Friday, May 22, 2015

2015 Weta Nichols Writing Contest (Hosted by Ozarks Romance Authors)

Hey folks! Ethan here with a fun opportunity to win an awesome prize! I was recently contacted by the team at Ozarks Romance Authors about promoting their annual writing contest. This is a great group of people and I'm honored to help them get the word out! Aspiring authors out there? Listen up! Here's some info about the 2015 Weta Nichols Writing Contest!

Entries accepted April 1 – July 15, 2015.

Historical –
Contemporary -
Paranormal/Sci-Fi -
Young Adult/Middle Grade -

Submit the first chapter (up to 2,500 words) of your unpublished novel to win prizes and a chance to be read by one of the agents or editors serving as our final judges.

Contest is open to both published and unpublished authors, but the piece submitted must be unpublished (traditional, self-pub, or e-pub) and not under contract to be published.

Categories in which entries may be judged are: Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal/Sci-Fi and Young Adult/Middle Grade. Entries are open genre and not required to contain romantic tones.

Membership in Ozarks Romance Authors is not required in order to enter. There will be three prizes awarded in each category: 1st place $75 and a 1-Year ORA Membership, 2nd place $50 and 3rd place $25.

Please read all guidelines carefully. If you have questions about the rules, please email us (with WETA QUESTION in the subject line) at

Step 1: Payment. Entry fee is $25.00 per submission for non-members, $20 per submission for ORA members. You may submit up to five entries. Fees may be paid via your PayPal account or credit card using the PayPal button below. (If you do not have a PayPal account, you can use your credit/debit card to send payment to our PayPal account.) If the email address or name on your PayPal account does not match (a) the email address that you are using to send your submission, or (b) your name or pen name, please let us know by including the other email address or name within the body of the email when you send your submission. Otherwise, we will not be able to match the contest entry with its payment, the entry will be disqualified, and no refund will be made.

Step 2: Fill out the online entry form. Once you click the button to submit your payment through PayPal, a screen will be displayed that says “Thanks for your order”. Two lines below that is your PayPal Transaction ID. A) Highlight the ID then right click on it and select “Copy”. You must enter this ID on the registration form. B) Click the “Return to Ozarks Romance Authors” link. This will display the 2015 Weta Nichols Contest Entry form. Enter your information in all the fields. When you get to the “Paypal transaction number”, simply right click in the field and select “Paste”. After you click “Submit”, a confirmation screen will be displayed with a link to take you back to this page. Click the PayPal button below once again if you wish to submit more than one entry (up to five).

Step 3: Prepare your entry. The first page of your entry should be 200 words of flap copy (flap copy is the blurb on the inside covers or back of a book–the information a reader would see when he or she picks up the book) to orient the judges to your story. Note: The flap copy is not a synopsis and should not exceed 200 words. Submit the first chapter (up to 2,500 words) of your unfinished or finished, unpublished, non-contracted novel. You may continue beyond the end of your first chapter, up to the 2,500-word maximum, but ending at a strategic point such as a chapter ending may give your entry more impact. The 200-word flap copy does not count toward your 2,500-word limit. In the header of each page of your submission, include the title of your story, category to be judged, and page number. The story title should appear in the top left, and the category/page number should appear in the top right. Do not include your name on page headers. Your name should only appear on the cover page, which is to be saved as a separate document and attached to your email submission. Save your entry in .doc format with one inch margins all around, double spaced, in 12-pitch Times New Roman font.

Step 4: Prepare your cover page. Please include your name or pen name, address, e-mail, the title of your entry and category you are entering. Save your cover page as a separate document in .doc format.

Step 5: Submit your entry to The subject line of your e-mail should read WETA ENTRY. You may submit up to five separate entries. Each submission must be sent in a separate email message, with the subject line indicating WETA ENTRY 1, WETA ENTRY 2, etc. In the body of your e-mail, please include your name or pen name as you would like it to appear on our website, certificate and prize check should you place in the top three for your category. Also include the title of your entry, category you are entering and your mailing address. Send your entry and cover page as two separate email attachments. Do not include the entry within the body of your email message. Deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. Central Time (USA) on July 15, 2015.

Step 6: Good Luck! Finalists will be announced around September 1, 2015. Only the top three finalists in each category will be read by the final judges. Winners will be announced at the 2015 Annual Conference on September 19, 2015 in Springfield, Missouri. Winners are not required to be present to win. Winners who are not in attendance will be notified via email, and prizes will be mailed promptly. We will also post the winners’ names, titles, city and state on the ORA website.


Short stories, memoirs, essays, poetry, non-fiction and entries that do not follow the guidelines above will be disqualified without refund. If the book (entry) becomes contracted while entered into the contest, contestant must notify contest officials immediately and withdraw from the contest. Unfortunately no refund can be offered. The next highest ranked entry in the category shall then advance.

Judges’ comments are given solely as a guide to improving your writing, but comments from judges should be used at the discretion of the writer. If there is a twenty-five point or more difference between the scores, another arbitrator will judge the entry and the highest score will be used. You will receive a copy of the judges’ scoring sheets upon return of your entry. Ozarks Romance Authors is not responsible for comments made by the judges. These are personal opinions only, and are not the expressed opinion of Ozarks Romance Authors. All submissions will remain anonymous to the judges. Names of the judges will be unknown to entrants and shall remain so. After the contest, if contestants wish to convey comments to them regarding their judging, send thank you notes, etc., please put the Judge # in the subject line and email your comments to All will be forwarded.

Ozarks Romance Authors, founded in 1987, is a registered nonprofit group in the state of Missouri and a member of Springfield Regional Arts Council. Ozarks Romance Authors is an independent writers’ group and is not affiliated with Romance Writers of America. Monthly meetings are held in Springfield, Missouri at The Library Station the first Saturday of each month, and the annual conference will be held Saturday, September 19, 2015. The Weta Nichols Writing Contest is named in honor of the late novelist Weta Nichols, who was the founder of Ozarks Romance Authors. For more about Weta (pronounced “WEE-ta”), visit her memorial page HERE.


This is a fantastic opportunity for some of you aspiring authors to get your feet wet! Who doesn't love winning prizes? Be sure to check this one out. ORA is a fantastic organization and I've had the great pleasure of working with a handful of their authors. I look forward to seeing what this contest brings!

Until next time, Happy Reading!


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