2017 Genesis FAQ
Checklist for your entry:
Have you formatted your manuscript as shown in the Manuscript Formatting Example?
- Is your font 12 point?
- Is your font Courier New, Times New Roman, Garamond, Cambria or Book Antiqua?
- Do you have a margin of one inch on all sides?
- Is your entry double-spaced?
- Is your chapter title (i.e. Chapter One or Tuesday Morning) four double-spaced lines down the page?
- Do ALL pages in your manuscript have a header in the same font as the body of the document with the title, category, total manuscript word count, and page number?
- Did you make sure your name, personal information, and/or pseudonym is NOT included in the header or anywhere on the manuscript?
- Is your entry 16 pages or less (one page synopsis, 15 page manuscript)?
- Did you include a one-page, single-spaced synopsis? Synopsis does not have to start 4 double-spaces down like a chapter heading.
- Is the synopsis included in the file with your manuscript at the beginning of your entry, NOT in a separate file?
- I have previously been published or have self-published in novella or book-length fiction. Am I still eligible to enter Genesis?
- Where are the Chick/Mom/Hen/Lady Lit and Women’s Fiction categories?
- Can you explain Track Changes?
- What about security? Can’t a judge look in the Properties section to find out who wrote the manuscript?
- I sent in my entry, but I haven’t received any e-mail or info from the contest coordinators. What should I do?
- I can’t attend the ACFW Conference. May I still enter the Genesis?
- Do the winners receive a publishing contract?
I have previously been published or have self-published in novella or book-length fiction. Am I still eligible to enter Genesis?
If you’ve been published in ANY print or online form in novella or book-length fiction, then you are not eligible to enter Genesis.
Authors who are published in non-fiction, picture books and short story are eligible to enter an unpublished fiction manuscript.
Where are the Chick/Mom/Hen/Lady Lit and Women’s Fiction categories?
Chick/Mom/Hen/Lady Lit and Women’s Fiction have long been considered subgenres of the larger classification of Contemporary Fiction. The industry is moving away from classifications of these subgenres, and the Genesis is mirroring the current state of the industry.
Women’s Fiction and Chick/Mom/Hen/Lady Lit writers can enter their entries in any of the other categories that the entrant deems appropriate. For example, if your story focuses on women’s issues in today’s world that would have been classified as Women’s Fiction then Contemporary Fiction would likely be the best category for your story.
Although the lit stories often involve a single woman’s struggles with her love life, please be aware that the industry expectations for Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense have a higher level of involvement of the hero than is usual in a typical chick lit novel. For example, most Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense novels have the hero and heroine meeting in the first chapter, whereas most chick lit novels have the hero appearing for the first time several chapters into the story. Also, most Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense novels novels have 40-50% of the scenes from the hero’s point of view, whereas chick lit is often only from the heroine’s point of view.
Chick lit writers should be aware that judges in the Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense categories will be judging according to the industry expectations of those genres.
Lad Lit, aimed at men, should be entered in the Contemporary category.
Can you explain Track Changes?
Track Changes is a feature found in Microsoft Word. A “tracked change” is a colored mark that shows where a deletion, insertion, or other editing change has been made in a document. Using Track Changes, a judge may also insert comments into the manuscript. A link to a sample of Track Changes as it appears in a judged document may be viewed by clicking here and going to the link for Sample Track Changes in the right hand sidebar.
(You may download Adobe Reader free: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html)
Under no circumstances should comments given by a judge be used for publicity purposes without the express consent of the judge.
What about security? Can’t a judge look in the Properties section to find out who wrote the manuscript?
The Genesis coordinators go into every file to activate the security feature and erase all personal information from each file. The judges will not be able to find out who wrote the entry.
After judging, the coordinators will again go into every judged file and again erase all personal information so that the entrants will not be able to find out who judged their entry.
The Genesis coordinators will do everything to ensure absolute anonymity.
I sent in my entry, but I haven’t received any e-mail or info from the contest coordinators. What should I do?
All entries should receive a confirmation e-mail of receipt of their entry and of payment. Be sure you have checked your spam/junk mail folder in case the emails were sent there. If you add the category coordinator’s email address found on the guidelines page for your entry category into your contacts, this will help notices not to be sent to the junk mail folder. If an entrant does not receive a confirmation e-mail by midnight March 15, 2016, the entrant should e-mail the contest coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will not receive any notice from your category coordinator unless there is a problem with your entry.
I can’t attend the ACFW Conference. May I still enter the Genesis Contest?
Certainly! The semi-finalists and finalists are announced before the conference, and the category winners are announced at the conference. If you cannot attend the conference, you will be asked to appoint someone to accept your award for you should you win. If, however, you do not appoint someone to accept in your place, your plaque and pin will be mailed to you. ACFW will also post the names of the winners online after the conference.
Do the winners receive a publishing contract?
No. ACFW and the Genesis Contest do NOT guarantee that anyone will receive a publishing contract.