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Since 2007, Northern Colorado Writers has provided support and encouragement to writers of all levels and genres in Northern Colorado and beyond. Through monthly meetings, classes, networking & social events, the annual conference, the monthly newsletter and annual retreat, NCW helps new and established writers navigate their way to success.

Top of the Mountain Book Award

 

TOP_Logo

Two Categories:

Fiction & Creative/Narrative Nonfiction

Dates of submission: September 15, 2015 to February 1, 2016

 

Congratulations to the 2015 Top of the Mountain finalists!
FICTION
PRIZE: $1000

Larkin Edwin Greer, Two Worlds of Lilli Deville, (Mainstream)
Mary Hyde, IvyStine, (YA)
Angela Penland, Cherry Bomb (YA)
FIRST PLACE: Edward Hamlin, Grace (Literary)


NONFICTION
PRIZE: $300

Mary Roberts, Ordinary Damage
FIRST PLACE: Jerry Eckert, Weeping Kings and Wild Boars: Moment of Magic and Sorrow from Forty Years Trying to Save the World 
Nan Sanders Pokerwinski, Mango Rash: Survival Lessons in the Land of Frangipani and Fanta
Phillip Hurst, Barman: A Spirit Journey

 

PRIZE: $1,000

Finalists will be announced and notified on or around March 1, 2016 and the winners will be announced April 2016 during dinner at the NCW 11th annual Writers Conference. Attendance at the conference is not required.

First Place: Framed certificate and $1,000 

Finalists: Certificate

*Please read guidelines carefully and thoroughly; some rules have changed. Failure to properly submit entry per guidelines may result in disqualification and your entry fee will be forfeited.*

FICTION GUIDELINES

CREATIVE NONFICTION GUIDELINES

FICTION GUIDELINES

Submission Steps

  1. Read and follow Submission Guidelines (Print off and use as checklist)

  2.  Format manuscript correctly (Read Submission Guidelines CAREFULLY)

  3. Email submission to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?subject=TOM:" style="text-indent: -0.25in; font-size: 12px;">TOM@northerncoloradowriters.com

  4. Pay entry fee: Fiction 

Manuscript Title

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Fiction

  • The contest is open to unpublished novel-length fiction of any genre.Word count must be 65K+.
  • Please note, that at this time, we are not accepting short story or poetry collectives. 
  • Authors may be previously published, as long as the submission is an unpublished work (self-published counts as published).
  • Submissions must be author’s original work
  • Submission must include a full one-page double-spaced synopsis and the first twenty pages of the manuscript.
  • DO NOT include title page or dedication page. 
  • Submission must be sent electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In one email attach two separate documents: 
    1.) Cover page: Author’s name, book title, genre, and email address. (Inclusion of author name on the manuscript will result in disqualification. Only cover sheet should have your name.) Document must be saved as: [TITLE] Cover Page For example, THE AWAKENING Cover Page
    2.) First 20 pages and the synopsis together in second document; manuscript must be first, then synopsis. Document must be saved as: [TITLE] For example, THE AWAKENING
  • Manuscript must be formatted per standard industry guidelines:
    • Font: Times New Roman, 12 pt, black ink only.
    • 1-inch margins all around. Ragged right margins.
    • Double spaced.
    • The first page of each chapter must begin one-third of the way down the page.
    • Header: Title and genre on left, page number on right or at the bottom of the page.
    • Note: Do not end manuscript submission with an unfinished sentence.
    • Failure to properly format may result in disqualification.
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • Fee for entry is $25. Authors may submit multiple entries, but each must include entry fee.
  • Important: Once a manuscript is submitted, you cannot send a revised or “new version” to replace original submission. You may withdraw your submission, but you will forfeit your entry fee and will be required to pay another entry fee should you resubmit. Please read instructions carefully and thoroughly before submitting.
  • Authors need not attend conference to win.
  • Judges are experienced critiquers and authors. Each entry will be evaluated by 1-3 judges, using a standardized score sheet. Judges' decisions are final.
  • Entrants will receive at least one critique/score sheet with comments from initial screening team
  • Finalists will be notified by email or telephone on or around March 1, 2016.

Helpful Links

Judging criteria: (on a scale of 1-10, 100 points possible)

  • Synopsis, including plot and character arcs
  • Beginning hook – how well does the story grab the reader?
  • Plot, pacing, and sense of story
  • Originality and voice
  • Setting/description/narrative
  • POV–is it clear, appropriate to the story, and consistent?
  • Dialogue
  • Mechanics -- spelling, punctuation, grammar
  • Placement in correct genre
  • Correct formatting


CREATIVE/NARRATIVE NONFICTION GUIDELINES

Examples of creative/narrative nonfiction: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert; Blood Diamonds by Greg Campbell; In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Memoir, history, biography, etc.)

*PLEASE NOTE: In previous years, we have not received the number of nonfiction entries needed in order to support a $1000 award. We must receive at least 40 entries. For the 2015 award, we were able to award $300. You will be notified on February 2, 2016 as to whether or not the award will be $1000 or if it will be less. You will then have the option to withdraw your submission and receive a refund, or keep your manuscript as a contender. (Help us reach our goal by spreading the word to other nonfiction authors!)

Submission Steps

  1. Read and follow Submission Guidelines (Print off and use as checklist)

  2. Format manuscript correctly (Read Submission Guidelines CAREFULLY)

  3. Email submission to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  4. Pay entry fee: Narrative Nonfiction 

Manuscript Title


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Narrative Nonfiction

 

  • The contest is open to unpublished book-length creative/narrative nonfiction.Word count must be 50K+
  • Please note, that at this time, we are not accepting poetry or essay collectives.
  • Authors may be previously published, as long as the submission is an unpublished work (self-published counts as published). 
  • Submissions must be author’s original work
  • Submission must include a full one-page double-spaced synopsis OR book proposal and the first twenty pages of the manuscript.
  • DO NOT include title page, dedication page, or table of contents.
  • Submission must be sent electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In one email, attach two separate documents:
    1.) Cover page: Author’s name, book title, category, and email address. (Inclusion of author name on the manuscript will result in disqualification. Only cover sheet should have your name.) Document must be saved as: [TITLE] Cover Page For example, THE AWAKENING Cover Page
    2.) First 20 pages and the synopsis or book proposal together in second document; manuscript must be first, followed by synopsis or proposal. Document must be saved as: [TITLE] For example, THE AWAKENING
  • Manuscript must be formatted per standard industry guidelines:
    • Font: Times New Roman, 12 pt, black ink only.
    • 1-inch margins all around. Ragged right margins.
    • Double spaced.
    • The first page of each chapter must begin one-third of the way down the page.
    • Header: Title and genre on left, page number on right.
    • Note: Do not end submission with an unfinished sentence.
    • Failure to properly format will result in disqualification.
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • Fee for entry is $25. Authors may submit multiple entries, but each must include entry fee.
  • Important: Once a manuscript is submitted, you cannot send a revised or “new version” to replace original submission. You may withdraw your submission, but you will forfeit your entry fee and will be required to pay another entry fee should you resubmit. Please read instructions carefully and thoroughly before submitting.
  • Authors need not attend conference to win.
  • Judges are experienced critiquers and authors. Each entry will be evaluated by 1-3 judges, using a standardized score sheet. Judges' decisions are final.
  • Entrants will received at least one critique/score sheet with comments from initial screening team
  • Finalists will be notified by email or telephone on or around March 1, 2016.

Helpful Links

Judging criteria: (on a scale of 1-10, 100 points possible)

    • Synopsis/book proposal: Does it give a clear overview of the book and its marketability
    • Voice: Is it strong and consistent? Does author have a clear sense of their own writing style
    • Pacing and sense of story/narrative
    • Originality: How is it different from other nonfiction of similar subject matter?
    • Setting/description/narrative
    • Is the message or theme clear and consistent?
    • Dialogue
    • Mechanics -- spelling, punctuation, grammar
    • Appeal to intended audience?
    • Correct formatting

Previous Winners

2015
FICTION: Edward Hamlin, Grace
NONFICTION: Jerry Eckert, Weeping Kings and Wild Boars: Moments of Magic and Sorrow From Forty Years of Trying to Save the World

2014
FICTION: Chuck Harrelson, The Rax

2013
FICTION: Michael Racette, Fool's Gold

2012
FICTION: Patricia Cook, Hiding in Plain Sight

 

 

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