It’s hard to break into print. There’s a lot working against authors with dreams
of being published traditionally, and it would be easy to let frustration win – and give up. Little in life that’s worth having comes easily, though, and if you dream of having your name in print (without having to shell out money to see it happen), don’t give into quitting temptation.
Many writers have found the initial recognition they need through writing contests. For good reason – writing contests force you to create a body of work on deadline, and often within a strict set of guidelines. A writer who can use this as a springboard for stellar prose deserves all the recognition they can get.
It is necessary to be careful about the contests you enter. Make sure that you fully understand what rights you give up should you win, and do your research about the organization running the contest. There are horror stories out there, for sure, but there’s many success stories too. The simplest fact remains that you can’t win if you don’t enter.
Christian Writer’s Contests
Every genre in writing includes a full segment dedicated to the Christian author. Look at publishers of romance, historical fiction, mysteries – with very few exceptions, you can count on finding something anywhere you look.
With the ever-expanding market for quality Christian writing, it makes sense that contests would be on the rise. In fact, contests for Christian writers often offer the most lucrative rewards – cash prizes that will fund further writing ventures and publication to get you noticed.
The following contests were chosen because they are both trust-worthy and reputable. I do urge you to do your own research before submitting, though, so that you feel comfortable. There’s always another contest so there’s no reason to submit to one that doesn’t suit you. Both of these contests offer great rewards and have outstanding feedback – things that should definitely boost your confidence factor.
The Amy Foundation Writing Awards
This organization operates a writing awards program and contest every year. They look for articles that have been previously published. The articles should “skillfully and creatively present the biblical position on issues affecting the world today.” Think sensitive and thought-provoking.
Though it may feel like extra work if you don’t already have qualifying articles published, the rewards are substantial. Winning entries are re-published in an annual collection, and $34,000 is given in cash prizes. The first prize winner receives a $10,000 award.
Rules, sample articles, and submission forms can be printed online at www.amyfound.org. You can also request these materials by calling 877-727-4262.
Operation First Novel
Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild offers this contest to guild-members who haven’t published a novel before. The guild works with Tyndale House, publisher of the ground-breaking Left Behind series, to run the contest.
An organization with 40 years experiene helping aspiring Christian writers, these people know their stuff. What are they looking for? The “next unpublished novelist to burst onto the scene”.
Operation First Novel awards $20,000 to the winner. And if you win, you won’t be unpublished for long – Tyndale House will publish the winner’s novel.
An entry form, rules, and details can be found online at www.ChristianWritersGuild.com/contest.