FIRST -- age does not matter in publishing. Your parents have to sign legal documents for you is all.
Publishers are looking for good writing, not a look at your birth certificate. Write well and you will sell.
SECOND -- that "contest" is very likely a SCAM.
Seriously. Take a deep breath and get the 101 on publishing contest scams below:
I am betting that every person entering it will "win", then will be offered a contract with a vanity printer worth 1,000 dollars of credit. These "contests" cost the vanity house no money, and often snag them "entry fee" cash from the inexperienced who fall for their scheme.
At some point they will want MORE money from you and call it an "editing fee", or paying a "book doctor" to fix things up. You hand over money then never hear from them again or they tell you the deal fell through.
Check them out! Google the contest + "scam" and see if anything comes up.
Ask about them at Writer Beware: http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/
They have lots of info on scam contests, and ones that may be legit, but unfair to the writers.
Check about it here: http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubctst.htm
There are more scam book "contests" than honest ones. They usually require an entrance fee.
What set my alarm bells off is the small sum of 1,000 bucks AND a contract.
I have judged legit book contests, and more often than not the winners are simply not ready for commercial publication.
Writers with a book ready to sell do not waste time entering contests. They are submitting that book to publishers or looking to sign on with a literary agent.
THIRD -- 105 pages, even single-spaced, is not long enough for commercial publication. I know you've worked very long and hard on your book, but it simply is not long enough.
You go by word count, not page count.
At publishers like Ace Science Fiction they are looking for works 75,000 and 125,000 words long.
Young adult works run from 40,000-80,000 words.
Romances at run from 54,000-150,000 words depending on the publisher.
Here's what you do:
Join this FREE writer's board. It is run by pros, no trolls or flame wars allowed. They have a Share Your Work forum so you get feedback on your writing from other writers. You always get feedback from other writers before shopping your book.
Your book is going out on a job interview. Feedback tells you how to make it look shiny and sharp!
Absolute Write can steer you clear of the bad guys in publishing and help you find a publisher or agent when your book IS ready to be shopped.
NEXT: Obey YOG'S LAW: "Money flows TOWARD the writer."
This means NEVER pay to get published or to enter contests or pay a fee-charging agent. NEVER. Obey Yog's Law and you won't get ripped off.
Go to the 808 section of your library which has all the books on writing. Read it. Learn how publishing works so no one can cheat you.
Writer's Market 2010 will be in the reference section. It lists all the commercial publishers and what they're looking for.
STAY AWAY FROM PUBLISHAMERICA. They are the BIGGEST ripoff site of them all. They say they're free and don't want your money, but that is a LIE. You end up buying overpriced copies of your own book!
They will not put your book into a store--but lie and say that you are supposed to do that. Most writers submit their book, and whether it is good or horrible, it's quickly "accepted," (they take everything!) and then you never hear from the poor writer again. Your rights are tied up for seven years!
Just google "publish America" + "scam" and find all the writers who got ripped off by them. They are what is called a "print mill." you don't want anything to do with them. They ruin lives and careers.
If any publisher or agent advertises on Google, it will only lead to a scammer or a vanity house. A real publisher or agent doesn't advertise!
Get Strunk and White's ELEMENTS OF STYLE. All writers have that book and use it.
Again--the 808 books at the library will help you on all this!
Helpful sites for writers:
And just because you've finished a book doesn't mean it's commercially viable. Pro writers finish a book and start writing another. It keeps your head from exploding while you're waiting to hear back from agents and editors!
See you on Absolute Write! ;>)