Contest Info

Welcome to the Contest Information page! We offer two contests: one for unpublished manuscripts and one for published works.


Want to join Serious Writer in NY?  Serious Writer co-owner Cyle Young shares an awesome announcement on how to win big with with two brand new contests.

We’re extending the Ohio Christian Writers Conference contest deadlines until October 5, 2018 at 11:59 PM Eastern time to give you more time to enter and more chances to win the big prize: Book of the Year or Writer of the Year.

The two winners will join Serious Writer in New York in 2019. For more information, check out the video here.

Please review the guidelines carefully and “happy entering”!

Blue Seal Awards

Sponsored by Almost An Author, these Awards are open to anyone who has not published a manuscript in the genre in which they choose to submit.

The Maxwell Medal

Sponsored by Serious Writer, Inc., these awards are open to anyone published from January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017, both traditionally and self-published.

Entry Fees

Contest fees are $20 per entry for both categories. Entry fees are nonrefundable.

Contest fee does include a free course in the Serious Writer Academy – Winning at Winning Contests – as a thank you for entering. We hope that it will be of great benefit to you!


**Update: The deadline has been extended to October 5, 2018 at 11:59 PM Eastern time.

Payment and submissions must be received by September 28 October 5, 2018 at 11:59 PM Eastern. All Maxwell award entries must by postmarked by September 28 October 5, 2018 in order to qualify.


To hold to our beliefs and standards for promoting Christian and clean writing, no profanity, graphic sex, or “rated-R” content will be considered. Entries that contain these elements will be disqualified at the Conference Executives’ discretion. There will be no refunds for entries that are disqualified and you will not be notified.

All entries must be original works of the author or authors.

All entries must be submitted in English.

No author who has published in a category may enter an unpublished piece in that same category. For example, if you are published (traditional or self) in Romantic Suspense, you cannot enter the unpublished award in that category. Conversely, if you are published in Romantic Suspense, you are allowed to enter the unpublished award for Speculative fiction.

Entries will not be returned, so sign the copy if you want!

Any category receiving less than the minimum submission requirement will be combined with the closest genre category. Judges reserve the right to cancel a category if the level of submissions is not up to industry publishing standards.

Contests may be entered even if you are not planning on attending the conference.



Devotionals – up to 1,000 words

Bible Study – up to 1,000 words

Non-fiction –Chapter breakdown/synopsis; Submit first chapter





Memoirs/Personal Essay


Short Nonfiction: Magazine Feature Article – under 1,500 words

Flash Fiction/Poetry – (under 1,000 words)

Under 500 words

Under 1000 words

Novels: General, contemporary, literary, etc. – Submit first three chapters or first 15 pages whichever is shorter.

Romance (western, historical, fantasy, etc. Please note: no erotica will be accepted.) – Submit first three chapters or first 15 pages whichever is shorter.

Thriller/Mystery/Suspense – Submit first three chapters or first 15 pages whichever is shorter.

Speculative (no horror) – Submit first three chapters or first 15 pages whichever is shorter.

Children’s and Youth

Picture Books – Submit entire work.

Easy Readers – Submit entire work.

YA Fiction – Submit first three chapters.

YA Non-fiction – Submit first three chapters.

Middle Grade – Submit first three chapters.

Chapter Books – Submit first three chapters.


12-pt Times New Roman font


1” margins

Include the title of the manuscript in the header. Insert page numbers

File may be submitted as a Word .doc or .docx or .pdf

If these format guidelines are not followed, the entry will be disqualified with no refund and no notice.

Submission Guidelines for the Blue Seal Awards

Click here to pay for the Blue Seal Awards contest

Follow the formatting guidelines above and include in the one Word document a cover page with the author’s name, the manuscript’s title, category genre, and word count.

The author’s name should not be listed anywhere in the document except for the cover page.

Payment must be received prior to contest entry deadline or submission will be disqualified.

Email your entry to with the subject line “2018 OHCWC Contest.” Attach your document in a .doc , .docx, or .pdf format only.

Submission Guidelines for The Maxwell medal

Click here to pay for the Maxwell Medal contest

Mail one copy of book (or published work) and one cover page including author name, title, and category genre to:

Victoria Duerstock
PO Box 206
Nesbit, MS 38651

If you are submitting an ebook please email for specifics about submitting.


Winners will be announced at the conference and do not need to be present to win.

Click here to pay for the Blue Seal contest

Click here to pay for the Maxwell Medal contest