The Zebulon

Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Writing Contest




Changes to The Zebulon Are Coming Soon…

Stay Tuned For More Info!

The Zebulon is the new Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Writing Contest focusing on what it takes to get your work published. It is open to both unpublished and published authors of novel-length fiction. Anyone may enter regardless of whether or not they have been published and regardless of the format of the publication (self-publication, digital publication, traditional publication, etc.) The entry submitted in the contest must be a previously unpublished manuscript. Entrants must certify that the entry has not been accepted for publication prior to the date of entry. Manuscripts that previously have won first place in a PPW contest are not eligible for entry. Manuscripts that are part of an already published series are not eligible for entry.

Winners will be recognized at The Zebulon Awards Banquet on Saturday night of the 2014 Pikes Peak Writers Conference. The first place winner in each category will be refunded his/her Conference registration fee if attending PPWC 2014, or will be awarded a cash prize of $100 if not attending. Second place will be awarded $40. Third place will be awarded $20. All winners attending PPWC 2014 will be given top priority with respect to their editor/agent pitch appointment selections.

Entries in The Zebulon are judged in three distinct phases.  The first phase evaluates the query letter portion of your submission, which is addressed to a virtual agent. Your one-page query letter should excel to ensure your entry moves to the next round. If it doesn’t score high enough, the rest of your entry will not be considered, just like in the real world.

In the second phase, judges evaluate the first 2500 words of your manuscript, along with a 500-word synopsis. The synopsis represents only a small part of your score but will show the judge that your story has a plot and an ending. Make sure it does.

The final phase is where the VIP judges (all publishing professionals) will rank the top three entries in each category.

The Zebulon has six categories: middle grade/young adult, mainstream/literary/historical, romance/women’s, mystery/suspense/thriller, science fiction/fantasy, and urban fantasy/horror, each with their own virtual agent.

Find out more about our virtual agents.

Check out our handy genre guide.

Each of the virtual agents requires online submission and payment through PayPal. To help launch The Zebulon in style, the entry fee has been reduced to $20. You can purchase up to two critiques of your entry for an additional $20 each.

The Zebulon is closed for entries for 2013. Please join us next year when we open the contest again. Good luck to everyone that entered this year.

There’s no time like now to start that new manuscript or dust off an old one. You may enter as many times as you like, but each manuscript may be submitted no more than twice, in two separate categories. Each entry must be submitted separately and be paid for with the entry fee.

See the complete contest rules.

View the contest checklist to make sure you cross all ‘t’s and dot all ‘i’s.

See the frequently asked questions (FAQ).

The Zebulon Query Scoresheet (PDF).

The Zebulon Main Scoresheet (PDF).

… and the Winner of the… Name the Contest Contest is…

The new name for the Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Writing Contest has been chosen and the winning name is: The Zebulon. This name was entered by two people, so the one that entered first has won the prize of a free submission to The Zebulon. That winner is Rob Bowman of Denver, Colorado. Congratulations Rob!

A second prize winner of a free submission to The Zebulon was also chosen by random drawing from the 147 entries. That winner is Andrea Ruggeri of Towson, Maryland. Congratulations to Andrea as well!

Now that the writing contest has a name, watch for details about submitting your work of fiction.

Thank you to everyone who entered.

We are pleased to announce the VIP judges for The Zebulon:

  • Sara Sargent, Simon and Schuster – Middle Grade/Young Adult
  • Gordon Warnock, Foreword Literary, Inc. – Mainstream/Literary/Historical
  • Terese Ramin, Entangled Publishing – Romance/Women’s Fiction
  • Terri Bischoff, Llewellyn - Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
  • Michael L. Braff, Del Rey Books – Random House Worlds – Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Amy Boggs, Donald Maass Literary Agency – Urban Fantasy/Horror

Winners of The Zebulon will be announced in early March.

Thank you to all who have entered contests of years past.

View a list of the 2012 Contest Winners here!

Contest At a Glance

The Zebulon Contest is now closed for entries. Please join us next year. Good luck to everyone that entered!

Looking for more information about our fictitious agency and the agents that "work" there? Find it here!

If you're going to enter the The Zebulon, you should read our rules and check out the frequently asked questions.

We've also put together a handy genre guide as well as our judging criteria, query scoresheet, and main scoresheet.

About Zebulon Pike

Pikes Peak, the majestic mountain west of Colorado Springs, is named for General Zebulon Pike, an Army captain who led the Pike Expedition to explore and document the southwest US. His published account of this expedition was so popular that it became required reading for all 19th century explorers who followed after him. We've named our contest "The Zebulon" because even though he failed to reach the summit of Pikes Peak, he's been immortalized as an intrepid explorer and as an author, revered by his peers.

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