I have a mystery/suspense manuscript, but the crime is not mentioned in the first 20 pages. Should I still enter it in the mystery/suspense category or some other category?
In general, the crime should be at least hinted at or foreshadowed in the first 20 pages of a mystery/suspense manuscript. If it’s not, is the manuscript only half mystery/suspense and half some other genre like romance or women’s fiction?
If it’s half mystery, half some other genre AND the crime isn’t hinted at in the first 20 pages, it might be better to submit the entry into another category. The reason is that a mystery/suspense judge might get the manuscript and think it’s entered in the wrong category, scoring you lower than you might have gotten in another category.
If it’s not a half/half manuscript, then my suggestion is to add some kind of foreshadowing or hint of the crime in the early pages, for the reason stated above about the mystery/suspense judge’s score.
I use Word Perfect and not Microsoft Word. How do I save a .rtf file to enter into an electronic copy contest?
I had to ask Audra Harders for this answer:
1. When saving the document, there is an icon on the toolbar that allows you to save as a .doc file. Just click that and you'll have the file saved in WordPerfect and as a .doc.
2. Click Save As
Go to File Type at the bottom of the box
Go to Rich Text File
My manuscript isn’t quite finished yet. Can I enter it into a contest?
Sure, as long as you only have to enter the first X number of pages and not the entire manuscript. Contests like the Golden Heart require a copy of the entire manuscript, so in that case, you wouldn’t be able to enter one not yet completed. But for any other contest, there’s no stopping you!
One thing to consider is that if you make it into the finals, the final round judge might request the full manuscript.
Wonderful, right? Well, it doesn’t look so good for you if you take 9-12 months to get that manuscript to the editor.
Sometimes, an editor asks for a particular manuscript because the character’s issues or overall story premise is exactly what she’s looking for at that particular moment—but if you don’t submit your manuscript until several months down the line, she might have found another manuscript that fits her purposes and won’t be interested in yours anymore.
Timing is everything.
So if you do submit an unfinished manuscript, try to have it done by the time the winners of the contest are announced. The Genesis deadline is March 1st, but the winners aren’t announced until September, so entrants have more than 6 months to finish their manuscripts.
Well, those are the main questions I’ve received as Genesis coordinator. I hope many of you will enter the Genesis this year!