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Wednesday
Aug172016

Categorizing Your Title in a Literary Awards Contest

With the end of summer approaching, the deadline for our annual literary awards contest gets closer and closer.  As the submissions coming in keep piling up, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some awards wisdom with our authors!

        Each literary awards contest has different guidelines, categories, and submission requirements. So when submitting to various contests, it is always a good idea to keep a log that not only keeps track of when you sent each one but also shows the guidelines, fees, categories you submitted to…etc. Doing this will help to keep track of the current submissions, and it will also create a chart with information about each contest, which will be helpful for upcoming books.

·         Authors are right to assume that the genre of their title should be the main category to enter in the contest. Does this mean that it must be the only one? The answer is no. A literary novel, for example, could also be historical fiction, mystery, thriller, or all of the above! Consider submitting the title in a few categories, or even submitting the title in different categories for different contests to improve the chances of scoring an award!

·         Choosing which category to enter in an awards contest is important mostly because the category selected will determine the judge who will read the book. If the author chooses to enter their Christian fiction title in the general fiction category, it will be reviewed by a judge who prefers to read general fiction. A better fit for the title would be the judge that reads Christian fiction titles. It is essential to choose the category that is the best fit for the book’s topic.

·         As some categories are more generalized, they will have more submissions than the more specific ones. In other words, the fewer the number of titles in a category, and the number of categories entered improves the chances of being picked as finalist or winner.

In the end, all authors want their title to win. When shooting to win, competitors need to make sure they give their submission the best possible chance. In my opinion, the key is to categorize the book correctly and even submitting in different categories applicable to the book’s topic. Keeping all this straight and organized will also help when strategizing submissions and make the process easier for your next title. For more information about the Reader Views Literary Awards, click here. 

Susan Violante is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, a book review and author publicity service where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors.  She is also Managing Editor of First Chapter Plus, an online e-Catalog that introduces books to Libraries, Bookstores, Media, Reviewers, Bloggers and Readers.

Susan published her first book : Innocent War: Behind An Immigrant's Past - Book 1 in 2009, and released her revised edition in 2011.  Her sequel to Innocent War, Emerging from the Rubble is scheduled to be published later this year. Tuma: The Tribe's Little Princess was published in 2014 under her own label, I Have Something To Say Press.

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