Tag Archives: Contests

Sam takes on The Writer’s Tank

Iwindow_and____by_ahmetkasim had a post ready to go and then an email woke me. I’m thrilled The Drought of Sam Dakota made it into “The Writer’s Tank” Contest! Sam’s story is close to my heart, and I love to see him getting a little love. 🙂

I also want to congratulate one of my CP’s who has a YA in the contest. Check out Coveted. Check out all the entries here: The Writer’s Tank Contest.

Hope everyone has a great end of the week and an awesome weekend!



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IWSG – #PitchWars

InsecureWritersSupportGroup  Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! (Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG)

 The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is also holding a contest! Visit today for details – lots of great giveaways. 

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s awesome co-hosts today are Julie Flanders, Heather Gardner, Kim Van Sickler, and Elsie is Writing. Please be sure to thank them for their time and effort to make all IWSG members feel welcome.

If you read my blog yesterday, you know I’m participating in #PitchWars on Brenda Drake’s blog. This is a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and mentor them by offering suggestions for the next stage, an Agent Round. Mentors also critique the writer’s pitch to help them polish it for that next round.

I submitted to all the mentors accepting my genre (adult thriller) which was three. The results will be announced December 11. Forget waiting for Santa to arrive, I’m waiting for a day that now feels a month away. My insecure writer is suddenly on speed, ramped up, feeding my inner critic every reason I won’t succeed.

I convince myself that my story is amazing. Then the inner critic chirps, there were 2700 entries.

There weren’t 2700 entries in the thriller category I rebut. Hah! Inner critic laughs, but your mentors were all over Twitter yapping about how brilliant all their manuscript entries were…like yours will be the “one” out of all those they’ll choose?

I feel a headache coming on and reach for the caffeine.

My chances are no worse than winning the lottery, I throw out. This time the inner critic belly laughs. And that’s worked so well for you so far. Bought a ticket every week, right?

Not every week, I yell. In fact, I’ve missed a lot. Besides this is about the contest not the stupid lottery. Even if my manuscript doesn’t win, I can get feedback on the query at least. Inner Critic pauses before bashing my hope bubble, I felt bad for those mentors when Google crashed on them. They’re all behind now and rushed just to make their selections. Probably not much feedback coming now.

Duct tape really does have many uses. Now that inner critic is a mummy, I’m settling down with my chocolate and a chai tea to stalk #PitchWars. There is no end to my insecurity apparently.

Good luck to all the PitchWars Contests.

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Post Conference High

There is nothing like a writer’s conference to give a writer a natural high. Spending time with writers and agents in an arena where it’s all right to discuss nothing but writing and writing related things is as good as it gets for us. I don’t have to defend my interest in a random person in a restaurant. My fascination with the way someone walks or the conversation at the table next to us (as interesting to me as the one at my own) is acceptable to everyone else in the conference world. They get it. I don’t get weird looks. No one calls men in white coats to bring jackets or nurses with medication to make me catatonic. My particular weirdness lets me fit in with everyone else. Phew!

OWFI is an awesome conference which is why we attend every year. It offers so many opportunities to attendees. The contests, the presenters, the agents, editors, publishers, authors, and the importance of opportunities to pitch to those publishing officials cannot be underestimated. This conference is a win for Novel Clique every year. This year was a blast. We enjoyed time with agents; Louise Fury, Jessica Sinsheimer, and Emmanuelle Morgen, at a buzz session on Friday night. We were also lucky enough to pitch to these ladies who made that nerve-wracking experience so easy and pleasant. It was an excellent adventure that I recommend to every writer truly seeking publication.

What conferences do you attend? What is it about them that gets your writer’s juices flowing?


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Writer’s Voice Contest

The Writer’s Voice is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Cupid of Cupid’s Literary Connection, Brenda Drake of Brenda Drake Writes, Monica B.W. of Love YA, and Krista Van Dolzer of Mother. Write. (Repeat.). The gist of it is, writers “audition” by posting the plot summary from their query as well as the first 250 words of their manuscript. Then the blog hosts pick their teams and the agents come in to vote later down the line. Click any of the above links for more details.

Here’s my YA Sci-Fi/Thriller


Until now Ginny Carrera believed she was a normal teenage girl with concerns about zits, boys, and trig, although, not necessarily in that order. Then she discovers her life is a lie. Her parents are not her parents, scientists designed her, and a U.S. senator has her on his agenda.

In the space of a week, she finds herself fleeing a past she didn’t know existed. Worse than discovering she’s a genetic freak, is being chased by government factions who want the ‘proof’ of the program, the genies, to disappear. Senator Emerson wants to sell her valuable DNA – whole or in parts – to the highest bidder. Designed to survive a nuclear war, she is the most valuable of the genies. With the help of lifelong friends, Toad and Mayo, she sets out to bring down the senator and his crew of human engineers.

Can Ginny stay alive long enough to blow the lid off the biggest scientific scandal of the century? THE GENIE PROJECT is 67,000 words.

The overhead light flared on. Ginny grumbled as she opened one eye, and the green numbers on the alarm clock glared at her. 12:01. “It’s the middle of the freakin’ night.”

“Get up. It’s time,” Dad said, his eyes wide, his lips thinned. “We told you it’d be this way.” He punched the code opening the panic room at the back of her closet. He installed it last month while spouting a detailed explanation involving as much intrigue as a political thriller.

After the tenth kidnapping, parents all over town took extreme measures, but panic rooms? Get real. She thought her parents were overreacting.

She stumbled on Grace, her stuffed pig – a gift from friend, Toad. “Where’s Mom?”

The door silenced any response, if there was one. A sharp clank followed the sucking of the vacuum seal, and she found herself imprisoned by iron walls, cold and unwelcoming. A steel door threw back her distorted reflection. The pads of her bare feet froze against the concrete floor. Scrubbing her eyes to clear her vision, she groaned when she realized her fluffy white robe lay on the floor beside her bed.

On the other side of that door.

I’m so totally screwed.


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Dear Editor Revision Week

There are a host of opportunities out there for writers, but there are only so many hours in the day. Not even looking at the demands of family or home or jobs, writers need to write but we also need to network in social media but we also need to market our work but we also need to submit our work but we need to write and that vicious cycle is never-ending for us. Somewhere in there we’re always wanting the time to find those extra opportunities. Contests, for instance. Therefore, given that we’re a community and we need to support each other in this unending cycle, here’s a link to a week-long opportunity over at deareditor.com.

If you don’t subscribe already, you should. She offers valuable information for writers and wonderful opportunities. Check this one out. This week will be a cast of wonderful writers talking about the art of revision, AND there is an opportunity each day to win a partial edit of your manuscript AND an opportunity at the end of the week to win a full.

H-e-l-l-o? Are you still here? Head over there and check it out!


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Green Energy

I have felt like a hybrid car desperately in need of a charge this winter. It seemed like no matter what I did, I could not get off the starting line to move forward in my writing. I’d parked in bad metaphor land. Maybe I attempted too much. I did NaNo while working on another novel and teaching college classes. Not exactly a sane undertaking.

Maybe I had lost my love for the craft. No, I still got excited about prose, just not mine. I was doing all the things I’d done before. I exercised regularly, and I ate right. I met with my writer’s group every week, and I forced my butt into the chair every day regardless of whether anything productive came out of it. And little did.

I understood underlying causes for my funk. My father’s ongoing health battles, my sons’ health issues and the oldest one’s upcoming court date (for anyone new to the blog, he didn’t do anything wrong-a shoplifter stabbed him.) were enough to keep me stressed. Trying to sell two houses, and buy a third, are adding to the insanity line we’re teetering across. Still, I’m a type A personality so this sort of thing usually doesn’t send me to the straitjacket. I finally realized I was worrying so much about why I was in the rut that I wasn’t able to get out of it. Anyone else ever do that?

We attend the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. (OWFI) Conference every May, and there are contests associated with it. My writer’s group begins prepping our pieces for the contest in October and hope to have them ready to mail off by the mail deadline of February 1. Somewhere in January, I realized I had left my funk behind and hadn’t even thought about it. I’d been so busy and so focused on the contest entries that I had no time to worry about what had caused my writing rut. Now, my entries are all polished and ready to mail, and I’m ready to settle in for a winter of total content writing anything and everything I want. Not once will I think about why I quit for a time and wonder why.

How do you recharge your battery after a down time?

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Contest Bound – Four Important Things to Remember

How many of you enter contests? My critique group challenges each other to enter. In fact, we often enter the same ones, pitting us against each other. It’s fun when we win together as we did last year at OWFI.

POLISH, POLISH, POLISH: Contests are about more than winning. It’s about focusing on your craft. We polish our stories to the point where we couldn’t possibly look at them again, then we submit.

SUPPORT SYSTEM: It’s hard work and because of that it’s important to do it together or to at least have a support system in place. No writing takes place in a vacuum. We may create alone, but we never publish alone. Bring the whole team together before you submit your writing.

GUIDELINES: Never take any guideline for granted. Whatever is listed, follow it to the letter. The last thing you want is to have your story rejected for something as silly (to our way of thinking) as formatting when you could have done it right and WON. The people running the contest have good reasons for those guidelines and as professional writers we have to adhere to them.

SHARE: Writing is enough work, but add social networking, marketing, etc. and when does a writer have time for anything else? When you hear about a contest, share it with other writers. We’re all in this together, an ever-growing community of artists. Help each other out. None of us have time to find them all, and beginning writers may not even know where to look.

In that vein, here are some I know about (and do feel free to share these with others):

Dead of Winter: Winter-themed contest


Literal Latte Fiction Award


National Writers Association Novel Writing Contest


On the Premises (These are fun)


What are some of your favorite contests?

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