For those of us who are published or trying to get published, we know that there are many ways to publication. You can get an agent and submit your manuscripts that way, or you can look for publishing houses that do not require an agent to submit, or you can try to get noticed via writing contests.
I belong to the Romance Writers of America (think of it as the Screen Actors Guild for romance writers) and there are many chapters internationally. many of those chapters sponsor writing contests where you typically submit up to the first 50 pages of your manuscript and maybe a synopsis and have it judged by fellow writers, trained judges, editors, agents, etc. The best hope? That your manuscript will catch eye of an agent or editor and you can jump out of the slush pile (the pile of unsolicited manuscripts on her desk) and maybe snag a book deal.
I’ve been fortunate enough to final and win (pardon me while I do a little snoopy dance) in several contests and I’ve received requests to see my manuscript by two editors. It is still early days on my path to publication but the ride is super fun right now.
But the best part of the contests? The feedback. I have received great feedback, advice, insight, and guidance from the judges and I know that it has made my work better. Even the advice that I haven’t incorporated into my work has forced me to work through the process, analyze my manuscript and weigh the proposed edits with my vision of the story. As my friend Michelle says, “It’s all good.”
So, for those who have been asking about these contests – that is the deal. Thank you also for your continued support of all my ups and downs as I pursue my writing dreams.
Go pamper yourself . . . read a romance novel!