We want you to thrive.

We want you to WIN.

 

Serious Writer started because of a contest. Cyle Young and Bethany Jett were both finalists in the same contest category. Through that shared loss, a friendship was formed that eventually led to the amalgamation of their separate companies.

Voila. Serious Writer, Inc.

Each year, Serious Writer runs three different contests to give writers opportunities to expand their network, affirm their writing projects, and to encourage writers everywhere. Hear from past winners and learn about upcoming contests at Serious Writer, right here.

 

 

 

 

 

The Serious Writer Contests is an annual competition in which writers, both published and unpublished, have a chance for industry professionals to look at their projects.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

 

 

 

2021 Semifinalists Announced!

Writer of the Year Semifinalists

The Writer of the Year Contest is a contest open to unpublished works in all genres.

We had several ties so we have 17 entries moving forward in this contest.

In alphabetical order [of first names] the semifinalists are:

Annette Marie Griffin The Knightly Stalker
CeeCee Vans CHROMA: A Christian’s Response to Online Bullying
Cheryl Spears Waugh Way of the Mescalero
Chris Sauter Manion The Light We Cannot See
Cynthia L. Simmons Medical And Surgical Care During The Civil War
Debbie Spence Courageous Kate’s Fearless Day
Debbie Spence Broken Crayons Color Too
Josie Siler Howie’s Broken Hee-Haw
Laurie “LG” Westlake Calculated Risks
Patsy Reiter Grandma, Rock Me Please
Sally A. Friscea Over the Hill and Careening Down the Other Side
Sarah Limardo Game of Gods
Sarah Rexford The Convergence
Sheryl H. Boldt Grandma’s Little Helpers
Tammy Kennington Montana Rescue
Tammy Kennington Big Prayers for Little People
Tammy Kennington A Selection of Blog Posts

 

Book of the Year Semifinalists

The Book of the Year Contest is open to books published in January-December 2020.

     In alphabetical order [of first names] the semifinalists are:

     

    Annette Marie Griffin What is a Family?
    Becky Baudouin Enjoy Every Minute and Other Ridiculous Things We Say to Moms
    Britt Mooney Say Yes: How God Sized Dreams Take Flight
    Christy Hoss The Rubber Band
    Darlene L Turner Border Breach
    Hallee Bridgeman Alexandra’s Appeal
    Jill Roman Lord The Quiet Crazy Easter Day
    Jill Roman Lord That Grand Christmas Day!
    Julie Lavender 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories
    Lauren Crews Strenght of a Woman Devotional
    Mary Potter Kenyon Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity
    Megan Kinney Dakota Peace
    Michelle Nietert/Lynn Cowell Loved and Cherished
    Starr Ayers For the Love of Emma
    Tori Higa The Christmas Color

     

    Book of the Decade Semifinalists

    The Book of the Decade Contest is open to books published between Jan. 1 2010-Dec. 31 2020.

    In alpahabetical order [of first names] the semifinalists are:

    Betty Roberts Midnight Chronicles: A Love Story
    Brett Armstrong Quest of Fire: The Gathering Dark
    Brett Armstrong Destitutio Quod Remissio
    Carol Grace Stratton Lake Surrender
    Emily Golus Escape to Vindor
    James C Magruder The Glimpse
    Jo Ann Robisheaux Freedom River
    Judy DuCharme The Cheesehead Devotional Hall of Fame Edition
    Judy DuCharme The Cheesehead Devotional Kickoff Edition
    Judy DuCharme Blood Moon Redemption
    Marian Rizzo Angela’s Treasures
    Marian Rizzo In Search of the Beloved
    Melissa Calais Lewis The Nature of Honey: The Woman’s Journey in Connection with God, Blossoms, and Bees
    Penny Cooke Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World
    Rebecca Barlow Jordan Day-votions for Mothers – Heart to Heart Encouragement

     

     

     

      Hear From Our Past Winners

      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

      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)

      Photo Gallery

      Pictures from our 2020 contest winners

      What Are the Contests?

      What Is the 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:

      • Christian and General Market novels, novellas, and short stories of 20 pages or less
      • Inspirational, romance, historical, sci-fi/fantasy, & other subgenres

      NONFICTION:

      • Christian and General Market books, blog/magazine/newspaper articles of 20 pages or less, & poems/poetry collections of 20 pages or less)
      • Self-help, how-to, devotional, theology, memoir, biography, autobiography, & other subgenres

      CHILDREN’S:

      • Christian and General Market board books, picture books, middle-grade, and young-adult
      • All subgenres of fiction or nonfiction written for children and teens (except horror and erotica)

       

      What Is the Book of the Year Contest?

      The Book of the Year Contest is open to books published in January-December 2020. We are open to books of all genres except horror and erotica. Accepted genres and subgenres include but are not limited to:

      FICTION:

      • Christian and General Market books
      • Inspirational, romance, historical, sci-fi/fantasy, & other subgenres

      NONFICTION:

      • Christian and General Market books
      • Self-help, how-to, devotional, theology, memoir, biography, autobiography, poetry collections, & other subgenres.

      CHILDREN’S:

      • Christian and General Market board books, picture books, middle-grade, and young-adult
      • All subgenres (see above) of fiction and non-fiction for children and teens

       

       

      What Is the Book of the Decade Contest?

      The Book of the Decade Contest is open to books published between Jan. 1 2010-Dec. 31 2020, in all genres except horror and erotica. This contest was borne out of our frustration that there are so few contests that cater to books published more than one year ago. Accepted genres and subgenres include but are not limited to:

      FICTION:

      • Christian and General Market books
      • Inspirational, romance, historical, sci-fi/fantasy, & other subgenres

      NONFICTION:

      • Christian and General Market books
      • Self-help, how-to, devotional, theology, memoir, biography, autobiography, poetry collections, & other subgenres.

      CHILDREN’S:

      • Christian and General Market board books, picture books, middle-grade, and young-adult
      • All subgenres (see above) of fiction and non-fiction for children and teens

      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

      Contest Calendar

      Check here for updates

      Contest Dates

      Some of these dates are subject to change.

      December 10 – February 26, 2021: Early Bird Pricing

      February 27 – March 31: General Entry Pricing

      March 31: Contests close

      May 15: 15 Semifinalists announced per contest

      June 30: 5 Finalists announced per contest

      Sometime in July – 1 Winner contacted per contest

      TBD – Live ceremony in a location TBD

      Winners announced live during awards ceremony

      Writer of the Year Contest Guidelines

      The contest for unpublished writers.

      Formatting

      Formatting must be in 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, 1″ margins, double-spaced.

      Put the title of your entry in the header of the document for all pages.

      Add page numbers to the bottom right of the pages.

      Do not put your name in the header or footer.

       

      Google Form

      Each entry must be entered into our Writer of the Year Google Form database to be eligible for judging. If you are submitting an e-book entry, you will upload it there.

      You must submit the Writer of the Year Google Form entry even if you are mailing a physical book.

      Title Sheet

      The title sheet needs to have your name, the title of the work, and the genre.

      Maximum Entry Length

      You may submit up to twenty pages. It’s okay to have the last page end in the middle of a sentence. 

      Categories

      Include the genre category of your work:

      • Fiction
      • Nonfiction
      • Children’s

      Checklist

      1. Pay for your entry/entries.

      2. Submit the Writer of the Year Google Form.

      3. Refer to the Contest Calendar above for deadlines.

      The Grand Prize Winners will Receive...

      • Two-day, one-night stay, + incredible dinner event, in a city TBD, for our awards ceremony. Dates are 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.

      Pay Here:

      You can pay for the contest anytime before the deadline. Be sure to have entries submitted by the deadline.

      Book of the Year Contest

      The contest for published writers within the last year.

      Eligibility

      Books must be published with a copyright date between January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020.

      Books published outside of these dates are not eligible for this contest. Please see the Book of the Decade contest to check for eligibility.

      Google Form

      Each entry must be entered into our Book of the Year Google Form database to be eligible for judging. If you are submitting an e-book entry, you will upload it there.

      You must submit the Book of the Year Google Form entry even if you are mailing a physical book.

      Cover Sheet

      If you’re mailing physical books, submit one cover sheet per book.

      Download here: Book of the Year Cover Sheet

      Categories

      Include the genre category of your work:

      • Fiction
      • Nonfiction
      • Children’s

      Mailing Address

      Mail physical books to this address below. Please note, this is NOT the same address that you send books to for the Book of the Decade contest.

      Serious Writer
      170 Penny Lane
      Clarklake, MI 49234

      We strongly recommend shipping books with tracking information. Serious Writer is not responsible for lost or misdelivered books.

       

      Checklist

      1. Pay for your entry/entries.

      2. Submit the Book of the Year Google Form.

      3. Download and fill out a Book of the Year Cover Sheet for each entry.

      4. Mail your entry/entries by the postmark date. Refer to the Contest Calendar above for deadlines.

      The Grand Prize Winners will Receive...

      • Two-day, one-night stay, + incredible dinner event, in a city TBD, for our awards ceremony. Dates are 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.

      Pay Here:

      You can pay for the contest anytime before the deadline. Be sure to have the books postmarked by the deadline.

      Book of the Decade Contest

      The contest for published writers within a ten year-time span.

      Eligibility

      Books must be published with a copyright date between January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2019.

      Books published outside of these dates are not eligible for this contest. Please see the Book of the Decade contest to check for eligibility.

      Cover Sheet

      If you’re mailing physical books, submit one cover sheet per book.

      Download here: Book of the Decade Cover Sheet.

      Google Form

      Each entry must be entered into our Book of the Decades Google Form database to be eligible for judging. If you are submitting an e-book entry, you will upload it there.

      You must submit the Book of the Decades Google Form entry even if you are mailing a physical book.

      Click here to go to the Book of the Decades Google Form Entry.

      Categories

      Include the genre category of your work:

      • Fiction
      • Nonfiction
      • Children’s

      The Grand Prize Winners will Receive...

      • Two-day, one-night stay, + incredible dinner event, in a city TBD, for our awards ceremony. Dates are 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.

      Pay Here:

      You can pay for the contest anytime before the deadline. Be sure to have the books postmarked by the deadline.

      Mailing Address

      Mail physical books to this address below. Please note, this is NOT the same address that you send books to for the Book of the Year contest.

      Serious Writer
      1104 Harbour Dr
      Stafford, VA 22554
       

      We strongly recommend shipping books with tracking information. Serious Writer is not responsible for lost, misdelivered, or un-received books.

      Checklist

      1. Pay for your entry/entries.

      2. Submit the Book of the Decades Google Form.

      3. Download and fill out the Book of the Decade Cover Sheet for each entry.

      4. Mail your entry/entries by the postmark date. Refer to the Contest Calendar above for deadlines.

      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 contests@seriouswriter.com. Please note, a lot of time was spent the past couple of years responding to emails where the questions were answered here in our FAQs. For this reason, emails with questions where the answer is listed here will not be answered.

      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 2010 – December 31, 2020. 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?

      Yes! You can absolutely send an e-book. You will upload your e-book in  PDF or .mobi (preferred). Sometimes ePub format can get “messed up,” so we recommend the other two versions.

       

      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 March 31. Will it still count?

      As long as all Book of the Year and Book of the Decade entries are postmarked by March 31 2021, 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?

      contests@seriouswriter.com

      Send Us a Message

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