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The Laurel

COTT's yearly contest for published writers.
February 4, 2016-February 26, 2016 


As always at COTT, the outcome of the contest is in the hands of readers.

You’ve written the book of your dreams, now what do readers think? Enter the arena and find out.

Laurel 2016 Guidelines

The Laurel provides an opportunity for published novelists to have the first two chapters (or 3,500 words) of their work judged and critiqued by readers that are well versed in Christian fiction yet not a part of the CBA industry. 

ELIGIBILITY: Any Christian novel-length work (30,000+ words) that was published between January 1 and December 31 of 2015 is eligible for entry. All 2015 Clash champs are automatically included in the contest free of charge. Indie works accepted.

Please seek permission to enter more than one novel. Co-authored entries accepted. The novel should not contain profanity, graphic sex, or other objectionable material. Clash of the Titles staff reserves the right to reject submissions not meeting these requirements.

Submissions Open: Feb. 4th, 2016
Submissions Close: Feb. 26th, 2016
(or when submissions max is reached.)


LIMITED SUBMISSIONS: In order to not overburden our volunteer judges, we are limited in the number of submissions we can accept for the Laurel. Act soon!

FEE: $15 payable via Paypal
Paypal account: contactcott@gmail.com
You do not need Paypal to make a payment in this account. Choose "Pay with a credit card" on the bottom right of the screen. Make sure to put your own email address to sign in, and fill out the information. Your information will not be used in any other way or put on any list.
If Paypal is not an option for you or you'd like to request an invoice, please contact Senior Editor April Gardner at contactcott@gmail.com.

Send submissions to:

FORMAT: Manuscripts must be in Times New Roman, 12 pt font, double-spaced with pages numbered. One inch margins in Ms Doc (not Docx) or Rich Text Format (RTF). Insert a header which includes the novel’s genre nothing more. Judging is anonymous. Do NOT include your name anywhere in the document.

Please use the following format when naming the file: LAUREL2016_YourLastName
Entries not following the submission and formatting specifications will be returned. Entries may be resubmitted prior to the deadline. Entry fees for returned entries will not be refunded after the contest entry deadline has passed.

In the body of your email please include the following: author's name, title of novel, phone number.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:  Entries should contain a 250-300 word summary/synopsis as well as an additional 2-4 sentences stating the spiritual theme and how it is worked into the characters' lives. Including a key verse with the spiritual theme is optional but encouraged.

The first 3,500 words of the novel should immediately follow the summaries. Prologues are accepted, but will be included in the word count.

Round One. Begins March 4, 2016. By this date all entrants will have received an email notifying them whether or not their manuscript has moved on to Round Two. In this round submissions will be read by a group of judges who are comprised of the average reader of Christian fiction and who are in no way associated with the CBA industry. This includes agents, writers, avid reviewers, publicists, editors, etc. They are, in short, your audience.

Final Round. Begins April 11, 2016. By this date, all remaining entrants will be notified of whether their manuscript will be moving on. Only three manuscripts will be chosen for this round.

Upon request, authors may receive an anonymous digital copy of each of their judges’s scores and comments. Under no circumstance should comments given by a judge be used for publicity or promotional purposes without the express consent of the judge.

Winner will be announced May 2, 2016.

PRIZES: One first-place winner will be chosen. The winner will receive a special feature on Clash of the Titles' blog. A tour through COTT’s Blog Alliance. A beautiful engraved plaque. An internet radio interview with Cynthia Simmons.