Friday, January 4, 2008
Gina Holmes ~ Guest Blogger
Does Winning a Contest Amount to Anything?
By Gina Holmes
Does winning a writing contest mean anything? Well, of course, it depends on who you ask. I’ve heard several in the industry say, “You know what winning a writing contest amounts to? Nothing.”
But is that really true?
I run the popular literary blog, Novel Journey. We’re known for our author interviews and have featured everyone from Pulitzer Prize winning, Geraldine Brooks to Dean Koontz. We also spotlight a lot of new novelists and have given many an author their first on-line interview. We will feature CBA authors and ABA authors alike, we won’t however feature a self-published author.
Why this discrimination? Well, it wasn’t always so. When we began, we were willing to take a look at self-published books, but quickly learned that there is a reason most of these were not picked up by traditional publishers. They weren’t publishable.
Having wasted our time reading many a sub-standard, vanity-press book, we decided to only feature traditionally published novelists. We simply didn’t have the time or resources to weed out the few good from the many, many bad.
Recently I received an email from Evan Howard who is a self-published novelist. Could I help him get featured on blogs, he asks, mentioning that his novel finalled in the USA BookNews 2007 Best Book Awards.
I didn’t hold much hope that I’d stumbled across quality, but because of the contest win, I followed the link and found his name and book title among some traditionally published novelists I know.
I asked to read a few of his chapters, and to my surprise, they were well written. We will be featuring Evan Howard and his novel, The Lost Epistle of Jesus in an upcoming series on untraditional publishing. And, of course, I’m telling you about him now.
Does a writing contest win make a difference? For Evan it did.