The Great Novel Contest 2020 Finalists!

We received so many outstanding submissions to the Great Novel Contest 2020. Thank you to all who took a risk and submitted your work for consideration.

After much deliberation, we are pleased to announce this year’s finalists!

The contest was open to all narrative (fiction and non-fiction) manuscripts of 50,000-125,000 words in length. All genres were accepted except for erotica and books for children.

Judges considered a variety of factors when choosing finalists, including organization, style, viability of concept, and prose quality.  All submissions were judged “blind”—no names, history, demographics, or identifying information were shared with the judges.

The winner of this year’s contest will receive $1,000 cash and a publishing contract from Bellwether!

Bellwether Publishing

The runner-up will receive $500, a publishing consultation with OWA President Brad Pauquette, and a letter of recommendation for agents and publishers.

This contest is sponsored by Columbus Publishing Lab, an outstanding company that helps authors and small presses produce books that compete with the largest publishing houses. Learn more at www.ColumbusPublishingLab.com.

Columbus Publishing Lab

If you’d like to enter this contest next year, mark your calendar for January 1, 2021 and join the Ohio Writers’ Association today.

With no further ado, we are pleased to announce the following ten finalists, presented in random order.

Threshing of Straw by Kim Catron

Everything Counts by Marcus Herzberg

Stalked by Sara Condrey

Fightgirl by Tony Clark

Surfing the Linoleum by Michael Batdorf

Devil Strip Musketeers by Michael Clark

She Went Missing by John White

Words Will Never Hurt Me by Toni Wilbarger

Winter Skies by Doug Ramspeck

Rewrite the Stars by Christina Consolino

Congratulations to all ten finalists!

These finalists were selected from a competitive pool of submissions. Our team of judges will now evaluate these ten manuscripts to determine the winner and runner-up.

All finalists will receive a voucher to attend an Ohio Writers’ Association class or seminar this year. Learn more about our classes here.

Thank you to all of the authors who entered the Great Novel Contest 2020.  While only a limited number of manuscripts could be selected as finalists, we were overwhelmed with the quality of the submissions that we received this year.

Thank you again to Columbus Publishing Lab for sponsoring this contest. Please visit www.ColumbusPublishingLab.com to learn more about their services.

Learn more about The Great Novel Contest at NovelContest.OhioWriters.org. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for next year!

Want to stay in the loop for future opportunities? Become a member today.

April Workshop Live Online – Submit by March 23

We are living through an extraordinary time.

Due to the Covid-19 situation, we will not be holding our April workshop in Pickerington. Instead, we will hold a live online workshop on Wednesday, April 1, at 7pm ET.

We will use the Zoom.us interface, which is free and super simple. You can login live with 2-way audio and video from virtually any phone, tablet, or computer.

Typically, our workshops are open to the public. This time, however, the workshop will only be open to authors who submit work for peer critique.

The workshop format will be the same as always.

For those that wish to give feedback but don’t have work to submit, we’ll also encourage the authors to post their stories to the online OWA feedback forum, and you can share your feedback there. The feedback forum is available to paid members 24/7.

To be included in the workshop, simply send your short story, essay, poetry, or novel chapter to workshops@ohiowriters.org no later than 7am Monday morning, March 23.

If you have any questions, please reach out by email.

Web Technology for Authors – Class Starts Thursday

Join us for a 6-week class beginning March 12 — web technology and how to use it as an author.

If you write, you’re probably aware that a web presence is essential for developing an audience for your work (which is sometimes called a “platform”). But what do you really need and what’s the best way to set it up?

Even if you have a website and online presence, you might still be asking those same questions.

The fact is that little decisions you make now can have drastic effects on the cost and effectiveness of your platform in the future.

This 6-week class will help you sort out these questions, and put you in a position to not only know what you need to do, but why to do it and how to do it.

No experience is necessary. We’re going to start from scratch. We’re going to talk about how the internet works, and build up from there.

This 6-week class will cover websites, website building, blogging, mailing lists, and so much more!

Sign up here.

As usual, you can sign up for the full 6-class series, or just sign up for the specific classes that you think will be most helpful for you.

You can attend the classes live online on Thursdays at 7pm ET. Or you can watch the recorded videos. The class size is small, so there’s plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

We’ve received great feedback on this series so far. Here’s what a couple of others had to say:

“Brad has a terrific, conversational way of conveying his concepts.”

“The course delivered! Brad is a great teacher and I enjoyed this course.”

“Thank you so much for providing this class – by far the best class I have taken since college.”

Don’t wait, sign up today. You’ll be glad you invested in yourself. Register here.

March Workshop – Submit by Monday, February 24

Our next writers’ workshop will be held Wednesday evening, March 4th, in Zanesville, Ohio.

Get the complete details, including time and location, by logging in to your free account and navigating to “Workshop Materials and Information.” Don’t have an account, create one here for free.

If you’d like your work critiqued at this workshop, you must email it to workshops@ohiowriters.org no later than 7am on Monday, February 24th.

There are no special formatting requirements for your work. We recommend that you include page numbers, and we prefer that you send your work as a PDF.

This workshop is free and open to the public. Anyone can submit their work to receive hard, honest peer feedback, but you must be present at the workshop. Please only submit if you’re confident you can attend.

If you’re not ready to submit, but you’d like to check it out and maybe give feedback to others, you’re welcome to attend.

You do NOT need to be a paid member of the Ohio Writers’ Association to participate. All are welcome.

Questions? Please email us at workshops@ohiowriters.org.

Creating a Business and Legal Considerations – February 13th Professional Development Class

Join us on Thursday evening for a professional development class on setting up the legal infrastructure for your work as an author.

There’s a lot of bad and confusing information out there. We’ll share with you what the law says and the best ways we’ve seen other authors implement smart, inexpensive strategies to keep themselves and their work safe.

We’ll cover how to setup a business and banking. We’ll talk about copyrights, trademarks, fair use, and intellectual property.

If you’re serious about creating work for sale, this is must-have information.

This class will help you to put these topics to bed. No more wondering if you understand it or if you’re doing it right. We’ll share stories of other authors with positive results, so that you can be confident you’re on the right track.

This class is live online at 7pm ET. If you can’t make it to the live class, sign up anyway and you can watch the recorded video for 7 days following the class. We expect a small group for this class, so it will be small enough that you can ask questions if you have them.

Click here to sign up for this class and others.

Two Day Warning — Great Novel Contest 2020

February is almost here, which means you only have two days left so submit your manuscript to The Great Novel Contest 2020! The submission period officially closes on January 31 at midnight.

Hurry and submit your novel before the contest ends!

Submit your manuscript for a chance to win $1,000 and a publishing contract with Bellwether

One runner up will receive $500 and a publishing consultation with OWA president and publishing expert Brad Pauquette, as well as a letter of recommendation for agents and publishers.

Ten finalists will be featured in a Finalist Spotlight article on the OWA site and receive a $50 voucher for OWA writing classes.

We can’t think of a better way to kick off the new decade than living the #publishedlife with a bit of extra pocket money.

Read The Great Novel Contest 2020 guidelines and instructions here.

If you have any additional questions, chat with an OWA volunteer at info@ohiowriters.org.


Novel not ready for submitting yet? Check out our calendar of events for workshops, classes, and future submission opportunities like The Great Novel Contest 2020!

The Great Novel Contest 2020 – Five Days Left

The end of the month is approaching, which means time is running out to submit to The Great Novel Contest 2020! The submission period officially closes on January 31 at midnight.

Submit your novel here before it’s too late!

You only have five days left to submit your manuscript to The Great Novel Contest for a chance to win $1,000 and a publishing contract with Bellwether.

The runner up will receive $500, a publishing consultation with OWA president Brad Paquette, and a letter of recommendation to publishers and agents.  

Ten finalists will be recognized for their quality novels via Finalist Spotlight articles and receive a $50 voucher for 2020 OWA writing courses.

Read more about The Great Novel Contest 2020 rules and guidelines here.

Don’t miss your chance to win some sweet, sweet cash and achieve your dream of becoming a published author.

If you have any additional questions, you can chat with an OWA volunteer at info@ohiowriters.org.


Not finished writing that next great novel? Check out our calendar of events for workshops, classes, and future submission opportunities like The Great Novel Contest 2020!

February Workshop – Submit by January 27

Our next writers’ workshop will be held Wednesday evening, February 5th, in Pickerington, Ohio.

Get the complete details, including time and location, by logging in to your free account and navigating to “Workshop Materials and Information.Don’t have an account, create one here for free.

If you’d like your work critiqued at this workshop, you must email it to workshops@ohiowriters.org no later than 7am on Monday, January 27th.

There are no special formatting requirements for your work. We recommend that you include page numbers, and we prefer that you send your work as a PDF.

This workshop is free and open to the public. Anyone can submit their work to receive hard, honest peer feedback, but you must be present at the workshop. Please only submit if you’re confident you can attend.

If you’re not ready to submit, but you’d like to check it out and maybe give feedback to others, you’re welcome to attend.

You do NOT need to be a paid member of the Ohio Writers’ Association to participate. All are welcome.

Questions? Please email us at workshops@ohiowriters.org.

Writers Workshop Columbus Ohio

The Great Novel Contest 2020: Ten Days Out

It’s January 20, which means there are ten days left to submit a manuscript for The Great Novel Contest 2020! The submission period officially closes on January 31 at midnight.

Dust off that manuscript and submit it here.

Submit your manuscript for a chance to win $1,000 and a publishing contract with Bellwether

The runner up will receive $500, a publishing consultation with OWA President Brad Pauquette, and a letter of recommendation for agents and publishers. 

The top ten finalists will take home a $50 voucher for 2020 OWA writing classes and be publicly recognized for their awesome manuscripts. 

Submit your manuscript here and take a step closer to that dream of being published. And, you know, money. 

Read The Great Novel Contest 2020 guidelines and instructions here.

If you have any additional questions, chat with an OWA volunteer at info@ohiowriters.org.


Need some more polish on that story? Check out our calendar of events for workshops, classes, and future submission opportunities like The Great Novel Contest 2020!

The Great Novel Contest 2019 Finalist Spotlights – Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan Rosen is one of The Great Novel Contest 2019’s finalists for his manuscript, The Museum of an Extinct Race.

Don’t forget to submit your manuscript to The Great Novel Contest!

Jonathan Rosen is a family physician and heads a non-profit, The Connecticut Center for Primary Care. On top of that, he’s the Vice Chairman of ProHealth Physicians and still manages to make time to write. He earned his BA in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Sometimes he wonders if he leans more towards the role of writer or doctor. So far, he’s written six novels with the most recent being The Museum of an Extinct Race.

The Museum of an Extinct Race takes place in a dystopian society where Hitler won WWII by developing the atom bomb before the US. Four decades later, “The Museum of an Extinct Race” was erected in Prague to celebrate the elimination of Judaism from the planet. In the midst of this world run by Nazis, a tour guide and museum curator begin to fall in love as they strive to resurrect an extinguished religion.

The start of Jonathan’s literary journey began with The Catcher in the Rye, which first introduced him to “the magic of the written word’s ability to link imagination to reality.” From there he moved on to Catch-22 and fell in love with reading and writing. For all writers, Jonathan recommends reading Haruki Murakami “for mind-blowing inventiveness and audacity,” as well as anything by Philip Roth and Michael Chabon.

His wife supports him in his writing endeavors, and he receives some critiques from his son who is an English professor. Creating a book is difficult, and Jonathan suggests that anyone who has trouble finishing a novel should “keep going back to why [they] wanted to write the novel in the first place.”

He initially discovered The Great Writing Contest 2019 through Poets & Writers, which collects a host of submission opportunities and contests into one convenient resource. Looking into the contest, Jonathan thought OWA “seemed amazingly well organized and receptive” so he submitted The Museum of an Extinct Race.

He plans to try and publish the manuscript once more after going through another round of edits, and he hopes to find a “small press with enough cache to get [his] foot in the door and enough freedom to promote the novel as [he] would hope to.”


Do you have an unpublished manuscript that deserves recognition?

The Great Novel Contest 2020 is open now! Click here to submit your manuscript.

Not quite ready to submit a piece?

Check out some of our upcoming events, classes, and workshops!