Operation First Novel 2014

Membership Deadline: August 29, 2014
Entry Deadline: September 3, 2014


To enter your manuscript, you must be a member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.

  • Entrants must be a member by August 29, 2014, and memberships must remain in effect from that date through February 28, 2015.
  • If you are a current student of the Christian Writers Guild, you are a member (membership must remain in effect through February 28, 2015). To become a member, click here.

Submission Requirements

  • Contest entries must be submitted by the deadline using the online submission form found at the Christian Writers Guild website in Microsoft Word .doc or .rtf format.
  • You may not have had a book (fiction or nonfiction) published or accepted for publication, neither printed nor e-published, by a royalty publisher prior to the entry deadline.
  • Having had a previous book produced by a self-publishing or a print-on-demand company does not disqualify you from entering.
  • Novels that have been self-published — in print or electronic format — may not be entered in Operation First Novel. (This was a new rule for 2013.)
  • If the submitted manuscript is a collaboration, each entrant must be a member or student of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild by the membership deadline above and through February 28, 2015.
  • Only novels are eligible.
  • Submitted manuscripts must be the original work of the entrant(s).
  • Submitted manuscripts must be written in English.
  • Submitted novels must be complete, no fewer than 75,000 words and no more than 100,000 words.
  • Entries are limited to one per person.
  • All rights to submitted manuscripts remain the property of the entrants. Copyright will be registered in the name of the winning entrant.
  • Submissions will be acknowledged by automatic email. If you fail to receive an acknowledgement, contact the Guild office at 866.495.5177.
  • Manuscript excerpts may be used for educational purposes in any way deemed appropriate by the staff of the Christian Writers Guild.
  • Submissions must not contain any content or material which (i) infringes upon or otherwise violates the copyright, trademark, trade secret, or other intellectual property or proprietary rights of any person or entity, (ii) is defamatory or constitutes an invasion of privacy, (iii) is unlawful, (iv) would reasonably cause harm or injury of any kind to any person or entity, or (v) discriminates against any person or entity in any manner whatsoever.
  • Each winning entrant is responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of excerpts and quotations from third party works. Excerpts and quotations must be properly credited according to accepted manuscript standards as noted in The Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition).
  • Submissions not meeting all contest requirements will be disqualified.


Submissions must include:

  • A cover sheet (as a separate Microsoft Word .doc or .rtf file) with the entrant’s name, Christian Writers Guild membership number, entrant’s mailing address, telephone number, and email address, as well as the book title, number of pages, and approximate word count.
  • A Table of Contents is not required.
  • A narrative synopsis of no more than 750 words (Synopsis.doc) summarizing the entire novel, including setting, major characters, scenes, plot points, plot twists, and the conclusion, must be included as a separate file and uploaded with the rest of the book through the online form.
  • Entries must be submitted in standard manuscript format, with text in a 12-point standard font (such as Times New Roman), double-spaced, with pages numbered consecutively.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .rtf format.
  • Text must contain no extra spaces between paragraphs or sentences, except for scene breaks. The first line of each paragraph must be indented.
  • The entrant’s name, Christian Writers Guild membership number, mailing address, telephone number, and email address must appear only on the cover sheet. Do not put this information anywhere else. There must be no language, symbol, or other information in the book chapters or synopsis to indicate the entrant’s identity.


  • Contest judges reserve the right not to award a prize if no entries of suitable merit are received.
  • Submitted books will be reviewed and judged using a high standard of excellence. The Christian Writers Guild will select the judges to review the submitted books. The judges will not know the identity of any entrant prior to deciding the winning submitted books.
  • Entrants shall not have the right to request reconsideration of a submitted book. The judges’ decisions will be final and binding on the entrants and not subject to challenge or appeal.
  • Judges or staff of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, BelieversPress, or the co-sponsoring publisher will not offer a critique of non-winning manuscripts or enter into correspondence with entrants about their entered manuscripts, other than through the standard score sheets each judge fills out.
  • CWG staff may contact entrants for the purpose of informing them of CWG and BelieversPress services.


  • The co-sponsoring publisher reserves the right to publish the Grand Prize winning entry as per its standard contractual agreement, with a $15,000 advance against royalties.

Tax Issues

  • The winner(s) of the Operation First Novel Contest are responsible for all resulting taxes.
  • All awards will be paid in full. We will not deduct for applicable taxes or withholding.
  • The winner is solely responsible for paying all applicable state and federal income and other taxes due.
  • The winner(s) are strongly encouraged to consult with a tax adviser.

Other Legal Requirements

  • Non-winning entries will not be returned.
  • The entrant, for himself or herself and any person or entity claiming through or on behalf of the entrant, hereby indemnifies, defends, and holds harmless the released parties from and against any and all damages, claims, causes of action, liabilities, and expenses (including attorneys’ fees and costs) incurred by the released parties arising from the entrant’s (i) violation of these terms and conditions, (ii) submission of a manuscript for which the entrant does not possess the requisite legal or other proprietary rights (in whole or in part) or necessary permissions from third parties, and (iii) participation, or exclusion or disqualification from participation, in Operation First Novel.
  • Operation First Novel is governed by the laws of the State of Colorado, USA. The entrant hereby agrees that all transactions involving Operation First Novel, the Christian Writers Guild, and this website (including performance or nonperformance of these terms and conditions) shall be deemed to have occurred solely in Colorado. The entrant hereby agrees that the appropriate state or federal court in Colorado shall be the exclusive jurisdiction and venue for any kind of dispute or litigation between the entrant and the released parties.
  • The entrant specifically consents to personal jurisdiction in Colorado and waives any right the entrant may have to remove or transfer any case or proceeding to any other jurisdiction, state, or country.
  • Operation First Novel is void where prohibited by applicable law.
  • Family members, mentors, officers, employees, contractors, advisors, and representatives of, and other persons affiliated with, the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, BelieversPress, the co-sponsoring publisher, and their affiliates are not eligible.

    Contest Information


    • Must be a member by August 29, 2014
    • Membership must be valid through February 28, 2015
    • Must be between 75,000 and 100,000 words
    Read Contest Regulations