Six Novel Writing Contests to Enter This Year – And Six Reasons You Should

Writing Contests--Six Writing Contests and Six Reasons to Enter

Remember all those book award contests that were occurring this time last year? Perhaps the book you finished for NaNoWriMo should be entered in one or more appropriate contests.

Here are six contests and six reasons to enter—but there are many more. Before publishing comes marketing. Start the buzz!  

I was recently contacted by Maria Inot of TCK Publishing.com regarding the possibility of running a post regarding their own 2021 Reader’s Choice Awards.

Here are a few of their details:

Reader's Choice AwardsTCK Publishing Reader’s Choice Book Awards Contest lets readers vote for their favorite books in sixteen different categories including Advice, Business and Investing, Self-Help, Health, General Nonfiction, Memoir, Romance, Fantasy, Thriller, Mystery, Children’s Book, YA and Middle Grade, General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, and Religion.

►►The Grand Prize winner receives a Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet and a 1-Year Access Pass to Bestseller Ranking Pro.

►Who can win? Self-published authors, independent publishers, or traditionally published authors, in either ebook or paper book format.

►When can you submit? Annually; the timeframe is January 1, 2021 to November 13, 2021.

►Entry fee: The first entry is free, but additional entries after the first cost $25 each.

16 Winners, one in each category, will receive special badges and promotion
Winning a book award or badge is an effective method to help thrust your work in front of readers–or beyond that–to agents and publishers!

There are many book award contests and they will each be vying for your attention this time of the year. Most cost money—from inexpensive to hit the savings, but every contest is different. The above contest is free. (They also have a poetry contest, but this one has an entry fee of $5.)

Additional Contests, Deadlines, Links, and Rules

Writer’s Digest

Writer's Digest Writing Competition“ENTER NOW! DEADLINE: 5/7/21 Writer’s Digest’s oldest and most popular competition, the Annual Writing Competition, is open for entries. Winners of the 90th Annual competition will be announced in the Nov/Dec 2021 issue of Writer’s Digest.”

They will accept all genre’s and short fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and script writing. Their self-published book award deadline occurs in early May.  Entry fees vary. Read their website for details.

Chanticleer Writing Contest

CIBA Book Series AwardsTheir website lists all the genre’s open to contest and the submission deadlines in an easy to see “at a glance” format.

Independent Publisher Book Awards

IPPY Book Awards“IPPY AWARDS 2021 IS OPEN – RESCHEDULED DEADLINE IS MARCH 10 – BOOKS MUST ARRIVE FOR JUDGING BY MARCH 20.

“Calling all independent authors and publishers!  Enter the IPPY Awards for $95 per General category entry, and ‘add-on’ a Regional or Ebook category entry to a General category entry for the same title for just $55.  Due to pandemic-related delays, we are moving the final deadline to March 10, 2021. Thanks and best of luck!” 

Readers Favorite

Readers' FavoriteANNUAL BOOK AWARD CONTEST

CONTEST DEADLINE – APRIL 1, 2021

“Contestants range from first-time authors to New York Times bestsellers and celebrities!

“If you place in our contest you will be able to add your Readers’ Favorite award seal to your book and all other marketing materials as well as identify your book as an “award-winning book” and you as an “award-winning author.”’

The Independent Author Network

The Independent Author Network

“More than 40 million Books are available on Amazon.com. 
100,000 new titles are added to the Kindle Store every month.

 “How will you ensure your books stand out to readers in a market with millions of choices? The best way to move your book ahead of others in your genre(s) is to win an award contest. 

“The Independent Author Network presents the 2021 IAN Book of the Year Awards, an international contest open to all authors with 40 fiction and non-fiction categories. Winners are eligible to receive a share of cash prizes exceeding $6,000 USD.”

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The question remains; should you enter one or more book award contests and how will they benefit you? Here are six reasons you should enter:

1.      Discover if your book has merit
2.      Receive a critique of your book—not all contests write a critique, but constructive criticism is important
3.      Create a marketing buzz
4.      Win a cash award or other prizes
5.      Push you out of your comfort zone
6.      Paste your Award Badge on the cover of your award winning book!!
You’ll get more feedback, create more buzz, and have more opportunities to get your name and your title out there.

If your pulse quickens with a touch of excitement mixed with a hint of fear, you are not alone! It’s a soul searing journey to publish and get your work out there.

Each organization and contest publishes their own rules and entry fees—which vary greatly! Check their contest history prior to submitting any money and assure they are appropriate for your work.

There are many writers and book contests of a general nature geared to newbies as well as established authors, some specifically for children’s book or romance novel contests. While some contests don’t allow ebooks and/or PODs, others don’t let authors or publishers submit (the book has to be nominated–think Kirkus). Some let you enter a book published more than a year ago, while others require getting reviewed in their trade magazine first. Some are just plain flaky or out for the money. Research the one of your choice thoroughly.

I’d love to hear stories of a successful submission–have you won a contest? Which one and how was your experience?

©2021 V Williams

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#ThrowbackThursday – Sign Off – Patricia McLinn

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites including books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. (And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Sign Off - Caught Dead in Wyoming Book 1 by Patricia McLinnThis week I am highlighting Patricia McLinn, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Sign Off, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written six in this series. This novel was published by Craig Place Books on July 3, 2015. She consistently runs approximately 4+ stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted March 6, 2016.

Book Blurb:

Divorce a husband, lose a career … grapple with a murder. TV journalist Elizabeth “E.M.” Danniher will tell you she committed two sins — she didn’t stay young, and she made an enemy of a powerful news executive — her ex. She used to break national news. Now her top story as the Helping Out! reporter at dinky KWMT-TV in Sherman, Wyoming is getting a refund for a defective toaster. Tough, funny and determined, Elizabeth wrestles with isolation, keeping a professional edge, and an evolving self-image. Is Wyoming — the land of cattle, cowboys and tumbleweeds — her new home or a road to permanent obscurity? Soon she’s in a battle of wills with ex-football player turned journalist Mike Paycik, who sees her as a handy rung on his career ladder. And there’s the matter of a deputy sheriff—missing or murdered? Elizabeth finds herself investigating at the insistence of a girl who’s set on proving her father’s innocence. Not that enigmatic rancher Tom Burrell makes investigating easy. But Elizabeth won’t fade to black without a fight, no matter how final some might want to make her Sign Off.

My Review:

Sign Off, the first in the Caught Dead in Wyoming series by Patricia McLinn involves E. M. (Elizabeth) Danniher, who is a well-known news reporter from the east. She has been banished by a bitter ex who is a powerful NY TV producer to a small town in Wyoming to be their “Helping Out” reporter for the duration of her contract.

Few at her new station are thrilled she has been plunked into the middle of them and become guarded of their own positions. Feeling impotent to do more than report on defective toasters, she is confronted by a little girl regarding her dad, unfairly accused of murder in the disappearance of a deputy, and inadvertently becomes involves in the investigation.

Among the many characters interacting with her at the station are Mike, a sportscaster, and Diane, camera lady. Elizabeth Danniher butts up against the sheriff almost immediately and manages to lose more support than she gains as she interviews elected officials of the rural town and Mike’s inside contact. Warned off the case by the accused himself, the missing person turns up dead in his truck following the spring thaw obviously the victim of foul play. As events turn deadly, Elizabeth studies the clues and uncovers motives.

There are some interesting insights into the inner workings of a small town TV station, local colorful characters, and small town western US flavor. The antagonist is not one you suspect, and Mike becomes quite the (possibly romantic) attractive ally. The dialogue is clean and believable. The plot moves along at a fairly good clip and I enjoyed the little sub-storyline involving Shadow. All in all, it is engaging and will hold your interest. I received this download from BookBub as a free offering and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review.

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

Patricia McLinn - authorPatricia McLinn’s books have put her name on bestseller lists and her journalism career took her to the Washington Post for 20-mumble-mumble years. But it all started with secrets.

She learned to read at a tender age as a matter of self-preservation because older siblings spelled words to keep secrets from her. Once Patricia discovered that the magic of written words allowed her to know people she hadn’t met and experience places she hadn’t visited, she was hooked.

She wanted to be a novelist from then on, though there was a detour. She received a BA in English Composition from Northwestern University. (Have you ever seen a job posting for an English Composition major? No. And you never will.) With her parents holding out for more practical pursuits, she added a masters in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in her fourth year. (Two degrees for the price of one! It was the precursor of a career in coupon-clipping.)

(From Goodreads author page) USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn’s novels—cited by reviewers for warmth, wit, and vivid characterization – have won numerous regional and national awards and been on national bestseller lists.

In addition to her romance and women’s fiction books, Patricia is the author of the Caught Dead in Wyoming mystery series, which adds a touch of humor and romance to figuring out whodunit.

Patricia received BA and MSJ degrees from Northwestern University. She was a sports writer (Rockford, Ill.), assistant sports editor (Charlotte, N.C.) and—for 20-plus years—an editor at the Washington Post.

She has spoken about writing from Melbourne, Australia to Washington, D.C., including being a guest speaker at the Smithsonian Institution. She is now living in northern Kentucky and writing full-time. Patricia loves to hear from readers through her website, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynne at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Annie at The Misstery

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

©2018 V Williams V Williams