Four More Chances to Win – Enter TODAY!

3 02 2010

It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the halfway point of this year’s CHASE THE DREAM contest. Four finalists have been named, with four yet to go – which means there’s plenty of time yet for YOU to final. You can’t win if you don’t enter, so give another polish to your first 1,000 words (or maybe start a whole new project) and send it in.

We’ve added a page which lists some of the many, many sales and deals which have come about because of previous CHASE THE DREAM contests. Check it out here (or by clicking on the graphic at right) and see what wonderful things have happened to many of the finalists and mini-critique winners.

And again, we have a question at the end of the mini-critique – something to think about and share to start a discussion. What do YOU think?

But without further ado, here are this week’s winners:

Week 4 Finalist

Week 4 Mini-Critique


Winners, Discussion, and an Extra Prize

27 01 2010

It’s Week Three – and once more we have a great finalist to announce – and again there were a whole lot of almost-finalists.

If you’ve entered each week so far, don’t give up. Perhaps it’s time to take another look at how you might tighten up or sharpen your opening, and then send your entry in again. Our Week 2 finalist tells us she revised her opening after reading the first mini-critique, and it made a huge difference in her story. Maybe next week will be your turn!

Thanks to everyone who has commented on the finalists and mini-critiques. We love hearing from you, and at the end of the contest, we’ll  throw the names of all who have commented in a hat and draw one to award an extra prize. At the end of the mini-critique, I’ve asked a question – go take a look, and let’s start a discussion on the mini-critique page!

 And now (drum roll please) for this week’s winners:

Week 3 Finalist

Week 3 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

Week 1 Finalist and Mini-Critique Posted

13 01 2010

Goodness, every year my job gets harder and harder – that is, to pick only ONE finalist. Despite the agonizing and indecisiveness you all caused me, thank you for making the entries such a joy to read!

I think Leigh picked another great mini-critique this week, for I saw this problem in quite a few of the not-quite-finalist entries. So make sure you check out the mini-critique and learn from it, even if it’s not yours. And don’t forget to read past contest finalists, mini-critique winners, my article on common problems I’ve seen (and continue to see) in entries, as well as our agents/editors stating what makes them request to see more.

So, without further delay, here’s this week’s winners…

Week 1 Finalist

Week 1 Mini-Critique Winner

Congratulations to this week’s picks and keep those great entries coming!


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

The End of the 2009 Contest

24 03 2009

Well, the “official” end of the 2009 contest has arrived. The votes have been tallied and the three lucky winners have been notified:

1st Place Winner – Gail Zerrade (Week 1 Finalist)

2nd Place Winner – Edie Ramer (Week 7 Finalist)

3rd Place Winner – Lilly Cain (Week 8 Finalist)

Congratulations, Gail, Edie, and Lilly!

Leigh and I wish to thank all of you who entered and all of you who stopped by to read the entries and/or comment. And we’d like to give a special thanks to the editors and agents who made the time to participate in the contest.

Additionally, Leigh and I offer individual contests throughout the year, so don’t forget to visit our web sites and sign up for our newsletters, so that you’ll be alerted to all future contests, as well as the 2010 “Chase the Dream” contest. And also, don’t forget: Leigh is offering everyone who entered a critiquing discount at A Word’s Worth! We can be found at:

And speaking of next year’s contest, Deb Werksman from Sourcebooks has agreed to participate (it really wasn’t fair of me to try to drag her into this year’s at the last minute). So check back in 2010 for the complete list of participating editors and agents.

Want to help us make 2010’s contest even better? Please click here to give us your feedback.

Here’s wishing everyone tons of writing success!


Winner, Finalist, Voting, and Survey

5 03 2009

Whew! I cannot believe that it’s the end of the contest already. Thank you for sending in such great entries. Leigh and I have thoroughly enjoyed hosting the contest – and reading your submissions. And we hope that you’ve enjoyed the contest, too — and found our comments, as well as those of others, helpful.

But, the contest is not over yet! Click here to vote for your favorite finalist – voting ends on March 11th. And don’t forget to stop by the Finalist pages to read what our agent and editor judges have to say. Theresa Stevens of Red Sage Publishing has already commented on the entries!

Also, Leigh and I will still be around. So, if you still have comments on the Finalists or Mini-Critique winners, please leave us a note.

And, here’s the link to vote for the winning Finalist: Please pass it along to everyone you know and tell them to vote!

So, without further delay, here’s this week’s winners…

Week 8 Finalist

Week 8 Mini-Critique Winners

Lastly, we’d love to get your feedback on the contest. Before the contest ends, please take a moment to complete our survey.