We want you to thrive.

We want you to WIN.

2022 Contest Dates

Some of these dates are subject to change.

December 10, 2021 – February 26, 2021: Early Bird Pricing

February 27 – March 31: General Entry Pricing

March 31: Contests close

May 15: 15 Semifinalists announced per contest

July 15: 5 Finalists announced per contest

Sometime in August – 1 Winner contacted per contest

TBD – Live ceremony in a location TBD

Winners announced live during awards ceremony

Prizes!!! 🎉🎉🎉

The Grand Prize Winners will Receive...

 

  • Two-day, one-night stay + incredible dinner event, in a city TBD, for our awards ceremony. Dates also TBD as we watch state and CDC guidelines for reopening safely. 
  • Engraved book-shaped award
  • $300 worth of Academy classes – YOUR choice!
  • One free registration to any Serious Writer event (in-person or online)
  • Special feature on Serious Writer blog
  • Customized press release to send to your local newspapers

Each entry is judged according to the standards of its genre. For each contest, 15 Semifinalists will move forward to the final round, of which 5 Finalists will move forward. One Grand Prize winner will be determined from the final round. Travel is the responsibility of the winner.

Additionally...

 While there will be one grand prize winner per contest, we want to honor the remaining four finalists. They will each receive $100 of Serious Writer Academy courses and a press release to send to their local news media.

Image: Sarah Philpott, PhD and Rhonda Dragomir, 2019 Award Winners

A Contest for Everyone

 

The Serious Writer Contests is an annual competition in which writers, both published and unpublished, have a chance for industry professionals to look at their projects.

Whether you published your book nine years ago, or you just finished that first draft, we have a contest for every writer. 

Contests open soon!

Be sure to subscribe to the Serious Writer newsletter to get all updates first!

2022 Writer of the Year Contest

)The Writer of the Year Contest is a contest open to unpublished works in all genres except horror and erotica. Accepted genres and subgenres include but are not limited to:

FICTION:

  • Literary
  • Contemporary
  • Romance
  • Historical
  • Sci-fi/Fantasy
  • Mystery & Thriller

NONFICTION:

  • Articles: blog/magazine/newspaper
  • Poems/poetry collections
  • Self-help / Christian Living / How-to
  • Devotional/Inspirational/Essay
  • Theology
  • Memoir, Biography, Autobiography
  • Cookbooks

CHILDREN’S:

  • Board books
  • Picture books
  • Middle grade
  • Young Adult

Submit up to 20 pages.

2022 Book of the Year Contest

The Book of the Year Contest is open to books with a copyright date between January 1 -December 31, 2021. We are open to books of all genres except horror and erotica. Accepted genres and subgenres include but are not limited to:

FICTION:

  • Literary
  • Contemporary
  • Romance
  • Historical
  • Sci-fi/Fantasy
  • Mystery & Thriller

NONFICTION:

  • Poems/poetry collections
  • Self-help / Christian Living / How-to
  • Devotional/Inspirational/Essay
  • Theology
  • Memoir, Biography, Autobiography
  • Cookbooks

CHILDREN’S:

  • Board books
  • Picture books
  • Middle grade
  • Young Adult

 

 

2022 Book of the Decade Contest

The Book of the Decade Contest is open to books with a copyright date between January 1 -December 31, 2020, in all genres except horror and erotica.  Accepted genres and subgenres include but are not limited to:

 

FICTION:

  • Literary
  • Contemporary
  • Romance
  • Historical
  • Sci-fi/Fantasy
  • Mystery & Thriller

 

NONFICTION: 

  • Poems/poetry collections
  • Self-help / Christian Living / How-to
  • Devotional/Inspirational/Essay
  • Theology
  • Memoir, Biography, Autobiography
  • Cookbooks

CHILDREN’S:

  • Board books
  • Picture books
  • Middle grade
  • Young Adult

 

     

    2021 Serious Writer Contest Finalists

    Finalists are listed in alphabetical order.
    2021 Serious Writer Contest Book of the Year Finalists

    2021 Writer of the Year Finalists

    Annette Marie Griffin for The Knightly Stalker

    Tammy Kennington for Montana Rescue

    Sarah Rexford for The Convergence

    Debbie Spence for Courageous Kate’s Fearless Day

    Cheryl Spears Waugh for Way of the Mescalero

     

    2021 Serious Writer Book of the Year Finalists

    2021 Book of the Year Finalists

     

    2021 Serious Writer Book of the Decade Finalists

    2021 Book of the Decade Finalists

     

    What’s Next?

    The books and manuscripts will go to our final round of judging where one winner from each contest will be chosen.

    All finalists will be contacted privately.

    The winners will be announced live at the awards dinner event this fall. More details will be given to the winners at that time.

    Hear From Our Past Winners

    2019 Book of the Year winner Sarah Philpott, PhD for Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child after Pregnancy Loss 

    (Broadstreet Publishing Group; Agent: Blythe Daniel)

    Besides the personal boost I received from winning the Serious Writer, Writer of the Year Award, I got an instant and eager fan base of folks asking for my books. The Serious Writer family has proven to be an energizing tribe, generous with knowledge and encouragement.” 

    -Jennifer Daniels Neal, Winner of the Writer of the Year Award 2020

    “I am so blessed. I am speechless. Anybody who knows me knows how rarely that happens. All I can say is glory to God. I want to give serious thanks to Serious Writer. Because I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without you all.”

     –Rhonda Dragomir, Winner of the Writer of the Year Award 2019

    Photo Gallery

    A selection of pictures from our past contest winners.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    These will updated continuously. Please check back often.

    Frequently Asked Questions -- START HERE

    If you cannot find your question here, please reach out to us at support@seriouswriter.com.

    Please note, emails with questions where the answer is listed here will not be prioritized.

    What is the span of years for the Book of the Decade contest?

    Entries for the Book of the Decade contest must be published between January 2011 – December 31, 2021.

    Books published outside of these dates will not be judged, nor will they be returned, and you will not be notified.

    Do I submit a Word document or a PDF for the Writer of the Year?

    You can submit either a Word document or a PDF, but we prefer Word if possible. The reason for this is sometimes authors will leave their name on the PDF and we have to go into a PDF editor and cover the name. Word is easiest for us, so we would appreciate it greatly!

    If my entry for Writer of the Year was published on my blog or another website, does it still count?

    As long as you were not paid for your entry to be published on another website, we will allow it to count for the Writer of the Year contest. 

    If you published it on your blog, it can still count as “unpublished” for this contest.

    If you received monetary compensation for your writing, you may not enter it. If you did not receive monetary compensation for your writing, you may submit it.

    Can I send in an e-book version for Book of the Year or Book of the Decade?

    We allowed ebooks last year but will not be continuing with this practice. All books for the contests must be physical copies.

     

    I mailed my book during the Early Bird deadline but forgot to pay and now the Early Bird deadline has passed. Can I still get Early Bird pricing?

    Pricing for the Early Bird deadline will not be extended, even for books postmarked during the Early Bird timeframe. If you want to pay the Early Bird pricing, you must do so before the deadline ends.

    What happens to my book after it is judged?

    Your book will be donated to a local library, kept by the judges, or given to readers within the community. Books will not be returned.

     

    Will my book be returned after the contest?

    No, your book will not be returned after the contest. Your book will be donated to a local library, kept by the judges, or given to readers within the community. Books will not be returned.

     

    Help! I sent my book on the deadline date. Will it still count?

    As long as all Book of the Year and Book of the Decade entries are postmarked by the deadline, they are valid entries for the contest.

    Books postmarked after the deadline will not be judged, entrants will not be notified, and refunds will not be given.

     

    Can my publisher enter my book into the contests?

    Yes! We offer a discount for publishers. If they enter 10 books they can do so for a $300 pricing. Talk with your publisher and see if they’re open to having multiple authors entered into the Book of the Year or Book of the Decade contests.

     

    Do the judges provide feedback?

    With the exceptions of the winners, we do not share the judges’ feedback with the entrants. We know, we know that you’d love to hear what they have to say. The problem is that sometimes judges can be very…harsh. We’ve known writers to give up after receiving critical feedback from other contests. For these reasons, we do not share the judges’ comments.

    How will the Semifinalists be notified?

    The fifteen Semifinalists will be announced on our Serious Writer blog and our Serious Writer Facebook Page. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and turn on notifications!

    How will the Finalists be notified?

    The five Finalists for each contest will be announced on our Serious Writer blog and our Serious Writer Facebook Page. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and turn on notifications!

    How will the Winners be notified?

    The one Winner for each contest will be notified privately so arrangements can be made to attend the awards ceremony. The date, time, and location of the awards ceremony is still to be determined.

    Finalists who have not been notified after July 20th can assume that they ranked from second-to-fifth place. We will announce their names and entries live during the awards ceremony.

    What do I get if I win?

    The fifteen Semifinalists for each contest will be able to use the semifinalists graphic that we provide on their website or in their marketing.

    The five Finalists for each contest will receive a certificate and will be able to use the finalists graphic that we provide on their website or in their marketing.

    The one Winner for each contest will receive:

         -A beautiful engraved plaque
         -Lodging for a two-day, one-night stay at the awards ceremony event (to be determined at a later time)
         -$300 worth of Serious Writer Academy classes of their choice
         -One FREE event registration to any of our online or in-person events
         -An interview featuring the Winner on the Serious Writer blog

    Where is the awards ceremony going to be held?

    With different state restrictions during the pandemic, we are not sure yet where and when the awards ceremony will be held. We continue to monitor the situation in our country and will coordinate with the winners once we determine a safe and suitable location.

    What if my book doesn’t arrive?

    We understand that sometimes packages get lost in the mail or are misdelivered so we strongly recommend that you send your books with a tracking option. 

    We will let you know when your book arrives, but we are not responsible for books that do not arrive. There will not be any refunds for books that don’t make it to us.

     

    Are you taking COVID precautions for the awards ceremony?

    We are closely monitoring the COVID situation. We will make sure to exercise social distancing, wear masks, have virtual options for winners who are at high-risk categories, and much more. Your safety is our top priority and we will continue to follow CDC guidelines for events.

     

    Will the Serious Writer Co-owners Bethany Jett and Cyle Young know who the winners are ahead of time?

    We want to keep the judging process as unbiased as possible. The five finalists will be announced on our websites and Facebook group, which is public information. Our Contest Coordinator will be the only one directly in contact with the judges.

    After the finalists are judged, Bethany may step in to help coordinate the awards event so it’s possible she will know who the winners are. Cyle, however, will not know until the awards event.

     

    Reach Us

    Got questions?

    support@seriouswriter.com

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