What to Enter: Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest
The contest is for Adult Fiction and Children's Fiction (middle grade and YA only*). Any novella- or novel-length work of fiction, including short-story collections, not previously published** is eligible. The minimum length is 22,000*** words; there is no maximum length.
All unpublished stories submitted in short-story collections will automatically be considered for publication in Crossborder.
* Middle grade fiction is loosely defined here as novels for 4th-8th graders, usually featuring a progagonist in that age group. YA or young adult novels can be for age 13 and up, approximately. If you are unsure whether your novel is YA or adult, it is fine to indicate "YA/adult." We are not picky about labels. We do not accept picture books for young children or any books with color illustrations.
** Previously self-published books that have no more than 200 copies in circulation will be considered "unpublished" and may be submitted. Short stories that have been published in literary journals may be included in collections.
*** "Why can't my manuscript be less than 22,000 words?" We have set this as a rough minimum because a certain length is needed to create a book. Even 22,000 words makes for a tiny book indeed, in height, width, and thickness. Anything less, and there would be no spine possible. A long short-story might run 20,000 words, and would not make a stand-alone book. If your manuscript is just under that minimum, but you feel it is strong and large in concept, though short on words, we will not automatically disqualify it from the contest. Be sure that if it is for children it is for at least an advanced 8-year-old. To get a sense of our children's books, take a look at the novels of BB Wurge or Mick Carlon (you can use the "search inside" feature on Amazon).
How to Enter
1. Email fictioncontestATleapfrogpressDOTcom
The subject line should read "Contest entry: manuscript title" (please use actual manuscript title). Please use the full title, or as much as possible. In the body of the message, include your full name, address, email address, and the book's title. Please do not include any biographical information.
Attach your entire manuscript as a single text, Word, or PDF document. Use the title of the manuscript as the file name. Please do not call your file "mybook.doc" or "leapfrog.doc" or "manuscript1.doc" etc., as it will be indistinguishable from the tens of other submissions so titled. Please do not use your title's initials, as this causes lots of confusion around here.
Please DO NOT include illustrations in your attached file. If your file size is much more than 1 MB, you are including special symbols or illustrations that should be deleted before your manuscript is attached.
Manuscript format: we are not picky. Just make it readable. It is important that no personal information be included in the attached file: Please do not put your name or address in the page headers or on a title page. Use only the book's title as identification.
We have lifted the restriction on the number of manuscripts from any one author, since a number of authors wanted to submit multiple manuscripts in the past. Multiple submissions will be judged separately; the judges will not know they are from the same author. Note that we do not encourage more than two manuscripts from one author. Much as we'd love the opportunity to read your additional manuscripts, we encourage authors to submit to multiple contests, and not put all their resources (i.e., contest fees) into a single contest.
2. Entry fee: the entry fee is $30. This can be paid through PayPal, or by check to:
Leapfrog 2013 Fiction Contest, PO Box 505, Fredonia, NY 14063.
If mailing a check, please be sure your name, address, and manuscript title are on the check or legible on the envelope, or else written on a piece of paper enclosed. This allows us to match checks with entries.
To pay with PayPal, visit:
You will receive an email acknowledgment when your manuscript is received. Please allow two or three days for the acknowledgment. If you have not heard from us within three days, please let us know. Questions may also be sent to leapfrogATleapfrogpressDOTcom.
Judges include Leapfrog Press editors and author Lev Raphael.
All judging is done "blind": the judges have no information except the manuscript itself and its title. Judging is done in several rounds. Manuscripts that are placed in the "awards" category will be divided into Honorable Mention, Semifinalist, and Finalist categories. These will be announced in May or early June. The first-prize winner will then be chosen from among the finalist manuscripts.
Lev Raphael is the author of 20 books, including novels, memoirs, and story collections. He has published reviews in papers such as The Washington Post and The Detroit Free Press, and articles and essays in numerous publications. Prizes include the Harvey Swados Fiction Prize, the Reed Smith Fiction Prize and International Quarterly's Prize for Innovative Prose. Read more about Lev Raphael here.
First Prize: publication contract offer from Leapfrog Press, with an advance payment, plus the finalist awards (see below).
Finalists: $150 and two critiques of the manuscript from contest judges; permanent listing on the Leapfrog Press contest page as a contest finalist, along with short author bio and description of the book.
Semi-Finalist: Choice of a free Leapfrog book; permanent listing on the website
Honorable Mention: listing on the Leapfrog Press website.
We encourage winners of all contests to inform us of any publicity/contracts/reviews of their entries. We will be happy to post that information on our website and in our newsletter.