Christine Elizabeth Eldin (1966-2012) was an aspiring middle grade author. Her passion for learning, and for sharing her knowledge with young people, inspired her to earn a master's degree in education and dedicate her life to writing young adult literature. She co-founded "Book Roast," an online book promotion site that spotlighted the recent releases of dozens of authors. She also maintained a popular blog and actively supported her community of fellow writers. She was a loving mother, sister, and daughter, and a dear friend to many.

Chris left this world too soon when her life took a tragic turn. Her gentle soul, creative spirit, and generous heart will forever be remembered by the many people whose lives she touched and inspired.

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The Christine Eldin Memorial Fellowship ("Eldin Fellowship") has two purposes:

1. Honor the memory of Chris Eldin.

2. Provide recognition and financial assistance to an unpublished middle grade fiction author whose work-in-progress reveals potential for a successful writing career.

The Lascaux Review will host an annual contest to choose a "best" middle grade novel work-in-progress, along with a short list of finalists, among entries submitted. The contest will be conducted initially in 2014 (for award of the 2015 fellowship) and scheduled annually thereafter. A middle grade novel is understood to mean a work of fiction, typically a chapter book, for readers between the ages of eight and twelve.

Any unpublished middle grade manuscript, in whole or part, for which no publication contract exists at the time of submission, is eligible. Only English language submissions will be considered.

Contestants cannot be previously published in middle grade book-length fiction. Other types of previous publications are allowed. Previously self-published works are allowed. Contestants may be of any nationality and reside anywhere.

Judging takes place in two stages. In the first stage contestants submit the first 5000 words of their manuscripts, along with a synopsis. The synopsis may be of any length not exceeding 2000 words, and it should describe the entire story, including how it ends. Contestants submit digital files (doc, docx, pdf, rtf, etc.) via Submittable. The entry fee is $10. Readers selected by the Eldin Fellowship committee will choose the finalists.

In the second stage, a judge selected by the Eldin Fellowship committee selects a winner.

The first year's fellowship is $1000 and a trophy. The first year's judge is Louise Hawes. Submissions for the 2015 award are now closed. For more information contact lascauxreview at gmail dot com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will winning this contest result in the publication or representation of my manuscript?

A: No. The purpose of the contest is to recognize and acknowledge the quality of your manuscript, and to award you a modest fellowship. You may cite the recognition when approaching agents and editors or when promoting your novel after it has been published.

Q: What if my 5000 word submission cuts off in mid-sentence?

A: You may add the necessary words to reach the end of a paragraph.

Q: Do I need to use up the entire 2000 words in my synopsis?

A: Your synopsis should be the length it needs to be to get the job done. 2000 words is the maximum.

Q: What if my manuscript is less than 5000 words long?

A: Submit the entire manuscript. 

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