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Sunday, April 07, 2013

Ready to Make Your Own History?

Now in the fourth year of our Slush Pile Contest for unpublished novelists, we’re taking entries in all six categories, as outlined below. 

WARNING -- the first category will close in just two days (April 10). So if you’ve been thinking of submitting that mystery you’ve been working on, get your entry in pronto!

Here’s the whole list of categories, with their submission deadlines:

Submission Deadline (11:59 pm EST)
April 10, 2013
General Fiction
May 10, 2013
June 10, 2013
Middle Grade/Young Adult Fiction
July 10, 2013
August 10, 2013
Speculative Fiction
September 10, 2013

If you’ve completed a novel (or a nonfiction book – for the first time this year, we’re accepting entries for book-length nonfiction from writers who have never previously published nonfiction) but haven’t yet found a publishing home for it, we’d love to see it!  Check out the complete rules and submission requirements on the Launch Pad Contest tab.

In 2010, the first year of our contest, we ran through the whole list of categories twice, then chose the Grand Prize winner from the list of twelve semi-finalists. We had some excellent entries, and as we’ve reported previously, several of our early participants went on to be successful published authors.

Sally Apokedak entered the second round of the Speculative category (which we then called Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror) with a story called The Button Girl. She won the category, and then went on to be our first Grand Prize winner.

You might recognize Sally’s name, as she's now one of Novel Rocket’s regular contributors, as one of the unexpected byproducts of being our first contest winner. Here are Sally’s thoughts on having been our groundbreaker:

Most of us don't get maps ahead of time that tell us where God is taking us.

When I entered the Novel Rocket contest several years ago, I had no idea where it would lead. I won, to my delight and surprise, and within a couple of months, thanks to Gina Holmes's help, I'd signed with a real-life literary agent.

Well, that was in early 2010. And here we are 3 years later.

I can't tell you that my Novel Rocket win catapulted me to stardom and to six-figure advances. And honestly I'm glad it didn't. Because then I'd be on a different path. And I'm loving the path God has me on, even though I didn't see it coming three years ago.

So…if entering the contest didn't set me on the road to fame and riches, what did it do for me?
  • It moved me along the path God has determined for me
  • It let me get to know Gina Holmes (and others here), and that's been wonderful
  •  It opened the door for me to see how the agent/writer relationship works
  • It opened doors for me to get to know editors
And here I am three years later, a literary agent working with the wonderful Les Stobbe. I had no idea when I entered the contest that God was going to give me such wonderful experiences and opportunities.

And two days ago, my Novel Rocket contest experience came full circle when I signed as a client…

Janine Yordy! Another Novel Rocket winner. She took first place in the YA category with a lovely novel in verse.

What a kick! I went from wanting an agent to being an agent. Now God's allowing me to take part in making other people's dreams come true. What could be more fun than that?

Here's my philosophy: God will take us wonderful places if we'll keep on knocking on doors and walking through when he opens them. Grab every opportunity, always keep learning, and praise God in all things, because he has bigger plans in mind for you than you can dream up on your own.

So what do you think?

Could the Launch Pad Contest be an opportunity for you as well?

When she's not coordinating the Launch Pad Contest, Yvonne Anderson writes fiction that takes you out of this world.

Fly through the Gateway to Gannah for some serious sci-fi adventure.
Book #3, Ransom in the Rock (release TBA)
Book #4, (under construction)


  1. I love the way God orders our steps and brings the right opportunities and the right people into our lives at the right time. But you have to keep taking steps, which is often easier said than done!

  2. Thanks, Susan. You're right - an open door is useless if you don't walk through it.


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