To hold to our standards for promoting Christian and clean writing, no profanity, graphic sex, or R-rated content will be considered. Entries that contain these elements will be disqualified at the award director’s discretion. Entry fees will not be refunded, nor will you be notified.
All entries must be original works of the author or authors.
All entries must be submitted in English.
No author who has published in a category may enter an unpublished piece in that same category. For example, if you are published (traditional or self) in romantic suspense, you cannot enter the Almost an Author award in that category. Conversely, if you are published in romantic suspense, you are allowed to enter the Almost an Author award for speculative fiction.
Entries will not be returned.
Any category receiving less than the minimum submission requirement will be combined with the closest genre category. The contest director reserves the right to cancel a category if the level of submissions is not up to industry publishing standards.
You may enter the contests even if you are entering one of the alumni awards or are not planning to attend Write-to-Publish.
Almost an Author Categories
Inspirational: 1,000 words maximum; devotionals, Bible study
Nonfiction: chapter summaries and first chapter; self-help, parenting, business/leadership, Christianity, memoir/personal experience, other
Magazine article: 1,500 words maximum
Flash fiction: 1,000 words maximum
Poetry: 1,000 words maximum
Romance, western, contemporary, historical novel (no erotica): first three chapters or first 15 pages, whichever is shorter
Thriller, mystery, suspense novel: first three chapters or first 15 pages, whichever is shorter
Speculative, fantasy (no horror) novel: first three chapters or first 15 pages, whichever is shorter
Children: picture book and easy reader, entire work; middle grade, chapter book, first three chapters or first 15 pages, whichever is shorter
YA fiction and nonfiction: first three chapters or first 15 pages, whichever is shorter
Serious Writer Categories
Children and YA
NOTE: If there are numerous entries in a subgenre, the director has the discretion to subdivide into new categories and award additional winners.
Format Guidelines for Both Contests
If these format guidelines are not followed, your entry will be disqualified with no refund and no notice.
12-point Times New Roman/Times Roman font
Title of the manuscript included in the header with page numbers
Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF (.pdf) format only
Submission Guidelines for Almost an Author
Follow the formatting guidelines above. Include in one document a cover page with your name, manuscript title, category genre, and word count.
Your name should not be listed anywhere in the document except on the cover page.
Payment must be received prior to the deadline, or the entry will be disqualified.
If your submission falls outside the guidelines, it will be up to the director’s sole discretion if entry will be allowed or not.
Winners will be announced at the conference banquet and do not need to be present to win.
Awards will be presented based on entry numbers: fewer than four entries, first place; five to seven entries, first and second places, more than seven entries, first through third places. If one person wins multiple entries in the same category, only the highest award will be presented.
Serious Writer Medals:
First-place awards include an award medallion, 25 stickers for the winning book, and a certificate and presentation cover. All other places receive a certificate and presentation cover. One overall winner will receive $100 cash, $100 discount for the 2019 Write-to-Publish or a Serious Writer Conference registration, and $160-package of Serious Writer Academy courses.
Almost an Author Awards:
All places receive a certificate and presentation cover. Two overall winners (one nonfiction, one fiction) will each receive $50 cash, $50 discount for the 2019 Write-to-Publish or a Serious Writer Conference registration, and $160-package of Serious Writer Academy courses.
All winners will also receive a graphic for their websites. Social-media graphics will be posted after the conference, announcing winners and winning categories.
A standard press release will be distributed to the winners. After adding award and biographical information, these may be submitted to local newspapers.