I'm hoping to enter the contest, so I'd welcome any advice.
I've written quite a few novels for my own enjoyment, but most of them wouldn't work for this, for one reason or another. Some of the best of them are part of a rather lengthy, interconnected series. Others aren't strictly "Christian," in the sense that a "Christian novel" would be (though they're the sort of secular novels that a Christian would read, if that makes sense!).
If I had to choose an existing work to enter, it would be one of two:
1) A work connected to a much longer series, but which is independent enough to be read and understood apart from the series, and would probably work for the Christian market.
2) A work-in-progress that is completely separate from any series, and is much more of a standard "Christian novel," probably, than anything else that I've tried to write.
Right now, I think both of them have first chapters lacking the "zing" that the previous post describes so well. It would probably be impossible to do anything about that for (1), given the structure of the book. I might be able to do something about it for (2) by beginning the novel with a dramatic flashback. Of the two, I think (1) is the better work overall, but it's also somewhat gentle and undramatic. I think (2) has the potential to be much more dramatic, but right now it probably isn't as strong a work.
I might be able to come up with a third idea... but in that case, I would just concentrate on writing a strong first chapter and synopsis, and not write beyond that unless I won.
I hope all of that makes at least a little sense! I apologize for rambling so much... but any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!