March 22, 2010

Confession Time

I confess. I am no longer a Contest Virgin. I have taken the plunge, hit the send button, along with my payment, and voila...I have jumped a hurdle. Hit another milestone. Another step on my journey.

I have no grand illusions of becoming a finalist. No, I hit that SEND button for one thing and one thing only. To get some feedback and to toughen up my skin. I've had people look at my first few chapters and sure, there has been alot of red, but I think there is something about a contest that really brings it all home. Everyone is sending their best work, their critiqued work, the work they've reworked time and time again. That's what you are really up against and that's what I want to be measured against.

Sure, I may fall waaayyy short, but at least I will know. At least I will know what to work on...where my failings are. Hopefully, I will find that I am good at a few things, and that will be nice, but I want to know how to be a better writer.

I have plans to enter one more contest, but that's all for now. Have you entered any? How many contests have you entered? How many a year? Do you enter every year?  Have you found it helpful?

Good luck to everyone who has entered a contest recently or has plans to! May God let your work shine!

22 comments:

  1. I entered a few contests when I was working on my first MS. I'm glad I did. I got some good feedback and a lot of encouragement. Good luck!

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  2. I entered a few contests last year and got such helpful feedback! Congrats on hitting that send button! You might be surprised!

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  3. I hav eonly entered one and I'm glad I did. It help me get great feedback. I hope to enter more soon.
    Good luck!

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  4. Congrats on taking the plunge! Sometimes it really works to get that outside opinion to help you take your writing to another level.

    Good luck!

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  5. Good for you, Sherrinda. I'm proud of you for wanting to grow more than you want to remain comfortable. I hope you get some excellent help and feedback.

    I've entered only one contest, and it did not offer feedback. I didn't win. I suppose that was feedback in itself.

    But I remain undaunted. I did my best, but I was up against some pros. I will keep at it, my fingers and brain clickety-clacking, while trying to hear God's voice for my writing.

    Love you!
    Jen

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  6. I've only ever entered one contest (this year) but I got some fantastic feedback back from the judges when the results came on Friday. I have no regrets about entering, and while there were good comments and bad, they all had value.

    Good luck on your own sub, and congrats on entering the Contest Zone!

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  7. I am at the 're-working it' stage and also currently have too many homework assignments to concentrate on getting that One piece to contest level. Doing one course at a time, I am learning to write with more confidence. I think it is in the actions that measure our successes. Congrats on your success of hitting that send button! That's a win itself!

    Lynn

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  8. YEAH!!!! i remember my first contest... ahhh (it was only a year and a half ago, HA HA!)

    Entered genesis this year too... I'd LOVE to final, but really my goal is to better my scores from last year.

    I also entered the Golden heart this year for the first time... finalists announced on Thursday. Again, no grand illusions of finaling, but it'd be cool and I keep hoping!

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  9. I entered two over the weekend for the same reasons--I just want to know where I stand, what's good, and what I need to fix!

    Good luck to both of us! :0)

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  10. Yay! Congratulations! Another "Write of Passage." :)

    I love writing contests.

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  11. Sherrinda, you are SO FUN! My publisher does the entering for me, except for one that I entered on my own.

    I've finaled in some, not finaled in others...and kinda see it as a no-big-deal thing, because one turned-off reader will plunge your scores toward freezing. And we all know that one reader's delight is another's disdain...

    What is cool is that stepped with humor, with confidence, with what seems to be balance. You go, girl.

    Love this place!!

    Patti

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  12. Congratulations on taking that step, Sherrinda. You've worked hard to polish your manuscript, and now you'll have the opportunity to see how it fares. I hope you receive great feedback and encouragement.

    I'm an advocate of contests. As you know, that's how I ended up with the offer of representation from my Dream Agent.

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  13. YAY!! I'm so glad you made the effort to do this, Sherrinda. It's also helped you to write that dreaded syopsis! And it's given you motivation to polish up your first chapter. So if for nothing else, that's worth it! :-)

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  14. Hi Sherrinda -

    That's wonderful!

    I entered the Genesis. Did you send a synopsis with your entry? I'm hoping the synopsis will give them a better view of the entire book.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  15. Good luck with your entry!

    I'm still a contest virgin:)My ms is nowhere ready to send out anywhere, but maybe later in the year I'll take the contest plunge.

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  16. I entered the Genesis contest this morning! I hope I did everything right. I'm sure you'll do great Sherrinda, I love the voice of your blog and I'm sure I'd love your novel. I'm looking forward to the feedback from the Genesis contest. That alone is worth the fee!

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  17. Congratulations, Sherrinda!! That's awesome to see you going to this next level. I bet you do awesome!!!

    I've only ever entered the ACFW Genesis, I think for three years in a row. I'm taking a break this year. The feedback is awesome, though, if you get a judge who likes to make comments.

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  18. Congrats, Sherrinda. I read about your contest entry over on Keli's blog and wanted to wish you luck.

    Good luck to all who entered Genesis and the GH. I didn't enter the GH this year but I'm really looking forward to reading all the excitement on Thursday. I think it's easier to enjoy when you aren't waiting on a call yourself.

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  19. Good for you! I love contests - even when I don't win. Welcome to the contest community! And good luck to you.

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  20. Jill, that's so encouraging! I hope I get some helpful feedback!

    Katie, I am not expecting anything other than some help, but thanks for the encouragement!

    Christine, only one? Well, I'm so glad it was helpful! I wish you success in your future entries.

    CJ, thanks!!!

    Jennifer, yes! I'm ready for another level. :)

    Jeanette, clickety-clackety!!! I love it! I love that you keep on, even with no feedback. :) You are so encouragin, friend.

    Faith, congrats on getting some good feedback on your entry! I think good or bad would be helpful, you know? I'm looking forward to it!

    Lynn, YES! It is in the actions that measure success!!! Each step we take is another step of success. I may be taking baby steps, but they are steps all the same. :)

    Krista, you are a contest veteran!!! Yay! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for the GH!!!!

    Kristen, we can hold each other's hands. :) Good luck on your entries!

    Erica, ;) YEP! Another "Write" of Passage!!!!! Woohooo!

    Patti!!!! You are so sweet! Now I think it would be sooo cool to have a publisher enter for you! And really, you are right about the "fickle" reader. It could just be a bad day for a judge and "pouf", they don't like your entry. Oh well. :)

    Keli, you have inspired me. Your discipline and your perseverance are incredible! And your encrouagement has meant sooo much to me! I treasure you!

    Jody, yes!!! It forced me to write that synopsis! Another "write" of passage for me! I love it!

    Susan, yes, I did send in my synopsis and like you, I hope it gives a better picture of my story. The first chapter can only do so much, you know?

    Melissa, you will get there, girl, just like me, and it won't take you long! :)

    T.Anne, yay! I hope we both get good feedback!!! Keeping my fingers crossed!

    Eileen, three years in a row! How exciting! Did you enter a new MS each time or the same one?

    Mary, thanks for the encouragement! I appreciate it! :)

    Thanks Jan, it's an exciting step, to be sure! :)

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  21. hey, Sherrinda! I took the plunge last week, as well! i entered a contest this past fall, and the feedback i got was wonderful! I'm really bad with beginnings, and the contest feedback helped me immensely! The feedback helped me to see exactly what is wrong with the beginnings of my novel. i rewrote it and now i'm hoping my new and improved beginning gets better scores in this contest. We'll see! Good luck to you!!!!!!

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