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Great Novel Contest 2014

The Great Novel Contest 2014
Win a Publishing Contract!

The 2014 Great novel Contest is now complete.
Find news and winners here.
For information on the 2015 Great Novel Contest, click here.

Put the finishing touches on your latest novel and submit it for a chance to earn a publishing contract as well as bragging rights in Columbus Creative Cooperative's 2014 novel contest!

We'll open the contest for entries from the public on January 1, 2014 and close January 31, 2014. Submit early as CCC reserves the right to close the contest early to ensure that our panel of judges can devote adequate attention to each novel. We will only accept up to 200 valid submissions.

Terra Chalberg, well-respected agent of Chalberg & Sussman, will select the Winner and Runner-up from the list of finalists. The cost for entry is $40 and is payable through Paypal.


Find the contest on Facebook.

Read "Five Things to Consider about The Great Novel Contest" by CCC director Brad Pauquette.

Jump to Prizes | Terra Chalberg - Judge | Contest Requirements | How to Enter | Past Winners | FAQ

Prizes & Winners

A team of judges selected by Columbus Creative Cooperative will choose ten finalists from all of the submitted manuscripts. Every manuscript submitted will be reviewed by at least one judge, without exception. All manuscripts will be judged "blind" (the judge will not be provided with the author's name).

The list of ten finalists will be published to the CCC website, and Terra Chalberg will select a winner and a runner-up.

The winner will receive his choice of a publishing contract with Columbus Press for their manuscript or a $1,000 cash prize! The winner will also receive public recognition for their achievement and all of the associated bragging rights!

The runner-up will receive a free publishing consultation (an $125 value) to help you improve your manuscript and understand your publishing options, as well as recognition for the achievement! More information about the Runner-Up and Finalist Prizes.

All ten finalists will receive recognition of their achievement, a letter of recommendation for potential agents and publishers, and a free copy of Columbus: Past, Present and Future!

Watch the blog for more details on the specifics of these prizes in the coming weeks!

Terra Chalberg Contest Judge

Terra Chalberg - Literary Agent & Contest Judge

Terra Chalberg, a renowned literary agent in New York City, will select the winners of this contest.

As an agent, first with The Susan Golomb Literary Agency and now with Chalberg & Sussman, she represents an impressive list of clients, including award winners and New York Times Bestsellers. Visit Terra's impressive biography and a listing of some of her clients.

Contest Requirements

We are accepting an original novel or narrative non-fiction book, such as a memoir, that is previously unpublished. Previously self-published novels will not be accepted. Manuscripts by more than one author will be accepted, but should be submitted only once under the name of a single author (submitting author must have permission from all contributors).

No graphic novels, children’s books, or erotica please. Novel word length is from 50,000 to 125,000.

Young adult manuscripts will not be considered, but a separate contest will be run for young adult manuscripts later in the year.

Book manuscript entries must be submitted electronically in doc, docx,or PDF format using the Columbus Creative Cooperative’s Novel Contest form. Please carefully follow all directions. Each page of the manuscript is to be numbered with the title in the footer with no other identifying information of the author.

Please do not send hard (printed) copies.

How to Enter

Entering the contest is very easy. The submission form will be available beginning January 1, 2014.

1. Create an account with CCC (it's free and easy, it helps us keep track of your name, email, address, etc. so we can contact you if you win! Our paid accounts offer cool features, but aren't required for entry). Register here.

2. Confirm your new account via email, then log in at

3. From the member's home page, click "Submit a Manuscript to the Great Novel Contest!"

4. Follow the on-screen instructions, fill out the form and upload your manuscript.

5. Pay your submission fee. Your spot will not be held in the 200 maximum entries until the submission fee is paid.

You're done!

Past Winners

Drew Farnsworth won our 2013 Great Novel Contest. His novel Graham's Charloote took home a publishing contract from Columbus Press, and his book is slated to be released on April 17, 2014! Drew shared some of his thoughts on the contest here.

Paul Ketzle, the 2013 runner-up, reported contracting an agent for his manuscript shortly after the announcement of the contest results!

Frequently Asked Questions

I don't live in Ohio, can I still enter?
Yes! This contest is open to writers anywhere in the world. Just so your book is written in English, you are welcome to submit. No preference will be given based on where you live.

Do I need to be a member of CCC to enter?
No! You do not need to be a paid member of Columbus Creative Cooperative to enter the contest. The contest is open to everyone. You will, however, need to create a free account on in order to submit your work (this is how we keep track of your contact information).

Who will choose the finalists to be judged by Terra Chalberg?
A team of judges will be chosen from among Columbus Creative Cooperative's membership to score the initial submissions and choose the ten finalists to be sent to Terra Chalberg. Chosen judges will be members who have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the novel and the craft of writing, and who have demonstrated a commitment to the Cooperative's values.

When will I know if I've won?
We'll announce the finalists within 8 weeks of the close of the contest. We hope to announce the winner and runner-up within 12 weeks of the contest close, but guarantee notification within 24 weeks.

I'm already shopping my manuscript to publishers and agents, can I still submit?
Yes, you may. Our turnaround time for announcing finalists is only 12 weeks, so we encourage you to wait before you shop elsewhere. But it's your call. Note that our contest is only for unpublished work, so you may not submit your work if you have signed a publishing agreement prior to submission.

What if I don't like the terms of the contract offered by Columbus Press?
Unlike other contests which obligate you to a non-negotiable contract upon winning, we keep the ball in the winner's court. You'll have an opportunity to negotiate the terms of your agreement with Columbus Press. If you find that you're unsatisfied with the agreement or would prefer not to publish with Columbus Press, you may choose to take the $1,000 cash prize instead. You'll have a chance to see and work with the agreement from Columbus Press before you have to make that decision.

Can the contest be cancelled for any reason, or the prizes changed?
The prizes will not change. They are set in stone. If the contest is cancelled for any reason, a full and immediate refund will be given to those who have already submitted their work, but it is unlikely that we would ever cancel the contest.

Is the judging blind?
Yes! Per the instructions, please do not include your name in the text of your manuscript. Judges will not be given names of any authors, and no preference will be given based on publishing credits, resume, author's history, etc. Our mission is simply to find the best manuscript, no strings attached.

Other Questions?

Please contact us with any questions.