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The Olympia

COTT's yearly contest for unpublished writers.

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

Submissions OPEN:
JULY 1, 2016 - July 22, 2016
2016 submissions are closed 

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

The OLYMPIA provides an opportunity for unpublished novelists to have the first  3,500 words (approximately two chapters) of their work judged and critiqued by readers who are well versed in Christian fiction but yet have no professional connection to the christian book publishing industry. In addition, the three finalists will have their work viewed and judged by three industry professionals.

And new this year, ALL entrants have the option to receive a critique from an industry professional, regardless of whether your entry wins (requires an additional fee. See Entry Form for details)

Within this page you will find information on:

2016 Prize Package

The winner of this year's Olympia Award receives the following lucrative package of tools and feedback

  • "Overall critique and consultation" from freelance editor, Kathy Ide

Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors and the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series (www.FictionDevo.com). She’s a full-time freelance editor/writing mentor. She teaches at writers’ conferences across the country and is the director of the Orange County Christian Writers' Conference (www.occwc.com). She’s the founder and director of the Christian Editor Connection (www.ChristianEditor.com) and The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (www.TheChristianPEN.com). To find out more about Kathy, visit www.KathyIde.com.

  • Paperback copy of Kathy Ide's Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

Learn how best-selling authors proofread their manuscripts to avoid typos, inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling. 

Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, by professional freelance author, editor, and proofreader Kathy Ide, is the essential go-to tool for aspiring and experienced writers and editors. This book includes all of the material from Ide s popular Polishing the PUGS book (now out of print), with added PUGS guidelines and helpful tips from multi-published authors on how to catch typos and other common mistakes. 

In Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, Kathy Ide identifies the industry-standard references for books, magazines, and newspapers (which are different from the guidelines for other types of writing, such as college term papers). Using these official references, she highlights the most common mistakes writers make in the areas of punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling (for which she uses the acronym PUGS). She also includes guidelines from The Christian Writer's Manual of Style for authors and editors who work in the inspirational market.

Completely searchable and easy to use, The Chicago Manual of Style Online provides recommendations on editorial style and publishing practices for the digital age. Now offering the full contents of the 16th and 15th editions, it is the must-have reference for everyone who works with words. 

In addition to all the features of the free version of Grammarly.com, the Premium version offers:

  1. 100+ additional advanced grammar and spelling checks
  2. Vocabulary enhancement suggestions
  3. Genre-specific writing style checks
  4. Plagiarism detector that checks more than 8 billion web pages

    • 1 permanent license to Scrivener (Winner's choice of PC or Mac version)

    Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft. 

  • Enter now for your chance to win this awesome prize package

  • Regular entry processing fee is $25.00
    Entry that includes a guaranteed critique is $35.00 (optional)
     (processing fees payable via PayPal at the time of entry)


    Dave Long, Executive Editor, Bethany House
    Dave Long serves as Executive Editor, Fiction, with Bethany House Publishers where he’s been working with talented best-selling and award-winning novelists across many genres since 2004. Prior to migrating to the editorial side of the company, he spent six years in the marketing department. He and his family live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    Julie Gwinn, Literary Agent, The Seymour Agency
    Julie Gwinn, currently a literary agent with The Seymour Agency, has more than a decade in Christian publishing including serving as marketing manager then Fiction Publisher for B&H Publishing Group and Marketing Manager for Abingdon Press.
    Prior to joining the publishing industry, Gwinn has more than 20 years’ experience in advertising, marketing and public relations. She uses her previous experience to aid her authors at every phase of their publishing plan.
    She lives in Nashville, TN, with her husband and two children and also enjoys freelance editing, and DIY projects around the house.

    Shana Asaro, Associate Editor, Love Inspired
    Shana Asaro is the Associate Editor for Love Inspired, Harlequin’s Christian romance series line. She graduated from Kent State University with a degree in journalism and worked at a literary agency before coming to Harlequin. Recently married, she’s enjoying the start of her own happily ever after with her husband and their crazy but adorable dog. Shana acquires for all three of the Love Inspired series lines (contemporary, romantic suspense and historical) and especially enjoys action-adventure suspense romances, sweet contemporary romances set in small towns, storms, dogs and a little bit of humor or quirkiness. When she’s not reading or editing, Shana likes to travel, watch movies, discuss the merits of Gilmore Girls, eat frozen yogurt and drink Starbucks lattes. You can find her on Twitter at @shana_asaro.


    Any unpublished author of Christian novel-length fiction (40,000+ words) is eligible. For the purposes of this competition, an author is considered unpublished if he/she has NO published Christian novel-length work, in ANY format. Independently published (Indie) authors are considered published. We invite indie authors to enter the annual Laurel Award.

    If an author has a history of publishing stories that contain fewer than 40,000 words, that author is eligible for the Olympia. 

    The novel does not need to be complete; however, it's intended length should be over 40,000 words.

    One entry per author. Co-authored entries accepted. The manuscript should be Christian fiction and should not contain profanity, defaming of the Name of Christ, graphic sex, or other objectionable material.*

    *This includes but is not limited to subjective words such as hell, damn and ass when used as expletives or outside their intended definitions. By submitting your entry, you attest that the manuscript does not (or will not, if the work is unfinished) contain any such objectionable material. Clash of the Titles reserves the right to reject submissions not meeting these requirements, and will retain the entry's processing fee if the reason for rejection is content of this nature.

    Formatting Your Entry

    Font should be Times New Roman. 
    Font size should be 12pt.
    Double-space lines
    1-inch margins on all sides
    DO NOT include your name anywhere
    Header should include a PAGE NUMBER and GENRE only 
    Save your file as a .doc, .docx or .rtf only
    • The first page of the document should be the book's summary.(Word count should not exceed 300)
    • Directly following the summary should be the spiritual theme.(Word count should not exceed 100)
    • Following the summary and spiritual theme, insert a hard page break (CTRL+ENTER in Microsoft Word) and then include the first 3,500 words of the novel. (Prologues are acceptable and DO count as part of the max word count.)
    • NAME YOUR FILE: O16_TitleOfStory.doc (CHANGE "TitleOfStory" to the actual title of your story.
    IMPORTANT: To avoid disqualification, double-check your document for the proper formatting and to ensure your name is not included anywhere on the file.

    Finalists will be notified on or before 2 September 2016
    Winner will be notified on or before 14 September 2016


    CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE 2016 Olympia Award Entry Form  

    (opens in new window) 

    If you have questions, please email us