Friday, January 11, 2008

Georgiana Daniels ~ Guest Blogger

Georgiana Daniels is the wife of a super-generous husband, and the mother of a teen and two tots. After graduating with a degree in public relations, she spent several years in the business world, but now has the privilege of staying home with her children. In her spare time (what spare time?) she loves to write Christian fiction, blog, and participate in ACFW and RWA.

Her debut novel "Table for One" is releasing TODAY from WHITE ROSE PRESS. Find it through her blog or on


I confess that I got caught in the Genesis frenzy. Entering the contest wasn’t something I planned to do, but after hearing all the fun buzz on the ACFW loop, I got caught up in the excitement. I reworked those first twenty five pages and garnered a few excellent critiques. Then, I was ready to hit send on my first real contest.

(Disclaimer: I once entered the Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition and, big surprise, I didn’t win. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that my story about a woman being locked in the trunk of a car was horrible, with a capital H. I still shudder thinking that someone else actually slogged through those 1000 icky words with my name on it!)

So how did I get caught in the frenzy? That’s easy: feedback. There’s something super-addicting about receiving comments on a piece you’ve been slaving over—er, working on—for several months. And I really believe that’s what separates Genesis from other writing contests. (See above. Thankfully I did not receive a note telling me how awful, and dare I say amateurish, the woman-in-trunk story really was.)

I’m not certain I had specific expectations when I entered the Genesis, but when I got the call telling me I was a finalist, I screamed. Had I not already been planning to attend the conference, that would have sealed it. On the night of the ACFW banquet, my nerves were on high alert, and when they actually called my name I didn’t know if I could make it to the stage. My entry placed 2nd in the chick lit category! When I came down, legs like water, I nearly sat at the wrong table. This is one time I can say with my whole heart, I’m glad I didn’t win. You see, category winners actually had to say something. Out loud. Sophisticated and graceful, I am not.

But the most valuable part of the contest came when I was home, and the judges scores landed in my inbox. It’s natural to think, “Wow, this story is so awesome,” then be disappointed when someone points out your baby’s flaws. This is the part that takes prayer, humility, and a teachable spirit. No matter how great an entry is, there’s always going to be something that could have been done better. Some of the comments are easy to swallow, and some of them take more time to digest. To discover even one nugget that improves the quality of the piece makes the whole contest worth the time and effort.

If you’re unpublished and considering a contest, Genesis is the best! Two things to keep in mind:
1. Be ready to accept both the praise and the criticism in the spirit with which it is given, and
2. Never, ever, write about a woman stuck in a trunk.


Tina M. Russo said...

Congrats on your book launch!!!
Gorgeous cover.

And placing second in the Genesis is totally something to hoot about. That is one tough, tough, contest.

Thanks for joining The Seekers today.

Georgiana said...

Thank you for having me today! This is an awesome blog =)

Betsy Ann said...

Congrats G! And don't worry, the wrong table thing was kinda my fault. I moved up a table to take a picture. LOL

Mary Connealy said...

No women locked in trunks???????

Well, rats, must now go and delete my next historical western manuscript.

Don't think to hard about the trunk and the historical. Just accept that I found a way to make that happen.

Thanks for blogging with us today, Georgiana, and anyone who didn't look really HARD at the book can see behind the table setting a woman wearing a bridal gown. Very intriging cover.

Janna said...

Mary, that is too funny... I was thinking the same thing! (Well, there goes my idea for a novel!)

Great article!

ryanx6 at msn dot com

Hannah said...

reading your blog reminds me or (shudder) college and doing various homework, papers, projects, tests thinking they were really good all to get a horrible grade. didn't happen too much to me but i remember the times it happened. its easy to get very crushed by criticism of any kind.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Georgiana, besides having a great name, you're lady in the trunk story totally works.

We can all relate.

And Betsy, good to see you my talented friend! Thanks for stopping by, jumpin' in the Seeker sandbox...

We love nice playmates.

And that criticism stuff, gals???

If it don't kill you it'll only make you stronger.


Georgiana said...

LOL, I'm SURE everyone wants to do a trunk story. I'm almost positive every copy of mine has been destroyed!

Melanie Dickerson said...

But trunk stories are my favorite! Just kidding. Thanks for sharing that, Georgiana.

BTW, I grew up about ten miles from Georgiana, Alabama. (VERY small town.) And my friend in college thought Georgiana was the most beautiful name.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Except for Ruth, of course.


Georgiana said...

LOL! You ladies have way too much fun here =)

Cara Putman said...

Great insights and perspective, Georgiana. It was so fun watching you place last year!

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks for being a Seekers guest, Georgiana! It's always fun to meet new authors! And super congrats on your win in the Genesis!

And, uh, about the lady in the trunk story ... I'm a bit curious. Did you have any dialogue or was it all "internal" monologue???? :)


Georgiana said...

I. Will. Never. Tell. Not even under threat of severe torture and tickling!

windycindy said...

Best wishes with your new book! You must be very proud! I had read about the "Genesis" contest and I see you won second place. Another accomplishment. Sounds like a great year for you.....Cindi

Georgiana said...

It has been a fun and amazing year! You never know what God has in store =)

Mary Connealy said...

Hey, ladies, I've spent the day moving my daughter back to college. looks like you carried on well without me.

Missy Tippens said...

But being stuck in the trunk of a car can work great for a suspense! You need to pull that story out and see if you can use it! :)

Congrats on the Genesis, Georgiana! And thanks for visiting our blog. It's been fun.


Georgiana said...

Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your having me here. It's been a fun day!

Ausjenny said...

Mary Im wondering if you moved your daughter back by putting her in the trunk?

And i was realy looking forward to see how you would introduce a lady in the trunk to your next western.

Mental note to self if I ever decide to enter a writing contest Ladies in Trunks (boots in australia) is out of bounds.

Thanks for the laughs today and Georgiana congrats on second place and your book looks interesting.

Lee said...

Congratulations! The book sounds like a great read. You've inspired me to enter the Genesis this year..well maybe, lol.

Pamela J said...

I'm thrilled for you, Georgiana, for your accomplishment and will cheer you on for many more, as God's timing with His blessings allow.
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Doreen said...

Congrats!! The books sounds like a great read!

Patty said...

Congratulations Georgiana. That's a great story in and of itself. Thanks for sharing.

pleblanc_1 at charter dot net

Hope Chastain said...

Excellent post. Reminded me of the one contest I entered. I learned a lot from all the comments, positive and negative. Congratulations on your good finish!!!

Miralee said...

Thanks for your encouraging words, Georgiana! I've decided to enter several contests this year, but I didn't qualify to enter the Genesis last year, as I'd just signed a contract, and of course, not this year either, as my debut novel just released in October. But that's ok, there are lots of others out there...but that one would have been cool to enter!

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Loved your post, Georgiana...and your cover is GORGEOUS!

Cheryl Wyatt