Tuesday, February 6, 2007

All Contests Are Not Created Equal

Seems everywhere you turn, there's a contest vying for your attention. Some give feedback, while others only give a number. Some lead to a publisher while others lead to. . .chocolate :-) My personal favorite is the HGTV dream house, but I digress.

Contests can be valuable in all phases of a writer's journey. Initially, they give us the feedback we need, letting us know if our story is headed in the right direction. Three or four fresh sets of eyes can provide some great critiques. Then you hone your work some more, plodding and plotting through the rest of the manuscript until you've got a finished story. You've watched your characters grow and overcome the obstacles that you've so carefully laid before them. It's finished (yeah, I know, it's never really finished, but work with me), ready to be tried and tested some more.

You get a few finals or wins under your belt. Nothing keeps you pushing toward the goal more than the acknowledgement of your work. Feeling like it actually has value to someone besides your family. So you start noting the final-round judges. There may be a particular editor you want to get your work in front of. You may final. They may love it. They may even request the entire manuscript.

Many writers have sold as a result of a contest. Right ladies? How about your contest experiences? What have they done for you? Share them with us.

And now, the main reason you're here. . .the all-important question that may lead you to those scrumptious Montana chocolates. And let me tell you, from personal experience, they are yummy. Are you ready? Okay. . .

In A Father's Love, what is the name of my heroine? You can find the answer on my website, www.mindyobenhaus.com .

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for the inspiration, Mindy. Alli O’Neal is the name of your heroine.

    Gina N

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  2. Hi Mindy,

    Your heroine's name in A Father's Love is Alli O’Neal.

    As for contests - I've placed in five contests in five years and finally won first place in my category of the Genesis last year. No contracts yet though. Serious interest, yes - but still waiting, hoping, and praying for the "call."

    Blessings,
    ~Jill

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  3. Thanks for giving me something to think about with the contests. :)

    The heroine is Alli O’Neal and wow what a gripping opener. :)

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  4. Okay Mindy, it's not fair that this is still a work in progress with Alli O'Neal!! I'm ready to read more! Can't wait for it to be picked up and ready to be bought. You're doing a great job!
    Jennifer McLemore

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  5. Nancy the RomancechickFebruary 6, 2007 at 2:31 PM

    Alli O’Neal is the heroine of the book that starts with such a bang, I was hooked immediately.

    I haven't entered many contests. When I first started writing we literally didn't have the money for the contests and I decided it was better to spend my energies getting a book completed than worrying about polishing three chapters over and over. I did enter the Golden Heart (back when they gave comments) twice, but never did very well.

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  6. Your heroine's name is Alli O'Neal.

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  7. Thanks for the input, ladies. And Nancy, Jennifer and Audra, thank you for your encouraging words. I'm tempted to send you all some chocolate just because. Meet me at ACFW and we'll share a toast. Dark or milk?

    Mindy

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  8. Milk and I definitely wouldn't say no lol. I'm hoping to go to the conference this year. If I can finish my WIP.

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  9. Mindy! I love that opening scene. You are so on track with that story idea.
    Go! Get it done, girl!
    Angie
    PS Had to see what you wrote today so I can keep up for tomorrow:-)

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  10. Mindy,

    I'm with the others. I love that scene! It definitely grips you and makes you want to read more.

    Jenn

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  11. Your heroine is Alli O'neal and i second (or tenth) what the others have said about what a great opening you have here. keep up the great work! rose

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  12. Mindy,
    Had to see what the fuss was all about with your opening. Awesome!! How far are you in this ms? Close to done I hope?

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  13. Let's just say, not nearly as close as I'd like to be. :-D

    Mindy

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  14. Keep at it, girl. You've got a great beginning.

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  15. I too, nosey writer that I am, had to see what the fuss is about and boy that was well worth it! GREAT opening!

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