Tag Archives: writing contests

So You Think You Can Write

17 Aug

If you follow me on twitter (@briaquinlan) you know I’m *obsessed* with So You Think You Can Dance. But, after Lauren kicked the boys’ butts in the finals last week, I wondered….What am I going to do with my Wednesday & Thursday nights now.

I know – a tragedy, right?

And thus: So You Think You Can WRITE!

The winner of SYTYCW gets a 3 CHAPTER CRIT FROM TINA BURNS of LIQUID SILVER BOOKS – yeah. I know. Pretty cool.


  • Contestants enter 1st sentence of their story. Anyone with more than one sentence will be deleted. Not the extra sentence, the whole darn entry
  • Entries must be in by Tuesday (Aug 24th)  Night – 10 pm EST – I’ll open the contest Tuesday at 7pm EST
  • If, somehow a bunch of people enter, I’m capping it at 100
  • Starting Wednesday once I have everyone up, voting begins – there will be a poll button at the bottom — ANYONE can vote

EDIT: The bottom 3 vote earners will be eliminated each week

Final week: Super Special Judge picks from top 3!


  • One more sentence gets added to the previous lines
  • Entries must be in by Monday Night, 10 pm EST – no, seriously. It’s a *deadline*
  • Voting opens Tuesday with a poll button at the bottom of the contest post AND closes Wednesday night at 10pm EST

The final week, a Super Secret Judge (okay, it’s Tina) will pick the winner!


  • This is a family show folks, so please keep your posts PG13 – anything not PG13 will be disqualified and taken down
  • Also, ONE entry per person – not per persona, per person – both will be deleted if there’s cheatery going on 😉
  • No changing lines once their posted. You can not go back the next week and tweak what you posted the previous weeks
  • This is for unpubbed and pubbed – BUT no piece that has been published can be used. This will get you disqualified
  • The first week needs to be the first sentence of your story. After you post it, you can’t edit it. The following week, you add the second sentence of your story to the first….etc.

Line by Line Contest

14 Jan

I’m still in Karen Tabke’s First Line Contest!

Let’s review: The 1st 100 people to post get to play. The first 2 weeks they cut 20 people each and then every week after that they cut 6….and I’m still in!!! Woot! 

Seven lockers down, my boyfriend was making out with Cheryl, the way-too-perky head cheerleader.


I tried not to stare, but when his hand slid past her waist and over her hip, I slammed my locker shut and stormed off in the opposite direction. Not that anyone noticed. The problem – not only was I that gorgeous jock’s secret girlfriend, I also had a secret power.


I’m invisible.

 So….Play along…Do you think I’ll make it thru this round? What do you think my next line is?

Last Minute Golden Heart Prep

5 Nov


My first year entering the Golden Heart I had  A LOT of questions around the rules and guidelines for packaging my YA Fantasy.  I thought I’d share them and the answers I got from RomanceDivas, Wet Noodle Posse, and my RWA chapter. 




Entry fee and form must be into RWA before 5pm Central, NOVEMBER 16, 2009 (Monday)

Entry pages and full MS on CD must be to the RWA offices by DECEMBER 2, 2009 (Wednesday)




Romance Writers of America
Attn: Golden Heart Contest
14615 Benfer Rd.
Houston, TX 77069
1. Do I have to be an RWA Member to enter?

NO. The entry fee for members is less, so you might want to consider joining first. But anyone can enter.


2. Line count? Word on the street is your entry doesn’t have to be exactly 25 lines. Is this true?

Ok, I would love to add an extra line to every page and squeeze in to that last good hook before my page deadline, but the suggestion was to ignore this impulse. While the rules don’t state each page MUST follow the 25 lines guidelines, judges can often be, I believe the term was “Old School” about it. Avoid doing anything outside the standard formatting we’ve all come to know and love. If you need to brush up on formatting a page, check out my post: HERE

3. FONT. Standard font means either Times New Roman or Courier. Size either at 12. HINT: TNR will squeeze in more pages if you’re trying to push out to a good hook 


4.  Do you need to include a query letter?

I’m not going to point fingers, but someone “reminded” me not to forget my query letter when sending in my entry. Talk about misinformation creating PANIC – no query letter is needed.

5. How long can/should my synopsis be?

Lots of differing opinions on this. Your synopsis can be UP TO 15 pages – but for every page you give to your synopsis, you take one from the 55 pages you have eligible to send in. I’d rather send more of my story.

The general consensus I received was to keep my synopsis between 3 and 5 pages.

Need help on your synopsis? Check out:  http://www.charlottedillon.com/synopsis.html OR http://www.lisagardner.com/tricks/synopsis.htm

6.  Numbering your pages. This excerpt is from the RWA Golden Heart FAQ:

“Golden Heart contest rules state, “The partial manuscript shall consist of consecutive pages beginning with page one, typed, and with at least the general body of the manuscript and synopsis double-spaced. The synopsis shall not be more than 15 pages. The total partial and synopsis shall not exceed 55 pages combined.”  Please number your synopsis 1 – (end of synopsis), and begin your numbering over with the partial. For example, your synopsis can be numbered pages 1 – 5, and then your partial would be 1 – 50.”

7. Does the cover page count as a page?

NO. No cover page is needed.

8. Do I have to use my real name?

Yes. In the first round, all contestants must use his/her real name. If you final, you may continue in the contest using your pen name.

9. Do I have to / Should I put my name on the entry?

I didn’t think to ask this question, but I’m glad someone else did!  I’ll admit to being surprised to the answer. The overwhelming answer was “no” – but someone gave a reason and that’s where my surprise came in. Rumor (more writing rumors) has it that occasionally judges perceive entries with names on them as having something to prove. Go figure.

10. What should I put in my header.

The title of your manuscript should be lined up on the left hand side and the page number should be lined up on the right hand side. The font and font size should be the same as the body of your work.

GOOD LUCK – and congratulations on seeing this through – that in itself is a huge accomplishment! -bria



Here is the checklist RWA has on its website.  Check it out before you mail it in:


  • Double space:
    Partial Manuscript
    Full Manuscript
  • Manuscript title in header on:
    Partial Manuscript
    Full Manuscript
  • Page numbers in header on:
    Partial Manuscript
    Full Manuscript
  • Six copies of : 
    Partial Manuscript 
  • One copy of: 
    Full Manuscript on either floppy disk or CD (preferable) 
    or printed out
  • Each synopsis is placed in front of a partial manuscript and bound together by binder clip (preferable) or rubber bands
  • No personal information in header other than name (name is optional) on any materials.
  • Materials must be received in the RWA office by 5 p.m. Central Time on December 2, 2008.