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Contests – Can They Help Even if You Don’t Win?

16 Mar

Our Iowa Romance Novelist’s group met today. I mentioned in an earlier post that our theme this year is Survivor. This is not exactly like the television show. No one will get kicked off the island but we are attempting to help each other achieve our goals by working as a team.

This month’s program was about contests. We each received the first five pages of a Golden Heart winner’s manuscript. She then gave us the instructions for judging it. There were different points allotted for romance, plot, writing, and character.

As a group, we were all over the board with our answers. It was all subjective. Some looked only at what they could see. Others judged off of where they could see the story going. We were not aware when we started that this was a winning entry. This exercise gave us a feel for how an agent or an editor might review a submission. We all agreed, they would probably make a decision within those first five pages.

Part of the challenge is that we have to submit something to a contest before the next meeting. If we do, we will have a chance to win our entry fee. I am now searching for something I can enter. Since my manuscript is not complete, I am limited to something that doesn’t involve submitting a large portion of my work.

I am now writing my first draft. Keep an eye on my word counter here on my blog and you will be able to see my progress. I am also saving vacation time this year in the hopes that with a completed manuscript I can start attending more writer’s conferences in 2014.

I do continue to read because like Stephen King, I don’t think you can be a serious writer and not read. I usually mix it up with novels and writing how to books.  I finished reading Beautiful Creatures and really enjoyed it. I read Mary Buckam’s Writing Active Setting Book 1 and I purchased Book 2. I think those will really help when I get into the editing stage for adding depth to the story. Because I have a 40 minute commute to work each day I listen to audio books. I finished Evanovich’s Notorious Nineteen and I am currently listening to a Robert B Parker’s Jesse Stone book.

I will let you know next time what contest I enter. Hope you have a great week writing. Now get off the internet and write.

Virginia

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2 Comments

Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Write a Novel

 

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2 responses to “Contests – Can They Help Even if You Don’t Win?

  1. virginiagruver

    March 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Thanks Margot. We have a few published authors who shared their contest experiences with us today also as part of our program. It gave us all a bit of food for thought.

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  2. Margot Kinberg

    March 16, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Virginia – I agree completely. I don’t see how you can be a writer without doing a lot of reading. So I’m glad you’re taking the time for that. I hadn’t really thought before of writing contests as being helpful but they really are. I think the discipline of contests can help hone the craft.

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