Semi-Finalists for the Serious Writer Contests

Semi-Finalists for the Serious Writer Contests

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the semi-finalists of the three contests for Serious Writer this year. Our judges had such a hard time narrowing down the semi-finalist lists, and we can only imagine it will be harder for them to pick finalists, and then winners.

Below you’ll find the lists for each contest.

Announcing this year’s Book of the Year Semi-Finalists. We had so many wonderful entries.

The Very Best Story Ever Told – Robin Currie author
Easter Is Coming – Tama Fortner Books
Kind Soup – Jean Petersen
Willoughby Goes a Wee Bit Batty – Pam Halter
I Know What Grandma Does While I’m Napping – Shelley Pierce Author
Fire Dancer – Catherine Jones Payne
Keen – Laura Croman Zimmerman
In Search of the Beloved – Marian Rizzo
Practically Married – Karin Beery – Author
Off-Script Over-Caffeinated – Rhonda Rhea
Deadly Guardian – Deborah Sprinkle
Pocket Change – Debbie Archer
Valerie’s Verdict – Hallee Bridgeman
Shattered Treasure – Cindy Patterson
The Watanabe Name – Sakura Nobeyama
Dandelion Summer – Mary Ellen Bramwell – Author
When Valleys Bloom Again – Pat Jeanne Davis
Shadow of the Dagger – Anne Greene
The Truth that Lies Between – W.D. McComb
Restoring the Shattered – Nancy E. Head
The Joy Box Journal – Adria Wilkins
The Art of Hard Conversations – Lori Stanley Roeleveld
Anxiety Elephants – Cari Snider
The Gratitude Challenge – Stephanie Jones
Celebrate Grandparenting: 101 Ideas to Intentionally Connect with your Grands – Elaine McAllister
Pursuing Prayer – Penny Cooke 
I Am Cyrus – Dr. Craig Von Buseck
Refine & Restore – Rachel C. Swanson – Author, Speaker, Life Coach
When you Need to Move a mountain – Linda Shepherd
Smack Dab in the Midlife zone – Leigh Ann Thomas

Because we’re judging this contest blindly, only the names will be provided of the authors who have advanced to the next round of the competition. Some authors have more than one entry going onto the next round. If this is the case, it is noted by their name in parentheses.

Pamela Glover  
Kaci Hindman
Seralynn Lewis
Patsy Reiter (more than one entry)
Loretta Eidson
Renee Hodges, Writer (more than one entry)
Lori Scott 
Jennifer Daniels Neal 
Laura DeNooyer
Abigail Wilkes
Toni Walbarger
Dory Skinner Oda
Michele McCarthy
Annette Marie Griffin 
Tammy L Kennington (more than one entry)
Rachael M Colby 
Nancy Hull (more than one entry)
Robin Melvin, Author
Maureen Miller
Linda Summerford
Julie Lavender
Ryan Wetter
Jennifer Daniels Neal
Kenzi Nevins (more than one entry) 
Sarah Rexford
Lori Closter 
Carol Hamilton

Congrats to our semi-finalists of our Book of the Decades Contest!

Susan M. Baganz (Author) for Sir Michael’s Mayhem

Dr. Michelle Bengston for Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression

Lee Wolfe Blum for Brave is the New Beautiful: Finding the Courage to be the Real You

Lee Wolfe Blum for Table in the Darkness – A Healing Journey Through an Eating Disorder 

Laurie Boulden for Weighed Down

Tez Brooks for The Single Dad Detour

Sharron Knight Cosby for Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90

Robin Currie author for The Very Best Story Ever Told

Judy DuCharme Author for Blood Moon Redemption 

Dena Dyer-Author and Speaker and Tina Samples – Author for Wounded Women of the Bible: Finding Hope When Life Hurts

Author Linda Gilden for Articles, Articles, Articles! Your Comprehensive Guide

Jill Roman Lord for If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart

Joshua J Masters, Author for American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot

Jean Petersen-Author and Chef Barrie Boulds for The Big Bounty Cookbook: Local Ingredients and Rustic Recipes

Deborah Raney for A Nest of Sparrows

Deborah Raney for Beneath a Southern Sky

Lori Stanley Roeleveld for Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus) 

Lori Scott for Meghan Rose Knows It All

Linda Evans Shepherd for The Stress Cure

Linda Evans Shepherd for When You Don’t Know What to Pray

Linda Evans Shepherd for Experiencing God’s Presence

Ashley Sims for Pregnancy Prayers: Weekly Prayer Guide & Pregnancy Journal

Doug Smith for [Un]Intentional: How Screens Secretly Shape Your Desires and How You can Break Free

Carol Van Der Woude for Aliisa’s Letter: Legacy of Faith

Congratulations to everyone, and thank you to everyone who has entered!

Writing Contests – Winning Can’t Be Duplicated


When it comes to entering writing contests, it’s important to remember that winning can’t be duplicated.

Many children’s sports leagues contain participation awards. Writing is very different form children’s sports. Publishers and agents aren’t looking for authors who have received participation awards. They are looking for authors who can write well enough to sell books.

Contests often help speed up an agents or publishers search process. They help separate the wheat from the chaff. Award recognition is a healthy sign of writing ability.

If you aren’t entering writing contests, you need to be. Contests help your writing career is various ways.

  1. Contests require you to meet deadlines
    1. Any writer, worth their salt, is capable of meeting a publisher or agents deadline. Contest deadlines push you to write well in a tight timeframe.
  2. Contests build your writing resume/bio
    1. Winning awards helps you pad your writing resume or bio. This is essential early in your writing career, as most beginning writers don’t have a lot of published work to include in their author bio.
  3. Contests help you find an agent/publisher
    1. Many agents and publishers serve as judges in contests. It gives them opportunities to discover new talent, find new clients, and see how your work stacks up against similar competition.
  4. Contests stretch your writing ability
    1. Competition drives us to improve. When you know your work will be judged against others, you strive to create your best manuscript, applying learned skills and strengthening your writing.
  5. Contests allow you to gain perspective
    1. Sometimes we need a reality check. You may think your manuscript is amazing, but in reality it needs some work. Many contest offer constructive feedback, which can give you critical insight into improving your writing.
  6. Contests encourage you to step outside the box
    1. Entering contests in various genres and writing styles helps you become a more well rounded writer. You may not be the best novelist, or best poet, but entering in various contests encourages you to grow as a writer, which can improve all of your writing.
  7. Contests help you get published
    1. Many contests offer publishing opportunities to winners and/or finalists. If you enter these contests and win, you may also find yourself become published in a magazine or anthology. Or better yet, you may land that all important book contract.

Writing contests are an important and necessary part of the writing lifestyle. Take time to search for contests that have deadlines within the next few months and begin writing and editing. Don’t wait for your writing to be perfect before you enter. No writer’s ever is.

Good luck, and I hope you win!

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