Writing Contest Prize: Full Tuition to Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference!

Earlier this year, I got to know Kathy Ide, a freelance editor, writing mentor, and author. During the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, Kathy and I served on the critique team and co-hosted a lunch and dinner table.

One morning, we joined several other faculty members for a field trip to nearby Santa Cruz, CA, where we ogled a pod of sea lions and sampled chocolate-covered bacon.

As Kathy and I deepened our friendship, I learned that she is not only smart and fun-loving, but she is also kind and generous. Kathy is sponsoring a “Promising Beginnings” contest in which the prize is a FULL SCHOLARSHIP ($897 value) to the 2015 Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, March 27–31, 2015.

About Mount Hermon

Mount Hermon is one of the top writers’ conferences in the U.S. and is geared for non-fiction and fiction writers of all levels. In addition to six high-level continuing courses in the craft of writing, conferees can choose from 35 elective workshops, pitch projects to agents and editors and receive free coaching/critique from professional freelancers.

Mount Hermon also offers several “Head Start” pre-conference tracks for two days before the main conference starts. From March 25-27, I’ll be teaching, “Take Your Blogging & Social Networking to the Next Level.” This mentoring track is limited to eight participants and is by application only. Visit the conference website to register http://writers.mounthermon.org/program/head-start

Christian Writer’s Conference from Mount Hermon on Vimeo.

“Promising Beginnings” Contest Details

The contest is open to both published and unpublished writers, and there is no fee to enter. The deadline is November 30, 2014.

Writers submit the first five pages of an unpublished book manuscript (self-published OK).

Submissions will be judged on the quality of the writing, including:

  • intriguing opening “hook”
  • appealing tone/style
  • good flow/pace/smoothness
  • clarity, ease of readability, tight writing
  • application of professional writing techniques
  • cleanness (without typos, inconsistencies, or errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling)

Additional guidelines are available on Kathy Ide’s website.

Proofreading Secrets

At the 2014 Mount Hermon conference, Kathy gave every faculty member a copy of her latest book, Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. In the introduction, Kathy writes:

“Before you submit that piece you’ve worked so hard on, it’s important to give it a final polish. To catch all those annoying typos that slipped in while you were creating your masterpiece. To make sure all the formatting is consistent. That the sentences are punctuated correctly, the grammar is accurate, and the words are spelled right and used right.”

This book is a practical reference that’ll help you find – and fix – errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling. Kathy’s book holds a place of honor on my office desk, right next to The Chicago Manual of Style.

  • Kathy Ide

    Thank you, Laura, for promoting this contest!

  • Kathy Ide

    Thank you, Laura, for promoting this contest!

  • Jennifer Slattery

    Kim Bangs posted this on Facebook some time ago. What a generous thing you are doing, Kathy. I have a question… I’m planning on going to the conference (so excited!), and wanted to enter this contest but wondered if, considering how our family already had funds set aside for this, if it’d be better if I didn’t enter so that those who need the financial help have fewer authors to compete against. Also, I believe I read this is for published and unpublished authors?

  • Jennifer Slattery

    Kim Bangs posted this on Facebook some time ago. What a generous thing you are doing, Kathy. I have a question… I’m planning on going to the conference (so excited!), and wanted to enter this contest but wondered if, considering how our family already had funds set aside for this, if it’d be better if I didn’t enter so that those who need the financial help have fewer authors to compete against. Also, I believe I read this is for published and unpublished authors?

  • Good questions, Jennifer. I have forwarded your comment to Kathy and she’ll respond when she gets a chance.

    P.S. I look forward to meeting you at the 2015 conference!

  • Good questions, Jennifer. I have forwarded your comment to Kathy and she’ll respond when she gets a chance.

    P.S. I look forward to meeting you at the 2015 conference!

  • Yes, Jennifer, the contest is open to all authors, whether or not they’ve been published. The submission for contest entry should be for a book that has not yet been published (or has been self-published).

    It’s very thoughtful of you to consider not entering the contest since you were already planning to go and have set aside funds for it. But if you’d still like to enter, feel free. Once I narrow the entries down to the “most promising” ones, I will be praying very specifically over which one to choose, asking God to direct me to the person He believes needs this prize the most. Could be that’s you!

  • Yes, Jennifer, the contest is open to all authors, whether or not they’ve been published. The submission for contest entry should be for a book that has not yet been published (or has been self-published).

    It’s very thoughtful of you to consider not entering the contest since you were already planning to go and have set aside funds for it. But if you’d still like to enter, feel free. Once I narrow the entries down to the “most promising” ones, I will be praying very specifically over which one to choose, asking God to direct me to the person He believes needs this prize the most. Could be that’s you!

  • Another reader emailed me to ask whether they can enter if they’ve already self-published a book. The answer is YES.

  • Another reader emailed me to ask whether they can enter if they’ve already self-published a book. The answer is YES.