Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category
Now that the 2010 Golden Heart winners have been announced (none of them NARWAns, alas), it’s time to start gearing up for the 2011 competition.
That is exactly what I’m planning to do. My request for judges arrived in my e-mail inbox a few days ago, and I think I’ll do it this year … if I can figure out what category to volunteer to judge.
Since I want to enter in TWO categories myself this year, it makes judging a bit more problematic.
You read that correctly: I want to enter “Blind Date Bride” in single title contemporary and “Beauty and the Ballplayer” in series contemporary.
Am I crazy? Perhaps. But I prefer to think of it as exposing my ambition. If I enter two different MS in two separate categories, I have twice the chance of finaling, right? 😉
Of course, this means poor Bethany and Cody will have to take a back seat — perhaps even before they make it to the doggone island — while I start editing my entries.
I plan to devote the month of September to one of them and October to the other. That gives me plenty of time to prepare both entries before the start of NaNoWriMo on Nov. 1.
Hmm … did I mention my ambitions are showing? Maybe I should go find something to cover myself … 😉
Now that I’ve had time to synthesize my score sheets from the last contest I entered, I’m pleased to say I’m on the right track.
No, I did not final. The max score was a 161; mine was 130-something.
That being said, I wasn’t displeased with the results. That was my gut reaction when I read through the score sheets the first time; it didn’t change when I reread them a couple of days later.
I got at least a 3 (average) in every category. I also got plenty of 4s and even a few 5s.
I think I can safely say I’m on the right track. The judges liked the concept and at least one said they liked my writing style.
Now, all I have to do is revise, using the feedback to make the story even better. (Since it’s going to be a GH entry, I want it to be as perfect as possible … and the comments should help.)
Maybe I ought to take the hard copy of the MS with me on vacation so I can get started …
A box arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t full of new books from Amazon … or writing supplies (like I need any more notebooks and pens!).
It contained a very cool quilt — a quilt I won in a giveaway over at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog when one of the Rubies, Kelly Fitzpatrick, was celebrating the launch of her book, “Lilly in Wonderland.”
Kelly’s tagline is “Bad girls need love, too.” She promises:
- No shrinking violets
- No helpless damsels in distress
- No doormats
- No virgins (unless they sneak in while she’s not looking)
In keeping with that, the quilt features a fun, strong-woman motif.
You can read an excerpt from the book here. It hooked me. I’m definitely going to hunt it down.
Thanks to one of my NARWA sisters, I found another contest to enter … a chance to win a pitch with a Harlequin American editor. Since I’ve long envisioned “Operation Snag Mike Brad” as an American Romance, I decided to go for it.
I can’t say I always envisioned it in that line. When I first wrote it, I had the Love and Laughter or Silhouette Yours Truly lines in mind. But since those are both defunct (sadly, if you ask me), I switched to AR.
The entry requires a one-page synopsis — something I’m getting better at writing, I think — and a logline.
Having never heard of a logline before, I did a little poking around at eharlequin.com. Apparently it’s also known as a “concept line” and is designed to give the editor a broad picture of your story.
One way to write one is to start with a well-known storyline, then reveal the twist that makes your story stand out. You can also use a familiar book or movie as your starting point, so you come up with something like “Elle Woods meets the Terminator” or “Beauty & the Beast set in outer space.”
The advice is straightforward enough, but I’m finding myself confused. Maybe it’s just because my MS is a big, confused mess.
I hope not.
Anyway, here’s the logline I’ve come up with so far:
“Operation Snag Mike Brad” blends “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” — but in reverse.
In “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” you have a reporter working on a story and using outrageous advice to get dumped. (Erin is a reporter following a book’s outrageous advice to snag “the man of her dreams” while she’s chasing a big story that’ll get her out of small-town Indiana once and for all.)
In “Some Kind of Wonderful,” you have a guy who thinks he’s in love with one girl but ends up realizing he’s in love with his best friend. (Erin thinks she’s in love with Mike but ends up realizing he’s more like her best friend and she’s really in love with with Brad instead.)
So both flicks apply — at least loosely. The “reverse” part is the whole using the book to snag the guy (not lose him) and the fact that it’s the girl, not the guy doing the falling.
I’m still not wild about it. At least I have a few more days to play.