Operation First Novel began in 2004, and originally the prize was $50,000 and a contract with Tyndale. This year the prize is $20,000 and a contract with Tyndale. I'm excited because today I sent off my entry to this contest. The deadline is October 1st, so I'm just in time.
This contest holds a special place in my heart. I remember seeing the ad in Writer's Digest for it years ago and knowing it was what I needed to finish my first novel---a deadline. I entered the very first Operation First Novel, and my book did place in the top 20 out of 290 (though it didn't make it to the top 10).
I'll keep you updated! I expect I won't hear anything for a couple months.