Yes, I am alive. :) It's the end of the semester so I've been buried in work, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel--two more weeks until break starts!
In the meantime, I wanted to let you all know about the Great Expectations contest sponsored by my local RWA chapter. Here are the details:
What: Great Expectations Writing Contest
Who: Unpublished authors (and authors not previously published in that genre)
Why: Because entering a writing competition like Great Expectations can be a great thing for you, your writing, and your career.
Great Expectations encourages inspiration, learning, improvement, discipline, experience, and publishing.
A writing competition with different categories can encourage you to polish that story you've always wanted to write. Great Expectations offers you a chance to enter the first twenty-five pages of your manuscript in the following romance categories:
• Contemporary Series
• Erotic Romance
• Inspirational Contemporary
• Mainstream with Romantic Elements
• Romantic Suspense
• Single Title
• Specialized (Futuristic/Fantasy/Time Travel/Paranormal)
• Young Adult
Every entry will be evaluated by at least five first round judges and scored. Feedback is often provided by those judges. Finalists will then be reviewed by professional editors from a variety of publishing houses. Previous entrants to Great Expectations have found the feedback invaluable to improving their manuscripts.
Writers who apply what they learn from the feedback have the chance to polish their manuscripts for future competitions and submissions. Imagine the chance to know what in your first twenty-five pages really resonated with the judges and where they had questions. Too often, writers don't have access to this kind of information. You have a chance to improve the quality of your writing, your submissions, and your story just by entering.
Like all competitions, Great Expectations has some hard and fast deadlines. From early bird entries to the very last day you can enter. To take advantage of the other benefits, you have to meet those deadlines. Discipline helps writers become more focused not only on their story, but also their method.
Experience is the best teacher. Whether you are a first time pre-published author, a veteran of writing competitions, or an author looking to experience a new genre, Great Expectations can help you achieve experience in that area with valuable feedback, contacts, and learning.
Many finalists in the Great Expectations contest (and even some who didn't final) used the experience, the learning, and the feedback to turn their entries into polished full submissions and publication. Final judges may request full manuscripts during the judging process as well, so just by entering you have the chance to make it to the short-list of authors an editor wants to see more from.
The only question you should have left is, why aren't you entering Great Expectations?
I hope some of you will take advantage of this contest--it's a wonderful opportunity!