Entries that fail to follow these guidelines will be disqualified. Entry fees are not refundable.
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 the contest deadline of midnight Pacific Daylight Time April 30. Entries submitted after midnight on April 30 or postmarked after April 30 will not be accepted.
Limits: Authors may submit entries in a MAXIMUM of three categories. Do NOT submit the same pieces in different categories. Each entry must contain a separate entry form and separate fee, which is not refundable.
Unpublished: The writer must be unpublished in this category. All entries in this category must be original and NEVER published in any form, including on the Internet. They also should NOT include art or illustrations.
Submission: All unpublished entries and published articles, columns, blogs, and poetry should be submitted ELECTRONICALLY to email@example.com . Electronic submissions should comply with the guidelines and formatting listed below and be submitted as a Word (or other compatible word-processing program) attachment to an email. In the subject line, list your last name and the category you’re entering. For example, “Gould Published Fiction Book” or “Denham Unpublished Poetry.”
All electronic entries must:
- Be in English.
- Be typed or printed from a computer in 12-point type (Times or Times New Roman) and double-spaced.
- Include a one-page, single-spaced synopsis with no blank lines between paragraphs. (BOOKS ONLY)
- Have the first lines of each new paragraph indented five spaces.
- 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 accompanied by the appropriate entry fee, which is not refundable, before it is sent on to the judges.
- Be submitted electronically as a Word (or other compatible word-processing program) document attached to the email.
- Include your name on any page of the manuscript—only on the entry form, envelope, and self-addressed stamped envelope.
- Exceed maximum page limits or word counts. (Check category descriptions for guidelines.)
Published Book Entries:
- Submit THREE (3) print copies of the book for each entry (this includes e books). Finalists will be required to send TWO additional copies.
- Mail the books to OCW Cascade Writing Contest and Awards, P.O. Box 719, Pleasant Hill, OR 97455. Include an entry form and payment for each title sent. This is for published books only. Nothing sent to this address will be returned. All other submissions are electronic—hard copies of things that are to be sent electronically will not be returned or given consideration if sent by US mail to this address.
Published Articles and Other Short Entries:
Attach a pdf file to your email of the scanned article as published that includes the name of the publication, publication date, and byline, or a Word document, double-spaced, with one-inch margins, and a heading that includes the name of the publication,
Entrants will be notified by email that their entry has been received if an email address has been provided. Three finalists in each category will be announced in July and one winner in each category will receive an award at the Cascade Awards August 14 during the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Coaching Conference August 12–15 at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion Hotel in Portland. Entrants need not be present at the summer conference to win.
Awards: Finalists who attend the OCW Summer Coaching Conference will have a ribbon on their name tags identifying them as finalists in the Cascade Awards and will be listed in the conference notebook, increasing their visibility with editors and agents attending the conference. In addition, finalists will automatically be in contention for the OCW Writer of Promise and Trailblazer Awards.
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 $25 for a published book entry (fiction book, nonfiction book/memoir, young adult book, children’s, and poetry/gift book) and $20 for all other categories. Nonmembers pay $40 for published books and $35 for shorter categories. (Note: You may become a member at the time you enter the contest and there will be the option of paying electronically whether you submit electronically or send copies of an already published book. Those details will be available when the entry process begins March 18.)
Make checks payable to OCW. Do NOT send cash.
Mail published book entries and all checks to:
OCW Cascade Writing Contest and Awards, P.O. Box 719, Pleasant Hill, OR 97455
Published Category Entry Guidelines: (Independently or self-published books are eligible.) Please do NOT submit anything published before 2012.
Fiction Book: Entry consists of three print copies of the book. Finalists will be asked to send another two copies of their books.
Nonfiction Book/Memoir: Entry consists of three print copies of the book. Finalists will be asked to send another two copies of their books.
Young Adult: Entry consists of three print copies of the book. Finalists will be asked to send another two copies of their books.
Children’s Book: Entry consists of three print copies of the book. Finalists will be asked to send another two copies of their books.
Poetry/Gift Book: Entry consists of three print copies of the book. Finalists will be asked to send another two copies of their books.
Article, Column, Short Story: Entry consists of the article, column, or story NOT to exceed 2,000 words.
Blog Post or Devotional: Entry consists of a blog post or devotional NOT to exceed 600 words.
Poetry: Entry consists of a MAXIMUM of three poems not to exceed 600 words each.
Unpublished Category Entry Guidelines: (Open only to those writers who have never published in this genre either online or in print.) Electronic submissions only. No illustrations or art of any kind.
Fiction Book: Entry consists of a one-page synopsis and the first 15 pages of the manuscript.
Nonfiction Book/Memoir: Entry consists of a one-page synopsis and the first 15 pages of the manuscript.
Young Adult: Entry consists of a one-page synopsis and the first 15 pages of the manuscript.
Children’s Book: Entry consists of a one-page synopsis and the first 10 pages of the manuscript. Note exception: Picture Book for Birth to Age 6, submit entire book.
Poetry/Gift Book: Entry consists of a one-page synopsis and the first 10 pages of the manuscript.
Article, short story, or column: Entry consists of the article, story, or column NOT to exceed 2,000 words.
Devotional: Entry consists of a devotional NOT to exceed 600 words.
Poetry: Entry consists of a MAXIMUM of three poems not to exceed 1,000 words apiece. Each poem begins on a new page. Poems should be single spaced within stanzas and double-spaced between stanzas
OCW Writer of Promise Award: A committee of judges will review all entries as well as all debut novels and works and select the OCW Writer of Promise. Finalists in the unpublished contest categories will automatically be considered for the Writer of Promise Award. Writer of Promise is given the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a contest judge.
Trailblazer Award: Winner of the Trailblazer Award will be selected by a committee of judges who will review all entries as well as recently published works. Finalists in the published contest categories will automatically be considered for the Trailblazer Award.
All finalists will be listed in OCW Summer Conference Notebook. Framed award certificates will be given to the top winner in each category. They also will be honored by fellow contestants, summer conference staff, editors, and agents at a special awards after-party.
Awards Presentation: The awards will be presented to winners the evening of August 14 at the OCW Summer Coaching Conference. Presentation starts at 7 p.m.
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.)
All judging will be done by qualified professional who will not know the names of the authors whose manuscripts are submitted electronically that they are reviewing. They will, however, be aware of the author’s name of each published book they review.
Names of judges will be anonymous, but their background/qualifications may be noted on 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.
OCW claims no responsibility for the outcome of this contest—we are acting simply as the coordinator for contest entries, getting the entries to the judges and receiving their score sheets.
All monies (after contest processing and awards costs) generated by the entry fees for this contest will go into the OCW conference fund.
Please direct questions to the OCW Cascade Writing Contest and Awards co-chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org .