Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Janet Rubin Guest Blogger

Hello Seekers!
Writing contests. I haven't exactly had tons of experience with these, but I can tell you what my involvement in competetive writing has done for me. A couple of years ago, when I was interested in getting serious with my writing, someone recommended www.Faithwriters.com. I checked it out and started entering the Weekly Challenge. Each week, a topic is given. One can enter as a beginner, intermediate, or advanced writer. Two hundred writers enter this contest every week. For several months I entered the competition, moving from intermediate to advanced and winning first, second, or third place several times-- an accomplishment that earns you placement in the quarterly anthology. Of course, the anthology is pretty much only sold on Amazon or through Faithwriters, and is probably only purchased by friends and family of the authors, yet my experience with Faithwriters did several important things for me: it gave me confidence about my ability, it gave me publishing credits to put in my bio, it gave me practice writing for a deadline, with a word count and for a topic. In short, I grew as a writer. While there at Faithwriters, I met people, one of which introduced me to my wonderful crit group, Penwrights, which I've been a part of for two years now. It was through fellow Penwrights, like Gina Holmes and Ane Mulligan, that I learned about ACFW and the Genesis contest. With my confidence boosted by Faithwriters success, I tackled what seemed like the impossible task of writing a novel. A year later I had my novel completed and entered it in the Genesis, and to my amazement, won third place in the suspence catagory. What a journey. Will it lead to publication? Only God knows. But contests have been very helpful to me. I thought I'd share one of my second place stories with you. It's about one of my character flaws-- starting lots of things and not finishing any. My story Craft Store Crisis is at:

Contests help with this too; having a deadline and the hope of a prize motivates one to finish. Thanks for having me here and God bless your writing paths.

Here are my blogs:


  1. Janet, thanks for stopping in!

    Congrats on your excellent showing in Genesis. That's a tough contest, although very well coordinated...


    I liked what you said about growth as a writer. We often don't realize we need to grow until it's accomplished, which shows that it's always good to have fellow critiquers until an editor's willing to take over the job.

    No matter how long it takes.

    Best of luck with your continued writing.


  2. sounds like helpful advice! i think i'm going to pass it along to a friend who writes!

    for the contest if i win, hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com


  3. Janet, you make a great point about the importance of confidence. When I first started writing again, I had no confidence and could easily have quit if someone had said, "Sorry, you have no talent." But, thankfully, nobody said that to me! And after I sold my first short story, that much-needed confidence took root and nobody could snatch it away.

  4. Hi, it's your faithful servant Mary.
    I omitted the link to Janet's story when I first posted.
    My excuse...I'm kinda slow.

    An excuse that also explains to of my pregnancies, but that's not something I'm willing to talk about here!

    Go check out Janet's Craft Store Crisis.

    Also, Tina explained to me exactly how to include a working link within the post.
    See excuse above. In fact, apply it to mostly everything I ever write.

    Thanks for being a guest blogger for us, Janet. I'd never heard of Faith Writers before. What a great idea, tools that can really help an author.
    Writing skills, resume enhancement, and connections.

  5. Hi everybody! Thanks for the comments. This is such a neat community you have here, and a great source of information. I've linked over from my blog so I can check in now and then. I've found the internet to be a huge blessing; it's helped me connect with so many writers. (it's a time-sucking curse and my downfall as well, but we don't have to talk about that either!)

    Melanie, I think writers are in general an insecure lot. Actually, that could work to our benefit; lots of great writers probably don't enter the contests because they can't believe they are any good...

  6. Contests stretch us and also afford new writers valuable comments and encouragement.

    Good article, Janet. :o)

  7. Thanks for sharing, Janet.

    I have never heard of Faithwriters. Will have to check it out.

  8. Great post, Janet. I used to be a member of Faithwriters a long time ago but I never participated, I just read. I love your story. I can identify. I have packets of beads and jewelry-makin' stuff that are crammed in boxes. I have mosaic stuff, cracked up china pieces in plastic bags--in my mind, a mosaic coffee table would be beautiful!

    Short NF really satisfies my need for instant gratification--and bylines. :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Janet, great blog and GREAT story! I read "Craft Store Crisis" and loved your skill and your humor. Thanks for a good laugh and a great reminder -- Jesus IS the author and finisher of our faith -- amen to that. But now what do I with this craving for Krispy Kremes????

  10. Thanks for reading the story ladies! I guess it's just us creative types-- lots of ideas, not enough time, and (in my case) a short attention span.

    I could go for some Krispie Kreme donuts too! The only one around my neck of the woods is in a casino:(

  11. Hey ladies? I just noticed that the way the post reads at the end, it looks like I'm claiming Novel Journey as MY blog. Just wanted to clarify. Novel Journey (as you might already know) is the awesome invention of Gina Holmes. She's been working hard for years to make the blog what it is. I'm just a team-member who writes devotions there on Sundays. I only wanted to include the blog address... well, you know... to promote the blog:)

    Thanks again for having me. I'll be back to read more seekerville posts and look for interesting contests!

  12. Gotta tell you, I love that the guest bloggers have their pictures with the post. I am meeting so many new writers. I love it.

    And Janet, what a great smile you have!!

  13. Thanks Tina!! I think I need some of those Crest white strips though... (all that writerly coffee drinking)

  14. I really enjoyed "Craft Store Crisis", Janet. I'm in the same boat with all the beads for making jewlery. I mean, how many bracelets can I possibly wear in my lifetime? I also started to knit a sweater for my hubby once and only completed one sleeve. LOL I gave it to him that Christmas with a card that had "101 Uses for a Sleeve". I never did finish it. I gave away the beautiful wool yarn about 10 years later. :)

    Thanks for visiting today!

  15. I entered a few of the FaithWriters contests, but after winning 2nd place on my second try, the challenge went out of it for me. But right now I'm awaiting the semi-finalist announcement for Amazon's novel contest, so I'm still entering!

    theloneislands [at] yahoo.com

  16. I don't think I've ever heard of the Amazon Writer's Contest either.
    And we think we're all such know-it-alls about contests. But I'm learning too.

  17. Oh, I entered that Amazon contest and then realized I'd entered my old unrevised version by mistake! LOL So I'm not exactly expecting to final. But at least I wasn't out any money. It was free. :-)

  18. I'm learning lots on this blog - and I don't even consider myself a writer - good job!

    ryanx6 at msn dot com

  19. I love happy endings. I wish you continued success.....Cindi

  20. Oh I loved your story and I dont blame "Dave" for avoiding craft stores. Its also got a good moral.
    I am guilty of starting and not finishing.
    Thanks also for your post.

  21. My debut novel released this past October, and I'd never heard or thought of contests prior to this. Sooo...now I'm looking at entering my book in some contests, just for the fun of it!

  22. Popping in late here to say I enjoyed your great thoughts on contests. Congrats on your Genesis showing!

    Cheryl Wyatt