Five Novel Writing Contests to Enter This Year

Writing Competitions
Writing Competitions-nothingintherulebook.com

Ah, the first of the year holds such promise! After you completed the manuscript you began during NaNoWriMo, you’ve probably been wondering where to go from there. You’ve been through the editing process–several times–or had it reviewed by your beta readers, editors, and anyone who would be willing to read an ARC. Next step? Whether or not you’ve proceeded with publishing, have you considered one of the many contests out there?

 

Winning a book award or badge is an effective method to help thrust your work in front of readers–or beyond that–to agents and publishers! I’ve previously written regarding the ATAI 2017 Book Award Contest. The winners were to be awarded prizes which included:

  • Promotion across social media
  • Featured on homepage
  • Featured on sidebar

Enter to WinThat seems to be pretty standard stuff, and the badge for a winning entry may be very useful, either for your website or tacked on your front cover. It is something to help your book pop when readers are sweeping book covers. Also, a winning entry subtly passes a quality and readability test–further conveying saleable credibility. Most contests judge on several levels such as first in category, genre prize, and grand prize. Continue reading “Five Novel Writing Contests to Enter This Year”

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Writing-The Short Of It

Writing-The Short of It

Every occupation has it’s own buzz words, general or common to the specific endeavor and writing is no different. Whether writing for fun or profit, fiction or non, there are terms–probably too many to try and cover here–that pertain to the profession.

The subject of this particular article is the word length given to those published documents that denote the specific type of creation. It used to be anything that was not a book or full-blown novel was a short story. Not any more!Keyboard

Now we have:

  1. Flash Fiction
  2. Short Story
  3. Novelette
  4. Digital Novel
  5. Novella
  6. Book

They break down roughly as follows:

Word Count

The format that holds the fascination for me is “flash fiction.” Just the word “flash” immediately conjures the imagination. The internet is so full of flash these days, why not coin a new term to apply to that little story which is generally thought to be a minimum of 100 words but no longer than 1,000.

Flash FictionGee, seems deceptively simply, huh? But you know in your heart nothing is simple. This must be as a novel with plot, characters, dialogue, and climax. It has to contain a complete story: a beginning, a middle, and the end.

It is said that the story should be contained within the time it takes to smoke a cigarette. WOW! The possibilities! Read a flash fiction story on the elevator, before your next stop off the subway or bus, or in a bank line; not while waiting for the doctor.

There are contests now for flash fiction such as WOW! Women on Writing. The entry fee is only $10 and you could win as much as $350.00. Also, they offer the option of a critique. There are whole books containing flash fiction or very short-short stories on Amazon.com–what they are, how to write them, or anthologies of the best.

We’re in an age of instant. It has to be fast to hold our attention, keep us in a movie, riveted to a book. Does it get any faster than FLASH? Virginia Williams

The School of Hard Knocks

The School of Hard Knocks

Besides writing, when I was a little girl I wanted to be an opera singer. I could hit the high notes and often walked home from school practicing “my opera”. Married and in Sacramento when our local church organized a choir, I was one of the first to show up–never having had any formal training other than a choir class in my sophomore year of high school (hmm, so would have been Yreka CA) and given our propensity for moving, that didn’t last long. Then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I had no clue what “S, A, T, B” stood for but I knew I wanted to be part of the music program.

When our church members were invited to sing for the “Jazz Mass”, part of the annual celebration in the Sacramento Jazz Festival, I didn’t hesitate. The program, however, turned out to be a whole nother level of choir music with a priest who REALLY had an ear and knew his music and was known to clue into a voice out of key in a company of 100 and throw a pencil at them. But like any director who creates a masterful program, he was not only tolerated but venerated as he produced programs worthy of standing O’s. We always came back for more–praying we’d never go off key. That experience was part and parcel of my “gospel” years–and I truly reveled in singing those gospel songs–many at the top of my lungs as I participated in the MLK Workshop in Sacramento with goose-bump raising, powerful music.

When we moved to Idaho and I learned that the Gospel Jubilee was not only looking for sKaty and Iopranos but someone to work in the office creating flyers, I was the first to apply–only to learn he used Print Shop. (I’d taken a class in Photoshop.) Still, the singing was wonderful, fun, and creative and I learned a LOT about Print Shop!

So it probably comes as no additional surprise that I haven’t had a lot in the way of formal writing classes. I’ve alluded previously to finding and reading one of my early manuscripts I found so atrocious it was tossed with little fanfare and no regrets. Writing articles became the writing salvation and later the publishing of my grandfather’s manuscripts. I’ve learned a lot! Been through each book a dozen times, eyes crossed and glazed, turning page after page looking for more problems.

English classes may not have been as exciting for me as choir, but I’m from a spelling and cursive generation raised on Erma Bombeck and Abby. And I continue to seek out educational, dynamically progressive groups in which I may learn more of the craft in which so many participants are willing to share. Apparently, I’ve found it.

Please support another Author Blog Challenge participant by checking out Beth Kozan’s blog at http://bethkozan.com/.

When Have I NOT Been Writing?

When Have I NOT Been Writing?

I envy those people who can remember something that happened when they were five with a twinkle in their eyes and a lop-sided grin produced by the nostalgia of the memory. My husband is one of those. For me, it’s not a loss of memory due to age–I don’t consider myself that old. Albert and I

   So I count on stories, pictures, or one of a handful of memories in a childhood spent moving several times a year looking for greener pastures in what would today be considered poverty–we just knew we were poor. The picture is from a newspaper article on reading of myself when I was 8 and my beloved brother (lost during the Viet Nam conflict). It starts with a love and respect of books.

There is another picture (heaven knows where) of myself receiving an award for winning a story writing contest–think it was Red Bluff CA–so would have been a number of years later. Perhaps this was the glimmer my grandfather saw in me. My teacher must have seen something as well as she submitted it to the local paper. Bless her heart.

I’ve had compliments from letter recipients and seldom lacked the ability to pen a story when it was required–but formally? Having majored in the man who would become my husband (now 53 years) in college , I was probably fortunate to attain the diploma I did. mag_pic_sm

As mentioned before, it was during my riding years that I began writing stories for various motorcycling magazines, though mainly the WOW  (Women On Wheels(c)) Magazine. I probably wrote better than I rode, but it was a way to work on my writing chops!

When I discovered my grandfather’s manuscripts and a way to publish them then, it was a natural. It’s good I don’t have to do this for a living–it’s a happy commitment in my retirement–and with any luck one that will continue to grow and provide reward.

And reward doesn’t always have to include dollar signs!

I’VE SEEN THE COMPETITION–AND IT’D BE ME!

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Writer’s Block or Lack of Goal Setting?

Is lack of goal setting setting you up to satisfy the self-fulfilling prophesy of failure? I need to finish my work by [supply date], but just can’t finish/edit the manuscript because:

  1. I’m a daughter/mother/wife/grandmother with lots of household duties and they always seem to take precedent to the real work at hand.
  2. I’ve hit a major snag and can’t seem to get past it–now I just don’t want to work on it at all.
  3. I know it takes two hours to really get my head into the project, but I’m just not in the mood or right frame of mind right now and know there is not sufficient time today.

It was mentioned some time ago that I joined the Idaho Authors Community in the hope of finding new avenues to help with the promotion and marketing of my grandfather’s manuscripts written some 80+ years ago; most regarding the years he spent sailing the North Atlantic. You could say that’s a specific niche market and it doesn’t help that I’m crippled by working with another’s manuscript, not my own. That’s favorite excuse #1, made even more difficult by being unable to work in the head no longer available to me who actually experienced the infamous nor’easter of 1900; bow dipping well below the horizon and rolling to starboard before pointing three masts skyward again.

The last meeting dealt with goal setting and I realized that the goal I’d set for completing the project had already passed me by. But why? How? Continue reading “I’VE SEEN THE COMPETITION–AND IT’D BE ME!”