5th Annual “Chase the Dream” Contest

28 07 2010

Rachelle Chase and Leigh Michaels are gearing up for the 5th annual CHASE THE DREAM contest!

So, polish up the first 1,000 words of an unpublished romance, chick lit, YA, or mainstream fiction with romantic elements novel/novella – and get ready to enter in 2011!

Past judges include editors from St. Martin’s, Grand Central, Avon, Pocket, Harlequin, Kensington, Avalon, Sourcebooks, Elloras Cave, and more – plus agents!

Past finalists have landed agents and book deals as a result of the contest. In 2011, it could be YOU!

Details will be posted later this year, so please check back. And we hope to receive your entry!

Happy writing!


And The Winners Are…

20 03 2010

The 2010 CHASE THE DREAM contest has officially ended – but there’s still a great reason to come back next week. Alex Logan, Assistant Editor at Grand Central Publishing will be leaving her comments for all the finalists on 3/25. So make sure you check them out!

Speaking of the finalists, the votes have been tallied and the winners have been identified for this year’s contest. For the first time ever, we had a tie for second place. Here they are:

First PlaceWeek 6 Finalist Hooves of Thunder, Hearts of Silk by Vicki Bendau (and don’t miss Vicki’s interview here)

Second PlaceWeek 2 Finalist Still Sucking in San Francisco by Jessica McBrayer

Second PlaceWeek 4 Finalist Dark Shadows by Kylie Griffin

Third Place – Week 7 Finalist Inner Eye by Gwen Mitchell

Thank you to everyone who entered, commented, voted, and stopped by. Thank you to our wonderful agent/editor judges who took time out of their hectic schedules to provide helpful feedback on all the finalist entries — and congratulations to Kelli Martin of Kimani Press who couldn’t participate in the contest as she’s out on maternity leave.  We couldn’t have had yet another successful contest without all of you!

Until next year … success and happiness to all!

Only One More Week to Enter

24 02 2010

We truly cannot believe that there’s only one more week to go! So, if you’ve been lurking and haven’t yet sent anything in, this is your last chance for 2010. And if you’ve been sending an entry in, give it one last shot. Send your entry in today!

I want to apologize for my tardiness. First off, for not getting last week’s finalist and mini-critique winner up until Wednesday evening. A night of little sleep (due to some sort of stomach bug) the night before put me a bit behind. And secondly, I owe two of you a mini-critique comment (I’m blaming that delay on my long hours at the day job) – not that you are anxiously awaiting my feedback or anything, but I do like to participate by leaving a comment. I will catch up on that by the weekend.

The good news is I’m on time this week – in fact, I’m several hours early! So, here are this week’s winners…

Week 7 Finalist

Week 7 Mini-Critique


A Variety of Entries

10 02 2010

The entries this week ran the gamut from paranormal to romantic suspense, from chick lit to a handful of erotic, and from contemporary to historical to futuristic.

Every romance reader has a favorite (and a not-so-favorite) genre, and one of the great things about the contest is that it exposes us all to types of books that we might otherwise not see. I’m fascinated by how many of you have made comments along the lines of “I don’t generally read paranormal” or “I don’t generally like first-person narrative” but the contest entry made you look at this type of story in a different way.

We’re pleased to be part of the widening stream of romance. Though the finalists are not chosen based on any kind of quota system, so far we happen to have had a wide range of genres end up in the winner’s circle… Which of course brings us to this week’s winners:

Week 5 Finalist

Week 5 Mini-Critique

Decisions, Decisions…

20 01 2010

In the second week of the contest, we’ve once more been flooded with great entries. It’s enormous fun to read the openings of your stories, and I know it’s very difficult for Rachelle to choose just one finalist each week.

It’s also a challenge for me to choose an entry each week for a mini-critique – because I’m looking for an entry which can be an example of a common difficulty, something that many writers struggle with. It’s often easier to see and understand a problem area when we see an example in someone else’s work, rather than our own – so the hope with the mini-critique each week is that it will help all participants to check that this difficulty doesn’t show up in their own work.

We’ve just added Brenda Chin, Harlequin Blaze Senior Editor, to our great panel of agents and editors who will be reading and commenting on all the finalists’ work – and there are more to come! Check them out on the agents/editors page.

So to end the suspense – here are this week’s winners!

Week 2 Finalist

Week 2 Mini-Critique Winner

Chase the Dream Contest Begins NOW

30 12 2009

Chase the Dream Image

The fourth annual Chase the Dream contest officially begins January 1, 2010!

Leigh Michaels and I are teaming up, once again, to offer what we think is the best writing contest in the romance-writing world. Each year, nearly all our finalists get agent/editor requests — and some result in sales — and this year we’re hoping for even more!

Plus, our mini-critique winners get valuable feedback before sending out their submissions. Check out our 2006-2009 contest page for past finalists and mini-critique winners.

We continue to improve the contest each year and this year is no exception. As with prior contests, it’s FREE to enter, there are lots of neat prizes, and we have a panel of editors and agents who have agreed to read all the finalists’ entries and — we hope — ask for more.

PLUS, you can now **watch videos** of our agents/editors stating what makes them request more from a contest entry.

So check out the Rules, Q&A, and polish up the first 1,000 words of your romance novel (or novel with a romantic theme) and enter the Chase the Dream Contest today!

The first weekly winners will be selected and posted on January 13, 2009.

We look forward to getting your entries.

Happy writing,

Rachelle Chase & Leigh Michaels