Omega Writers

Omega Writers and the 2022 CALEB Award: Frequently Asked Questions

There is one week to go before entries close in the 2022 CALEB Awards. I’ve had several questions from entrants and potential entrants over the last few weeks, so today I’m answering all the questions.

When do entries close?

Entries close on Tuesday 26 April.

Have you received my entry?

I will be contacting all entrants this week to confirm I have received their book or manuscript, and I will be cross-checking the entries against those who have paid. If you have paid but haven’t sent your entry, please ensure you email it before the deadline.

How do I enter? The “enter” page seems to be to book tickets for the presentation event in October rather than to enter a manuscript in the competition.

You can enter by clicking the “Book Now” button at the top right-hand corner of the TryBooking page. Unfortunately, the software won’t allow us to change the text to a more user-friendly “Enter Here”. Once you’ve clicked “Book Now”,you select your category, and work through the questions. Once you’ve paid your entry fee, you send your entry to the email address provided.

The actual award presentations will be on Saturday 8 October, as part of the 2022 Omega Writers Conference.

Earlybird conference bookings open today (18 April 2022). Click here for more information.

Each category needs a minimum of seven entries. Will my category be going ahead?

As of today, we have received enough entries to enable the following categories to proceed:

  • Published Adult Fiction
  • Published Young Adult Fiction
  • Published Nonfiction (Adult and Young Adult)
  • Unpublished Adult Fiction

There is still time to enter, so don’t delay. Click here to find out more, and click here to enter.

We do not currently have enough entries for the following categories:

  • Unpublished Young Adult Fiction
  • Unpublished Nonfiction (Adult and Young Adult)

If we do not receive sufficient entries for Unpublished Young Adult Fiction, then we will combine that with Unpublished Adult Fiction, as the judging criteria are essentially the same. However, we may have to cancel the Nonfiction category. If so, we will refund all entry fees.

Can I enter a previous CALEB Unpublished award entry which has now been published?

Yes, you absolutely can enter a Published book that was previously entered as an Unpublished manuscript. That’s something we love to see, because it shows people are making progress in their writing!

You can also enter the second (or later) edition of a book, as long as you haven’t entered that book in a previous CALEB and it has a 2021 copyright date.

However, you can’t enter the same book more than once in a Published category, even if you’ve made substantial changes and reissued the book as a new edition with a new copyright date, or as a new title with a new copyright date.

What if my book is part of a series? Can I enter any book from the series, or do I have to enter the first book?

You can enter any book in a series, as long as the book meets the entry requirements i.e. was first published in 2021 (as determined by the copyright date). It’s up to you whether you choose to enter the first book or a different book. If you’re only entering one book, my recommendation would be to either enter the first book, or the book you think is best. You can enter up to two books in the same category, as long as they both have a 2021 copyright date.

Are the CALEB fiction awards only for novels, or can I enter my novella/novelette?

Entries in the Published section need to be a minimum of 30,000 words, which is a mid-length novella (novelettes tend to be over 10,000 words, and novellas start at 25,000 words while novels start at around 50,000 words for category fiction).

We do not have a minimum word count in the Unpublished section this year. However, I would suggest entries need to be a minimum of 30,000 words to be judged appropriately against the first-round judging criteria (which judges on the first 10,000 words, so assumes the entry doesn’t include the ending). However, if you’re entering to get anonymous feedback on your writing, then it would only need to be over 10,000 words.

Click here to read the Unpublished Award rules.

Click here to read the Published Award rules.

What are the benefits of entering the Unpublished contest?

The main benefit is the feedback. All entrants will receive anonymous written feedback from three judges. Finalists will receive anonymous written feedback from six judges, three of whom will have read the full manuscript. This feedback is important in several respects:

  • Good feedback will identify any writing issues in your manuscript, which can save you literally years of writing and rewriting.
  • All feedback will give you experience in evaluating and applying feedback. Not all feedback is good, and not all feedback will work for your manuscript. Some feedback might feel wrong initially, but will turn out to be right when enough time has passed.
  • Feedback produces feelings, and one valuable lesson in writing is to learn that the feedback is not personal. It’s not about you. It’s about your manuscript, and it comes from someone who wants to help you to be a better writer. The more feedback we receive, the sooner we will stop feeling defensive about receiving feedback and be able to act on that feedback in a positive way.
  • While critical feedback may hurt, it’s better to receive that criticism privately on an unpublished manuscript rather than finding out via a review after the book is published.

Entering a writing award also gives you experience in writing a synopsis, writing to a deadline, and submitting according to specific instructions. These are all valuable skills. Entering a contest also gives you experience in waiting. There’s a lot of waiting in writing, particularly if you decide to pursue a traditional publishing contract.

While you’re waiting, we recommend volunteering to judge the Published contest in your genre.

Judging will give you experience in thinking critically about writing in your genre, and will help you understand what the judges will be looking for when they read and evaluate your writing. Click here to read some of the lessons I’ve learned from judging writing contests.

And there are prizes …

Omega Writers is delighted to be able to offer the following prizes for the CALEB Award in 2022.

Published Awards
  • Published Fiction: $300 cash prize and trophy
  • Published Young Adult Fiction:  $300 cash prize and trophy
  • Published Nonfiction (suitable for Adult or YA market): $300 cash prize and trophy
Unpublished Awards

Unpublished Fiction: Winner will receive editing services from Iola Goulton at Christian Editing Services to the value of $400. Website:

Unpublished Young Adult Fiction: Winner to receive editing services from Nola Passmore at The Write Flourish to the value of $400. Website:

Unpublished Nonfiction: Winner to receive a Manuscript Review and Feedback from Nicole Partridge to the value of $400. Website:

Can I volunteer to judge if I’m entering the CALEB Awards?

Yes! Judging is a great way of giving back to the Australasian Christian writing community.

  • If you’re entering the Unpublished award, then we’d love to have you judge the Published award—Young Adult or Adult fiction.
  • If you write fiction and you’re entering one of the Published awards, then we’d love to have you judge the Unpublished award.
  • If you’re not entering the CALEB, then we’d love to have you judge whatever category you like!

What qualifications do I need to be a judge?

You need to be a keen reader of the genre you’re offering to judge. That’s pretty much it.

If you’re applying to judge the Unpublished contest, then it would be great if you’re also a writer, editor, or publisher, as we want to give our Unpublished entrants good feedback.

Also, the CALEB Award is a Christian contest, so we do ask that judges agree with the Omega Writers Statement of Belief.

What do judges have to do?

First-round judges will have approximately two months to judge between three and ten entries in the category and genre of their choice (so if you hate reading young adult romance, we’ll do our best to ensure you don’t get any romance entries. If you can only judge three entries, we’ll send you three. If you can judge more, we’ll send you more).

The Unpublished contest is the first 10,000 words of the manuscript, plus a 1,000-word synopsis. Depending on how fast you read, judging should take between 30 and 60 minutes per entry.

Those judging the Unpublished contest will be asked to provide written feedback to support their scores, and this feedback will be given to the entrants. Feedback is one of the main reasons to enter an Unpublished contest, so we do ask that judges give fair, considered, and prayerful feedback.

The first round of the Published contest is based on the first 50 pages (or 25%) of the book for other categories (although you’re welcome to read the entire book). Judges will be asked to complete a score sheet for each entry, but will not have to provide written feedback, and score sheets will not be returned to the entrants.

Final-round judges will have approximately two months to pick a winner from three finalists. They will be asked to read the full book or manuscript (entries are capped at 120,000 words).

Click here to find out more about judging.

Click here to volunteer as a judge.

Have we missed any questions? Add yours in the comments.