Ask Daphne! About a contest

greenshoesNo, not our very own Worst Queries contest! J.P. writes:

I found a contest for MG by Random House’s Delacorte Press and the prize is $1500 cash with $7500 advance toward royalties. Is this common for MG authors? Is it the same for YA? Do you think this is a good contest to get into?

I don’t know that it’s exactly common, but it is a good contest to enter! The winner gets a contract with Delacorte, which is nothing to sneeze at, plus a little green for themselves (which you could use to buy the above shoes!). The full details are here. Worth noting. however, is that the manuscripts submitted to this contest (and you can submit up to two) MAY NOT BE submitted to any other publishers OR literary agents while the contest is ongoing. Which conceivably means you might send something in now, and not hear anything until October. And it is for a FIRST novel, although I don’t know many previously published authors who’d want to enter.

Delacorte also runs a Young Adult contest, with roughly the same guidelines. They’ve been running this for 26 years now, so it’s not some sort of fly-by-night contest. I mean, it’s Random House. If you look at the rules, though, you’ll see that they don’t always declare a winner.

My thoughts? You can try for either of these, certainly, or you could take the same 8 months and pitch agents, or polish your manuscript, and possibly end up with a better deal. Possibly. $7,500 is pretty much around the middle of a nice deal for a debut novel, depending on multiple factors. Either way, like most attempts to get published, it’s a long shot.

If you do decide to enter, good luck! Have any of my readers entered either of the Delacorte contests, or know someone who has? What do you think of them?

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