The Best Unpublished Novel Contest is open for submissions!

Best Unpublished Novel Contest

Best Unpublished Novel Contest is open for submissions

The Best Unpublished Novel Contest is a partnership between James River Writers and Richmond magazine.

The contest is part of a three-year sequence with the Best Self-Published Novel Contest and the Shann Palmer Poetry Contest.

The contest is open for submissions January 1 through March 31, 2017

Contest Overview

Writers may submit the first 50 pages of a previously unsubmitted novel and the $25 entry fee.

The first-prize winner receives $500, publication of an excerpt in the September issue of Richmond Magazine, a ticket to the annual James River Writers Conference, and feedback on the manuscript. Two finalists each receive $200.

Rules

To submit an entry, the author must be a resident of Virginia, a student at a Virginia college or university, or a member of JRW. Richmond magazine and JRW employees and board members cannot enter.

Your manuscript must be a work of fiction.

Work may not have been published prior to contest submission. This includes self-publishing, small press publishing, print on demand, and publishing the work on a blog or website. If your work is accepted for publication, please let us know so that we may remove it from consideration. (If you have self-published a book, you may want to consider the Best Self-published Book Contest.)

Each submission must have a cover sheet with the author’s name, contact information (include email, mailing address, and phone number) and the novel’s title. The author’s name can appear only on this cover sheet, not on any other pages. Manuscripts will be disqualified if submitted with authors’ names or other identifying information on any page other than the cover sheet.

Each page of the manuscript must have the title in the upper left corner, page numbers in the upper right, and be double-spaced with one-inch margins in Times New Roman or Arial font, size 12. Please print only on one side of the page. Use standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ white paper with nothing printed on the back. Submissions will be returned only if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope (optional).

Full manuscripts will be requested later if the submission passes the first round of judging. If requested, full manuscripts should be no more than 100,000 words. Please do not submit duplicates of manuscripts entered in previous years. You may enter multiple manuscripts (with multiple submission fees), but please do not submit more than one version of the same manuscript.

Submission Process

Submissions will be accepted by USPS mail. Please send first the fifty pages according to the contest rules, with a $25 check, to:

James River Writers
Best Unpublished Novel Contest
2319 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23223

JRW announces its 2016 Award Winners

James River Writers is pleased to announce its 2016 award winners. We congratulate all of these winners. They represent the best of the Central Virginia writing community.

bod_douglas_jones

Doug Jones

Doug Jones is the 2016 winner of the Emyl Jenkins Award. This award honors the memory of Emyl Jenkins, who passed away in 2010, by presenting an award to an outstanding individual who, as Emyl did, inspires a love of writing and writing education in Virginia. As stated in his nomination, Doug Jones is encouraging and thoughtful and has a talent for gently coaxing his students to explore and push their comfort zones with their writing. Jones holds degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Virginia. He has taught at UVA, Theatre Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Virginia Opera, as well as in private schools in the Richmond area. Doug has also published short stories, poetry, nonfiction, and scripts for radio and video. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild and The Authors League of America.


Jo Allison receiving the Best Self-Published Novel Contest award at the JRW Conference.

Jo Allison receiving the Best Self-Published Novel Contest award at the JRW Conference. Photo by Caroline Brae.

The winners of the 2016 James River Writers’ Best Self-Published Novel Contest, judged by literary agent, Christopher Rhodes, with The Stuart Agency in NYC, are

First Place: Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl by Jo Allison

Second Place: Charlie Dead and the So-Called Zombie Apocalypse by Geoff Camphire

Third Place: Dust on the Bible by Bonnie Stanard

Of the first place winner, Christopher Rhodes said, “Jo Allison brings turn-of-the-century St. Louis alive with her fast-paced, historically accurate, and fiercely feminist Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl.” In addition to turning out her mystery series, Allison maintains a website dedicated to the micro-history of both 1910 and St. Louis: http://www.1910-stlouis-by-jallison.com. Topics range from what people wore to how they got around to the issues that they talked about. Allison also writes short stories and vignettes that support the novels—“between murders”—and those are available on joallisonauthor.com.

 


 

Zoa accepting the award for the Shann Palmer Poetry Contest.

Zoa accepting the award for the Shann Palmer Poetry Contest. Photo by Caroline Brae.

James River Writers and Richmond Magazine partner to announce Zoa as the winner of the Shann Palmer Poetry Contest, for his poem “A New Emotion.” Head judge and Virginia Poet Laureate, Ron Smith, said “Every time I come back to this poem, it moves me and intrigues me.” This contest, sponsored by James River Writers and Richmond Magazine, is named after Shann Palmer, a long-time JRW volunteer and board member, beloved poet, and a wild- and wise-hearted creative who shared her spirit and talents freely, inspiring and encouraging others in the literary community. She passed away in December 2013, and the contest (formerly “Best Poetry Contest”) was renamed in her honor the following year. A native of Ortonville, Michigan, Zoa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and literature at Eastern Michigan University. He works as a copy editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

 

 

 

 

Update on the Best Self-Published Novel Contest!

book

James River Writers recognizes the writing talents and entrepreneurial skills of indie authors by continuing The Best Self-Published Novel Contest, which we started in 2014.

The contest will be conducted in alternating (even) years with the Best Unpublished Novel Contest.

Contest Details

One first-prize winner will receive $500 and a ticket to the annual James River Writers Conference. The winner will be announced in October 2016 at the James River Writers Conference. Press releases will also recognize the winner.

Two finalists each receive $200.

Rules

To pay the $25 entry fee with a credit card, use the “Register Today” button below. Once you have submitted payment, you will receive a receipt via email. Print your receipt and follow the guidelines below to mail in your submission. To pay with a check, follow the guidelines below.

Contest is currently closed. 

To submit an entry, the author must be a resident of Virginia, or a full-time student at a Virginia college or university, or a James River Writers member. (Out-of-state writers may enter the contest by becoming members. You may join at the same time as paying your entry fee by using the “Register Today” button above or by including an additional $40 in your check amount.) (more…)

Announcing the Winners of the 2014 Best Self-Published Novel Contest!

Jodi Lew-Smith

Jodi Lew-Smith, 2014 winner

James River Writers is pleased to announce the winners of our inaugural Best Self-published Novel Contest, an award created to recognize the writing talents and entrepreneurial skills of indie authors. Contest chair Erica Orloff and head judge April Eberhardt selected a winner and two finalists from forty entries. Each entry was judged on writing quality, editing, layout, design, and formatting.

The two finalists identified were Connie Biewald for her book Digging to Indochina and Connie Lapallo for her book When the Moon Has No More Silver. Jodi Lew-Smith was the first place winner for her book The Clever Mill Horse. (more…)

Announcing the Inaugural Best Self-published Novel Contest

bookJames River Writers recognizes the writing talents and entrepreneurial skills of indie authors by creating The Best Self-Published Novel Contest, new in 2014. The contest will be conducted in alternating years with the Best Unpublished Novel Contest.

Contest Details

One first-prize winner will receive $500 and a ticket to the annual James River Writers Conference. The winner will be announced in October 2014 at the James River Writers Conference. Press releases will also recognize the winner.

Two finalists each receive $200.

Rules

To submit an entry, the author must be a JRW member or a student at a Virginia college or university. Join JRW.

Submissions for the 2014 contest will be accepted from May 1 through July 18, 2014 (postmark deadline of Friday, July 18). *Deadline has been extended from June 30. (more…)