2015 Rules

2015 OCW Cascade Writing Contest and Awards Rules

Entries that fail to follow these guidelines will be disqualified. Entry fees are not refundable.

Download a PDF printable checklist HERE for each of your entries!

Eligibility: The Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest is open to all writers. However, entries should not contain profanity, graphic sex, or any other distasteful or objectionable material. Those that do will be disqualified and the associated entry fee is non-refundable. All entries must be original works of the author or authors.

Deadline: All entries must be received by midnight Pacific Daylight Time March 31. Mailed entries must be postmarked by midnight March 31.

Limits: Authors may submit a maximum of three entries. Do not submit the same piece in different categories. Each entry must contain a separate entry form and separate fee, though contestants with more than one entry may make one payment for the combined total.

Unpublished: All entries in this category must be original and never have been published in any form, including on the Internet or in a newsletter. They also should not include art or illustrations. Authors who have published previously in a genre cannot submit unpublished work in that same genre.

Submission: Entries will be accepted beginning at midnight on February 14, 2015. All entries except for published books must be submitted electronically upon entry to cascade@oregonchristianwriters.org. In the subject line of the submission email, list your last name and the category you’re entering. For example, “Johnson Unpublished Fiction Book” or “Denham Unpublished Poetry.”

All entries must be in English.

All unpublished entries must:

  • Be generated from a computer in 12-point type (Times or Times New Roman) and double-spaced with one-inch margins.
  • For books, include a one-page, single-spaced synopsis with no blank lines between paragraphs.
  • Indent each new paragraph (set the half-inch default instead of indenting five spaces, which is an old rule based on manual typewriters).
  • Use three asterisks for scene breaks in fiction entries.
  • Include the manuscript title (but not author’s name) and category at the top left and the page number at the top right of each page.
  • Be submitted electronically as a Word (or other compatible word-processing program) document attached to the email by 11:59 p.m., March 31.

Do not:

  • Include your name on any page of the unpublished manuscript—only on the entry form and email subject line.
  • Exceedmaximum page limits or word counts. (Check category descriptions for guidelines.)

Published Print Book Entries:

  • To enter, fill out the online entry form and submit payment electronically.
  • Mail three (3) copies of the hard-copy book for each entry (if the book is selected as a finalist, an additional two copies will be required) to the OCW Contest mailing address postmarked by March 31. See Published Entry Books Guidelines below.

Published e-books:

E-books (published during 2014 for the first time) are welcome and must be submitted in one of the following ways:

  • A link where judges can access your e-book in any format (Nook, Kindle, pdf) at no cost or:
  • Three printed copies of your book (if the book is chosen as a finalist, two more copies will be required) mailed to the OCW Contest address with a postmark no later than March 31 (see Published Category Entry Guidelines below).

Published Articles, Devotionals, Poems, and Other Short Entries:

Attach a pdf file of the scanned article as published that includes the name of the publication, publication date, and the title of the piece. Send to cascade@oregonchristianwriters.org. Please black out your name or any other identifying information before creating the pdf or jpg.

Notification: Entrants will be notified by email that their entry is complete once the electronic entry form and payment, as well as the entry itself have been received. Three finalists in each category will be announced June 1 and one winner in each category will receive an award at the Cascade Awards August 12th during the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Coaching Conference at the Red Lion Hotel on the River in Portland.

Awards: Finalists who attend the OCW Summer Coaching Conference August 10–13 will have a ribbon on their name tags identifying them as finalists in the Cascade Awards, increasing their visibility with editors and agents attending the conference.

Authors retain all copyright to their work, but Cascade Award winners agree to let OCW publish a brief biography and their winning entry titles on the OCW website.

Entry fees: Entry fee is nonrefundable. OCW members pay $30 for a published book entry (fiction book, nonfiction book, memoir, young adult/middle grade book, children’s chapter book, and children’s picture book) and $25 for all other categories. Nonmembers pay $40 to enter a published book and $35 for shorter categories. (Note: You may become a member at the time you submit your contest entry form, and you will be instructed to pay electronically whether you submit electronically or send copies of an already published book. Those details will be available when the entry process begins February 14.)

Published Category Entry Guidelines: (Independently or self-published books are eligible.) Entries must have been published for the first time during 2014 and have a 2014 copyright date.

An entry consists of three hard copies of the book in each category. (See information about submitting e-books.)Finalists will be asked to send another two copies. It is not necessary to black out the author’s name on published books.

Mail published book entries to:

OCW Cascade Writing Contest mailing address for published books only is listed until the end of the contest date. The instructions below is for your information only in preparing for next year’s contest.

The above address is for published hard-copy books and e-books in print form only. Nothing sent to this address will be returned. Sending anything except published books to the mailing address will disqualify the entry. All other submissions are to be electronic. Hard copies of entries that do not adhere to the rules or should have been sent electronically will not be returned or given consideration if sent by US Mail to this address.

  • Contemporary Fiction Book
  • Historical Fiction Book
  • Speculative Fiction Book
  • Nonfiction Book
  • Memoir Book
  • Young Adult/Middle Grade Fiction and Nonfiction Book
  • Children’s Chapter Book (age 6–8) and Picture Book (age 2–10+) Fiction and Nonfiction

The following short published entries must be submitted electronically. Published short entries must have been published in 2014 for the first time. Send scanned copy of piece as published that includes the name of the publication, publication date, and title of the piece as a pdf attachment to cascade@oregonchristianwriters.org. Please black out your name or any other identifying information before creating the pdf or jpg.

Poetry: An entry consists of a single poem not to exceed 1,000 words.

Devotional: An entry consists of one devotional not to exceed 600 words, including the quoted Scripture.

Article, Column, or Blog Post: Anentry consists of the article, column, or blog post, NOT to exceed 2,000 words.

Short Story/Flash Fiction: A single entry consists of: A short story of 1,000–2,000 words; flash fiction up to 1,000 words.

Unpublished Category Entry Guidelines: (Open only to those writers who have never published in this genre either online or in print.) No illustrations or art of any kind.

Note: “Published” or “Unpublished” refers to the writer, not the piece. If you have published in a particular genre, you are considered published in that genre and as such cannot enter that category of the contest.

All unpublished entries must be submitted electronically. Submissions should comply with the guidelines and formatting and be submitted as a Word (or other compatible word-processing program) document as an email attachment and sent to cascade@oregonchristianwriters.org.

An entry in the unpublished book category consists of a one-page synopsis and the first 15 pages of the manuscript for the following book categories:

  • Contemporary Fiction Book
  • Historical Fiction Book
  • Speculative Fiction Book
  • Nonfiction Book
  • Memoir Book
  • Young Adult/Middle Grade Fiction Book

Children’s Chapter Book (age 6–8) and Picture Book (age 2–10+) Fiction and Nonfiction: Entry consists of a one-page synopsis and the first 10 pages of the manuscript for Chapter Books, but for a Picture Book submit the entire text of the book (no illustrations). The text of picture books is rarely more than a paragraph consisting of approximately three to five lines per page. Format your text in block paragraph style, with each block representing a page. Leave four blank lines between each block paragraph.

Poetry: An entry consists of a single poem not to exceed 1,000 words.

Article or Column: An entry consists of the article or column NOT to exceed 2,000 words.

Devotional: An entry consists of one devotional NOT to exceed 600 words, including the quoted Scripture.

Short Story/Flash Fiction: Short Stories: 1,000–2,000 words; Flash Fiction up to 1,000 words.

All finalists will be listed in the OCW Summer Conference Notebook. A framed award certificate will be given to the winner in each category.

Awards Presentation: The awards will be presented to winners the evening of August 12, 2015, at the OCW Summer Coaching Conference in Portland. Presentation starts at 7 p.m.

Further Information:

Cancellation: OCW reserves the right to eliminate a category if it receives fewer than three entries. If a category is canceled, anyone who has entered in that category will receive a full refund. (This is the only instance when an entry fee will be refunded.)

The Judges

Finals judges are carefully selected from the Christian publishing industry. Preliminary judges include bookstore owners, writers, editors, teachers, librarians, pastors, and others interested in the written word. Judges will not know the names of the authors whose manuscripts are submitted electronically. They will, however, be aware of the author’s name of each published book they review.

Names of the judges will remain anonymous, but their background/qualifications may be noted on score sheets—e.g., published novelist, book editor, etc. Score sheets will be returned to contest entrants to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement. Although judging is subjective, the decisions of judges are final. (Click HERE: Cascade Score Sheet for a downloadable PDF of the Score Sheet.)

OCW claims no responsibility for the outcome of this contest—acting simply as the coordinator for contest entries, sending the entries to the judges, and receiving and tabulating their score sheets.

All monies (after contest processing and awards costs) generated by the entry fees for this contest will go into the OCW summer conference fund.

Please direct questions to the OCW Cascade Writing Contest and Awards co-chairs at cascade@oregonchristianwriters.org.

 

Check Also

Congratulations to the 2015 OCW Writer of Promise, Lynn Hare. At the Awards reception with conference director, Lindy Jacobs and Cascade Awards co-chair,Marilyn Rhoads.

2015 Cascade Award Winners

Published Published Contemporary Fiction Book All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti Published Historical Fiction Book …