist. Fifteen cash prizes totaling $3,336.40. Top prize $1,359. Submit one poem by April 1 deadline. No entry fee. Winning entries published online. Judge: Jendi Reiter. Sponsored by Winning Writers. Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2008). Guidelines and online submission at www.winningwriters.com/wergle

Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse
Fifteen cash prizes totaling $5,350. Top prize $2,000. Submit poems in traditional verse forms, such as sonnets and free verse. Winning entries published online. Both published and unpublished work accepted. Entry fee is $7 for every 25 lines, payable to Winning Writers. Postmark deadline: June 30. Judges: J.H. Reid, D.C. Konrad. Submit online or mail to Winning Writers, Attn: Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060. Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2008). More information: www.winningwriters.com/margaret

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest
Fifteen cash prizes totaling $5,350. Top prize $2,000. Submit poems in any style or genre. Both published and unpublished work accepted. Winning entries published online. Entry fee is $7 for every 25 lines, payable to Winning Writers. Postmark deadline: September 30. Judges: J.H. Reid, D.C. Konrad. Submit online or mail to Winning Writers, Attn: Tom Howard Poetry Contest, 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060. Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2008). More information: www.winningwriters.com/tompoetry


Article
Advice on Contests from a New Fiction Writer

By Janet Kay Jensen

I recently published my first novel. Because my publisher is a small regional publisher and I am a virtual unknown in the fiction writing world, I was anxious to prove myself as well as and sell some books, so I entered it in some published book competitions. And I also needed the personal validation. There. I said it.

There are many positive aspects to entering writing contests for published and unpublished works. Preparing work for a competition can challenge you to improve and try a new genre. Learning professional manuscript preparation is another skill you can learn by entering contests. Judges notice every typo or other error, and that can make the difference between winning or not placing at all, so it’s an incentive to turn in the cleanest manuscript you can produce.

Some contests offer publication as part of the prize. Consider this carefully before you enter. If you’re eager to publish with that organization and you’ve checked them out, it can be an excellent opportunity to launch or further your writing career. Some competitions offer monetary awards, and that’s always a plus.

It’s a good idea for a budding writer to enter local contests sponsored by art councils, state writing organizations, schools, etc. Usually these contests have no or minimal entry fees and provide valuable feedback on their judging forms. Recognition from doing well in a competition can lead to good publicity and further opportunities, as well as a boost in self-esteem. Placing in writing contests also looks good on your resume when you’re looking for an agent or publisher.

Some writers organizations advise against entering contests that charge any entry fee at all. From my experience, it costs money to run a contest. Judges deserve honorariums, though they are often embarrassingly modest. Awards, even simple certificates, cost money. Postage costs money, too. Many legitimate contests charge small fees to pay for their expenses and do not make a profit.

So, before you enter any contest, research it carefully. Fortunately, you can learn a great deal by studying all the rules thoroughly and reading feedback from contestants, all of which can readily be found on the web.

Writer Beware: Beware of contests that are more expensive to enter, as they may only be moneymakers for the organizers. They can be a front for vanity presses to hook unsuspecting writers into then buying the books that contain their “winning” entries. The truth is, in a vanity publisher’s contest, most entries are “winners.” No matter how distinguished the name of the organization may sound, it may still run scams

An excellent resource to consult is http://www.sfwa.org/Beware/contest.html. Another good Web site for information on contests, good and bad, is http://www.preditorsandeditors.com.

Entering published works: Google “awards for published books” and you will find many contests for published books. Use the same criteria above to evaluate the pros and cons of entering a particular contest. Find competitions that seem to fit your book and its subject. Consider your budget. Costs can mount quickly when they include entry fees and sending multiple copies of your book at your own expense. Choose the competitions that suit you and your work.

Use your own good judgment in entering any writing contest. The benefits can be career-changing. There’s nothing like writing “award winning author” before your name in a media release, under your email signature, on your Web site and blog, or in any other publication.

-----

Janet Kay Jensen is the award-winning author of Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys (Bonneville Books, Cedar Fort Press, 2007). She is also co-author of The Book Lover’s Cookbook, Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature and the Passages that Feature Them (Wenger & Jensen, Ballantine Books, 2003). In addition to receiving numerous awards from the League of Utah Writers, she is first runner-up in the prestigious Best New Writers: Eric Hoffer Award in Commercial Fiction contest, and was named a finalist in religious fiction by both USA Best Books 2007 and ForeWord Magazine. Visit her web page at www.janetjensen.com and her blog at www.janetkayjensen.blogspot.com.

Editor's Note: This is what Janet's e-mail signature looks like (see below). It includes contest wins that will impress her readers! Those interested in learning more about promoting with e-mail signatures will find information on them and hundreds more in The Frugal Book Promoter.

   First Runner-Up, Best New Writing: The Eric Hoffer Award
Finalist, USA Best Books 2007 (religious fiction)
Finalist, Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year (religious fiction)
Semi-Finalist, Reader Views Critics Awards(religion/spirituality)
Whitney Award Nominee for LDS authors
Honorable Mention, Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel Award
The Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature and the Passages that Feature Them (Wenger & Jensen, Ballantine, 2003)
www. janetjensen.com
www. janetkayjensen.blogspot.com
www. janetkayjensen2.blogspot.com

 

Mini Biography Contest Biography
for
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel, This Is the Place, won eight awards. Her second book, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, creative nonfiction, won three. An instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program, her book The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won’t is recommended reading for her classes, was named USA Book News’ “Best Professional Book" and was given the Irwin Award. Her second book in the How To Do It Frugally series for writers is The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. It won USA Book News and Reader Views Literary Awards and the campaign and was honored by the New Generations Millennium Award.  It won New Generations Marketing Award. Her chapbook of poetry Tracings, was named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads list and was given the Military Writers' Society of America's Silver Award of Excellence.  Her Celebration series of chapbooks with Magdalena Ball are also garnering awards.

Her new HowToDoItFrugally series of books for retailers is also garnering awards. A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions was a finalist in the USA Book News contest.

She is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community's Character and Ethics Committee awarded her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly's list of 14 "San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen." Visit her awards page for a more extensive list of her awards.

If you'd like more information find Carolyn's focused media kits in her media room

Media Kit for Program Directors for Radio, TV, Conferences, Radio Shows

Media Kit for Book, Entertainment and Feature Editors

Kit for Reviewers

Media Kit for Retail Professionals

Recent Media Releases


Buy Links for Carolyn's Books

Great Fiction
Purchase THIS IS THE PLACE
and
HARKENING at Amazon.

Great Poetry
Purchase TRACINGS (Finishing Line Press) at Amazon.

Give the gift of poetry with a chapbook from Magdalena Ball's
and
My Celebration Series

CHERISHED PULSE: Unconventional Love Poetry
IMAGINING THE FUTURE: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions
SHE WORE EMERALD THEN: Reflections on Motherhood
BLOOMING RED: Christmas Poetry for the Rational
DEEPER INTO THE POND: Celebration of Femininity

HowToDoItFrugally Series for Writers
Purchase THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER, Second Edition
THE FRUGAL EDITOR
GREAT LITTLE LAST MINUTE EDITING TIPS FOR WRITERS
 

Survive and Thrive Series of HowToDoItFrugally Books for Retailers
A RETAILER'S GUIDE TO FRUGAL IN-STORE PROMOTION
FRUGAL AND FOCUSED TWEETING FOR RETAILERS
YOUR BLOG, YOUR BUSINESS

Purchase audios for writers at Tri-Studio.

Most of Carolyn's books are also available for the Kindle reader. 


 

 "Careers that are not fed die as readily
as any living organism given no sustenance." 
~
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Studio photography by Uriah Carr

Logo by Lloyd King

All Carolyn's Frugal Books Are Available on Kindle
As Well as Paperback

Helpful Books for Writers

  Helpful Books for Retailers

Poetry: The perfect inspirational gift

Fiction and Short Stories


To subscribe to Carolyn's FREE online newsletter send an e-mail.

Learn more about Carolyn's newsletter and blog. 


Subscribe to
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Sharing with Writers Newsletter

and get a FREE copy of
Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers

"I have been a professional writer 40 years, and am also a tenured full professor of journalism. Carolyn's Sharing with Writers newsletter is  most useful for me--and for my students. I emphasize to them that while research is 90% of writing, and the actual writing is about 10%, there's another 100% out there called promotion. Carolyn shows numerous ways to get the message to the mass media."
~Walter Brasch, author and educator

"A decade of bettering writers' careers with how-tos, tips, and publishing news."


Find Carolyn on the Web

  writers retailers

Carolyn's Blogs

Sharing with Writers
All things publishing with
an emphasis on book
promotion. Named to
Writer's Digest
101 Best Website list.


The New Book Review
Great way for readers, authors, reviewers and publicists to get more
mileage out of
a great review.


The Frugal Editor Blog
This is the Frugal, Smart
and Tuned-In Editor blog.
Covers editing, grammar, formatting and more.
Get the answers you need.



Carolyn's Media Kits

Download Carolyn's speaking-focused or general media kit.


Best New Writing 2013

My short story “Love Story” is included in 2013's Best New Writing published by Hopewell Publications.
Best New Writing 2013
(Hopewell Publications,
ISBN 9781933435435, trade paper, 172 pgs) An annual anthology of new fiction and creative nonfiction from writers around the world, including the winners of the Eric Hoffer Award for prose. Edited by best-selling and award-winning authors and editors, the pages of BNW feature stories. This volume includes works from Bint Arab, Carolyn Burns Bass, James Lloyd Davis, Josepha Gutelius, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Laura T. Jensen, Chris Laing, Nina Leo, Leo Madigan, B.F. McCune, Jacob Peppers, Emily Reardon, Janet H. Swinney, and L.M. Thompson.


Other Author Helps

Media release disseminators, content providers, and sites that accept book and author information at no cost: Click Here

 How-to books for writers, reference books and books of inspiration for writers only! Any one will make a great companion to The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor!  It includes a list of helpful free e-books and some CDs you can learn tons from, too! Click Here

Contests you can count on, and articles on how to promote with contest. Click Here.

 List of book fairs, tradeshows, conferences and conventions. Your aid to planning ahead. Click Here

 Writers' Conferences: The Big and the Cozy. A list of book fairs, tradeshows, conferences and conventions. Your aid to planning ahead. Click Here

Writers' programs at US universities. (New Master of Science in Publishing listed!) Click Here

FREE Muse Online Writers Conference.Click Here

Digital (print-on-demand) printers. Click Here

Major review journals--some that review POD-published books. Click Here


While You Browse...

...find at least one promotion, writing, or tech tip on every page on this site. Sometimes you'll find two or three! Happy browsing and collecting!


Proud Member of

www.wrwa.net


ABWA is a group of highly skilled networkering women in business.

Military Writers' Society of America

Honorary member of Publishers and Writers of San Diego.


Book Publicists of Southern California
(BPSC)  Pix: Proud Irwin Award Winners
Carolyn and Janet Goliger, l. to r.


Published Works Almanac


Other Interests

Acting
Speaking
Travel


Carolyn's Poetry

Tracings
Celebration Series
Travel


Carolyn's Literary Works

This is the Place
Harkening
Published Shorter Works


Carolyn's How to Do it Frugally Series

For Writers
For Retailers


Carolyn's Awards


A Selection of Past Speaking Engagements

National Stationery Show May 17-20, 2009 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY Consider this a business essential.

Presenter 2009, 2010

Presenter, 2008, 09, 10, 11

Panel moderator, 2007

National Span College
presenter 2002

Fellows presenter, 2007, 08

Co-sponsor and presenter,
2007, 08, 09, 10, 11

University of Dayton Erma Bombeck Writers' Conference, 2006, 2008

Sisters in Crime,
Pasadena, 2009

On the Los Angeles Valley College Campus

Wisconsin Regional Writers Association
Presenter, Keynote 2010

Book 'Em in Feb. 2013.

Learn of more about "Carolyn's conferences" and other picks.


The Free Muse Online Conference

Carolyn cosponsors the Free Muse Online Conference with Lea Schizas.


Time to Kindle

Carolyn's How-To
and
Poetry Books
Are Available on Kindle.
Click here to buy the big, powerful one
that I love:


Carolyn's Awards

Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More

The New Book Review
Named to
Online Universities'

101 Book Blogs
You Need to Read

Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
for
Sharing with Writers blog.

 


Best Book Award for The Frugal Book Promoter (2004) and The Frugal Editor (2008) and the Second Edition of The Frugal Book Promoter (2011).

 

Reader Views Literary Award for The Frugal Editor

New Generation Award for Marketing and Finalist for The Frugal Editor

Book Publicists of Southern California's Irwin Award

Military Writers Award of Excellence for
Tracings, A Chapbook of Poetry.


A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotion wins author Military Writers Society of America's Author of the Month award for March, 2010

 

Gold Medal Award from Military Writers Society of America, 2010. MWSA also gave a nod to She Wore Emerald Then, a chapbook of poetry honoring mothers.

The Frugal Editor Named #! on Top Ten Editing Books list.

Finalist New Generation Book Awards 2012, The Frugal Book Promoter, Finalist 2010 The Frugal Editor,
Winner 2010 Marketing Campaign for the Frugal Editor


The Oxford Award
recognizes
the alumna who exemplifies the Delta Gamma precept of service to her community and who, through the years, devotes her talents to improve the quality of life around her.

The Frugal Book Promoter is runner-up in the how-to category for the Los Angeles Book Festival 2012 awards.

Glendale City Seal
Winner Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts
Glendale California's Arts and Culture Commission and the City of Glendale Library.

And more than a dozen other awards for Carolyn's novel, short story collection and poetry including nods from Global Ebook Awards. See the awards page on this site.


Tip

Making Contests Work for You

Contests can be great ways to promote. They don't have to be famous contests like the Pulitzer. They don't have to be wins. If you are a runner-up or a finalist, you can still use that because it is news. Why enter if you're not going to utilize it when you get that recognition!
This Web site is full of leads to resources like The Frugal Book Promoter that will help you put your award to good use. Note the left column of this page. Note that some awards are well known and others not so. But all are there--proudly. That's because when I promote a conest I benefi--but so does the contest. The better known it gets, the better for me. That's a nice little cycle of doing for others
 
Find at least one tip on writing, promotion or tech on every page of this Web site. 


Proud to Support

with my
book of poetry
celebrating
Earth Day

All Proceeds to be donated to the World Wildlife Fund


Website Sponsor

As Featured in Publishers Weekly

This unique book is a multi award-winning book. It paints a revealing picture of America for those foreigners who will benefit from a better understanding of America. Endorsed by ambassadors, teachers and editors, it even examines our culture, customs and language.

Available on Amazon bookstores worldwide, at Vroman's in Pasadena and other fine bookstores.


Site Sponsor

South on Pacific Coast Highway by Gary Paul Corcoran: A jaded but incurably romantic private detective. Laguna Beach and the Southern California coastline for a backdrop. A few hot summer nights spilling over with four dead bodies and a touch of romance.



Other Poetry Chapbooks

Cover art by Vicki Thomas, Poetry by Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard-Johnson

"Cherished Pulse is full of poems that describe love from the eyes and hearts of young and old. We see love in its youthful stage, stirring the hearts of man and woman alike and tying a bond that even death cannot break. As we continue reading, we understand that love deepens into an awesome, but quiet joy as the couple grows older. These poems renew our faith in love as they remind us of our own experience with this most sought after emotion."
~ Lucille P Robinson for Alternative-Read.com

 

Third in the Celebration of Chapbooks with Magdalena Balls, written expressly for fathers "and other masculine apparitions.

She Wore Emerald Then is a book of Moods of Motherhood: thirty poems by award-winning poets Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard-Johnson, with original photography by May Lattanzio. A beautifully presented, tender and strikingly original gift book, ideal for Mother's Day or any day when you want to celebrate the notion of motherhood in its broadest sense.  Share this collection with someone you love.

Blooming Red: Christmas Poetry for the Rational.

Sublime Planet is an e-chapbook and paperback published in the time-honored tradition of poets everywhere. This collection of ecologically oriented poems traverses a wide terrain, moving from the loss of species to the beauty of the natural world, from drought to the exploration of alternative planets. It's an exhilarating collection that breaks boundaries and leads the reader deep into the personal heart of perception. Released by award winning poets Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball to celebrate Earth Day, this is a collection of poetry that weaves the personal with the universal. Photograpy by Ann Howley.

“Whatever your age these poems celebrating women will speak to you of times to look forward to or to remember. These are not poems to be read once. They will stay with you forever.” ~ Nancy Famolari, author.

Also by Carolyn:

Tracings is winner of the Military Society of America's Award of Excellence and named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads of 2005


Site Sponsor

My great book cover designer Chaz DeSimone is always right there with a poster that fits my most recent efforts--poetry, promotion, or about anything else! This one "Recycle & Reuse."

Check out his other free Ampersand posters.


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