Why Have a Free Publishing Contest?
By Amy Groening

Our 2016 Free Publishing Contest closes at midnight tomorrow (May 31)! The last 24 hours of our writing contests are an exciting and eventful time, as we help authors get those manuscripts in, answer last-minute questions and throw longing glances at our contest entries stack, rather like children gazing at the pile of presents beneath the tree on Christmas Eve. We are so excited to see how God has been working in your creative lives this year, and are itching to get our hands on these fresh, new manuscripts.

As the mad-dash of contest close continues, I’ve taken a few minutes to reflect on why we continue to put this contest on, year after year—13 years in total now!

Why a Free Publishing Contest?

Word Alive Press was formed out of a need for more publishing options in the Christian writing community (for more on that story, check out our Est In section). Our goal has always been to provide writers with the opportunity to share the messages and stories God has placed on their hearts, and to help those stories get into the hands of the readers who need them most.

Accessibility for Christian Authors

Fewer and fewer authors have access to traditional publishing options—less than 1% of manuscript queries sent to traditional publishers every year are actually accepted for publication! We know there are more worthy manuscripts out there than that tiny percentage traditional publishers accept, and we’re doing what we can to level the playing field.

Every day, we tackle that disparity through our partnership (or hybrid) publishing model—joining with authors to help them publish, market, and distribute their books.

Once per year, we take these opportunities one step further, with the annual Free Publishing Contest. We select one Fiction manuscript and one Non-Fiction manuscript for free publication, pooling our resources to be able to offer editing, design, marketing, and distribution to those two lucky authors, no literary agents or query letters required!

Helping Create Better Writers

While we are only able to select two winners, every entrant is offered feedback on their manuscript, with tips and recommendations on polishing those manuscripts even more, so that God’s message can really shine through. We want to empower authors to improve their writing and challenge themselves to new writing heights, and our contest helps us to do just that.

Strengthening the Publishing Community

There’s nothing like some healthy competition to bring a community together. Contest season gives us the chance to hear from authors across Canada, and for those authors to connect with each other, too, as friends and writing networks take part in the contest as well.

The Manuscripts, of Course!

We’re book lovers over here, and it is such a privilege and honour to be amongst the first readers to come across a never-before-read title! This contest is a book lover’s dream come true for the Word Alive Press team.

If this sounds like an activity you’d like to be a part of, submit your manuscript today! You have until midnight on May 31, and we hope to see you amongst our entrants!

And remember, if you don’t have time to finish up that manuscript for this year’s contest, we do hold a contest every year. Feel free to subscribe to our blog, sign up for our newsletter, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss next year’s contest announcement.

Happy writing!

About this Contributor:

Amy Groening is a project manager at Word Alive Press. She is a passionate storyteller with experience in blogging, newspaper reportage, and creative writing. She holds an Honours degree in English Literature and is happy to be working in an industry where she can see other writers’ dreams come to life. She enjoys many creative pursuits, including sewing, sculpture and painting, and spends an embarrassingly large amount of time at home taking photos of her cat committing random acts of feline crime.

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