Literary agent, Janet Reid, has once again singled out my entry as one that pleased her. She holds almost weekly 100-word writing contests on her blog which I enter in the hopes of being named a winner. That hasn’t happened yet but I’m almost as pleased with being told that my contest submission stood out.
The first time this happened, I posted my entry and her comments, here. What follows is my most recent complimented entry. I’ve underlined the required 10 words that must be included in each submission, and I’ve put in bold the sentence she liked most, which happens to be the last sentence. Her comment about my entry: “This entry cracked me up completely, especially this punch line.”
Here’s my submission:
The high school teacher sat with his student to go over her research paper.
“It’s Switzerland, not Switserland.”
“Before you criticize me, you know that’s the way it sounds.”
“Tell that to the originators of the exceptional country that’s served as a safe, neutral world-entity for many years.”
“How many years?”
“Look, I’m the teacher, not you. It’s your paper we’re correcting, not mine.”
Mr. Carmichael turned the page and shook his head.
“It’s Oxfam, not Oxfan.”
“Says everyone. Why the errors, Jennifer?”
“That’s how it arrived.”
“I bought it, not my fault.”
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.