Friday, December 28, 2007

Prepare for the new year

We are fast approaching the end of 2007. At this time, we can look over our contest history for the year and plan for the future. Do you have a list of all the editors who have seen your work via contest placements? Do you have a list of where each of your proposals has been submitted? This is a good time to organize and set yourself up for success in the coming year.

RWA chapters or contest sponsors usually offer the same contest every year. Look back at your past lists and make out a calendar showing the deadlines for each contest. You can get this information on the chapter's website. There may not be a list of editors or judges yet, but at least you'll have the contest in your sites to check on as the time approaches.

List your proposals and plan where each one will go. We have discussed on this blog the advantage of writing proposals only, so plan new proposals based on the contests you want to enter. This will not only be a savvy way to get your work out there, but it will be a strong motivation to get that work completed.

There are many ways to organize. A calendar showing each contest allows room to list the proposal you sent. Charts on the wall, a spreadsheet, or a filing system are ways to keep track of where each proposal goes. Be sure and list the editors and agents so you won't be sending the same work to the same judge.

Congratulations on all of you winners of 2007. Best wishes on your success in the coming new year. Sandra


  1. Great idea, Sandra. I also list the day the contest is supposed to announce finalists and winners on my calendar. And I list when three and six months has passed on a submission.

  2. Great idea Tina. That takes out some of the suspense, not to mention reminds one when a posting is due. Do you have a separate calendar for writing events only? I know my calendar fills to the brim with just daily activities. I bet a separate calendar would be perfect.

  3. Great advice, Sandra! I'm obsessive about my spreadsheets. I have ONE spreadsheet with multiple worksheets on it: Contests, Agents, Publishers, Short Story Subs.

    I've got all this history all in one file. The spreadsheet can be as extensive as you like. The key is to be consistent with entering the data.

    And...(note to self)...just because you have an agent subbing for you, don't forget to keep your own spreadsheet up to date.

    Tina, my thoughts exactly. I write dates like that on the big calendar on my wall at work. And sometimes I include them in the Outlook Calendar as well.

  4. BTW...everyone, there are new covers on our photobucket slideshow!!! Aren't they the greatest?!?!?!?

  5. Thanks for mentioning the photobucket, Pam. You're right. There are some great new covers. The Seekers are rocking. Hey published seekers, are you going to continue to enter contests for pubbed books???

  6. SANDRA SAID: Do you have a list of all the editors who have seen your work via contest placements ... of where each of your proposals has been submitted?

    Great advice, Sandra, for any serious contest junkie!

    As to your question about are any of the published Seekers going to continue to enter contests ... not moi, and it's KILLING me!! Can't enter any contest ... not the Rita, not the Christy, not Book of the Year ... NOTHING (that I know of) because any book with a 2008 copyright cannot enter until 2009. Sigh. I've got a twitch in my eye from contest withdrawal ... a revolting development for a caffeinated contest junkie.

  7. Julie, You are tooooooo funny. I'll have to think of something to take care of that twitch. Maybe write more novels so that 2008 flies by so fast that you are surprised it is already time to submit to contests. Hooray.

  8. I'm with you on the contest twitch, Julie!! LOL My copyright is 08, so I have to wait, too.

    Sandra, great post. Another thing that I always do this time of year is to budget for contests!! You might need to plan now so you have the funds for the contests you really want to enter.


  9. You guys are so organized. I gotta go find a calender.