12 Lessons Learned From a Debut Author | WritersDigest.com. I’m a debut novelist so I latched onto the attached article pronto! In writing this article, Anne A. Wilson managed to describe emotions I’ve been experiencing for the past several months.
What makes Anne’s story even more relatable for me, a somewhat older novelist, is that Ms. Wilson wrote her first novel six years ago at the age of forty-three. That’s not the novel that actually got published, but herein lies my point: it took years for her to write a publishable book. Also, Ms. Wilson had no creditable writing education or experience when she decided to write a novel. Like me, she was “starting from scratch.” Read the rest of this entry »
The first weekend of October, I attended my first writer’s conference, a conference that inspired me to live a life filled with high risk writing. The risk? I might get rejected.
I entered two contests within a week of returning home. Alas, I found out on Wednesday, November 12th, that I did not win the Writer’s Digest Dear Lucky Agent contest. This was a contest wherein a writer’s completed – but not yet published – manuscript is front and center. Entrants submitted the first 200 words of their manuscript and a one-page query letter that provided an “elevator pitch” type of synopsis of the completed work. Three winners were chosen from a field of many; those winners won the privilege of having the first 10 pages of their manuscript critiqued by the agent judge of the competition.
As soon as I discovered that I had not been chosen as a winner for that contest, I entered another one. I sincerely believe that the more you write, the better at writing you become. I’m counting on that to be true. I am now researching other contests to enter so that my high risk writing career will have a better chance of taking off.
I’m not ashamed that I didn’t win the very first writing competition that I entered; I’m happy that I had the guts to take a risk.
Stay tuned; win or lose, I will provide updates on every contest that I enter.
I attended the Write on the Sound writer’s conference in Edmonds, Washington October 3rd thru 5th. I participated in numerous workshops – most of which were very beneficial. One of the challenges I heard many of the instructors tell us wannabe authors was to enter as many writing contests as possible.
Put yourself out there; take a risk; keep writing.
That sentiment really resonated with me. Since returning home from the conference, I’ve already entered one contest and have two more lined up for which I’m preparing submission pieces. And I’m stretching myself by trying new genres. Case in point: I submitted a 3,000 word short story called Variant in the Horror genre. Shocking, right? Winners of that Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards contest won’t be announced until the end of the year.
Later this week I will be entering the “Dear Lucky Agent Contest” by submitting only the first 200 words of my completed novel, Armed for Bear, (current working title) plus a query letter. Winners of that contest will be announced early November.
Additionally, today I wrote the first draft of a short story that I’ll be submitting later next month. The story must begin with the following sentence, “I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over.” This was a fun piece to write because it can only be 750 words or less. It takes lots of discipline to slim down a story so that it’s still entertaining and says what it’s supposed to say.
Wish me luck as I keep on submitting pieces!
Just like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t enter.