Operation First Novel Judging Begins

The first round of judging is underway for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest. This year 140 entries are competing for publication by Tyndale House and $20,000. The winner will be announced at the /membership-information/”>member of the Guild.

If you’ve started a fiction manuscript but are stuck, consider submitting pages to our /courses-overview/”>writing courses to develop your skills.


  1. Ben Linn says

    What kinds of subjects did the contestants choose to write? How soon will semifinalists and finalists be announced?

    • Michael Ehret says

      Ben, the better question would be what topic wasn’t covered!

      But seriously, we had a little bit of everything this year. With 140 entrants, that was just about guaranteed.

  2. john cooper says

    I recall reading somewhere that the finalists for this years contest will be announced in late November or early December. Was I imagining this? Do you know when the finalists will be announced?

    • Michael Ehret says

      John, you may have a great imagination, but you didn’t imagine this. We did, indeed, expect to initially announce semifinalists in November.

      This year’s process took longer than expected, but we are still planning on announcing 20 semifinalists and five finalists as soon as we possibly can. Those announcements will be made individually to entrants as well as right here on the website.

      Hang tight!

        • Michael Ehret says

          Crystal: As much as I’d like to answer your question with a yes, we can’t really say. We’re in the final round of the competition and can make no announcements until that’s completed.

          To me, this suggests the competition is stiff this year. I’m as excited as anyone to see how it comes out.

  3. Samantha says

    Any word on when the semi-finalists or finalists will be announced? It would be nice to see at least the semi-finalists. Thanks.

  4. Michael Ehret says

    To Samantha and everyone else wondering about Operation First Novel:

    We apologize for the delay this year in naming semi-finalists and finalists. Unfortunately, the delay is outside of our control as we’re waiting on final reviewers to complete their evaluations.

    We’re sure it is frustrating for you because it is for us, as well. But we will post the semi-finalists and finalists on our website as soon as they are available and will also send you notification by email.

    I encourage you to hang tight with us. Soon we’ll all know the results.

    • Leah says

      Congratulations to all of the entrants, I am so happy for all of you! I have been praying for everyone that entered the contest, that God would use every single manuscript to bring others closer to Him and glorify His name. I also wanted to thank the judges and everyone else involved that made this possible. God bless you!
      I did, however, have a question that I wanted to bring up…you see, I was under the impression that the semi-finalist list would include the names of twenty entrants rather then ten. I assumed this because of a post I read on December 8th. It certainly isn’t a big deal, I was just wonddering if I may have been mistaken? Again, thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this possible!

      • Michael Ehret says

        Leah, you saw a slip of my finger. I must have typed 20 instead of 10–and then didn’t realize it. Sorry for the confusion.

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