Get Ready to Publish: Four Seminars

We are excited to present four online seminars over the summer to prepare you for professional publication. If you’re serious about publishing, these seminars will bring you the information you need to make smart decisions and move towards success.

Three Paths: Understanding the Publishing Industry (July 9, 2020) – What are the legitimate opportunities in the publishing industry? How do you find them and how do you avoid the scams?

The Five Steps of Book Production (July 16, 2020) – Professional book production is a 5-step process. If you’re intending to self-publish, this is critical information. Books that complete all five steps are far more successful. If you’re intending to seek conventional publication, it will also be helpful to understand what’s happening behind the scenes.

Query Letter Workshop (August 6, 2020) – You have one shot to make a good impression with agents and publishers. In this seminar, you’ll discover winning strategies for crafting great query letters (and classic mistakes!). We’ll also workshop the query letters of a few volunteers as a group.

Finding Opportunities in the Publishing Industry (August 13, 2020) – You have a complete (or soon-to-be-complete) manuscript, and a budding author’s platform. What are your next steps? This seminar will feature an extensive Q&A on all topics publishing and platform-building.

These seminars will be taught by Brad Pauquette, a publishing expert with more than ten years experience in the publishing industry. Brad has consulted with authors at every level, from first-time authors to New York Times bestsellers. Brad is the president of the Ohio Writers’ Association and the director of the School of Kingdom Writers. Learn more at BradPauquette.com.

These seminars normally cost $59 each to attend.  Due to the ongoing COVID situation, we’ve reduced the price to just $99 to attend all four. If you intend to seek out opportunities in the publishing industry, this is the most critical information you need to make good choices and see results.

All of these seminars are held live at 7pm ET. Attendees who wish to do so may participate and ask questions. If you’re unable to attend the live seminar for any reason, you can watch the recorded video for up to 7 days following the event.

Use this button to register for these online seminars at this reduced price right now.

If you’d like your seminar invitation (with the live link) sent to a different email address, please be sure to note that in the order process. By default, we’ll send the link to your PayPal e-mail address.

If you’d like to pay by a different method, please contact us at info@OhioWriters.org.

You can also register for individual seminars at the regular price using our OWA Class portal. Click here.

Questions? Please contact us at info@OhioWriters.org.

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.

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!

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!



The Great Novel Contest 2020 — Halfway Mark

The first month of the new decade is now halfway through, and that means we’ve reached the halfway point for The Great Novel Contest 2020! Have you submitted your manuscript yet?

Time is running out! Submit your novel here.

Don’t miss out on your chance to win $1,000 and a publishing contract with Bellwether. We can’t think of a better way to start off the new decade than with cash in my pocket and a published book on the way.

You’ll also be featured in the OWA Contest Winner article to showcase your writing talents and promote your upcoming book.

The runner up will receive $500 and a publishing consultation with OWA President and publishing expert Brad Paquette. Ten finalists will receive a $50 voucher for OWA classes and be featured in a Finalist Spotlight post.

What have you got to lose? Push past your fear and submit here!

Read The Great Novel Contest 2020 guidelines and instructions.

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 – Steven Hiller

Steven Hiller, with his manuscript Breach of the Covenant, is another finalist for The Great Novelist Contest 2019. 

Still haven’t entered The Great Novel Contest 2020? You can do that here!

Steven graduated with his bachelor’s from Urbana University and earned his Master of Arts in Creative Writing and English degree from Southern New Hampshire University in 2014. Now he works as an English Professor at the University of Northwestern Ohio. When he’s not grading papers or jotting down the next chapter of his story, he’s often found playing a relaxing game of chess.  

The Breach of the Covenant takes an imaginative spin on the story of Adam and Eve, where the Forbidden Fruit didn’t just make them intelligent: it gave them access to all of God’s knowledge. In the wake of the chaos that followed, a small species was created by mistake. Now, this race must limit humanity’s knowledge and prevent humans from learning what they already know.

Some of Steven’s favorite books include The Chocolate War, Arrow in the Sun, and works by Dr. Suess, Steinbeck, and Shakespeare. If you’re interested in learning craft, he swears by The Elements of Style by Strunk and White and East of Eden by Steinbeck. 

A good support group is key to writing, and Steven has his wife and son to encourage him. After Steven was announced as a finalist “more people have started to believe in [his] writing.” 

Observation and persistence are two other qualities that Steven recommends to anyone who has a hard time finishing their novel. He also suggests that “you must pay attention to what is around you…writing is not something done on occasion; it is a laborious task like a marathon.”

Steven discovered Ohio Writers’ Association and The Great Novel Contest 2020 through Facebook. As someone who’s entered multiple writing contests in the past, he knows that it’s worth submitting. “The worst answer is no, and I hear that often enough,” he said. 

Steven hopes to be published by a traditional publishing house someday, and he continues to be a prolific writer. His psychological drama Screaming in Silence was shortlisted for the 2016 William Wise-William Faulkner Contest, and he’s already completed a sequel to Breach of the Covenant.


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!

The Great Novel Contest 2020 Ten-Day Update

The Great Novel Contest 2020 has been live for ten days! Have you submitted a manuscript yet? 

If not, you’re missing out on a chance to win $1,000 and a publishing contract from Bellwether. That dream of getting your book published might be a lot closer than you think.

Click here to submit your novel.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Maya Angelou

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

The top ten finalists will be featured in a Finalist Spotlight post and receive a $50 OWA gift card for writing courses.

Not sure if your manuscript is a good fit? Check out the rules and guidelines here.

This is a fantastic opportunity for writers everywhere, whether this manuscript is your first or fifth. Don’t pass up this chance to submit your novel, win cash, and get published!


If you have any additional questions about the contest, you can contact a helpful OWA member at info@ohiowriters.org.

If you have a great idea but haven’t finished writing yet, check out some of our novel-writing courses and workshops.

Great Novel Contest 2019: Bill Hughes – Finalist Spotlight

Bill Hughes is one of the top ten finalists of The Great Novel Contest 2019 for his thought-provoking manuscript, The Thin Red Jellies Within.

The Great Novel Contest 2020 is here! Check out the details.

Bill earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English from Ohio State, and he currently lives in the Columbus area with his wife and son. During his free time, he enjoys reading nineteenth-century novels, Samuel Beckett, pulp crime fiction, and watching cheap horror movies.

He’s published multiple stories in a variety of magazines such as The Edge, The Pedestal, Byzarium, and Page and Spine.  After being an editor for the small-press magazine Dread, he took a fifteen-year hiatus from the writing and publishing world, and he feels like he’s “starting from scratch.” The Thin Red Jellies Within is his first novel-length project and marks his return to writing.

The Thin Red Jellies Within walks the line between genres as a man tries his best to handle the bizarre new life he’s handed after his wife disappears. She’s eventually finally found, but something feels off about her. Is this really the person he fell in love with?

The Thin Red Jellies Within is a mystery, one that questions identity and the limits of reason viewed through the prism of historic Ohio.

One of Bill’s earliest writing inspirations was the Hardy Boys series, and he wrote a story about them in the fourth grade. Now he’s influenced by works such as Sister Carrie and American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, Huck Finn, Joe R. Lansdale’s A fine Dark Line, Gifune’s Deep Night, Little Girl Lost and Songs of Innocence by Richard Aleas, and Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World. He also recommends reading the works of Henry James, Jim Thompson, and any of Richard Wright’s works — especially American Hunger.

Persistence was key to finishing The Thin Red Jellies Within, and Bill believes that persistence is most important for anyone struggling to finish a novel. After his long hiatus, Bill is building up his writing support group. “I’m just starting to share work with people and build new relationships.”

Bill is a long-standing member of OWA, and he spotted The Great Novel Contest 2019’s announcement on the website. At first, he felt unsure about submitting, but then he thought: “What the heck. OWA is a very supportive organization, and I’ve always gotten good feedback when I’ve participated in their workshops. I felt that something positive would come of it.”

To Bill, the ideal situation would be finding a good editor who enjoys his writing style and building a relationship with them. He will continue submitting The Thin Red Jellies Within to small-press editors in hopes that the manuscript will find a good home in the future.


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!