Guest Post — Hannah Douglas: The Great Novel Contest Deadline is Near!

Hannah Douglas– freelance writer/journalist, CCC volunteer for The Great Novel The Great Novel Contest 2015Contest— wrote this guest post on defeating deadlines, and the importance of the The Great Novel Contest 2015 deadline. Visit Hannah’s website for the original post: here

Let me just be straight. I don’t like deadlines. What kind of person likes them, really?

When I’m on deadline, I’d much rather make a sandwich. And then do the dishes after eating said sandwich. And then clean the entire house because if the dishes are done, then everything else must be clean, right? Then maybe I’ll call a friend to see if they need their dishes done or their house cleaned. OK. Enough.

Deadlines can put a lot of pressure on the creative process, placing a time stamp on a thought, an idea for a book, can seem so wrong! I’m writing. Don’t rush me.

Regardless of my strong disdain for deadlines, they exist to help move us forward. When it comes to The Great Novel Contest, maybe the deadline is in your favor! Deadlines could just be that inspiration you need to achieve your goals. You can finally polish off that manuscript and turn in a completed work that you love.

Learn more about The Great Novel Contest here.

Sometimes I’ll make my own self-imposed deadlines, and include a twisted rewards system to go along with it, just to make sure I finish a project. I’ll think of an angle for this story by 5p.m. No more coffee until I get this paragraph right. I can have these emails sent by tonight. Those 500 words will be done by Friday, and then I’ll have a big fancy dinner at a big fancy restaurant. And so on. You can judge me, but that’s my own process. You have your own.

I had to make a deadline for myself in order to finish writing this blog post. If not for that fake deadline, you probably wouldn’t be reading this.

It’s also really great when you turn your work in early! Beating the deadline can be a tremendous feeling. And The Great Novel Contest is no exception!

When I really wanted to get something done, I’ve also asked friends or editors to create deadlines for me, so that I can complete the work they’re wanting in time. I hated doing it, and I felt a little weird, but in the end, the story ran on time, and we all lived happily ever after!

But remember, deadlines are only effective if you actually meet them.

Whether you’re imposing your own fake deadlines or asking your friends to give you fake deadlines, let me assure you, the deadline of January 31, 2015 for The Great Novel Contest is very real. So real it’s almost here. So, what are you waiting for? It feels really good when you meet your deadlines! And receiving prizes for the contest feels really good too- just in case you need more of an incentive to make the deadline.

For more details on contest prizes and rules, visit Or check out the Facebook page, here.

Guest Post: Christopher Stollar on The Great Novel Contest 2015

The Great Novel Contest is underway! Each year we receive tons of submissions from The Great Novel Contest 2015talented authors who have worked hard to perfect their manuscript. We recently had a chat with CCC Member Christopher Stollar, who is submitting his first novel to The Great Novel Contest this year.

Find the contest rules and instructions for entering here.

CCC: Did you submit to last year’s novel contest?

Christopher: I didn’t submit to last year’s contest because I wanted the writers at Columbus Creative Cooperative to critique my manuscript first — and hopefully find all of its flaws before the judges do.

CCC: Why did you decide to submit to TGNC 2015? Did you have any reservations?

Christopher: I didn’t have any reservations. In fact, I wanted to see how well my novel could fight among the competition.

CCC: What are you submitting?

Christopher: I’m submitting my first book, The Black Lens. It’s a dark psychological mystery  about a teenage girl and her sister who fight back at the pimp that forces them into sex trafficking in a small American town.

CCC: That sounds really interesting! What did you do to prepare your novel for submission to The Great Novel Contest?

Christopher: I have spent the last three years researching, writing and editing my manuscript. That includes interviews with prostitutes, police officers and social workers. Most recently, I have spent the past three months making dozens of edits suggested by the writers at Columbus Creative Cooperative.

CCC: Have you submitted to any novel contests in the past?

Christopher: This is my first novel and contest.

CCC: What part of the contest are you most excited about?

Christopher: I’m excited to see if my book makes it into the top 10. That would give me an objective sense of encouragement, which my mom just can’t provide.

CCC: Have you shopped your novel around to publishers?

Christopher: I have pitched my manuscript to 44 agents since Aug. 29. So far, 17 have gotten back to me with rejection letters. However, I did receive one encouraging comment from an agent: “Your book has an interesting synopsis, exploring the shady world of sex trafficking and using photography as a weapon against it.”

CCC: If you win, how will you spend your prize money?

Christopher: I will donate a portion to a nonprofit organization that fights sex trafficking. Then I will put the rest of the prize money toward a trip with my wife. she has spent the past three years both encouraging and critiquing my work — and she deserves a break.

CCC: Who has helped you along the way with your novel?

Christopher: I have relied each day on God, the Great Author, my mom, who kindled my love for writing, my wife, who kept those embers burning, and more than a dozen writers who torched my drafts until one survived the fire.

CCC: Why do you write?

Christopher: I love the thrill of creating a new world, one that belongs just to you, your characters — and any reader who wants to join.

Find rules and instructions for entering The Great Novel Contest here. Submit your novel before January 31, 2015 for a chance to win $1000 and priority consideration from four independent publishers.