Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Welcome Today's Guest Blogger ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ LINDA FULKERSON!!!
Linda Fulkerson is a frequent contributor to a number of newspapers and magazines. She is a self-proclaimed blogaholic, features writer for Central Arkansas Woman, writes a humor column (Overweight and Underorganized), and is learning the craft of fiction writing. Linda was a double finalist in the 2007 ACFW Genesis Contest, and placed second in the Young Adult category. She is also the author of The Prodigal Daughter: Hope for Runaway Christians and Those Who Await Their Return (2003 Petit Jean Press). You can learn more about Linda by visiting her web site, http://www.lindafulkerson.com.
Thanks so much to Mary and the Seekers for inviting me to be a guest on Seekerville!
I must confess, I’m not the contest junkie that many of you are. In fact, I’ve always been a bit afraid to enter contests, so I just didn’t. It’s one thing to get a critique back from my crit partners, who love me no matter how many prepositional phrases I try to squeeze into a sentence, and quite another to throw my work before the red pens of strangers.
The first contest I entered was the 2007 Genesis, and I was amazed at how well it went. The response sheets I received were informative and encouraging. I found myself nodding in agreement to things I knew were my weak points as well as a few “aha!” moments when they offered suggestions on things I’d never noticed in my writing.
Ever the all-or-nothing personality, I decided if I was going to enter a contest, I’d better do it right, so I submitted three manuscripts in three genres instead of just testing the waters with one submission. Two finaled, one placed. I was thrilled. Not only did I learn from the feedback, the fact that two of the three pieces did so well encouraged me. Maybe I CAN write fiction.
My own submissions aside, I think the biggest blessing I received from the Genesis contest was the opportunity to help others. I was shocked when a subject line in my e-mail in-box read “Invitation to Judge.” Who, me? The unpublished? Judge a fiction writing contest? Not only did I enjoy the feeling of giving back to an organization (ACFW) that has blessed me so much, I think I learned more from judging than I did from my own entries.
I was a rookie judge, so I found several online articles about contest judging and did my best to be fair but thorough. Patterns emerged in the entries I scored, so I went back to my own manuscripts and made notes of things to watch for, things to change.
Blessed by the positive experience, I immediately entered another contest. And, Lord willing, I hope to continue entering and judging contests in the future. Who knows, I may soon find myself joining the ranks of contest junkies!