Awhile back I gave you my musings on contests. I still agree with everything I said in that post, but now my perspective is slightly different. I mentioned that I entered three contests this past spring. In the first, which was NEORWA’s Cleveland Rocks Romance contest, I didn’t come close to being a finalist. However, one of the judges gave me some fabulous feedback which I used to make some changes that greatly improved the manuscript.
The second was the Romancing the Lakes contest, which is a fairly new one; I think this was its first year. Wonder of wonders, I was one of five finalists in the Historical category. I didn’t dare hope I would be in the top three, let alone win, but I did. It was the first real validation that my writing does not suck. For a newbie, that is a tremendously good feeling.
The third was the well-respected Lone Star contest, sponsored by the very first chapter of RWA. For the last two weeks, my husband and I have been doing a cleanse, which means a lot of cooking for me and no caffeine, alcohol, sugar, wheat, or anything else that’s fun to eat. Last Saturday, I was feeling crabby. So crabby, in fact, that I was in the middle of making gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free chocolate cookies (which rock, by the way–here’s the recipe) to cheer myself up, when I got The Call. The call that told me I was a finalist. (Actually, it was three calls, since I was too crabby to answer the phone or check my voice mail the first two times.)
I spent the last week editing and polishing the first four chapters of my book. I will admit I was thoroughly tired of them by the time I sent the entry back to the category coordinator last evening, so I am ready to move on and polish the rest. In the spirit of eternal optimism, which is generally a stranger to me, I will have it ready to submit by the time the winners are announced in October, just in case.
So now it’s back to work for me, and time for you to share your thoughts on contests. Do you enter them? Have you won?