Rules and Regulations for
The 2014 Sandy Writing Contest

Categories & Final Round Judges
  • Romance - Tessa Woodward, Editor at HarperCollins
  • Mainstream Adult Fiction - Sarah Branham, Senior Editor at Atria
  • Suspense / Thriller / Mystery - Stephany Evans, President, FinePrint Literary
  • Fantasy / Science Fiction - Claire Eddy, Senior Editor at Tor/Forge Books
  • Children's & YA - Tracey Keevan, Senior Editor at Disney Hyperion
  • This contest is open to authors unpublished and published in novel length fiction, however the entry must be original and uncontracted as of the time of the contest deadline. No self-published or electronically published works allowed. A previously self-published (electronically published) author may enter a fresh work as long as it had not been professionally edited.
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • Length of entire manuscript for adult categories is between 90,000-110,000 words, children's 40-60,000 words, and YA up to 60,000-100,000 words. Sorry, no picture books or scripts.
  • All entries must be the author's original work and must not be contracted for publication prior to the entry deadline.
  • Manuscripts that have previously placed in this contest will no longer be eligible for entry in future contests.
  • In case of any ambiguity the contest coordinator will review eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
Entry Deadline & Fees:
  • The basic entry fee is $30 for Crested Butte Writer members, fee for all others is $35.
  • All entries must be received by midnight February 11, 2014. Payments (checks) snail mailed (USPS) to: The Sandy Writing Contest P.O. Box 1361 Crested Butte, CO 81224 must be postmarked by Feb, 12th.
  • We will only accept 250 entries. Once we receive 250 entries all others will be declined and returned.
  • Entry fees are nonrefundable.
  • The Crested Butte Writers reserve the right to return all entries and fees if a minimum number of 8 entries for each category are not received. Entrants will be contacted and will have the option to place their entry in another category before entries are returned.
  • This is a blind judged contest, meaning the judges will not know the identity of the author they're critiquing.
  • First round: First round judges are experienced critiquers and published authors. Each entry will be evaluated by 2 judges, using a standardized score sheet that varies slightly from genre to genre. Judges' decisions are final. If there is a discrepancy of more than 40 points between the 2 judges' scores, we will bring in a discrepancy judge and drop the lowest of the 3 scores. If both judges' scores are less than 140/167 then there will be no discrepancy judging. The three entries with the highest scores in each category will advance to the final round. All finalist entries must have at least a combined score of 300/334.
  • Judges are encouraged to comment on the scoresheets.
  • Finalists will be notified by email or phone around the middle of April.
  • Finalists will have the opportunity to edit their entries before final judging commences. In order to help our finalists offer the best product possible to the editors and agent, we offer all finalists one week to consider first round judges' feedback and resubmit a revised entry to be sent to the final judges.
  • Acquiring editors and agents will serve as final judges. They will determine the order of the top three entries in each category.
  • Only each submission entry (20 pg partial + 2 pg synopsis) is judged.
  • Winners will be announced Friday June 21st before the awards luncheon. All finalists attending the conference will be invited to sit together on a brief panel during the luncheon to share their writing journey with attendees. Finalists participation in the panel is optional.
  • The first place entries in each category will receive $60 and a certificate, second place will receive $35 and a certificate, and third place will receive $15 and a certificate.
Submission Guidelines:
  • Entries will be accepted in electronic (email attachment) submissions only. Name of category and title must be listed in the subject line of e-mail entry. RTF (rich text format) format only and the entry must be formatted in standard manuscript format described below. For help with RTF format go to Entry & Formatting Tips.
    • You will receive confirmation of the arrival of your entry. If you do not receive confirmation of entry within 2 days of sending, please email coordinator.
  • Send 1 copy of the first 20 double-spaced pages of your novel and up to a 2 page double-spaced synopsis for a total page count of 22 pages, emailed in RTF format as an attachment to:
  • Total entry must be in one file, synopsis must be placed at the end of an entry. The synopsis will be judged too. Do not send the entire manuscript! The contest coordinator will delete all electronic copies at the end of the contest.
  • To Enter:
    • Go to Enter The Sandy and fill out the entry form, then pay via Pay Pal at bottom of page.
    • Traditional Mail option is offered below electronic entry form.
  • Multiple Entries: Up to 2 entries in the same category will be accepted-as long as noted on the entry form and accompanied by payment. Writers may also submit entries to more than one category-however only one entry title may be submitted to one category.
    • For example, you cannot enter your book, Temple, to two different categories; you must pick the genre you feel it best fits under. But you can enter Temple as a thriller and your other manuscript, Walking in the Sun, as Mainstream Adult.
  • Failure to follow the rules and guidelines will disqualify the entry and forfeit your fee.
Entry Format: Industry standard
For help with formatting, please consult Entry & Formatting Tips.
  1. Font: Times New Roman, 12 pt, black ink only.
  2. 1-inch margins all around. Ragged right margins.
  3. Double spaced.
  4. 24-25 lines per page-with the exception of the last page of a chapter or the first page of each chapter, which MUST start one-third way down a new page.
  5. Header: Title and category & subgenre on left, page number on right.
    • Subgenre used simply to clarify story for judge. Subgenre Examples:
      • Romance - Traditional; Suspense; Paranormal; Historical; Regency; Time Travel: Fantasy; etc.
      • Mainstream Adult Fiction - Women's Fiction; Action/Adventure; Chick Lit; Historical (Character-based); Coming of Age; Western; General Fiction, etc
      • Suspense/Thriller - Legal Thriller; Medical Thriller, Biological/Technology Thriller; Spy Thriller; Action-Adventure Thriller; Police Thriller; Political Thriller, and Religious Thriller; name other type of Thriller.
      • Fantasy / Science Fiction - Fantasy; Supernatural Thriller, etc.
      • Children / YA - Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Coming of Age, etc.

***IMPORTANT: The author's name appearing anywhere on the entry will disqualify the submission and forfeit your fee! Entry is final-so please make sure you followed all the directions. No substitutions will be allowed.

Questions?? Call or email contest coordinator, Theresa Rizzo (303-848-2228)