2019 Free Publishing Contest Guidelines

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Eligibility Requirements
Submission Guidelines
Submission Details and Entry Form Questions

We would like to thank you for inquiring about the Word Alive Press 2019 Free Publishing Contest; the largest faith-based free publishing event in Canada! Now celebrating our 16th year, it continues to be a great privilege and honour for us to partner with talented Canadian Christian writers.

Should you have any questions, please review the FAQs. If you still have a question, please contact Sylvia St.Cyr at sylvia@wordalivepress.ca or 1.866.967.3782, ext. 208.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The contest is open to Canadian citizens (including Canadian citizens living abroad) and to non-Canadians living in Canada who have legal permanent resident status.
  • The contest is open to writing by all Christians who affirm our Statement of Faith (below).
  • Eligible manuscripts will not have been previously published in part or in full (this includes self-published titles) and have not previously been published in any other format (eg eBook).
  • If you have won our Free Publishing Contest previously, you are no longer eligible for this contest. We welcome you to contact your previous Publishing Consultant or Project Manager directly to discuss your latest manuscript.
  • Eligible manuscript submissions must apply to one of the two Contest Categories:
    – Non-fiction (Adult/Youth chapter book)
    – Fiction (Adult/Youth chapter book)
  • Contest entries must be uploaded no later than midnight on May 31, 2019 through our Submit Your Manuscript portal on our website.
  • All manuscripts must adhere to our Statement of Faith:
    – The Holy Scriptures, as originally given by God, are divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy, and constitute the only supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
    – There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    – Our Lord Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh; we affirm his virgin birth, sinless humanity, divine miracles, vicarious and atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension, ongoing mediatorial work, and personal return in power and glory.
    – The salvation of lost and sinful humanity is possible only through the merits of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, received by faith apart from works, and is characterized by regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
    – The Holy Spirit enables believers to live a holy life, to witness and work for the Lord Jesus Christ.
    – The Church, the body of Christ, consists of all true believers.
    – Ultimately God will judge the living and the dead, those who are saved unto the resurrection of life, those who are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

    As part of the submission process, you will be asked to affirm the above statements. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact Sylvia St.Cyr at sylvia@wordalivepress.ca, or 1-866-967-3782, ext. 208.

Submission Guidelines

All manuscripts must be submitted via our Online Submission Portal
*For ease of reading by the judging committee, we appreciate receiving manuscript submissions in 8.5” x 11” format, double-spaced at Times New Roman 12-point font.

  • Only MS Word document format will be accepted for submission, (not PDF, etc.) and the manuscript must be saved as one complete file, which includes the 3-5 page synopsis to be included (clearly marked) at the end of the manuscript.
  • No submission fee is required.
  • More than one entry per participant may be submitted. Each submission must be uploaded separately.

    All manuscripts must be submitted electronically via our “Submit Your Manuscript” portal. Clicking the “submit” button will bring up an online entry form on your screen. After filling out the online form, you will be given the option to upload your manuscript. Please include your synopsis (3-5 pages) within your manuscript, at the back of the document, clearly marked. Please carefully review this document prior to submitting your manuscript. Once this content is submitted, no further changes can be made to the manuscript or the entry form, so we encourage you to prepare your answers in advance for the following questions. Click here to review and complete the official entry form.

Submission Details and Entry Form Questions:

In addition to general questions about your manuscript, plus your personal information you will be asked the following questions on the entry form:

Word Count: The total number of words in your manuscript.
Summary: In 1-2 sentences, please tell us what your book is about:
Author Bio: Please tell us a little bit about yourself in a few sentences. This could include your educational background, current/past employment or volunteer experiences, previous publications, etc. If applicable, please let us know how these details are relevant to your manuscript (for example, you are a nurse who has written a medical mystery novel, or you have been married for thirty years and have written a book for newlyweds on establishing a marriage that will last).
Synopsis: Please prepare a 3-5 page synopsis of your manuscript. This should give a detailed description of your story from beginning to end. Please include this in your manuscript document as the last few pages, clearly marked.


One winner in each contest category will be chosen to be professionally published for free, which includes:
- A royalty-based book publishing contract
- Professional editing services, cover design, and typesetting of your book.
- Distribution from one of Canada’s leading Christian book distributors.
- Sales & marketing of your book to bookstores, churches & ministries.
- Digital representation, including eBook and audio book distribution, and the creation of a book trailer.


May I submit my contest entry via mail or email?
All submissions must be made through our online Submit Your Manuscript portal. If you are having technical difficulties, or are not able to submit via these means, please contact Sylvia St.Cyr at sylvia@wordalivepress.ca, or 1-866-967-3782 ext. 208

What is the minimum word count?
For the purposes of our contest, the manuscript should be at least 14,000 words. We do not have a maximum word count per se; however, we would recommend keeping the manuscript under 150,000 words if possible.

Can I submit book proposals elsewhere when entering your contest?

Does my manuscript need to be fully formatted and/or edited before it is submitted?
Formatting and editing are not prerequisite, but submitting the best version of your work will only enhance the impression you give to the judging committee.

Must my manuscript be faith-based with a Christian theme?
Yes. We are a faith-based Christian publishing company and are seeking to award and publish what we would consider to be the bestsellers through Christian retail outlets.

Is your contest associated with any denomination or theological framework?
Word Alive Press is a Canadian Christian Partnership Publisher, and we are not associated with any one denomination. We have published books by authors representing a wide variety of denominations.

Can children’s books be submitted to the contest?
While we do publish children’s picture books, this contest is limited to adult/youth chapter books. For information on children’s book publishing, please visit our website.

Is the contest open to Canadian citizens only?
Yes, the contest is only open to Canadian citizens (including Canadian citizens living abroad) and to non- Canadians living in Canada who have legal permanent resident status.

May I submit a title that was previously published and now revised?
Our annual Free Publishing Contest is limited to original fiction and non-fiction manuscripts. Books previously published in part or in whole are not eligible for the contest. However, we would certainly be pleased to work with you on this project through our regular author services! Please visit our website for further details.

I am also interested in another publishing contest Word Alive Press is running. Can I enter the same manuscript into both contests?
No. You are welcome to enter a different manuscript into the contest, and you are welcome to enter multiple manuscripts into the same contest, but you may not enter the same manuscript into two separate contests run by us within the same year.

I submitted a manuscript to one of your previous contests and it did not win. Can I re-submit this manuscript?
Our contest is intended not only to discover fresh, new Canadian Christian writing, but also to encourage writers and help them grow their skills. While we do not bar previously submitted material from our contest, we would encourage you to revisit your manuscript and have a manuscript critique performed on it before it is re-submitted, to ensure it is of the highest quality it can be.

I have previously won your Free Publishing Contest. Am I eligible to enter a new manuscript in this year’s contest?
We would like to reserve our contest for writers who have not yet had a chance to be traditionally published by Word Alive Press. However, we would love to see your new manuscript! Please contact us directly to discuss the possibility of partnering with us on publishing your latest project.

May I submit a title that has been previously published in another language?
Our annual Free Publishing Contest is limited to original fiction and non-fiction manuscripts. Books previously published in part or in whole in another language are not eligible for the contest. However, we would certainly be pleased to work with you on this project through our regular author services! Please visit our website for further details.

I have previously published other books, am I still eligible?
Yes! While previously published works are not eligible, authors that have previously published other books are certainly able to submit new material into our contest.

I posted an excerpt of my manuscript on my blog, does that make it ineligible?
If you have posted a portion of your manuscript for review and/or critique, you are still eligible for the contest. However, if you have purchased an ISBN, and/or published an eBook online, you would not be eligible for the contest.

Must the manuscript be completed?
Yes, the manuscript must be submitted in its entirety in order to be eligible for the contest.

Are there any age restrictions for contest entrants?
We welcome manuscript submissions from all ages, without any restrictions.

What happens to my manuscript after the contest closes?
All manuscripts, will be destroyed within six months of the contest closing date.

May I make revisions to my submission after it is uploaded?
Once your manuscript has been uploaded, no further changes can be made. Please carefully check over your manuscript before uploading it.

I’m having trouble submitting my manuscript online. Can I mail in my submission?
We do not accept contest submissions via mail. Please call Sylvia St.Cyr for assistance in uploading your manuscript at 1-866-967-3782 ext. 208.

Are royalties paid on the winning titles?
Yes. Royalties will be paid quarterly as defined by our contract.

When will the winners be announced?
Winners will be announced in mid- to late July, 2019. Please follow us for updates:
Twitter @wordalivepresss
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The Word Alive Press Blog
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Thank you again for your interest in our contest! We look forward to receiving and reviewing your manuscript.