Saturday, March 26, 2011

My first "FIRST PLACE"

I won!! I actually got a place in something. For a while now I have received some high Honorable Mentions on my stories, but this one was First Place in the Children's/Teen category at the Oquirrh Chapter in the League of Utah Writers. I was actually shocked.

Here is an idea of the night.

I have been sick for the past few days and I didn't want to go at all. My husband was out of town and my awesome family were gathered to watch the BYU game, which sounded more fun than attending this meeting. But a few weeks before I had receive an email from the committee chair stating I had won and to be in attendance that night. So I braved the night and went.

I was one of the last, if no the last to come in, so I had to sit near the back. They talked about a bunch of things before and we introduced ourselves and what we write. Then they moved to the awards.

The chairperson - a woman name Natty Dye - who is so adorable I would love to be her new best friend - introduced herself and mentioned about the emails and was grateful for the turnout, but she did mention that the email stated - YOU MAY HAVE WON - not that you HAVE won. At that thought I got nervous...

There were a few different categories and the first one was First Chapter contest. That was the one I entered, so I listened for my name... third place, nope - second place, nope - first place, ....nope... She didn't read my name.

So here I am - sick as a dog, feeling like an idiot for coming and realizing I had not won, and felt tricked.

But I didn't have the courage to leave, so I sat there listening to the winners read or tell about their stories and how awesome and more wonderful they are than mine.

When she got to the last category - CHILDREN'S - she read through third and second place and I honestly was trying to be interested, but I was more interested in the clock and how soon I could go home and go to bed.

Then she read "First Place... Prodigal - Candace Thomas".

What??? I stood a little shocked. I wasn't prepared at all. What I had submitted was my first chapter of my sequel novel to the Young Adult Fiction the Vivatera called the Conjectrix, but I wanted to spare the committee the explanation of the title, so I called it Prodigal after the Chapter name.

I hadn't prepared to read it either. I had lost my voice and then had to think on the fly of what I could tell them about it without horrendous detail. I think I did okay, but I got nervous and my words rambled around. I felt like an idiot, and all these people thought I was a rambling idiot too.

But it's too bad. The chapter is very good and I may post it here later when I have more time.

Thought I would share... Yeah me!!

P.S. I checked at home in my emails and mine did say You Won, so I feel better about that.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Update from last post -

Just to update you on one of the contests -

I did get notified that I won something for my LUW chapter contest. It will be on the 24th of March and I guess they want me there.

I'm excited to see the super certificate. Last contest the certificate was just printed on white paper with no graphics of any kind. Let's hope they step it up a little this time.

I'm just crossing my fingers that I get that $5 back. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

The HONOR of being JUDGED

Contests... more contests.... always contests....

I love the idea of contests, but when it is your writing that is being judged, it's tricky. It is both a blessing and a curse. In certain contests it the honor of being judged that is the reward - like last year when I entered a writing contest and had to pay $15 per entry just to find out that the first place winner gets a certificate and $10. If you look at it right, I'd be ten dollars in the whole, just to win. But that is how literary contests work. "Here, let me judge you for a fee and I will tell you your the winner, and you can blog it and everyone will think you are fantastic!" Doesn't that sound like a great idea? Hmmm.... I am going to have to think about that .... (devious plotting...)

Here's the contest I am most excited about and it didn't cost me a thing:

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Writing Contest.

A friend of mine, who loves my novel, told me about this in January and I looked into it. I submitted my novel around the beginning of February.

A little bit about the contest - in my own words -
  • A whole ton of people enter, very few win. They take 5,000 entries in Young Adult and Adult and narrow it to 1,000 per genre. And they based this not on your novel, but on your plot and PITCH in less than 500 words.
  • 500? Wow! So many? No problem, right? Wrong! I struggled with this more than my wedding vows. My story is so complex that I eventually had to tell the story inside out - start from the back and work frontwards. Do you think JK Rowling had to do the same thing? If everyone knew that Harry dies at the end would anyone read it? - Sorry if you didn't know, but the book has been out for a while. :)
  • I got the news on Feb. 23rd that I made it to the next round. From this round they pick 250 novels total based on your previous stuff plus your first chapter.
  • Then they narrow it down further by throwing darts at your manuscript and then they run it through a series of tests - like how absorbent it is and which one makes the best stabilizer for a wobbly chair.
Other Contest entered:
  • I also entered my local League of Utah Writing Chapter's Annual Writing Contest. For this contest I submitted my newest chapter for my new novel - The Conjectrix.
  • I entered some stupid poetry I wrote to the American Fork Council's Write In Depth Literary Collection. Yeah... we'll see if THAT goes anywhere. think I have to buy the bok to see if I won.
  • I am also working on some writing for the LUW Round-up that will be in Logan this September. Doesn't that seem far away, but submission deadline is in June. And really, the more you write the better you write, and right now, I really feel like I need it.
Wish me luck! .....or not....