Monday, September 05, 2011

Contest of Interest

Our own Laura Barth, assistant editor, is the finalist judge at the Gateway to the Best contest. It closes Sept 9th. Here's what she's interested in and how to enter.

***Permission to forward granted and appreciated.*

Gateway to the Best has a Series Contemporary Category. And as of right now, we are very low in entries for this category.

The final judge for Gateway's Series Contemporary Category, Laura Barth, Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant for Blaze and American Romance at Harlequin had this to say about what gets her excited in a submission:

For me, the most important elements when considering a contemporary series submission are fit, voice, characterization, conflict and freshness.
The first thing I look at is whether or not a new submission fits the line to which it’s targeted. Does the plot work with our editorial guidelines? Are the hero and heroine within the right age range? Is the setting appropriate? What role do secondary characters play, if any? Is the novel the right length?
If the submission is a good fit, I look at the author’s voice and writing style. The prose should be smooth, clear and natural. The tone should be right for the story and the author should engage the reader without intruding into the story.
Characterization is also very important. The hero and heroine must ultimately be likeable and believable. I want to see a heroine who’s strong enough to stand on her own, but vulnerable and human enough to make me care about her plight. I want to see a hero who’s masculine, but self-aware and mature enough to show compassion and concern for others.
A good romance cannot be compelling without conflict, and this conflict should be organic—it should not be based on misunderstandings and coincidences. For home and family lines, especially, there needs to be true internal conflict, not just external conflict.
Finally, it can be difficult, to say the least, to come up with a totally new idea for a romance novel and still have it fit within the parameters of your targeted line. But your approach still needs to be fresh. And hopefully your story will at least have a new twist, something that makes it stand out from the crowd.

Act now! Entries for Gateway to the Best are open until Sept 9th. No extensions.

For more information, go to:

Megan Kelly
Stand-In Mom, Sept 2011

1 comment:

linda s said...

What a great contest for aspiring writers. Thanks for sharing this here. Hope it generates a slew of entries because it looks like a great opportunity.