Contests for Authors
A Resource for Writers
This is by no means a comprehensive list of contests.
page spotlights contests I have entered,
some I have won won, and some are contests run by people I know
so I'm confident that they
It also includes some lesser-known contests which
new authors a better chance at winning.
Scroll down for a how-to article on contests
and and the short,
but valuable contest list.
Click Here for
Recent Media Releases.
Use them as resources (some of them announce my contest wins).
as templates for your own contest coups.
Contests as Valuable
Everybody Loves a
(This is an excerpt from
the 2nd Edition of
The Frugal Book Promoter: )
CONTESTS: Awards Set Your Book Apart But Ya Gotta Enter Contests
to Get 'Em
I pity the poor reader these days. Reviews can’t be relied on
for unbiased opinions, so a reader may have trouble telling
which book is most likely to set her heart a’ beating. As she
shops, she often turns to the blurbs or endorsements on the back
of the book. She may read a few of the first pages. But a book
that has won a contest for book awards from organizations like
Jeff Keene’s USA Book News award (usabooknews.com)
or the New Millennium award (indiebookawards.com.com)
or, yes, from universities like Columbia’s Pulitzer, will
probably clinch a sale faster than many others.
Let’s take that one step farther. Authors who have won literary
contests (contests run by journals, publishers and the like for
poetry, short stories, novellas, novels and other literary
entities) also gets bragging rights that might get inserted into
their media kits, query letters, and Web sites. That makes it
easier to sell a promotion idea (or a next book!) than someone
who is new to writing. Gatekeepers—anyone from acquisition
editors to feature editors at newspapers—can be influenced by a
contest. Make that a contest win, place, or show. It may be
what’s needed to set you apart from the many authors clamoring
for attention. In fact on a slow news day, just about any award
looks like a nugget of gold to a busy editor.
So why are authors so ready to hate contests? Fear of rejection
is an easy answer. An article in the revered Poetry &
Writers’ magazine mentions that writers often consider
contests rigged and resent the fees (usually from free to $25
for literary contests and from free to $125. for book awards.).
The magazine article pointed out that publishers and
organizations become dependent on the fees they charge for
contests and note that rarely does an unknown author win. I’m
not sure the last part isn’t sour grapes; the point of many
contests is to find delicious new voices that will keep the
not-so-voracious appetite of publishers for new material well
fed. If it is the truth, perhaps we should do something to hone
our own skills to approximate those of more established authors.
There are other benefits to contests. Some offer critiques of
entries—a value that cannot be overestimated in terms of
learning more about the contest-winning process and one’s craft.
Some publishers sponsor contests to attract submissions of great
Regardless of the category (and there are some that don’t seem
to fit neatly into either category), a contest win is a contest
win is a contest win in terms of marketing.
Some contests only accept nominations from publishers. You may
need to prod your publisher a bit if you know of a contest for
which you think your book would be suitable.
Here are some guidelines for using contests to gain exposure and
expand your credentials:
Choose contests that fit the size of your pocketbook. No-fee
contests work well until you refine your contest IQ. Those
include following submission guidelines to the nth
degree and selecting contests that suit your material
and your voice. Pick contests that impose fees at least as
carefully as you might select a tomato from the produce
department at your market. Sometimes journals that award
prizes to the best work submitted for their pages in a given
year are a good, frugal way to start.
Choose contests based on the kind of writing you do. Read up
on past winners. Examine past winners for genre, voice,
Find contests from a source that lists less popular contests
as well as those that have names attached to them like
Hemingway, Faulkner, and Pulitzer. (See resources for
finding some later in this chapter and some I like because
even beginners have a chance at winning on my Web site at
Pay attention to the contest’s guidelines, except for
the one that calls for no simultaneous submissions. This
rule is patently unfair to the author. You know it and they
know it. It’s a rule, not a law. It is a courtesy, however,
to notify those contests or journals you have submitted to
if your entry wins elsewhere.
To increase your chances and to keep you from worrying about
each entry, submit work to several contests at a time.
Keep track of entries so you don’t submit the same material
to the same contest twice.
Some journals still don’t accept online entries. Don’t recycle
paper copies that have been returned to you. Editors complain
about entries that look as if they have spent a night in the
Find suitable contests on the Web, in books, and through
organizations. Here are a few leads:
Use the “Deadlines” section of Poetry & Writers
magazine to find reputable contests. Most are very
competitive and charge fees. Check them out at
CRWROPPS is an announcement list for contests and calls for
submissions. To subscribe send an e-mail to
A fat volume called Writer’s Markets (budurl.com/WritersMarkets)
publishes an updated edition each year. It lists contests,
publishers, agents, and tons more. Buy the book and get
online access to updates.
Check professional organizations like your local Press
Women, the National Federation of Press Women, and the
Wisconsin Regional Writers’ Association (WRWA).
Do a Google search on “writing contests” plus your genre.
Subscribe to Winning Writers newsletter at
I love this one for finding free contests.
Once you’ve won a contest—finalist or first place—you are
Add this honor to the Awards page of your media kit. If it’s
your first award, center it on a page of its own. Oh! And
Write your media release announcing this coup.
Post your news on media release distribution sites that
allow you to post your release yourself. Find a list of
these sites at
Notify all your professional organizations.
Notify bookstores where you hope to have a signing and those
where you have had a signing.
Notify your college and high school. Some have press
offices. Most publish magazines for alumni and their current
Add this information to the signature feature of your e-mail
Add this honor to the biography template you use in future
media releases—the part that gives an editor background
information on you.
Use this information when you pitch TV or radio producers.
It sets you apart from other others and defines you as an
If your book wins an award, order embossed gold labels from
a company like
You or your distributor can apply them to your books’
covers. If you win an important award, ask your publisher to
redesign your bookcover or dustcover to feature it a la
the Caldecott medal given for beautifully illustrated
children’s books? If you don’t know this medal, visit your
local bookstore and ask to see books given this award.
Be sure your award is front and center on your blog, your
Web site, your Twitter wallpaper, and your social network
Your award should be evident on everything from your
business card to your checks and invoices.
Robert W. Schaefer, one of the readers of the first edition of
The Frugal Book Promoter, wrote to tell me that he would
appreciate a plan of attack for getting an award for a book:
First and foremost, write a great book. One with great content.
One that is organized well. A reminder here. It’s almost
impossible to do this without some personal guidance, which is
why I recommend writers conferences (see the next section of
this chapter), and well-vetted writing classes in your genre.
When you change genres, take another class. Do it even if you
have been supremely successful at writing in another genre.
Authors who have achieved stature should be especially cautious
about embarrassing themselves by launching into another arena
without knowing all the new stuff they need to know. Poetry is
not fiction. Writing a romance requires some skills science
fiction does not, and vice versa. Journalists have a great
start, but they’ll find knowing more about some elements of
fiction like dialogue may inform their news stories as well as
help them write a better novel.
Get your book edited by a professional editor. You’ll have an
easier time of selling it if you do this before you begin the
submission process, and because many publishers have cut their
editing budgets, you’ll be more assured that the job is done
well enough to have it qualify for an award. Read my The
Frugal Editor (budurl.com/TheFrugalEditor)
to know more about editing and how to choose a qualified one.
If you are self publishing, hire an excellent book cover artist.
Mind you, I didn’t say a graphic designer or fine artist. People
like Chaz DeSimone (desimonedesign.com)
know things about book cover design and marketing pitches that
others may not know.
If you are self publishing, hire a good formatter or interior
book designer, too, one that knows the intricacies of
frontmatter, backmatter, headers, footers, and page numbering.
If you write nonfiction, learn the art of indexing. It isn’t as
easy as the word processing programs seem to make it, but I
think it’s one uphill battle that’s worth fighting on your own
because no one will know your book—know what you feel is
important for your reader to know—like you do. There are, of
course, also excellent professional indexers who will work
closely with you. If your publisher provides an index for you,
check it to see if important categories or details have been
Follow the guidelines above for finding the perfect contest, one
that is a match for your book.
Attack this process with confidence and be willing to make an
investment of time and some money.
As you can see, the more you know about publishing, the better
equipped you will be to produce a product (and your book is a
product!) you can be proud of—perhaps even a prize-winning book.
You wouldn’t expect to become a computer programmer without
knowing how the hardware worked, now would you?
Carolyn Howard-Johnson promotes her multi award-winning poetry
and fiction using contests of all kinds. She also sponsors
contests as a way to market her writing career. Learn more about
her methods in any one of her HowToDoItFrugally series of books
That series has won five awards and the marketing campaign for
The Frugal Editor won the New Millennium award for marketing.
Permission to reprint her articles on your blogs, in your
newsletters or elsewhere is readily available at
Contests for Your Consideration
Scroll down for poetry contests.
The contests below are contests that accept entries
for books in many categories, from traditional, small press, subsidy press and
self-published books. The ones I've entered and won I can personally
recommend but It is your responsibility to research contests
that you pay to enter. Some are more prestigious than others. There is
always a chance that a contest could be a scam. But winning any contest
can be an opportunity for recognition and promotion (scroll up and down
to see articles on this subject).
Writers Advice.com's Scintillating
This contest is rare in that it allows an author to enter (and win!)
before her book is published. That means she can use the win to help her
(or her agent) to sell her book to a publisher or use it immediately (on
the cover of her book?)--even if she is self-published. The first
chapter of my new novel
Divided won in 2016.
Writer Advice is headed by B. Lynn Goodwin.
Reader Views Annual Literary Award
Reader Views Annual Literary Awards are granted in 20 fiction
and 30 nonfiction categories, as well as 15 specialized,
sponsored categories. The entries are judged by Reader Views
reviewers, all avid readers with a wide range of experiences,
considered experts in their respective fields.r
Reader Views is an Austin, Texas, based company that publishes reviews
and offers publicity services to authors. Now they are a one-stop
center for budding authors. Please check for changes at
Feathered Quill Book Awards
offers a low nomination feel, special awards for self-published
books, and monetary prizes.
www.featheredquill.com. It’s been advertised in IBPA’s (Independent
Book Publishers Association) print magazine.
Book Contest Searches for Green . . .
The 2009 Green Book Festival
has issued a call for entries to its annual competition honoring books
that contribute to greater understanding, respect and positive action on
the changing worldwide environment.
The 2009 Green Book Festival will consider published, self-published and
independent publisher works in the following categories: non-fiction,
fiction, children's books, teenage, how-to, audio/spoken word,
comics/graphic novels, poetry, science fiction/horror,
biography/autobiography, gardening, cookbooks, animals, photography/art,
e-books, wild card (anything goes!), scientific, white paper, legal and
Entries can be in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese or Italian. Our
grand prize for the 2009 Green Book Festival Author of the Year is $1500
and transportation to our April, 2009 Earth Day celebration in Los
Angeles OR an equivalent amount donated in your name to the
environmental charity of your choice.
A panel of judges will determine the winners based on the following
1) The overall writing style and presentation of the work;
2) The potential of the work to enhance understanding of the environment
and its issues;
TO ENTER: Entry forms are available online at http://www.greenbookfestival.com
or may be faxed/e-mailed to you by calling our office at 323-665-8080.
The Green Book Festival is produced by JM Northern Media LLC, producers
of the Hollywood Book Festival, New York Book Festival and DIY
Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books and is sponsored by
eDivvy, Larimar St. Croix Writers Colony, Westside Websites and
Clive Cussler Award
The Clive Cussler is for adventure writers: Here is the link.
The Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize
The Noble (Not Nobel!) a feature of MyShelf.com,
sponsored by Carolyn
Howard-Johnson. It is her answer to the Nobel and is for poets and
literary writers only. Learn more at
http://www.myshelf.com/backtoliterature/column.htm Check the archives on the Back to Literature
Column page for past winners and guidelines. This contest is free, but a
copy of the book is required.. Anyone may nominate a book.
From one of the winners of the Noble (Not Nobel!): "I can't tell you
what an honor it is to have Healey's
Cave up on your 9th Annual Noble (not Nobel!) Prize for
Literature awards. I'm thrilled, I'm deeply honored, and I love what you
wrote about it! I'm about to send out a big email blurb with links
to your site and thanks to you - and I am going to post about it all
over creation. Natch. ;o) " ~Aaron Paul Lazaar, winner 2010.
Hollywood Book Festival Awards
The Hollywood Book Festival holds a
contest in conjunction with its fair each year. Learn more at
This contest should not be confused with the
West Hollywood Book Fair events.
USA Book News Award
This one is a favorite of mine. The name carries clout for readers.
Director, Jeffrey Keene
Society of America
A modest membership fee entitles your to
have your book fairly reviewed and then nominated by the reviewers for
awards. You need not be military or even write about military subjects
to belong to this supportive group (
http://mwsadispatches.com ). Here is the slideshow they
put out this year featuring their award finalists:
Global E-Book Awards
This contest from Dan Poynter et. al. offers tons of benefits to the
authors of nominated books and winners. Just following the process will
help authors new to marketing understand the process--especially how to
make awards work for them.
California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA) Award
Books and illustrators may be nominated by publishers, booksellers or
others in the publishing industry on
SCIBA's site anytime, but there is a deadline each year. Those
nominated must live in Southern California--from Morro Bay south to the
Mexican border. Winners are featured in their annual holiday catalog.
You can also subscribe to the catalog with a complete list of SCIBA's
Southern California independent booksellers.
The Nebula Award
This is an award offers awards for different kinds of books
(novella, novel, etc) in the science fiction and fantasy genres. http://www.sfwa.org/awards/
Next Generation Indie Book Award
The HowToDoItFrugally Web site was
part of the overall marketing campaign that won Carolyn Howard-Johnson the Next Generation
Indie award for marketing.
Enter the Next Generation Indie Book Awards to have your book considered
for cash prizes, awards, exposure, possible
representation by a leading literary agent,
and recognition as one of the top
independently published books of the year!
Next Generation Indie Book Awards, 19 Horizon
View Court, Calgary, Alberta, CA, T3Z 3M5
By the way, second edition of The Frugal Editor (e-book)
came in as a finalist in this contest in 2014, only after the great
academy award director Steve McQueen.
Steve McQueen, The
Cooler King: His Life Through His Movie Career,
by Richard Sydenham (Big
Star Creations) (ISBN 978-0992684808)
Digestible Essays on Stem Cells and Modern Medicine,
by Teisha J. Rowland
(Self-Published) (ISBN 978-1304276261)
I've Got Some Good
News and Some Bad News;
YOU'RE OLD Tales of a
Geriatrician: What to Expect
in Your 60's, 70's,
80's and Beyond,
by David Bernstein, M.D.
(Self-Published) (ISBN 978-1479122806)
The Frugal Editor:
Editing Secrets for Authors:
From Your Query
Letter to Final Manuscript to the
Marketing of Your New
Howard-Johnson (HowToDoItFrugally) (ISBN N/A)
Word Up! How to Write
Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs
(And Everything You
Build from Them),
by Marcia Riefer
The New North Street Book Prize for
I love this one because it is new (which is
often an advantage for entrants), because it offers career-boosting
benefits for those who enter as well as those who win, and because it is
sponsored by WinningWriters.com, a long-respected Web site.
a Sponsor of the First-Ever
North Street Book Prize
British Book Contest Offers Americans Awards
The London Book Festival offers a
contest with a trip to London as a prize.
Learn more at
Nautilus Book Awards
Book Awards has 33
categories. For life and world-changing
books. I love the purpose of this award--to
highlight books that celebrate important
subjects--but I don't recommend it for
authors on a budget. The author gets nothing
beyond what most contests offer for the
$185.00 fee. No critique. No support beyond
award stickers. Books that tackle important
subjects may well win in other contests for
less than half the price.
Erica Hoffer Book Award
SMALL PRESSES * ACADEMIC PRESSES
* MICRO PRESSES *
SELF-PUBLISHERS -- $1,500 GRAND PRIZE -- LOW
ENTRANCE FEE .
New or old, we want to read your book. …
Each year, independent publishers release
extraordinary books to little or no
recognition. The Eric Hoffer Book Award
recognizes excellence in publishing. A
single submission gives you five ways to
win: By genre, press, the Montaigne Medal,
the da Vince Eye, and the Hoffer grand
prize. There is a category for every book.
(See submission guidelines below or check
our listing in Writer’s Market or visit
www.HofferAward.com.) There is a $1,500
grand prize. Deadline is usually in January
of each year.
* $1,500 GRAND PRIZE (the Eric Hoffer Award
* Winner of the Montaigne Medal for most
* Winner of the da Vinci Eye for best cover
* Winner and First Runner-Up awarded for
* Honorable Mentions for every category
* Individual Awards for Micro, Small, and
Academic Presses, as well as Self-Published
* Coverage in The US Review of Books (www.theUSreview.com)
and on www.HofferAward.com
* Gold Seal Certificates
* Worldwide Exposure
CATEGORIES: Art, Poetry, General Fiction,
Commercial Fiction, Children, Young Adult,
Culture, Memoir, Business, Reference, Home,
Health, Self-Help/Spiritual, Legacy Fiction,
and Legacy Nonfiction.
In this tough economic time, your book is
always a great value, and the Eric Hoffer
Book Award is the most economical way to
achieve publicity and recognition. Read
previous contest coverage in the US Review
of Books (www.theUSReview.com) and view past
winners and press releases at
Internet payment for entrance fee now
www.HofferAward.com ) Also submission
Moonbeam Children's Book Awards is open to authors,
illustrators, and publishers of children’s books written in English. Go to:
Mom's Choice Awards
for Children’s Books with Special Discount for HowToDoItFrugally
Are you using awards programs a part of your marketing and
publicity strategy? If so, we hope you’ll consider the Mom’s Choice
Awards®! Their award winners represent the best in
family-friendly media ... which includes books, ebooks, and apps.
The Mom’s Choice Awards® is unique in many ways. Three things set the
MCA apart from other awards programs:
1) Your entry is matched with five evaluators, combining both subject
matter experts and consumers. The product is judged from a
parent/educator/consumer perspective – not by your industry peers.
2) Theirs is the only awards with an open cycle. That means you can
submit your work when it fits with YOUR marketing, promotional, or
launch schedule, not an arbitrary set of dates. Decisions are announced
within 120 days from receipt of your product.
3) Honorees receive educational and promotional support for as long as
they are marketing their work. Should your entry earn our seal, the
Mom's Choice Awards becomes an extension of your marketing and
promotional team — providing complimentary social media services and
low-cost exhibit opportunities at shows like the ABC Kids Expo, Book
Expo America, Int’l Toy Fair, and others.
I are also encouraged to take advantage of some of the information the
Mom's Choice Awards® offers.
Comparison Chart that shows how they match up
with other Awards Program
of the benefits that their Award-winners receive.
There is a fee to enter, but it is NOT a pay-for-award program. Judges
use a strict protocol for judging entries, and not everything makes the
grade. The fee helps offset operational costs of running a company -
like matching your book with the best judges for it. The fee is normally
$300 / entry (or series of up to three titles), but Terry Doherty has
given me a promotional code that will allow you to take $100 off that
To get the discount, simply enter the promo code "TD100" on the checkout
page of your online application.
- All styles and themes
- Submission period: September
- Total prizes: $4,000
- Accepts published and
- All styles and themes
- Submission period: April 15-September 30
- Total prizes: $4,000
- Accepts published and unpublished work
- Special award for verse that rhymes or has a traditional style
- Seeks humor poems
- Submission period: August 15-April 1
- Total prizes: $2,000
- No fee!
- Accepts published and unpublished work
Accessible Aid for Scholarships
UCLA Writers' Program Scholarship
Before I tell you about this new scholarship, let me
tell you a little story about Phyllis Gebauer. When I
went back to writing creatively, she was one of my first
teachers in the art of writing a novel at UCLA. She was
an amazing woman, fluent in English and Spanish, a
member of Phi Betta Kappa and author in her in her own
As an instructor, she always went a step
(or more!) beyond what the syllabus promised. The first
class I took from her was a long weekend course and she
went to the trouble afterward of suggesting that four of
those in her class form a critique group because we
wrote “in similar genres and had compatible goals.”
Several years later when she was writing her memoir, she
contacted us and asked if she could join our critique
group. It was as if the tables had been turned and now
we were helping her. Honestly, it was a bit intimidating
but she assured us that by now we were as professional
as she and knew as much about writing as she. Yes, we
were a bit puffed up about it.
She was with our group for several years
and in the midst of a new cozy mystery when she died of
lung cancer. It was a professional loss to us and to
UCLA and I miss her terribly. And now I find that there
is a new scholarship offered in her name. She was always
interested in helping those who didn’t have the means to
jumpstart their writing careers with the kind of vetted
education required to speed along their progress. And
I hope you will apply for this
scholarship if you qualify. If not, I hope you will
spread the word about it on your social networks, your
blogs, your critique groups and libraries—anyone who is
in a position to spread the word to writers.
Learn more about it at
on Contests from a New Fiction Writer
By Janet Kay Jensen
I recently published my first novel.
Because my publisher is a small regional
publisher and I am a virtual unknown in the
fiction writing world, I was anxious to
prove myself as well as and sell some books,
so I entered it in some published book
competitions. And I also needed the personal
validation. There. I said it.
There are many positive aspects to entering
writing contests for published and
unpublished works. Preparing work for a
competition can challenge you to improve and
try a new genre. Learning professional
manuscript preparation is another skill you
can learn by entering contests. Judges
notice every typo or other error, and that
can make the difference between winning or
not placing at all, so it’s an incentive to
turn in the cleanest manuscript you can
Some contests offer publication as part of
the prize. Consider this carefully before
you enter. If you’re eager to publish with
that organization and you’ve checked them
out, it can be an excellent opportunity to
launch or further your writing career. Some
competitions offer monetary awards, and
that’s always a plus.
It’s a good idea for a budding writer
to enter local contests sponsored by art
councils, state writing organizations,
schools, etc. Usually these contests have no
or minimal entry fees and provide valuable
feedback on their judging forms. Recognition
from doing well in a competition can lead to
good publicity and further opportunities, as
well as a boost in self-esteem. Placing in
writing contests also looks good on your
resume when you’re looking for an agent or
Some writers organizations advise against
entering contests that charge any entry fee
at all. From my experience, it costs money
to run a contest. Judges deserve
honorariums, though they are often
embarrassingly modest. Awards, even simple
certificates, cost money. Postage costs
money, too. Many legitimate contests charge
small fees to pay for their expenses and do
not make a profit.
So, before you enter any contest, research
it carefully. Fortunately, you can learn a
great deal by studying all the rules
thoroughly and reading feedback from
contestants, all of which can readily be
found on the web.
Beware of contests that are more expensive
to enter, as they may only be moneymakers
for the organizers. They can be a front for
vanity presses to hook unsuspecting writers
into then buying the books that contain
their “winning” entries. The truth is, in a
vanity publisher’s contest, most entries are
matter how distinguished the name of the
organization may sound,
it may still
An excellent resource to consult is
Do be cautious about recommendations.
Many who offer input have an agenda of their
own and some are downright scammy.
Entering published works:
Google “awards for published books”
and you will find many contests for
published books. Use the same criteria above
to evaluate the pros and cons of entering a
particular contest. Find competitions that
seem to fit your book and its subject.
Consider your budget. Costs can mount
quickly when they include entry fees and
sending multiple copies of your book at your
own expense. Choose the competitions that
suit you and your work.
Use your own good judgment in entering any
writing contest. The benefits can be
career-changing. There’s nothing like
writing “award winning author” before your
name in a media release, under your email
signature, on your Web site and blog, or in
any other publication.
Janet Kay Jensen is the award-winning author
of Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys
(Bonneville Books, Cedar Fort Press, 2007).
She is also co-author of The Book Lover’s
Cookbook, Recipes Inspired by Celebrated
Works of Literature and the Passages that
Feature Them (Wenger & Jensen,
Ballantine Books, 2003). In addition to
receiving numerous awards from the League of
Utah Writers, she is first runner-up in the
prestigious Best New Writers: Eric Hoffer
Award in Commercial Fiction contest, and was
named a finalist in religious fiction by
both USA Best Books 2007 and ForeWord
Magazine. Visit her web page at
www.janetjensen.com and her blog at
Editor's Note: This is what Janet's e-mail signature looks
like (see below). It includes contest wins that will
impress her readers! Those interested in
learning more about promoting with e-mail
signatures will find information on them and
hundreds more in
The Frugal Book Promoter.
First Runner-Up, Best New Writing: The Eric
Finalist, USA Best Books 2007 (religious
Finalist, Foreword Magazine's Book of the
Year (religious fiction)
Semi-Finalist, Reader Views Critics
Whitney Award Nominee for LDS authors
Honorable Mention, Marilyn Brown Unpublished
The Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired
by Celebrated Works of Literature and the
Passages that Feature Them
(Wenger & Jensen, Ballantine, 2003)
first novel, This Is the Place, won eight awards. Her second
book, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, creative
nonfiction, won three. An instructor for UCLA Extension’s
world-renown Writers’ Program, her book The Frugal Book Promoter:
How to Do What Your Publisher Won’t is recommended reading for
her classes, was named USA Book News’ “Best Professional Book"
and was given the Irwin Award. Her second book in the
How To Do It
Frugally series for writers is The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward
to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. It won USA Book News
and Reader Views Literary Awards and the campaign and was honored by
the New Generations Millennium Award.
It won New
Generations Marketing Award. Her chapbook of poetry
Tracings, was named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads
list and was given the Military Writers' Society of America's Silver
Award of Excellence. Her Celebration series of chapbooks with
Magdalena Ball are also garnering awards.
Her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for
retailers is also garnering awards. A
Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store
Promotions was a finalist in the USA Book
She is the recipient of the California
Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and
her community's Character and Ethics Committee awarded her work
promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena
Weekly's list of 14 "San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen."
Visit her awards page
for a more extensive list of her awards.
like more information find Carolyn's focused
media kits in her media room.
Media Kit for Program Directors
for Radio, TV, Conferences, Radio Shows
Media Kit for Book,
Entertainment and Feature Editors
Media Kit for focused on Carolyn's Poetry
and Literary Work
Media Kit for Reviewers
Media Kit for Retail
Recent Media Releases
Buy Links for
that are not fed die as readily as
any living organism
given no sustenance."
Studio photography by
3 Dimensional Book Cover Images by iFOGO
subscribe to Carolyn's FREE online newsletter send an
Learn more about Carolyn's newsletter and blog.
past issues of Carolyn's
Just for Kindle Anymore
Did you know that Amazon’s Kindle
e-books are a low-cost/no-cost way to access books
even if you don’t have a dedicated Kindle reader?
You can read Kindle's e-books on smartphones,
desktop computers and any e-device in between. You
can even store the books on the Amazon cloud.
Diana Schneidman, author and
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Sharing with Writers Newsletter
and get a FREE copy of
Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers
"I have been a professional writer 40 years, and am also a
tenured full professor of journalism. Carolyn's Sharing with
Writers newsletter is most useful for me--and for my
students. I emphasize to them that while research is 90% of
writing, and the actual writing is about 10%, there's another
100% out there called promotion. Carolyn shows numerous ways to
get the message to the mass media."
~Walter Brasch, author
"A decade of bettering writers' careers
with how-tos, tips, and publishing news."
Sharing with Writers
All things publishing with
an emphasis on book
promotion. Named to
101 Best Website list.
The New Book Review
Great way for readers, authors, reviewers and publicists to get more
mileage out of
a great review.
The Frugal Editor Blog
This is the Frugal, Smart
and Tuned-In Editor blog.
Covers editing, grammar, formatting and more.
Get the answers you need.
Carolyn's Media Kits
that includes presentations for writers' conferences, book fairs,
tradeshows, and other speaking; acting experience; and information on
available seminars and workshops.
Media release disseminators, content providers, and sites that accept book and author
information at no cost:
How-to books for writers,
reference books and books of inspiration for writers only! Any one will
make a great companion to The Frugal Book Promoter and The
Frugal Editor! It includes a list of helpful free e-books and
some CDs you can learn tons from, too!
Contests you can count on, and articles on how to promote with
contest.Use this page.
List of book
fairs, tradeshows, conferences and conventions.
Your aid to planning ahead.
Conferences: The Big and the Cozy. A
list of book
fairs, tradeshows, conferences and conventions. Your aid to planning
programs at US universities. (New Master of Science in Publishing listed!)
Digital (print-on-demand) printers.
review journals--some that review POD-published books.
...find at least one promotion, writing,
or tech tip on every page on this site. Sometimes you'll find two or
three! Happy browsing and collecting!
ABWA is a group of highly
skilled networkering women in business.
Military Writers' Society of America
Also, honorary member of
Writers of San Diego, Greater Los Angeles Writers Society
(GLAWS), IWOSC, and Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA)
Book Publicists of
(BPSC) Pix: Proud Irwin Award Winners
Carolyn and Janet
Selection of Carolyn's Past
2008, 09, 10, 11
Panel moderator, 2007
National Span College
Fellows presenter, 2007,
Co-sponsor and presenter,
2007, 08, 09, 10, 11
University of Dayton Erma
Bombeck Writers' Conference, 2006, 2008
Sisters in Crime,
Los Angeles Valley College Campus 2012, Rancho
Valley College Spring 2014
Wisconsin Regional Writers Association
Presenter, Keynote 2010
Three Panels 2013
Seminar Speaker, 2014
Keynote, 2013; 2014
Secrets of Great
Digging Up Memories and Bringing the Dead Back to
Judith Briles' Extravaganza,
Denver, CO, 2016
Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More
The New Book Review
Master's in English.org Online Universities'
101 Essential Sites for Voracious
Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
for Sharing with Writers blog.
Best Book Award for The Frugal Book Promoter (2004) and The Frugal Editor (2008)
and the Second Edition of The Frugal Book Promoter
Reader Views Literary Award for The Frugal Editor
New Generation Award for Marketing and Finalist for The Frugal Editor
Book Publicists of Southern California's Irwin Award
Military Writers Award of Excellence for
Tracings, A Chapbook of Poetry.
A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotion wins author Military
Writers Society of America's Author of the Month award for March, 2010
Award from Military Writers Society of America, 2010.
MWSA also gave a nod to
She Wore Emerald Then,
a chapbook of poetry honoring mothers.
Named #! on Top Ten
Editing Books list.
New Generation Book Awards 2012,
The Frugal Book
Promoter; Finalist 2010
The Frugal Editor;
Winner 2010 Marketing Campaign for the Frugal Editor
The Oxford Award
alumna who exemplifies the Delta Gamma precept of
service to her community and who, through the years,
devotes her talents to improve the quality of life
Book Promoter is runner-up in the how-to category for
Los Angeles Book Festival 2012
Winner Diamond Award
for Achievement in the Arts
California's Arts and Culture Commission and the City of
And more than a dozen other awards for Carolyn's novel, short story collection and poetry.
See the awards page on this site.
Making Contests Work for You
Contests can be great ways to promote. They don't have to be
famous contests like the Pulitzer. They don't have to be wins.
If you are a runner-up or a finalist, you can still use that
because it is news. Why enter if you're not going to utilize it
when you get that recognition!
This Web site is full of leads to resources like The Frugal Book
Promoter that will help you put your award to good use. Note the
left column of this page. Note that some awards are well known
and others not so. But all are there--proudly. That's because
when I promote a contest I benefit--but so does the contest. The
better known it gets, the better for me. That's a nice little
cycle of doing for others
Find at least one tip on writing,
promotion or tech on every page of this Web site.
As Featured in Publishers Weekly
This unique book is a multi award-winning book.
It paints a revealing picture of
America for those foreigners who will benefit
from a better understanding of America. Endorsed
by ambassadors, teachers and editors, it even
examines our culture, customs and language.
Amazon bookstores worldwide, at Vroman's in
Pasadena and other fine bookstores.
Proud to Support
World Wild Life
book of poetry
Pasadena Weekly Arts and Entertainment Section
All Proceeds to be donated to the World Wildlife Fund
Awards for Carolyn's aid to
better writing and
Winner Reader Views Award for Best
Winner USA Book News Award
Finalist Next Generation Book Awards
Winner Next Generation Book Awards for the
Marketing Plan for that book
Honorable Mention from Dan Poynter's Global
Book Publicists of Southern California (BPSC)
coveted Irwin Award
Carolyn on Pinterest
Authors! I repin your
books to my boards when you repin mine to yours!