The 2014 OCW Cascade Writing Contest will open February 14, and the deadline for entries will be March 31. Finals judges include top professionals in the field of Christian writing and publication. Awards will be presented to the winners during the annual Summer Conference at the Red Lion Hotel on the River in Portland, 7:00 p.m., August 6, 2014.
You do not need to be an OCW member to enter. Contestants need not be present at the Summer Conference to win.
“Contests are a great way to get your work known and get feedback from professionals. Finalists will have their work read by top Christian publishing house editors and agents.” Lindy Jacobs, Summer Conference Director
The Cascade Writing Contest is for published and unpublished writers, and features a number of categories and genres. It is our hope that the contest will not only reward excellent writing, but will also encourage both seasoned and emerging writers, as well as provide a valuable reference for a writer’s résumé.
About the Contest
Our carefully selected judges will receive score sheets for each entry to aid in scoring and to provide contestants with helpful feedback on their submissions. (You can see the Scoring Sheet here.)
Each category below (see below) will have a winner, and all the finalists will be featured in our Summer Conference notebook as a Cascade Writing Contest Finalist, with special pages designated for the winners.
The Cascade Writing Contest is open for both published and unpublished works in the following categories:
- Contemporary Fiction Book
- Historical Fiction Book
- Speculative Fiction Book
- Nonfiction Book
- Memoir Book
- Young Adult/Middle Grade Fiction Book
- Young Adult /Middle Grade Nonfiction Book
- Children’s: Chapter Book (6–8) and Picture Book (2–10+) Fiction and Nonfiction
- Poetry (up to three poems or from a published collection)
- Devotional (one devotional)
- Article, column, story, or blog post
Our Finals judges have been carefully selected from within the Christian writing industry. Preliminary judges include book store owners, writers, editors, teachers, librarians, pastors, and others interested in the written word.
The Finals judges include:
Susan Brower (Natasha Kern Agency), Don Pape (NavPress), Sally Apokedak (Les Stobbe Agency), Nick Harrison (Harvest House), William K Jensen (William K Jensen Literary), Mary Sue Seymour (The Seymour Agency), Joanna Echols (Focus on the Family), Jeff Gerke (Writer’s Digest author), Sherri Langton (Bible Advocate), Susan King (The Upper Room), Leslie Gould, Jane Kirkpatrick, Becky Miller, P.K. Hallinan, Jennifer Anne Messing, Donita K. Paul, Jill Williamson
- February 14, Valentine’s Day: 2014 Contest entry forms will be posted on the OCW website and submissions may begin. Contest is OPEN February 14!
- March 31: Electronic submissions deadline and last day to mail published book entries.
- June 1: Finalists announced.
- August 6: Cascade Awards, 7:00 p.m., followed by keynote address by Allen Arnold.
OCW Special Awards: We will also be presenting two special honorary awards to OCW members at the Cascade Awards. The award recipients will be chosen by the OCW Board of Directors and the Cascade Awards Committee.
- The Trailblazer Award for a writer who has distinguished him/herself in the field of Christian writing.
- The Writer of Promise Award for a new author who has shown unusual promise in the field of Christian writing.
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20 niv)