Friday, November 15, 2013

Why Enter the Genesis Contest for Unpublished Authors?


Picture this with me for a moment: a baby writer with her very first manuscript. Oh the potential! It was just a matter of waiting for that phone call that would tell me I was a semi-finalist. And for sure an honest-to-goodness finalist! I mean really, I was an undiscovered talent and this contest was going to throw wide all those sealed doors to publication!

You can stop laughing now. ;-)

I’ve entered the ACFW Genesis contest four years now and each year I’ve gotten a little bit better, learned a little bit more and tried a lot harder to make my writing and stories stronger and able to withstand those cranky and oh-so-righteous judges. (read: I have great respect and appreciation for contest judges, even if they don’t think I’m the next Kingsbury that I am. ;-)

We all know and understand the benefits and pitfalls of entering a contest. There’s the feedback and then there is the feedback. There is the subjection of putting yourself in front of a bunch of people that might not get your story and there is the joy of getting that call you’re a semi finalist or seeing your face blown up on that big screen at the banquet while Pam Meyers reads your name as this year’s winner.

The Genesis by name and reputation can seem like a truly daunting contest and yet I encourage new and old writing friends to enter. Why? For the above mentioned reasons but also for several key elements:

Name Recognition. Yes you’re taking a $40 chance that you are going to semi, final or win, but if your writing has been refined and honed there is probably a good chance you’ll at least semi-final. As your writing becomes stronger and more authentic to your voice, you start entering contests less for the feedback and more to see if your craft is continuing to improve. Contests are incredibly subjective, so I always take any criticisms or accolades with a grain of salt, but anymore when it comes to my decision to enter contests it is because I’ve seen what my writing has done in the past: finaled and semi-finaled in several contests. I want to know if my current stories are continuing to grow and strengthen my voice. And if I don’t place, then I have invested money in valuable feedback that will help me continue to grow my craft. Name recognition however is something that money can’t buy. Hard work can. If you’ve semi or finaled in the Genesis, you’ve put in the hard work. You’re out there breaking your back (or more likely your office chair), putting in the effort to make your stories worth this award. Agents and editors and fellow published authors notice this and believe me, this makes a difference. It might not be an instantaneous difference, but it doesn’t go unnoticed. The more you put yourself out there, the more you grow your craft, the greater the chance you’ll have for placing and winning contests.

A finished manuscript. You might be hating the change to the Genesis in the last couple years with having to have a completed manuscript before entering, but if you think about it, it’s actually a really great benefit for you in two ways. One: you get that book finished that might have taken you longer if you hadn’t the motivation prompted by the contest. Two: you prove (say when you semi or final or win… ;-) to the agents and editors reading your book that you know how to finish a book. You did it.

Thinking of another excuse not to enter? Need more benefits? Feedback. I’ve gotten tremendous feedback from my last two years entering the Genesis. Challenge yourself to develop your craft and be willing to open yourself up for praise and (as is true with any contest) some criticism. Just make sure your attitude toward the judges’ notes is one open and willing for change and yet wise enough to see where their thoughts might not be aligned with where you want to take the story.

What do you need to do to get ready for this year’s Genesis?
Don’t put off entering until the last minute. Speaking personally as a contest coordinator you want your coordinator to like you and they always get flooded with those last minute entries. ;-) Have a “Once Upon a Time” and a “The End” and a contest (one page) synopsis. Take those fifteen pages and polish them until they shine. Read the scoresheet so you can see what the judges are going to be grading on.


Tighten your phrases. Nix passive verbs. Go deep POV. Make this story 100% your voice. Avoid having too many people read the first pages and then applying all their feedback, but on the flip side be willing to listen and learn from those who have placed in the contest before or have a good grasp of story.

Figure out your genre. If you have one that walks between two (example: my first semi-final story walked the line between women’s fiction and romance, but those first 15 pages leaned toward the former so that’s where I entered). Knowing your genre makes a difference in placing. Suspense probably won’t place in the straight romance category. ;-)

I personally love the ACFW Genesis contest. I’ve seen my stories consistently semi-final…now I need to figure out how to take them to that next level. Of course it’s all subjective in who judges my story this year, but one thing is never subjective: good craft. People’s interpretation is swayed. Hard work can’t be ignored and overlooked. Put in the time. Put in the effort. Put in your entry. No one can predict what will happen, but I can promise one thing: the experience from beginning to end, however you choose to look at it, will prove to be exceedingly beneficial.

Who will I see in the finalist category this year? ;-))

Stop in and comment today to have your name put in a drawing for a free-entry voucher to the Genesis contest!



   Bio: Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in rural Eastern Oregon in a town more populated with cows than people. Taking the words and stories God has placed on her heart and putting them on paper is one of her highest passions in life. Casey is a member of ACFW and an assistant to the ACFW Carol Awards. You can connect with her through her personal blog, Writing for Christ and her writing related group blog, The Writer's Alley 

114 comments:

Helen Gray said...

Hi Casey,

I'm out of the contest business right now. Don't qualify for unpublished ones. Don't qualify for published ones.

But I can still supply the coffee at Seekerville. It's brewing.

Marianne Barkman said...

Thanks, Helen and Casey. Both of you are winners, and I am even more so because of you authors! Have a great day!

Amber Stokes said...

Wonderful thoughts, Casey - and great to see you here on Seekerville! :) Thanks for sharing your tips and reminders!

~Amber

Nancy Kimball said...

I finally make it into Seekerville for a bit and find AlleyCat Casey here! Talking about my favorite contest. Double YAY! I just want to amen EVERYTHING you said. Everything.

And quietly (or not so quietly) say that I have learned more than ever to trust God with this whole writing gig. My debut release contract fell through two weeks ago. But I keep putting one foot in front of the other and trusting God and He's doing some amazing things already. And a little more silver for that cloud?

I'm eligible for Genesis again, haha. =D As Will from a Knight's Tale would say, "See you in the lists!" all you contest divas and contest divas in training.

Cindy W. said...

Thank you for the post today Casey. My one goal this coming year is to complete a manuscript, write The End and enter some contests. I'm a newbie so I know I still have a lot to learn but receiving the valuable feedback from contest judges can only help one grow.

Have a blessed day everyone!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Waving from Eastern Oregon!!

I entered the Genesis once and got the very BOTTOM of ALL the entries! Lol. Ouch. I mean, I didn't expect to final or sem-final... but the BOTTOM? I had ice on my writing ego for weeks.

That was Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits. :)

Mary Curry is a Genesis winner and I told her she better be waving that plaque (certificate) for all it's worth!!

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Nancy, I'm so sorry to hear that. I didn't know you had a debut coming out. And to have it all fall through??

Really makes you wonder, doesn't it?

But in God's perfect timing.

Praying for you!

Jackie said...

I'm nervous thinking about it. But I am thinking.

Thanks for sharing!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Awe, Nancy, so sorry. We do know about that around her though. I know at least one Seeker who had an entire publisher fold.

I personally sent in a requested msc only to have the line fold.

I feel responsible of course.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yah, for the Genesis. Finaled but lost out to my dear friend who is now in heaven, Janet Edgar.

Cara Lynn James said...

Hi, Casey! I have a soft spot in my heart for the Genesis Contest!

Mary Hicks said...

Hi Casey, thanks for the post, it's most encouraging!
Next year I'll be ready to enter the Genesis contest... anyway planning on it. :-)

Nancy, sorry to hear the deal fell through... but a while back I had something I was looking forward to and it didn't happen. A dear friend reminded me that when we honor God's timing, he will bless us with something even better than the first thing. This proved so true in my case! :-)

I looked back and smiled, then I looked up and said, thank you.

karenk said...

YOU ROCK, Casey :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jeanne T said...

Casey what a great post, as always. You're upbeat, matter-of-fact perspective are encouraging!

I entered the Genesis a couple years ago, before the rule about completed manuscripts.Most of the feedback I received was very helpful. For that which was negative, I looked for what I could take from the comments and tried to implement what they shared with me.

I plan to enter this next year, and I'm nervously excited. Great post today my friend!

Jeanne T said...

NANCY—I'm truly sorry about the contract falling through. I'm glad God is showing you how He's working. I'll be praying for you.

Courtney Phillips said...

I've had the Genesis on my mind for awhile, but it will depend on if I can completely finish by the deadline. I did enter First Impressions though.
Love your blog, Casey, and this post. Helpful, to say the least.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Go, Casey! I entered the Genesis three times with three different books and never finaled. Not sure what that tells you, but I hope it means that the Genesis is a really tough contest with lots of amazing talent! :-) But contests are an awesome way to find out what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong and even learn how to fix them. This is priceless information! Hang in there, Casey! If you are brave and determined enough to keep entering, you are definitely going to make it. Perseverance is the name of the game.

Courtney Phillips said...

I'd like to enter for the $40 voucher, by the way :)
Might be all the encouragement I need to finish! (Goodness gracious, I'm such a tightwad.)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Nancy, I'm so sorry about your contract falling through. It is one of those horrible things that sometimes (often) happen in this business. Of the top ten worst things that can happen to a writer, that is definitely up there. I think of those top ten, I've experienced at least five. And since I am good company, you're in good company. :-)

Debby Giusti said...

Great blog, Casey.

Contests helped me fine tune my manuscripts. I learned how to take criticism and evaluate which changes needed to be made and which could be ignored. The judges often showed me where my story fell short, but they also provided affirmation, which kept me focused and moving forward.

Casey said...

Helen, that is an AWESOME reason to be out of the contest biz. Now you need to enter the Carols. ;-)

Casey said...

Marianne, thanks for stopping by!!

Casey said...

Amber, still pinching myself that I'm even here posting!! These ladies are the best. Are you entering the Genesis, this year?

Casey said...

Hello Nancy!
It's becoming one of my favorite contests too, there is SO MUCH to be learned from entering the Genesis. Benefits upon benefits. :)

I'm so sorry about the contract falling through and it's easy for me to say since I'm not in your position, but there must be a God-sent reason why it did. A reason you can't see right now. Hoping the Genesis brings GOOD things for you! I'll be looking for your name! :D

Casey said...

Cindy W,
Having a finished manuscript is a GREAT benefit of entering the Genesis! Keep it up!!

Casey said...

Virginia, WHERE in Eastern Oregon?? *I* live in Eastern Oregon!!

I. Hear. Ya. It's hard to climb to the top in the Genesis, which is why I'm always shaking when I get those calls I've semi-finaled. Your moment is coming, I can feel it!!

Casey said...

Jackie, keep thinking! It makes me nervous too, but excited for the potential!

Casey said...

Wow, Tina. Did Janet win that year?

Casey said...

Hi Cara! I've loved going through the roster of past winners and seeing so many of my favorite authors listed!

Casey said...

Mary, good!! And glad to hear you're planning on entering. There is much to be gained by putting your story out there, scary as it may be. :)

Casey said...


Karenk, you're awesome my friend. :)

Casey said...


Jeanne T, I'm SUPER excited to see you enter this year! With your Fraiser final, I'm hoping for really good things...like your name climbing higher and higher up that list. Then I can say I knew you back when. ;-)

Anna R. Weaver said...

I'm trying to finish my MS in time. I'm considering entering the First Impressions contest, too. I did last year with my first MS and got mixed results (16, 69, and 92). But first I'm sifting though my feedback from the last contest I entered to see what needs fixin'.

Thank you for sharing with us today, Casey. :)

Casey said...

Courtney, great start with the FI contest! I entered that myself for the first time this year. I love that they've given that contest to starting manuscripts/novelists.

Casey said...

Melanie, I know Katie Ganshert (another of my fav authors) never finaled in the Genesis either. It's an interesting game from beginning to end, for sure. You've certainly persevered in your novel journey! A fantastic motivation. :)

Casey said...

Debby, same here! And I've taken several peices of advice and approached agents about it, seeing what they think and making changes from there. I plan to do that again this year! :)

Casey said...

Anna, we tend to get VERY mixed results from contest judges. I always have one judge who hates it. One who LOVES it and one who thinks it is okay. When two or more judges agree on something, I sit up and take notice! Otherwise, I take the good with the bad and see what I can glean from both. But it was a process to get there, for sure. ;-)

Sally said...

Nancy, no!!! I'm so sorry. :(

I'm a three-time Genesis finalist going for a fourth time this year. My WIP did very well last year, and the feedback from contests and beta readers is the only reason the story is doing as well as it is. I can't wait to see how it does in 2014. Then again, it's all subjective and there are definitely people out there who don't like my stuff. (I know; the horror!) :D

I entered three contests in 2013 and finaled in all three, won two. What was very eye-opening was that as I applied the comments from previous judges, my next set of scores went up. So, yes, I'm going to be a contest fiend this year.

Casey said...

Sally, you ARE a contest fiend! Your name (in my book) is expected and no surprise to show up every year until some publisher actually wises up and buys your book. ;-) Wouldn't be a BIG surprised if you're up excepting the award this year. :)

Elaine Manders said...

Hi Casey,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I know the Genesis is one of those contests where the competition is intense, but someone said "no guts, no glory."

Nancy, I had something like that happen to me in my other writing life and still have the beautiful letter and 456 page edited ms from the editor to prove it, before she was overruled. It was the best thing that could have happened! But don't do what I did, chunk it all in for a decade.

Sally said...

Aw, thanks, Casey. Here's hoping. I know I see your name frequently on those lists too. So you're definitely doing something right! Here's hoping 2014 is a break-through year for both of us. :)

Connie Queen said...

Sally, I've never entered the Genesis contest. You've given me a lot to think about.

Good luck to all those who enter.

And Nancy, I'm sorry about your debut contract falling through. Being offered a contract speaks highly for your talent though so it'll only be a matter of time before another is offered.

Sherri Shackelford said...

Great advice! I finaled in the Genesis with Sarah Ladd and Naomi Rawlings. I mean, REALLY???!!! That's not even fair. How was I supposed to compete with those two? Both of them had multiple offers and/or contracts before the contest even ended.

Oh well, all's well that ends well, right? It's a wonderful contest and a great opportunity! I'd encourage everyone with a completed manuscript and a dream to enter :)

Sherri Shackelford said...

Nancy, I'm sorry for the contract debacle. I believe BETTER things are in store for you!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi, Casey! So nice to see you here!

The Genesis was the first contest I ever entered. I learned so much the first year - about my writing, what I can expect from judges...what it feels like to hit "send" for the first time!

The second year I really thought I had a good shot for a semi-final, but that's the year I learned something else about contests: the judges are very subjective.

I would urge everyone to enter the Genesis this year! Get that story finished and send it in. It's $40.00 well spent.

Jan Drexler said...

Nancy Kimball - so sorry to hear about your contract falling through! What a disappointment.

{{{hugs}}}

Sally said...

Connie, it's hard to hear the negative the first time or two. But give it time to settle, then get back at it, and I think you'll be very encouraged.

Sherrie, that says a lot about you, that you stood right up there with two soon-to-be-pubbed writers!

Sherri Shackelford said...

Thank you, Sally! They are an amazing pair. Sarah Ladd had a 'top pick' in RT for January. I like to think of it as my brush with greatness...

Naomi and I write for Harlequin Love Inspired Historical now. But we'll always have The Genesis experience :)

Sally said...

Definitely a brush with greatness! I lost to Dineen Miller and Dani Pettrey in my first Genesis finalist. I didn't know enough to be impressed then. :)

Sally said...

So you're published now! Yay! So maybe it was their brush with greatness??? :)

I read Sarah's first book--really good!

Leigh said...

The Genesis -- wooo-eee! I finaled my first year entering, but when I look back at it now I wonder why in the world my name made the short list! I like to think it's because I've learned a lot since then. :-)

I haven't entered since the rules changed, but am optimistic about having something finished for 2014. Here's to getting lots of words on the page!

Myra Johnson said...

So many great reasons to take the plunge, Casey! Thanks for sharing your insights into the Genesis!

Myra Johnson said...

NANCY, so very, very sorry your contract fell through! But I can honestly tell you I've experienced some devastating writing disappointments that turned out to be blessings in disguise. You just never know where God might be leading you or what doors He might open next, so keep trusting and believing!

Helen Gray said...

Nancy, sorry about the contract collapse. Chin up. Your time is coming.

Megan Besing said...

I will be entering the Genesis for the first time this year. Looking forward to it!

Piper Huguley said...

As always, I'm praying for you, Nancy. I believe in you and know your work will be brought forward.

However, your re-eligibility for the Genesis is not the best news in the world.....*sigh* Brave folks like you and Casey make the Genesis very scary territory for me. I tend not to do well in Inspy contests. I entered last year and maybe I didn't get a ranking as Virginia did because they didn't want me to see how I tanked or have they stopped doing that? I hope so. Maybe a voucher would give me the courage to enter again, but I don't know....

Piper

CaraG said...

I appreciate your straightforward post about contests and the rewards gained whether one places or not. If it weren't for Seekerville’s, “No guts, no glory,” prodding, I wouldn't have entered a contest whose results gave my writing confidence a much needed boost. Yet, while I’m a contest believer, I’m also a slow participant. My endless rewriting is a huge stumbling block.

Today, I particularly noticed your advice, “Figure out your genre.” For me that’s about more than identification, it’s also about figuring out why I can’t seem to recognize genre boundaries. Guess I'll have to work on that one.

And I'm curious, do you also inject a lot of humor into your stories? It seems a natural part of your voice.

Thanks for being here. Good luck in all your contests.

And to Nancy K., love your “contest divas in training.” How encouraging. Sure beats my “slacker” thoughts regarding myself and the contest world.

Nancy Kimball said...

Casey, I am SO not trying to hijack your wonderful post but I do want to thank everyone for their encouragement, stories and kind words. You too!

Virginia, Tina (that couldn't have been it, i know), Mary Hicks (Amen sister), Jeanne T, Melanie Dickerson (5 times? Wow. Good company for sure.), Sally, Elaine, Connie Queen, Sherrie (I remember that and was so happy for you), Jan, Myra, Helen, Piper (just do it girl. Just do it afraid.) CaraG (you're welcome and training is good. I think I'll always be training).

You guys gave me the courage to finally fix my banner. =)
If you copy and paste the link you can see what I did (and get to check out my absolutely gorgeous hero, LOL) https://db.tt/P0A19jxy

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yes. Janet Edgar won and sold her book to Love Inspired. Sadly we lost her and she never got to see her book in print.

Walt Mussell said...

Enered Genesis once. However, I don't want to enter the manuscript I have. I have two others that need editing and that I'm not ready to show to the world yet.

Meghan Carver said...

Congratulations on your semi-finals, Casey! I've entered for two years now and semi-finaled this past year. The feedback has been terrific, and I'm definitely entering again this year. Would love to win the entry fee! Have a wonderful weekend!

Sally said...

Call me slow, but I just now realized what today's prize is! Nice!

Back to work...

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Casey,

Great post and I love the Genesis contest.

Though I'm excited that I can't enter anymore!

So sorry Nancy! I hope something even better comes along for you!

Cheers,
Sue

Kav said...

I'm a Genesis chicken so far. I've entered two contests and was thrilled to pieces with the feedback but the Genesis seesm so...intimidating, I guess. :-) Y'all are scary, you know, Casey? :-)

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Casey, sorry to be slow stopping in today.

I'm a big GENESIS fan. I count the Genesis as leading directly (well maybe circuitously?) to a contract. So I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Go for it, ladies. Enter a contest.
Stick your neck out.

I will NOT make a single Marie Antoinette joke at this point!

Mary Connealy said...

Nancy, wow, so sorry. We all know we need to trust in God's timing in these things. but it's so hard when we're in the middle of disappointments.

Hang in there, girl.

Mary Connealy said...

NANCY and TINA, I'm pretty sure RUTHY personallly closed the LOVE FINDS YOU line. It had been pretty successful up until they signed her, too.

Mary Connealy said...

I had an editor make an offer for a two book contract once who promptly got fired. No one ever showed any interest in my two books again from that publisher.


I'd like to think the two weren't connected!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

KAV....you should see Casey up close. She is VERY SCARY. As fierce as a perky blonde 20 something can EVER BE, almost. When she's not giggling and hugging people.

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Thank you, Casey, for your insights on entering the Genesis. I've seen your name many times on the list of semi-finalists and finalists. This contest was the best one to enter with my historical. My writing improved after applying feedback received from the 2012 Genesis so that I was a semi this year and with that got comments and suggestions for improvement from an additional 3 judges. I can't say enough about the value of entering. I have a new novel I'd like to enter next year. This fee free voucher is a huge incentive to finish it.
Helen: You have the very best reason for being ineligible to enter unpubbed contests. Congratulations again.
Nancy: I'm sorry to hear about your contract falling through. I admire your attitude and feel encouraged by it.

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Thank you, Casey, for your insights on entering the Genesis. I've seen your name many times on the list of semi-finalists and finalists. This contest was the best one to enter with my historical. My writing improved after applying feedback received from the 2012 Genesis so that I was a semi this year and with that got comments and suggestions for improvement from an additional 3 judges. I can't say enough about the value of entering. I have a new novel I'd like to enter next year. This fee free voucher is a huge incentive to finish it.
Helen: You have the very best reason for being ineligible to enter unpubbed contests. Congratulations again.
Nancy: I'm sorry to hear about your contract falling through. I admire your attitude and feel encouraged by it.

Julie Lessman said...

CASE!!! Holy cow, I forgot you were up today or I would have been here pronto, with bells on!!

EXCELLENT article from someone who KNOWS what she's talking about and who WILL be published, I have NO doubts whatsoever. Just a matter of time ... and as you said in your blog ... hard work!!

Can't wait to read and endorse your first book, darlin' -- I think I just may be as excited as you when it happens!

Almost. :)

Love ya lots!
Julie

Janet Dean said...

CASEY!! Wonderful to have you in Seekerville! You make excellent points for why unpublished writers should enter The Genesis. The Seekers have all learned a bunch from contests. The best part, contests brought us together.

Thanks for all the work you'll be doing for The Carol. Both are great contests!

Janet

Tina Radcliffe said...

Let's also mention that the 40 bucks is a tax deduction.

If you are seriously pursuing a career as a writer, you can write it off. You do not need to wait until you sell.

If anyone uses the word hobby..off with your head!

Chill N said...

CASEY, great advice about knowing your genre! After judges' suggestions in my first contest entry, I entered the story in a different genre. And that, as they say, has made all the difference :-)

Nancy C
P.S. Don't include me in the drawing.

Chill N said...

NANCY K, cheering you on! Love your new banner :-)

Nancy C

Terri said...

Great topic, the Genesis is a wonderful contest. I agree, while it may be tough to finish the manuscript it is so worth it.

Nancy, I'm so sorry! How heartbreaking.

Tina - Janet was a dear and I still remember her book.

Casey said...


Sally, I certainly wouldn't complain on that front, for BOTH of us!! :D

Casey said...

Elaine, the competition is intense, but it's one of those things we don't necessarily "see", know what I mean? We place or we don't and have the great benefit of good feedback! And sometimes we can learn from bad feed back too. I have at least. :)

Casey said...

Connie, definitely consider it! The Genesis and My Book Therapy Frasier contests are the two I enter every single year. Make it a point to enter them!

Casey said...

Sherri, WOW!!! That is SOMETHING, right there! I want to know what your story is about now. Those are going to only become bigger names someday! Your day is only around the corner! :)

Casey said...

Jan, me too! I didn't understand the whole "send" thing fully until late last year, but submitting to a big contest was certainly the first step! Very, very true on subjectivity. I've entered the same story two years in a row and only semi'd with it once. *shrug*

Casey said...

Leigh, way to go!! That really says something about your story and your ability as a writer to hit it the first time out of the gate. I've had so much (and still do) to learn about my writing. I'm always flabbergastered when I semi! Very optimisitic for you too!! Will be looking for name on that first and second lists. ;-)

Casey said...

Myra, so glad to be here! Like I told Ruthy...pinching myself. ;-)

Casey said...

Megan, good for you!!! What genre do you write?

Casey said...

Piper, discouragement is the devil's foothold. Throw that attitude as far as the east is from the west--Just because someone had semi'd or finaled in previous years has NO bearing whatsoever on the coming years. I've experienced that in writing and in life. Now, like you mentioned some writing is not for the Inspy market, but have you looked for general market opportunities?

Casey said...

CaraG, Seekerville is AMAZING for pushing writers toward contests. You won't know unless you try and what do you have to loss? You have EVERYTHING to gain! :-) Tell me about rewriting...that is me through and through! It takes me no time to write a book, but over a year to edit it. Can you tell that's my least favorite part? :) Defining my genre I think will be a huge help to me. Sometimes we don't fit into a genre box, but think about those first 15 pages and base your genre off that. At least for the contest.

Casey said...

Nancy, you are NOT hijacking anything! I love the community of Seekerville and being gone for so long, I had forgotten all of what I've missed! And oh my...I need to wipe the drool from my lips....that is so not ladylike. ;-)

Casey said...

Tina, oh that breaks my heart! I'm so sorry to hear that. :(

Casey said...

Walt, I hope that someday (of which I have no doubt) you'll send that story out. I have a feeling when you do it's going to make a big splash. Just got a feeling. :)

Casey said...

Meghan, congrats to you as well! I'm hoping this year to pull my writing to the next level. If not, then hopefully I'll learn something to take it that much further down the road. To quote Julie's favorite movie: tomorrow is another day. Or in writing terms: next year is another year to enter. ;-)

Casey said...

Susan, YES, you CAN'T!!!!!! That makes me super happy. :D We'll have to throw an honorary Alley Cat release party. :)

Casey said...

Kav, NO! Me? Scary? Well, only when I want to know the gender of Amy Leigh Simpson's baby, but I will digress before I get too carried away. ;-) The Genesis has actually been incredibly warm to me within the coordinators and the assistant coordinators, etc. NOT just because I've semi'd. And yes I've gotten some pretty harsh feedback, but not all is that way. :)

Casey said...

Mary, that mental image...wow, wouldn't have notified if you hadn't pointed it out. And you're not slow, I forgot to check at all until way after I got home from work. Who does that?!!

Mary Curry said...

Hi Casey,

Sorry to be so late stopping by; it was a loooong day at work.

I'm also a big fan of the Genesis - mainly because it gave me the confidence that I could write for the Inspirational market. I had contest success in the secular market, but winning the Genesis hushed (temporarily, at least) that voice that says Who do you think YOU are to write this?

Good luck to all those entering this year. It's a rush for sure.

Casey said...

Mary, scary-- me? OF COURSE! Especially when I scream and race across the room to hug an author who doesn't know me from Adam. But can I say. I'm from a small town in Eastern Oregon. Plus I was homeschooled. I'm bound to be lacking a few social skills. ;-)

Casey said...

Pat, go girl go! You've got lots of motivation including the title of semi-finalist yourself! Will be looking for your name this year around Spring time. ;-)

Casey said...

Julie, LOL! Well, I forgot for the course of an INSANE day at work and who forgets they are posting in SEEKERVILLE? Only this ditsy blonde. ;-) You'll probably be more excited than me, but a lot less shocked. I'll be thinking the contract is written in invisibile ink. ;-)

Casey said...

Janet, I still can't believe Ruthy asked me to post on this contest when it's YOU GUYS who made contests popular! (at least I attribute you guys with my contest "success" stories.) I'm excited to take on the Carols too...great priviledge to work with so many awesome people! Thirteen right here too. Love it. ;-)

Casey said...

Tina, I've deducted ALL my contest fees this year and last year! I love that.

Casey said...

Nancy C, this has been HUGE for me in knowing my genre. Huge. Plus it's good when you talk to agents and edits. "What's your genre". "Uh, romance. No, wait, women's fiction." *clears throat* "Women's fiction with strong elements of romance. Or I guess I should say: Romance with elements of women's fiction." *eyeroll* Yes, that was me this year at ACFW. I sounded brilliant. ;-)

Casey said...

Terri, VERY worth it!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hey, Casey!

Sorry I was working today and bell-ringing tonight for the Salvation Army and it's the first chance I had to stop in and see youse!!!!

I've always had a soft spot for the Noble Theme-now-Genesis contest. It was very good to me in my pre-contracted years and gave me lovely exposure and great advice.

Of course I got beat out by SEEKERS several times, but my goal was always just to get my stuff on an editor's desk... and hey, it worked, here I am a whole lotta books later!

God bless Love Inspired, Summerside Press and Indie Publishing!!!!

Casey said...

Mary Curry, I HEAR YA on the long day at work thing and I got off early. ;-) I'm super enthused for you in your win!! You can totally write this! Your name is bound for the cover of a book. I know it. :)

Casey said...

Ruthy, goodness thank YOU for having me on today!

Are you sure you were JUST ringing that little bell? I could totally see you hustling someone out of their change. After all, you've hustled me out of covers...I know it's possible. ;-)

ANYWAY, I'm so thrilled to be here, I can't even stand it. CAN'T STAND IT. :D

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Nancy Kimball

Oh, ugh.

However.... And I can say this because I had that happen with several contracts.... In the end things worked out for the best and I can look back and see that clearly.

I remember Wendy Lawton giving me some good advice when my first Love Inspired contracts came through: If you start with big books and big book contracts, and fail (don't earn out, don't sell) it's almost impossible to re-establish yourself. Whereas if you create an audience in short books/category, you can then branch out and have an audience to build from.

And that's what I wanted to do. I see publishing like a tree... a strong base (the trunk), then branching out.

That branching out doesn't happen on our glorious big, rounded Norway Maples until they're several years old. They spend those first years building a base.... and then they start to branch out slowly in years 4, 5, and 6....

You hang in there. Keep building that base! God bless you, my friend.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Casey, hahahahahaha!

Oh, I have a time of it, bell ringing!!! We had a bunch of grandchildren out there ringing the bell, and they were stinkin' cute!!! That's a people draw right there! :)

And so fun to see people smile... The Santa hat might have helped! It's such a great family tradition now. I love it. And I got to meet several actual Salvation Army clients, folks who've been helped by the army. What a humbling and beautiful experience that was. There but for the grace of God am I.

:) God is good, all the time!

Isn't it fun being over here???? I'm so glad you were able to do it, hang out and chat up this wonderful contest. I smile every time I think of it!!! Like Mary said, the Genesis got me a whole lot of professional attention and that led to Melissa contracting me from Finally a Bride... one thing leads to another in this biz.

Have I mentioned how much I love being able to write???? I am just over-the-top delighted to be working with the team at Love Inspired, to see their growth and the great readers... LOVE IT!!!

Audra Harders said...

Casey, excellent blog post today!

I love the Genesis contest, both as a prior entrant and as a judge. I have read some really fantastic work and I've read work that can use a little help : ) The length of the entry is just enough for a judge to get a feel of the author's voice and style.

The Genesis is a contest well worth investing in!!

Thanks for joining us today, Casey!!

Zanne Davis said...

I so agree that the Genesis gives such valuable feedback. But you have to keep your head on straight, because not all the comments are useful and some are even hurtful. I usually stew over them about 2 weeks after a contest and then extract what was really helpful, but I know some people are really discouraged over some of the comments. I know, however, that it all combines into making her fit into the writing business and helps to get you recognized. I really appreciate contest feedback.

Casey said...

Hello Audra!
Thank you for having me! I think being the judge would almost be more difficult than the participant. You have my utmost respect! (Not that you didn't have it already. ;-)
Happy Saturday to you!!!

Casey said...

Zanne, I completely agree with you and like any contest not all the feedback your receive is going to be worth your time, because every judge comes to your book with a different world view. But where two more judges agree, I tend to put a little bit more ooff into how much I pay attention to their comments. :)

Bookishqueen said...

I am planning to enter into the Genesis Contest this year. It will be daunting, but I think it is worth it.

Rebekah

Crystal Ridgway said...

Hi,
I'm entering for the very first time this year!!!! I like to think I have a good chance of finaling because my MS is like no other on the market. (Sorry, but I'm not giving away what it is.).
There is no question about it; my genre is historical romance. Now I just need to polish, polish, polish. And finish the book of course.
Wish me luck ;D

Sybil Bates McCormack said...

Hi, Casey. Thanks for the encouragement I needed to get cracking on completing a manuscript for the Genesis this year. I'd appreciate being considered for the voucher. Thanks!