The She Writes Passion Project—Making One Writer’s Dream Come True

Thanks for your interest in the first ever She Writes Passion Project, a writing contest open to an emerging author and member of She Writes who has a non-fiction book project in the works.*

Our mission at She Writes is to support the efforts of women who write, and through the She Writes Passion Project we will give our knowledge, our expertise, and our time to one first-time woman author who brings us a book project we passionately believe deserves every chance in the world at becoming a success.

The winner will be selected on the basis of the merit of her entry, which consists of a cover letter and a 2,000-word excerpt. She will receive thorough and supportive consultations from our team of experts which are designed to help her prepare a complete proposal for submission to agents or publishers.

The She Writes Passion Project borrows its name from a common term used inside publishing houses to refer to a book an editor loves with a passion, even if it’s not a lucrative project. Our team of Preferred Providers make a living by charging for their consulting services, as well they should (if you look at their credentials, you will see they are worth every penny), but they also do this work because they love words, they love writing, and they believe – passionately – in the life- and world-changing power of writing for women. The Passion Project co-directors, Lea Beresford and Amanda Johnson Moon, are freelance editors who hail from inside of traditional publishing (Random House and Basic Books, most recently). Our experts, and She Writes, do not believe that this expertise should only be available to those who can afford to pay for it. The Passion Project enables this hand-picked A-team to choose a book project by a first-time author and to donate their time to its advancement, giving it every possible chance to succeed. She Writes exists to support the efforts of women who write. What better way to do that than to pool our resources in support of a woman writer who needs them? We can’t think of one. The She Writes Passion Project: Making One Writer’s Dream Come True.

*What do we mean by “in the works”? It might be a book proposal in draft form, or it might be material in the early stages of becoming a proposal. Either way, our team of experts will provide the winner with the advice she’ll need to put together a stellar proposal ready for submission to publishers.









WHAT YOU WIN: Thorough and supportive consultations from our team of experts to boost the potential of your non-fiction project:

EDITOR: Christina Baker Kline
Christina will provide you with an hour-long phone consultation on your book proposal, explaining all the necessary elements and sharing tips drawn from her years of experience writing or editing 22 books' proposals that have sold to major publishers.
Over the course of an hour-long phone consultation, Sarah will help you develop a sure-fire marketing and publicity plan, to be included in your proposal.
EDITOR: Amanda Johnson Moon
Amanda will edit the proposal that you’ve discussed with Christina and Sarah.
EDITOR: Lea Beresford
Lea will edit up to two sample chapters (or 10,000 words) to include in your proposal.
AGENT: Erin Hosier
Erin will help you with your query letter and provide a list of agents who excel at sales in your category.
Your hour-long phone consultation with Sharon Avnon will educate you about the best author websites, tools for creating them, pitfalls to avoid, how to draw readers to your site, and more.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Courtney E. Martin, Twanna Hines
During hour-long phone consultations, Courtney E. Martin will educate you on blogging and Twanna Hines will indoctrinate you into the world of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools for writers.

LIFE COACH: Rebecca Rodskog
Becky Rodskog, a seasoned change management consultant who lovingly guides individuals from Point A to Point B on their path to growth and fulfillment, will provide the winner with a session every other week, enabling the winner to stay focused and stay sane.
EVOCA: Murem Sharpe, the CEO of Evoca, has donated a generous year’s subscription to Evoca Express Pro. This leading voice-to-web service enables authors to easily record interviews (or their own voice) using Skype or any phone (and even an online recorder if their interviewee is in the same room). Evoca instantly saves the recording to the author’s account as an MP3 recording, for the author to keep private, to share via email with a co-author, editor, or others, and to post publicly on their website or blog to build interest in their topic.

WHO CAN ENTER: Anyone over the age of eighteen who is a member of She Writes (and if you’re not yet a member, please join – it’s free!!), has not published a book before, has a non-fiction project in the works* (including memoir)

*Again, what do we mean by “in the works”? You might have a book proposal in draft form, or you might be in the early stages of creating one. Either way, our team of experts will provide you with advice you’ll need to put together a stellar proposal, and our editors will help you shape and revise your first draft.

JUDGING PROCESS: Passion Project co-directors Amanda Johnson Moon and Lea Beresford will judge the first round and come up with a list of finalists. From those finalists, Brooke Warner of Seal Press, literary agents Erin Hosier and Betsy Lerner, authors Alissa Quart and Valerie Boyd, She Writes founders Kamy Wicoff and Deborah Siegel, and others (to be announced soon!) will select the winner.


Announcement of Contest: June 29, 2010—She Writes’ one year anniversary.

Deadline for Submissions: August 1, 2010, at midnight, Pacific Standard Time. No exceptions.

Announcement of Finalists: August 24, 2010 on

Announcement of the Winner: September 7, 2010 on

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Please submit your entry to

We will not accept attachments. Please paste your entire entry into the body of your email and use a standard font (like Times New Roman or your email program’s default font).Your entry must include:

ENTRY FEE: $15, via PayPal, to cover administrative costs. Paying the fee indicates that you agree to the terms and conditions posted below—please read them carefully.


A ONE-PAGE COVER LETTER that provides us with a snapshot of your project. Include your pitch and why you feel passionate about your project (in other words, describe in a few sentences what your project is about and why it is unique), your bio, and the following information:

1) Your name.
2) Your primary email address.
3) Your mailing address.
4) Your telephone number.
5) PayPal transaction # for your entry fee.
6) A photo of you.
7) Your age (must be 18 or over to enter).

AN EXCERPT of no more than 2,000 words, which is about ten pages of double-spaced text. You do not need to have the entire manuscript written at this point, but your submission must be original, unpublished, and unrepresented material.

1) You will be disqualified if you turn in a late entry. If your entry comes in after midnight on August 1, 2010 Pacific Standard Time, it will not be considered.
2) Your project MUST be non-fiction or memoir. No worries, fearless poets, playwrights, writers of fiction, etc. – we plan to hold another contest just for you very soon!
3) Rewrites are not accepted. In other words, please be sure you are happy with your submission before you click “send” because we will not accept rewrites, follow-up emails, additional material, etc.
4) Only one entry per person.
5) We only accept material that is unpublished and is not represented by an agent.
6) Your entry will not be considered “accepted” unless you have paid the entry fee.
7) You agree to have your entry (exclusive of your contact information) shared with the SW community, and to let us use it for promotional purposes.
8) She Writes does not guarantee publication.
9) You must be eighteen to enter.

By entering the contest, you agree to our terms and conditions.


I live outside of the United States. Can I still enter the contest?
Yes. Please note, however, that all entries must be submitted in English.

How will I know if my entry arrived?
We will respond with a brief notification that we have received your entry.

What about rights?
She Writes retains first electronic rights to your submission if your entry is a finalist. If your entry wins, She Writes reserves the right to post excerpts of your project, resulting from your work with the Preferred Providers, on the site. She Writes will not share any personal information about the winner or finalists, other than their names or pseudonyms, but reserves the right to blog about the winner’s progress. You retain all other rights.

Can I use a pseudonym?
Yes. However, please make sure to include both your real name in your entry (so if you win we know how to contact you), and your pseudonym.

Do you notify me if I don’t win?
No. You will be able to see the results on

Am I still eligible if I’ve self-published this project or a previous project?

I’m the editor of a published anthology. Am I eligible?
No. We consider editors of anthologies to be published authors.

I published a book in a very different genre. Am I eligible?
No. Published is published.

I self-published my book. Am I eligible?
Yes. Self-published authors are eligible whether they self-published a previous book or the project they are entering in the contest.

Can I work with a co-writer?
A: Yes, but she must also be unpublished and unrepresented.

What if I have another question that doesn’t appear here?
Feel free to email Lea and Amanda at:


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