Omega Writers want the CALEB Unpublished contest to support and encourage unpublished writers towards excellence. Therefore, in line with most other reputable writing contests, the CALEB Unpublished Award considers unpublished authors, not unpublished manuscripts.
As such, authors who have previously been published in fiction may not enter either fiction category. This includes any fiction genre, for any age group, however published (traditionally published through a large trade publisher or small press, self-published, or published through a vanity press or pay-to-publish operation).
Equally, authors who have previously been published in nonfiction may not enter the nonfiction category. This includes any nonfiction genre, for any age group, however published (traditionally published through a large trade publisher or small press, self-published, or published through a vanity press or pay-to-publish operation).
However, authors who have previously been published in fiction may enter the nonfiction category, and authors who have been previously published in nonfiction may enter one of the fiction categories.
Entrants will submit their first 10,000 words for first-round judging. Finalists will submit their full manuscript. For this reason, we do restrict entries to 120,000 words. In my experience as a contest judge and freelance editor, longer manuscripts are generally trying to achieve too much—they’re either too wordy for the plot, or they’re actually two books crammed into one.
The Unpublished contest is an electronic-entry only contest.
Entries must be submitted in Word (doc) format. They are to be formatted in 12 point in Times New Roman or Courier font, justified text, with double line spacing, and a 1.27 cm (1/2 inch) indent at the beginning of a new paragraph. Chapter headings and scene breaks should be centered.
The manuscript title should be in the top left hand of the header, and the page number in the top right-hand header. The author’s name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
The file name should be CALEB-Genre-Novel Title.
Entries which are not formatted correctly will be returned for formatting. If they are not returned with the correct formatting by the contest closing date, they will not be judged, and the entry fee will be forfeit.
Entrants will submit their first 10,000 words for first-round judging, plus a 1,000-word synopsis.
Finalists will have seven days to submit their full manuscript. For this reason, we restrict entries to 120,000 words, which covers most manuscripts.
Submissions to the Unpublished Award may have been professionally edited, but this is not a requirement.
Where books are written by more than one person, all contributing writers must be named on the entry form. Ghostwritten books may not be entered. Any entry found to contain ghostwritten or plagiarised content will be disqualified, and the entry fee forfeited.
Entrants confirm they are the sole author of the entry. Any entry found to contain plagiarised text (including insufficiently attributed quotations from copyright material) will be disqualified and the entry fee forfeited.
Authors may re-enter a non-winning manuscript that has been entered in previous years, as long as it meets the entry criteria.
Entrants should not discuss any details of their entry (e.g. title, plot, characters, themes) online or in person, to protect the integrity of the contest.
An entrant who signs a contract to publish a fiction manuscript after 30 April may remain in the contest, but any entrant who publishes a work of fiction in any print or online form prior to the announcement of the finalists must withdraw from the contest.
Any finalist who publishes a work of fiction before the CALEB Unpublished winner is announced must withdraw from the contest. This includes novels that are self-published, vanity published, or published by a traditional publisher.
The contest will be limited to fifteen (15) entries in each category.