We want you
to thrive.

We want you to WIN.

Serious Writer started because of a contest. Cyle Young and Bethany Jett were both finalists in the same contest category. Through that shared loss, a friendship was formed that eventually led to the amalgamation of their separate companies.

Voila. Serious Writer, Inc.

Each year, Serious Writer runs three different contests to give writers opportunities to expand their network, affirm their writing projects, and to encourage writers everywhere. Hear from past winners and learn about upcoming contests at Serious Writer, right here.

The Serious Writer Contests is an annual competition in which writers, both published and unpublished, have a chance for industry professionals to look at their projects.
Whether you published your book nine years ago, or you just finished that first draft, we have a contest for every writer.

2021 Semifinalists Announced!

Writer of the Year Semifinalists

The Writer of the Year Contest is a contest open to unpublished works in all genres.
We had several ties so we have 17 entries moving forward in this contest.
In alphabetical order [of first names] the semifinalists are:

Book of the Year Semifinalists

The Book of the Year Contest is open to books published in January-December 2020.
In alphabetical order [of first names] the semifinalists are:

  • Annette Marie Griffin- What is a Family?

  • Becky Baudouin-Enjoy Every Minute and Other Ridiculous Things We Say to Moms.

  • Britt Mooney-Say Yes: How God Sized Dreams Take Flight.

  • Christy Hoss- The Rubber Band.
  • Darlene L Turner- Border Breach.
  • Hallee Bridgeman- Alexandra’s Appeal.
  • Jill Roman Lord- The Quiet Crazy Easter Day.

  • Julie Lavender- 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories.
  • Lauren Crews- Strenght of a Woman Devotional.
  • Mary Potter Kenyon- Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity.
  • Megan Kinney- Dakota Peace.

  • Michelle Nietert/Lynn Cowell- Loved and Cherished.
  • Starr Ayers- For the Love of Emma.
  • Tori Higa- The Christmas Color.

Book of the Decade Semifinalists

The Book of the Decade Contest is open to books published between Jan. 1 2010-Dec. 31 2020.
In alpahabetical order [of first names] the semifinalists are:

Betty Roberts- Midnight Chronicles: A Love Story

Brett Armstrong- Quest of Fire: The Gathering Dark

Brett Armstrong- Destitutio Quod Remissio

Carol Grace Stratton- Lake Surrender

Claire Sanders- Freedom River

Emily Golus- Escape to Vindor

James C Magruder- The Glimpse

Judy DuCharme- The Cheesehead Devotional Hall of Fame EditionJudy DuCharme- The Cheesehead Devotional Kickoff Edition

Judy DuCharme- Blood Moon Redemption

Marian Rizzo- Angela’s Treasures

Marian Rizzo- In Search of the Beloved

Melissa Calais Lewis- The Nature of Honey: The Woman’s Journey in Connection with God, Blossoms, and Bees

Penny Cooke- Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World

Rebecca Barlow Jordan- Day-votions for Mothers – Heart to Heart Encouragement

Hear From Our Past Winners

“Besides the personal boost I received from winning the Serious Writer, Writer of the Year Award, I got an instant and eager fan base of folks asking for my books. The Serious Writer family has proven to be an energizing tribe, generous with knowledge and encouragement.”

-Jennifer Daniels Neal, Winner of the Writer of the Year Award 2020

“I am so blessed. I am speechless. Anybody who knows me knows how rarely that happens. All I can say is glory to God. I want to give serious thanks to Serious Writer. Because I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without you all.”

–Rhonda Dragomir, Winner of the Writer of the Year Award 2019

Photo Gallery
Pictures from our 2020 contest winners





What Are the Contests?

What Is the Writer of the Year Contest?

The Writer of the Year Contest is a contest open to unpublished works in all genres except horror and erotica. Accepted genres and subgenres include but are not limited to:

FICTION:
  • Christian and General Market novels, novellas, and short stories of 20 pages or less
  • Inspirational, romance, historical, sci-fi/fantasy, & other subgenres
NONFICTION:
  • Christian and General Market books, blog/magazine/newspaper articles of 20 pages or less, & poems/poetry collections of 20 pages or less)
  • Self-help, how-to, devotional, theology, memoir, biography, autobiography, & other subgenres
CHILDREN’S:
  • Christian and General Market board books, picture books, middle-grade, and young-adult
  • All subgenres of fiction or nonfiction written for children and teens (except horror and erotica)
What Is the Book of the Year Contest?

The Book of the Year Contest is open to books published in January-December 2020. We are open to books of all genres except horror and erotica. Accepted genres and subgenres include but are not limited to:

FICTION:
  • Christian and General Market books
  • Inspirational, romance, historical, sci-fi/fantasy, & other subgenres
NONFICTION:
  • Christian and General Market books
  • Self-help, how-to, devotional, theology, memoir, biography, autobiography, poetry collections, & other subgenres.
CHILDREN’S:
  • Christian and General Market board books, picture books, middle-grade, and young-adult
  • All subgenres (see above) of fiction and non-fiction for children and teens
What Is the Book of the Decade Contest?

The Book of the Decade Contest is open to books published between Jan. 1 2010-Dec. 31 2020, in all genres except horror and erotica. This contest was borne out of our frustration that there are so few contests that cater to books published more than one year ago. Accepted genres and subgenres include but are not limited to:

FICTION:
  • Christian and General Market books
  • Inspirational, romance, historical, sci-fi/fantasy, & other subgenres
NONFICTION:
  • Christian and General Market books
  • Self-help, how-to, devotional, theology, memoir, biography, autobiography, poetry collections, & other subgenres.
CHILDREN’S:
  • Christian and General Market board books, picture books, middle-grade, and young-adult
  • All subgenres (see above) of fiction and non-fiction for children and teens

Prizes!!!

The Grand Prize Winners will Receive…

Additionally…

While there will be one grand prize winner per contest, we want to honor the remaining four finalists. They will each receive $100 of Serious Writer Academy courses and a press release to send to their local news media.
Image: Sarah Philpott, Ph.D. and Rhonda Dragomir, 2019 Award Winners

  • Two-day, one-night stay + incredible dinner event, in a city TBD, for our awards ceremony. Dates also TBD as we watch state and CDC guidelines for reopening safely.
  • Engraved book-shaped award
  • $300 worth of Academy classes – YOUR choice!
  • One free registration to any Serious Writer event (in-person or online)
  • Special feature on Serious Writer blog
  • Customized press release to send to your local newspapers

Contest Calendar

Check here for updates

December 10 – February 26, 2021: Early Bird Pricing

February 27 – March 31: General Entry Pricing

March 31: Contests close

May 15: 15 Semifinalists announced per contest

June 30: 5 Finalists announced per contest

Sometime in July – 1 Winner contacted per contest

TBD – Live ceremony in a location TBD

Winners announced live during awards ceremony

Writer of the Year Contest Guidelines

The contest for unpublished writers.

Formatting

Formatting must be in 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, 1″ margins, double-spaced.
Put the title of your entry in the header of the document for all pages. Add page numbers to the bottom right of the pages.  Do not put your name in the header or footer.

Google Form

Each entry must be entered into our Writer of the Year Google Form database to be eligible for judging. If you are submitting an e-book entry, you will upload it there.
You must submit the Writer of the Year Google Form entry even if you are mailing a physical book.

Title Sheet

The title sheet needs to have your name, the title of the work, and the genre.

Maximum Entry Length

You may submit up to twenty pages. It’s okay to have the last page end in the middle of a sentence.

Categories

Include the genre category of your work:

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Children’s

Checklist

1. Pay for your entry/entries.

2. Submit the Writer of the Year Google Form.

3. Refer to the Contest Calendar above for deadlines.

The Grand Prize Winners will receive…

  • Two-day, one-night stay, + incredible dinner event, in a city TBD, for our awards ceremony. Dates are also TBD as we watch state and CDC guidelines for reopening safely.
  • Engraved book-shaped award
  • $300 worth of Academy classes – YOUR choice!
  • One free registration to any Serious Writer event (in-person or online
  • Special feature on Serious Writer blog
  • Customized press release to send to your local newspapers

Each entry is judged according to the standards of its genre. For each contest, 15 Semifinalists will move forward to the final round, of which 5 Finalists will move forward. One Grand Prize winner will be determined from the final round. Travel is the responsibility of the winner.

Additionally…

While there will be one grand prize winner per contest, we want to honor the remaining four finalists. They will each receive $100 of Serious Writer Academy courses and a press release to send to their local news media.

Pay Here:

You can pay for the contest anytime before the deadline. Be sure to have entries submitted by the deadline.

Denim Jeans

One Entry

Regular Price

Denim Jeans

Two Entries

Regular Price

Denim Jeans

Three Entries

Regular Price

Denim Jeans

Four Entries

Regular Price

Denim Jeans

One Entry (STUDENT DISCOUNT)

Must enter with valid .edu email

Book of the Year Contest

The contest for published writers within the last year.

Eligibility

Books must be published with a copyright date between January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020.
Books published outside of these dates are not eligible for this contest. Please see the Book of the Decade contest to check for eligibility.

Google Form

Each entry must be entered into our Writer of the Year Google Form database to be eligible for judging. If you are submitting an e-book entry, you will upload it there.
You must submit the Writer of the Year Google Form entry even if you are mailing a physical book.

Cover Sheet

If you’re mailing physical books, submit one cover sheet per book.

Download here: Book of the Year Cover Sheet

Categories

Include the genre category of your work:

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Children’s

Mailing Address

Mail physical books to this address below. Please note, this is NOT the same address that you send books to for the Book of the Decade contest.

Serious Writer
170 Penny Lane
Clarklake, MI 49234

We strongly recommend shipping books with tracking information. Serious Writer is not responsible for lost or misdelivered books.

Checklist

1. Pay for your entry/entries.

2. Submit the Book of the Year Google Form.

3. Download and fill out a Book of the Year Cover Sheet for each entry.

4. Mail your entry/entries by the postmark date. Refer to the Contest Calendar above for deadlines.

The Grand Prize Winners will receive…

  • Two-day, one-night stay, + incredible dinner event, in a city TBD, for our awards ceremony. Dates are also TBD as we watch state and CDC guidelines for reopening safely.
  • Engraved book-shaped award
  • $300 worth of Academy classes – YOUR choice!
  • One free registration to any Serious Writer event (in-person or online
  • Special feature on Serious Writer blog
  • Customized press release to send to your local newspapers

Each entry is judged according to the standards of its genre. For each contest, 15 Semifinalists will move forward to the final round, of which 5 Finalists will move forward. One Grand Prize winner will be determined from the final round. Travel is the responsibility of the winner.

Additionally…

While there will be one grand prize winner per contest, we want to honor the remaining four finalists. They will each receive $100 of Serious Writer Academy courses and a press release to send to their local news media.

Pay Here:

You can pay for the contest anytime before the deadline. Be sure to have entries submitted by the deadline.

Denim Jeans

One Entry

Regular Price

Denim Jeans

Two Entries

Regular Price

Denim Jeans

Publisher Discount(5 Entries)

Must be submitted by a publisher

Denim Jeans

One Entry (STUDENT DISCOUNT)

Must enter with valid .edu email

Book of the Decade Contest

The contest for published writers within a ten year-time span.

Eligibility

Books must be published with a copyright date between January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2019.
Books published outside of these dates are not eligible for this contest. Please see the Book of the Decade contest to check for eligibility.

Google Form

Each entry must be entered into our Writer of the Year Google Form database to be eligible for judging. If you are submitting an e-book entry, you will upload it there.
You must submit the Writer of the Year Google Form entry even if you are mailing a physical book.

Cover Sheet

If you’re mailing physical books, submit one cover sheet per book.

Download here: Book of the Year Cover Sheet

Categories

Include the genre category of your work:

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Children’s

Mailing Address

Mail physical books to this address below. Please note, this is NOT the same address that you send books to for the Book of the Year contest.

Serious Writer
1104 Harbour Dr
Stafford, VA 22554

We strongly recommend shipping books with tracking information. Serious Writer is not responsible for lost, misdelivered, or un-received books.

Checklist

1. Pay for your entry/entries.

2. Submit the Book of the Decades Google Form.

3. Download and fill out the Book of the Decade Cover Sheet for each entry.

4. Mail your entry/entries by the postmark date. Refer to the Contest Calendar above for deadlines.

The Grand Prize Winners will receive…

  • Two-day, one-night stay, + incredible dinner event, in a city TBD, for our awards ceremony. Dates are also TBD as we watch state and CDC guidelines for reopening safely.
  • Engraved book-shaped award
  • $300 worth of Academy classes – YOUR choice!
  • One free registration to any Serious Writer event (in-person or online
  • Special feature on Serious Writer blog
  • Customized press release to send to your local newspapers

Each entry is judged according to the standards of its genre. For each contest, 15 Semifinalists will move forward to the final round, of which 5 Finalists will move forward. One Grand Prize winner will be determined from the final round. Travel is the responsibility of the winner.

Additionally…

While there will be one grand prize winner per contest, we want to honor the remaining four finalists. They will each receive $100 of Serious Writer Academy courses and a press release to send to their local news media.

Pay Here:

You can pay for the contest anytime before the deadline. Be sure to have entries submitted by the deadline.

Denim Jeans

One Entry

Regular Price

Denim Jeans

Two Entries

Regular Price

Denim Jeans

Three Entries

Regular Price

Denim Jeans

Publisher Discount (10 Entries)

Must be submitted by a publisher

Denim Jeans

One Entry (STUDENT DISCOUNT)

Must enter with valid .edu email

Frequently Asked Questions — START HERE

If you cannot find your question here, please reach out to us at contests@seriouswriter.com. Please note, a lot of time was spent the past couple of years responding to emails where the questions were answered here in our FAQs. For this reason, emails with questions where the answer is listed here will not be answered.

You can submit either a Word document or a PDF, but we prefer Word if possible. The reason for this is sometimes authors will leave their name on the PDF and we have to go into a PDF editor and cover the name. Word is easiest for us, so we would appreciate it greatly!.

As long as you were not paid for your entry to be published on another website, we will allow it to count for the Writer of the Year contest. If you published it on your blog, it can still count as “unpublished” for this contest. If you received monetary compensation for your writing, you may not enter it. If you did not receive monetary compensation for your writing, you may submit it.

Yes! You can absolutely send an e-book. You will upload your e-book in PDF or .mobi (preferred). Sometimes ePub format can get “messed up,” so we recommend the other two versions.

Pricing for the Early Bird deadline will not be extended, even for books postmarked during the Early Bird timeframe. If you want to pay the Early Bird pricing, you must do so before the deadline ends.

Your book will be donated to a local library, kept by the judges, or given to readers within the community. Books will not be returned.

No, your book will not be returned after the contest. Your book will be donated to a local library, kept by the judges, or given to readers within the community. Books will not be returned.

As long as all Book of the Year and Book of the Decade entries are postmarked by March 31 2021, they are valid entries for the contest.

Books postmarked after the deadline will not be judged, entrants will not be notified, and refunds will not be given.

Yes! We offer a discount for publishers. If they enter 10 books they can do so for a $300 pricing. Talk with your publisher and see if they’re open to having multiple authors entered into the Book of the Year or Book of the Decade contests.

With the exceptions of the winners, we do not share the judges’ feedback with the entrants. We know, we know that you’d love to hear what they have to say. The problem is that sometimes judges can be very…harsh. We’ve known writers to give up after receiving critical feedback from other contests. For these reasons, we do not share the judges’ comments.

The fifteen Semifinalists will be announced on our Serious Writer blog and our Serious Writer Facebook Page. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and turn on notifications!

The five Finalists for each contest will be announced on our Serious Writer blog and our Serious Writer Facebook Page. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and turn on notifications!

The one Winner for each contest will be notified privately so arrangements can be made to attend the awards ceremony. The date, time, and location of the awards ceremony is still to be determined.

Finalists who have not been notified after July 20th can assume that they ranked from second-to-fifth place. We will announce their names and entries live during the awards ceremony.

The fifteen Semifinalists for each contest will be able to use the semifinalists graphic that we provide on their website or in their marketing.

The five Finalists for each contest will receive a certificate and will be able to use the finalists graphic that we provide on their website or in their marketing.

The one Winner for each contest will receive:

-A beautiful engraved plaque
-Lodging for a two-day, one-night stay at the awards ceremony event (to be determined at a later time)
-$300 worth of Serious Writer Academy classes of their choice
-One FREE event registration to any of our online or in-person events
-An interview featuring the Winner on the Serious Writer blog

With different state restrictions during the pandemic, we are not sure yet where and when the awards ceremony will be held. We continue to monitor the situation in our country and will coordinate with the winners once we determine a safe and suitable location.

We understand that sometimes packages get lost in the mail or are misdelivered so we strongly recommend that you send your books with a tracking option.

We will let you know when your book arrives, but we are not responsible for books that do not arrive. There will not be any refunds for books that don’t make it to us.

We are closely monitoring the COVID situation. We will make sure to exercise social distancing, wear masks, have virtual options for winners who are at high-risk categories, and much more. Your safety is our top priority and we will continue to follow CDC guidelines for events.

We want to keep the judging process as unbiased as possible. The five finalists will be announced on our websites and Facebook group, which is public information. Our Contest Coordinator will be the only one directly in contact with the judges.

After the finalists are judged, Bethany may step in to help coordinate the awards event so it’s possible she will know who the winners are. Cyle, however, will not know until the awards event.