Doing well in contests in inspirational, wouldn't you say? Last year around this time I had been querying DEADLY SPLENDOR for two months. I stumbled upon information for a writing contest with big benefits, and that's when I formed a plan of attack.
I would enter the contest, and if I finaled...
I'd get to sit at the editor's and agent's table to share lunch with them during the conference.
I'd get an extra long pitch appointment with the editor/agent of my choice at the conference.
I'd get a lovely purple ribbon attached to my very visible name badge that indicted that I was a finalist, to wear during the conference.
I just really wanted to final.
The conference holding this contest took place in Seattle, so it was within driving distance. Perfect.
I polished my first seven pages and sent them in, right around this time last year. A while later I got an email indicating that I was a finalist in the YA division. (YAY!!!) Then I went to the conference. I got to pitch to two agents and an editor, and on top of those, I got an extra long pitch with another agent. I got to sit between Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency and Liz Pelletier of Entangled during lunch. Chatting with them was a blast. And DEADLY SPLENDOR won second place in the YA division!
But most of all, I was encouraged. See, by the time the conference rolled around, I had been querying my ms for seven months. I had grown tired and wondered if it wasn't marketable. But being a finalist and meeting professionals in the business helped give me the encouragement to keep going.
This is a timely post because that contest is accepting entries until the end of this month. Whether you're within driving distance or not, you can enter. (One of the finalists in my division was from the east coast.) It's called the Emerald City Opener and it's an amazing opportunity. One of the finalists in my division went on to sell her ms. The other, Amy Deluca, went on to be a finalist for the RWA Golden Heart this year.
This year I'm a judge for the YA division. :)
So, if you want more information about this contest, or entering contests in general, let me know. If you've already entered a writing contest, which was it and how did it go?