The Chase the Dream contest starts January 1, 2010 and continues for 8 weeks:
This is absolutely the best bang for your buck contest there is. Authors Rachelle Chase and Leigh Michaels host the contest and really take the time to line up an all-star judging panel as well as offer a lot of great feedback on what works in an opening. Send your first 1000 words and Rachelle reads through the entries to choose a finalist each week for 8 weeks. If you don’t win the first week, keep on entering the same opening or another one the next week.
Check out the line up of agents and editors this year too! If you final, you get guaranteed feedback from them. Plus there are video blogs on the site about what each agent/editor is looking for in an opening. Then there’s the mini-critique winner each week. Leigh Michaels will go through and offer critique on a non-winning entry. I learned so much just following along!
Last year, I had just revamped my opening to Butterfly Swords. I took a deep breath and sent it in. This turned out to be the very first contest that Butterfly Swords finaled in. If you check out Week 4 from 2009, you’ll see a very rough draft of the opening scene — one of the few left online after I pulled my excerpts.
So polish up and send in that opening. I received two full requests, one editor and one agent, off of this contest alone. This really could be a dream come true. Good luck!