2016 Sun vs. Snow Contest for Writers

Hello gentle reader,


In February, the fantastic Amy Trueblood and Michelle Hauck are hosting the Sun vs. Snow contest for the third time. And this year, they’ve been kind enough to ask me to be one of the mentors for the contest. I’m very excited to join in the fun, and I’m very much looking forward to helping a talented writer polish their entry.

Below you’ll find a brief summary of what this contest is about, but all the details for the contest can be found on Amy’s and Michelle’s blogs. Please do read them and follow both Amy and Michelle if you’re interested in participating.

Who is this contest for?

Querying writers with a completed and polished manuscript.

When can you enter the contest?

The submission window will open on 1st February at 4 pm Eastern time. Only the first 200 entries will be accepted.

How can you enter the contest?

You’ll need to send your query and first 250 words to the contest email address. More info on how to format your entry can be found here. Please do read Amy’s advice on how to submit your entry so you’re sure not to be disqualified.

Which categories and genres are accepted?

All MG, YA, NA and Adult genres will be accepted, excluding erotica.

Who are the mentors?

There are 12 mentors, divided into two teams, and you can find out all about them here and here. I’m part of Team Sun, on Amy’s blog.

Who are the agents?

 There are 17 amazing agents ready to read the selected entries, and you can find out all about them here and here.

Anything else you should know?

Yes. You manuscript can’t have been in the agent round of any other contest. Only one submission per person is allowed.

Any other questions?

Please feel free to contact Amy and Michelle via their blogs or on Twitter. You can find Amy here and Michelle here. If you tweet about the contest, don’t forget to use the hashtag #sunvssnow. Please note that on Friday 29th January (this Friday!), Amy and Michelle will be hosting two Twitter chat sessions with the mentors at 3 pm and 9 pm EST.  Do stop in and ask all your questions to the mentors. I’ll be there, so don’t hesitate to contact me @emcastellan.

And if you have questions for me before Friday, feel free to ask in the comments section below!

Writing Contests Round-Up (Autumn Edition)

Hello gentle reader,

The lovely Natasha M. Heck asked me if I could write a post about writing contests for querying writers. There are many coming up, which I have listed below. Hoping this helps!

NB: The contests I mention here are for unagented writers with a finished/polished manuscript. Their goal is to offer you the chance to get your writing on an agent’s desk.

So without further ado, all your autumn writing contests… in one place!

Contest: Trick or Treat with Agents 2013

Date(s): Submissions on Tuesday 22d October

Organised by: Kimberly P. Chase, Brenda Drake and Dannie Morin

Open to: MG,YA, NA, and Adult. (No Erotica or Memoirs)

How to enter: 3-sentence pitch + first 250 words + answer 2 questions

Cost: Free

More info: http://kimberlypchase.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/trick-or-treat-with-agents-2013.html

Contest: 2013 Baker’s Dozen

Date(s): 29th to 31st October for Adult submissions, 5th to 7th November for YA and MG fiction

Organised by: Miss Snark’s First Victim (aka Authoress)

Open to: MG and YA (all genres) – Adult (all genres except erotica and erotic romance)

How to enter: a logline (= a 1 to 2-sentence pitch that encapsulates your story & makes us want to read it) + first 250 words

Cost: $10 entry fee

More info: http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-fourth-annual-bakers-dozen-facts.html

Contest: Mystery Agent

Date(s): 1st of each month

Organised by: Operation Awesome

Open to: Depends on the judging agent

How to enter: one-line pitch or 250 first words

Cost: Free

More info: http://operationawesome6.blogspot.fr/

Contest: Secret Agent contest

Date(s): November (date TBA)

Organised by: Miss Snark’s First Victim (aka Authoress)

Open to: Depends on the judging agent

How to enter: first 250 words

Cost: Free

More info: http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.co.uk/p/secret-agent.html

Contest: Pitch Wars

Date(s): December (date TBA)

Organised by: Brenda Drake

How to enter: TBA

Cost: TBA

More info: http://brenleedrake.blogspot.co.uk/

So tell me: are you going to enter those contests? Are there any other contests this autumn I haven’t heard about? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Sunday Update: Writing Contests and Favourite Book Bloggers

Hello gentle reader,

I apologise for my absence online this week, but I want to thank all of you who sent me kind messages/emails/tweets throughout the past six days. It was a difficult time and it meant a lot to open my inbox to so many messages of support.

I’m back today, but without a Sunday Giveaway, I’m afraid: Amazon UK is being extremely annoying when it comes to gifting ebooks to other countries, so I’ve had to adjourn these giveaways for now. I’m hoping to find a solution by next weekend. Stay tuned and thanks to everyone who entered the past two giveaways!

If you’re a writer with a polished manuscript, here are a few contests you might be interested in:

#PitchMAS in July (7-8th July)

Xmas in July Pitch Contest (9th July)

Like A Virgin Pitch Contest (12th July)

Finally while I was offline, I received the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award! Thank you Camilla!


The idea here is to nominate readers I appreciate, so here are a few of my favourite book bloggers…

The Flutterby Room

Once Upon A Time

The Book Addict’s Guide

Mundie Moms

Chapter By Chapter

Sash and Em

Ensconced in YA

That’s it from me today, feel free to leave me a comment below to let me know about your week!

My Week In Review – ROW80 Check-In 8

Hello gentle reader,

It is time for another weekly check-in! This week I’m happy to be back to my normal routine, and I can offer you a proper Week In Review post…

Quote and Film of the Week


“I was within and without. Simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”

The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Film by Baz Luhrmann.

To me, The Great Gatsby is a masterpiece because of its writing, not because of its story. Thus turning the book into a film is incredibly hard. I enjoyed Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation because that’s what it is: a vision of the book.

TV Show of the Week

World Without End

World Without End (Channel 4)

I missed this show when it aired in September. I played catch-up this week because I love The Pillars of the Earth and this is the sequel. However I was a bit disappointed: the plot is exactly the same and therefore very predictable.

Good News of the Week

I bought my first Kindle! I resisted peer pressure for a long time, because I love reading paper books. But I travel all the time and my bookshelf space isn’t unlimited, so I finally gave in and got the Kindle Fire. Any tips welcome!

ROW80 Check-In

ROW80 Logo

My goal for this round is to write every day. This week again I managed to write

2 days out of 7.

With my WIP in the hands of beta-readers, I basically took the week off writing…

Links of the Week

I was interviewed by the ever awesome Serena Lawless about my Work In Progress. You can read it here.

On my blog I posted my reasons for writing Lily In The Shadows.

On There And Draft Again this week, it’s giveaway time! Our group blog has reached 100 followers and we’re giving away Fantasy books to celebrate. Make sure to enter here.

The Like a Virgin Contest has been announced! It will be held in July 2013. It is co-organized by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez, the ladies behind the weekly Thursday’s Children blog hop. It will be open only to manuscripts that have yet to go through the online contest trenches. They want your fresh, sparkly and new manuscripts. How exciting is that?!

Next week

Next week on my blog I will be sharing my latest readings…

How was your week? Make sure to share your writing progress and what inspired you this week in the comment section below!