Saturday, October 29, 2016

November Contest Update




Three days left to this birthday party! It's been a wild month of living on cake and ice cream. Today we're going to talk about the rest of the year. 63 days until January 1. 

What's your contest agenda look like for the upcoming weeks? Any contest finalists/and winners out there care to raise their hands and encourage us along by sharing their lates news??  Don't make me out you.

I'm emptying out the vault today and I have books to give away. Leave a comment and let me know you want in. Two packages of books. Two winners. 

And there's a first chapter critique, (first 15 pages only, industry formatted) for two writers, up for grabs. All winners announced in the Weekend Edition.
Published Manuscripts


The RWA RITA Contest will open for entries at 11 a.m. CT,  Nov. 1, 2016. (You must register to judge in order to enter.)

NRCA is open. Deadline December 15
 
Readers' Choice Contest is now open. (Formerly Beanpot) Deadline January 6, 2017

Golden Quill is now open. Deadline January 13, 2017.

Booksellers' Best Award is now open. Deadline January 19, 2017.

Attention Readers! 
  • Interested in judging the  (New England) Reader's Choice Awards? Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.  

See Julie Lessman's testimony here. 
Unpublished Manuscripts 

Hook, Line & Sinker. Deadline November 1. Open to Published and Unpublished authorsHone your skills in hooking an editor with our Hook Line and Sinker contest. Three judges, at least two of them published, will critique your first three pages. The top five entries will be ranked by Allison Lyons from Harlequin.  Open to nonRWA writers.


Emma Merritt Contest. Deadline November 30. Open to published and unpublished authors. Each entry must be an unpublished work – it cannot be published or under contract in any form or format, not in digital or print prior to the entry deadline. Entry must be the first 5,000 to 8,000 words.

Contemporary:  Piya Campana, Senior Editor, Harlequin Super Romance; Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Paranormal/Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Tara Cuskaden, Editorial Director, Entangled Select-Otherworlds; (agent TBA)

Suspense/Mystery: (editor TBA); Marisa Corvisiero of the Corvisiero Literary Agency
Historical: Tara Gavin, Executive Editor, Kensington Publishing Corp.; (agent TBA)

LGBTQ: Angela James, Editor in Chief, Carina Press; (agent TBA)

Women’s Fiction: Susan Litman, Senior Editor, Harlequin Special Editions; Danielle Marshall, Editorial Director, Lake Union Publishing, an imprint of Amazon Publishing

Inspirational: Raela Schoenherr, Acquiring Editor, Bethany House/Baker; Cori Deyoe of 3 Seas Literary Agency


Young Adult (YA): Susan Chang, Senior Editor, Tor/Tor Teen; Louise Fury of the Jenny Bent Literary Agency

 
Romance Me Novel Writing Contest. Deadline December 15. Open to published authors. "Be it historical or contemporary, a grand love story or the gripping tale of a torrid affair, through December 15 submit your Romance novel for the chance to win prizes and be read by judges from Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Hachette Book Group." Submit the first thirty pages. One entry per person. NO FEE! Cash prizes awarded to our top three writers. Everyone else will receive AUTHORS.me basic service; your submission viewed by multiple publishing professionals; and access to future contests and writer services. Winners will be announced on Valentines Day, February 14, 2017. 

Final editor judges:

Marissa Sangiacomo-Macmillan Publishers

Lexi Smail-Hachette Book Group

Katherine Pelz-Penguin Random House


The Golden Heart Contest-   
Contest opens on December 1- Deadline January 1. The Golden Heart requires a full manuscript and is open to RWA members. The cost is $30. Once again Seekerville will provide an opportunity for entry reimbursement to writers who enter the Golden Heart in the category formerly known as inspirational. We're going to reimburse 8 entries -if the category makes it. So please consider entering! Read the rules here.

How it works. You enter and send us proof of entry. After the January deadline, RWA will announce if the category made it. If it does, we pick 8 writers to be reimbursed. We will email them privately. Winner's names are not announced on the blog in an effort to preserve contest integrity.


Let's start getting ready for the ACFW Genesis Contest which will open January 2016. The first 15 pages and a one-page synopsis!


Great Expectations Contest. Open for entries October 30, 2016. (No information on website when this post was written.) Entry and payment must be received January 4, 2017. Unpublished and Published authors. ***INFO IS ON THE BLOG***

If you've been working on the same novel for the last 24 months..it's time to write the next book.

Other Writing Opportunities

Attention K Mart Shoppers: The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing is currently Free on all retailers. Here is the Amazon link:https://amzn.com/B015QOF860 This is the updated version.



 CWA Thanks to editor Lonnie Hull Dupont for letting us know about the Cat Writers' Association. Here it is!





In the Pennsylvania area? Check out the Keystone Christian Fiction Writer's Conference, coming in November. Love Inspired Editor, Emily Rodmell is taking pitches! 

Check out FaithWriters for more writing opportunities!

Angels, Miracles, Cats, Dogs, Canada and more... The Chicken Soup upcoming topic line-up can be found here.

Keep your on on this site, #MSWL for writing opportunities. Manuscript Wish List where editors and agents let you know what they're looking for. It also keeps you apprised of trends in the industry.

Another way to keep up with the changes in publishing is to subscribe to Publishers Market Place. Check it out here. Or you can simply sign up for the weekly FREE newsletter, Publishers Lunch. Sign up here.

 "Publishers Lunch is the industry's "daily essential read," now shared with approximately 45,000 publishing people every day. Each report gathers together stories from all over the web and print of interest to the professional trade book community, along with original reporting, plus a little perspective and the occasional wisecrack added in."


And here's some fun. The UK Novel Writing Competition. The 'X Factor' for Writers.


~~~

Introducing the November Contest Diva, Renee McBride!




Ahoy, Seekervillians! Renee McBride, here, your Contest Diva for November.
May I be honest? When Tina asked me to wear this coveted crown, I laughed. You see, I’d entered seven contests this year, but have never actually won. 

What’s that, you say? Never won a contest?   

  Sadly, it’s true. I have nothing to show—nothing to display on my website, no impressive winnings for my signature line; nothing, nada, nil! 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re out there swimming the treacherous contest waters, gulping down pond scum, and fending off attacks from flesh-eating contest Piranha. Why would anyone listen to a writer as battered and bruised as Renee McBride? Hmmm…when you put it that way, I see your point.

Okay, then. So, we all agree. We should follow successful people, like the Seekers, not someone as pitiful as this: There I was, polishing my manuscript to a fine sheen. It was the greatest story to hit Christian publishing since the conversion of Francine Rivers. You know the feeling. You’ve farmed out that manuscript to your trusty entourage of critique partners, chewed off a few fingernails, then finally—in a rush of adrenaline—pressed “SEND.” 

Like me, you may have thought, Oh, no! I forgot to change the font size in the header! Panic soon gave way to the realization that your story is so good it speaks for itself. About this time, an exhilarating breeze of endorphins blows through your hair and it dawns on you that you have nothing to wear to the awards banquet. 

I can guess what you’re thinking, you’re way smarter than that. No way you’d ever open your contest results and find yourself crumpled on the bathroom floor, clutching a box of tissues repeating the words, “They just don’t get me.” But I digress…

Maybe it didn’t look exactly like that for you, but chances are your first plunge into the Piranha-infested contest waters didn’t go as planned. Rest assured, after the initial sting of rejection, we all realize some important things. First, you can write to a deadline! And second, two editing passes does not a polished manuscript, make. 

So, where do you go from here? After all, our delicate egos can only take so much. Why should we continue to expose ourselves to ridicule—and pay good money to do it? Well, when you put it that way, I do have a credit card bill to pay off, along with an unworn evening gown. Just in case you’re interested. That’s beside the point. The point is that if we continue to enter contests, someone, somewhere, at some time will inevitably ask to see the full manuscript. 

I know this to be true because this year I received three “Revise and Resubmit” letters from contest judge editors. Shouldn’t that be the goal anyway? 


Renee McBride writes wholesome romance for the cowgirl at heart. Follow her journey to publication at: www.ReneeMcBride.com


 Tina here: Dear Renee is correct. Winning isn't the goal. Selling is. Three Revise and Resubmits are something to stand up and cheer for. And being a diva is not about taglines. It's about having the courage to enter. For that Renee McBride, I stand up and cheer for you! YOU ARE A DIVA!





This post was brought to you by Diva Tina Radcliffe, who hopes you take serious steps toward your tomorrow-- today.

You may sign up for her newsletter if you want to be a cool cat diva. http://bit.ly/2angfWP

 That's it! Now go forth and contest!

139 comments :

  1. Welcome to all the readers and contest divas and divos in the Village.

    I hope this month's contests offer something to challenge you.

    Congratulations to Renee McBride our diva on her three R and Rs. WOOOOT!!!

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  2. Congratulations Renee McBride! I LOVE your story. The goal is to sell, and contests are often an avenue to getting a manuscript noticed by just the right agent or publisher. You've given me some much-needed encouragement today to keep plugging away and working toward my dream! Thank you!

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  3. I'm not a writer, but am a reader. These contests are very interesting and I always like to pay attention to the names of these writing contest winners. A few months ago I was looking at the past writing contest winners and finalists of the Genesis awards. I was pleasantly surprised to recognize a lot of names of authors who are published and quite popular in Christian fiction today.

    May I be entered into the giveaway even if I'm not a writer? I've hesitated on entering on the other posts because I'm only a reader. Hmm...there's an interesting book title for someone, Only a Reader.

    nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

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  4. SYLVIA!@!! Our village is half readers and half writers. Of course, we want you to comment and win prizes. You are in the drawing. Absolutemon!

    I never heard of "Only a Reader." They don't exist here.

    Where would we be without readers? Some of the village readers let me bounce my first chapter ideas off them. THEY ARE INVALUABLE.

    So step right up. You get VIP seating. Just don't step on Renees' royal robes.

    All right it's the weekend. Chocolate for everyone.

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  5. And before you go, Sylvia, tell us where you live and how you found Seekerville?

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  6. Do I see where READERS can do some book judging?????? WOWSER....I am definitely going to be checking those out :-) How fun is that?

    I also see lots of great contests here for writers.....so I say GO FORTH AND CONTEST! Ain't nothing holding you back :-)

    And lastly, a very warm welcome to our November contest Diva Renee McBride!! I commend your forging forward to enter SEVEN contest this year, that there is tenacity & determination in spite of opposition. :-) You took that first step in submitting your entries and didn't let fear rule you! Go you!!

    SYLVIA....I'm "just" a reader too, but I've found we're all very welcome here. These ladies are so warm and inviting, you can even siddle up to them to drink a cup of joe (or beverage of choice) and eat some great food together. You'll feel at home in no time! And of course you may enter the giveaways, these ladies are also very generous....so don't be shy about asking :-) They love us readers just as much as their fellow writers. I hope you come back and read each days posts, there's always something to glean in them.

    TINA, please enter my name for the book package, thanks so much!!

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  7. Oh, Trixi, you just warmed my heart. What welcoming words.

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  8. Good morning, MEGAN!

    I'm so glad you found my story inspiring. Entering contests is a little scary at first, but if you enter enough of them you're bound to get noticed. Keep plugging away and never give up on your dream.

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  9. SYLVIA, you're exactly right. I can think of several new authors who wore the coveted Contest Diva crown before I did; Jill Weatherholt, LeAnne Bristow, Jordyn Redwood, to name a few. I've rubbed elbows with all of these women in various contests over the years. Perhaps I'll be the next diva to sail off of Unpubbed Island and join them on the other side of the pond. Thank you for your comments today.

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  10. Congratulations, Renee! Three R&Rs is a BIG deal. I wish you all the best as you implement the suggestions you were given and send your work back to those publishing pros.

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  11. Hello TRIXI! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Pushing through fear is a big part of the contest process. It gets easier with each contest you enter, but it's always a little nerve wracking to send something off to be judged when you've poured your heart and soul into it for six months to a year.

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  12. Thank you KELI! Being on the back end of a contest when you've been asked to revise and resubmit has it's own set of challenges. It's definitely a learning process.

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  13. Renee, congratulations on the revise and resubmit! I sold through a revise and resubmit. I look forward to hearing your ssld story.

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  14. What? Just 3 more day of Seekerville's birthday celebration and only 63 days until 2017? Time does, indeed, fly! I haven't entered a contest yet. Perhaps that should be my New Years resolution. Thanks for another encouraging post, Tina & Renee.

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  15. Hi CHRISTINA! Oh, I'm so happy to hear that you sold on an R&R. Thank you for your encouragement today. I'm still working on the revision, but I hope to join you soon on the Published side of life.

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  16. Hey, JAN! Yes, time does fly. It's never too late to make a new goal! Perhaps we'll run into each other if you enter a contest next year. GOING FORTH AND CONQUERING is always better with a friend.

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  17. All the best with all of the competitions everyone.

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  18. I sold on and R and R.

    And I was so silly I didn't know it was and R and R until Debby Giusti told me. I thought it was a rejection. In my newbie defense, it didn't say R and R, but it had a thorough revision letter with it.

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  19. Congratulations Renee. I am inspired by your tenacity to continue to move forward entering contests. I'm cheering you on with your R&Rs.

    Tina, I would love to be entered into the book giveaway.

    This has been a great month of celebration with absolutely terrific blog posts. I thank you all for caring so much to allow us all to join in the celebration wishing Seekerville a happy 9th birthday!

    Many blessings to all!

    Cindy W.

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  20. What a delightful contest update, Tina!!! I love seeing the truth in all of these opportunities... and we're guaranteed to lose 100% of the races we don't enter!

    Although we can't enter every single one, I suppose.... so we should look at each contest and consider the judges... is that a publishing house we're targeting? If not... move on... And think of feedback... You want solid feedback to give you an idea if your work is appealing to most judges... Consider regions of the U.S.... Does your writing appeal to Southerners? Mid-westerners? West Coast gals? I always picked a diverse audience for my unpublished contests because even if they didn't fall head over heels in love with my work, they'd start to see my name. It's amazing how you learn to build an audience from early on... and then we keep building.

    Contest on, my friends!!!

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  21. Sylvia... you're not only a reader... you're THE READER... the person we do this for. The person who figures out what to buy, what to grab from their local library, what to keep on her shelf.

    Oh my stars, darling girl, WE LOVE READERS!!!! You're our fave! You're the cat's meow! You're the best!!!

    :)

    And Trixi, thank you for those sweet words. What would writers do/be without readers? Come on in, folks! The door's open!

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  22. Renee... congratulations on being the diva, but also for those R&R's!!! THOSE ARE HUGE. HUGE, I TELL YOU!!!!

    That's such awesome news! I am happy dancing for you!

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  23. TINA, thanks for this contest update. I've already entered one and plan to enter all those mentioned and be in the game!

    Wow, it's awesome that there's two first chapter critiques up for grabs!

    Janet

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  24. RENEE, you're not only a Diva, you're on the way to The Call. Three revision letters says your work is close. Very close. Proud of you for getting up off the bathroom floor and forging on. Enjoy your reign here in Seekerville!

    Janet

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  25. SYLVIA, hope you know by now that we love our readers! Waving at TRIXI! Thanks for sharing our day.

    Janet

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  26. Three R&R's! Wow! Soon you'll get the call.Congratulations, Renee! I love the photo of you and your adorable dog.
    Thanks again for the awesome contest update, Tina. I'm sure these are time consuming to put together. We appreciate you!

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  27. Renee, revise and resubmit?!! That's wonderful. Congratulations.

    Is your dog a Westie? We have a male Westie, and my son's family has one of his sisters. They are so much fun.

    Tina, thanks for sharing all the contests! You're amazing!

    Have a great weekend, everybody!

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  28. Congratulations RENEE! Three R & R's is the DREAM! (I didn't know what an R&R was until I read this post.)

    It was through Seekerville that I heard about contests. I had NO IDEA what I was doing. TINA saved me by helping me format to RTF. Again, thank you, Tina.

    I recently found out that I am a finalist in the MARA and Hot Prospects. The feedback was encouraging and enlightening and I've been working on revisions for the final round.

    I'm going for it - all the way!

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    1. JOSEE! That's fantastic news. Congratulations! Best of luck to you in both contests. Please update us after the contests are over.

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  29. WOOT!!! NEWBIE JOSEE HITS IT OUT OF THE BALLPARK HER FIRST TIME UP TO BAT!

    Way to go, Joesee.

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  30. Thank you CINDY W. All the best to you.

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  31. Thank you RUTH! I'm happy dancing too. I loved working alongside you on the Facebook challenge page. You've been such an inspiration to me and many others here on Unpubbed Island.

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  32. Good morning JANET! Thank you for encouraging me to get off the bathroom floor, lol. In fact, I want to thank all the Seekers this morning for cheering me on. You're an incredible village of support and friendship. To anyone who might be testing the contest waters, Seekerville is a safe place to learn and grow, but you still have to take the plunge and get your work in front of editors and agents. Trust me, it's worth it. So, as Tina would say, GO FORTH AND CONTEST!

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  33. Renee, congrats! Three R&Rs is HUGE!!! You're so close. Keep working. Make those changes. The editors know what the readers want. Published writers have R&Rs too. It's part of the business. You're at a very good place. Rejoice...but not too much until the revisions are done!!!

    Sending lots of hugs as we cheer you on!!!

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  34. Thanks, Tina, for the contest update. Why is it that the Thanksgiving through Christmas season--the busiest time of the year--is also the time that most contest submissions need to be submitted!?!

    Did the Grinch do the scheduling?

    Hugs!

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  35. Calling the CWA to Patti Jo's attention! Who knew?

    Tina, of course. She knows everything!!!

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  36. Tina, I'm so glad you showed me that wonderful R&R letter so long ago. :)

    And, as they say, the rest is history...

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  37. Good morning, Seekerville! Happy weekend and congratulations to Contest Diva RENEE! You've got the "can do" spirit that will keep you moving through those shark-infested waters! And Revise and Resubmit? Whoo hoo! Double congrats!

    Renee mentioned: "So, we all agree. We should follow successful people, like the Seekers, not someone as pitiful as this." BUT do NOT forget that NONE of the Seekers started out in winner circles. A TON of contests were entered and a lot of tears shed and rewrites undertaken before things started to turn around for any of us.

    Congratulations on the finals, JOSEE!

    And READERS! You are the most important part of our book-writing lives and are ALWAYS more than welcome in Seekerville!

    Oh, gee, Jan C -- only 63 days remaining in the year? That's my book deadline, so I better hop on out of Seekerville right now and get back to work!

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  38. Hi JILL! Don't let my dog's innocent face fool you. That's Sunny the Wonder Westie. He really believes he's better than everyone else, hahahahaha! I think you and I have rubbed contest elbows in the past during Love Inspired's Blurb2Book Contest a couple years ago. You were one of the first authors to sell in that contest. I still remember celebrating with you at your Call party on the Harlequin writer's website. Since then, your book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE has been published. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Congratulations! I'll see you around the bend!

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  39. Good morning JACKIE! Yes, that's Sunny the Wonder Westie. Tell me, does your Westie think he rules the world like mine does? I've never had a dog more snooty in all my life--pun intended. Thank you so much for your kind words today. Have a great weekend.

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  40. I love contest updates!

    BIG congratulations, Renee, with you contest entries and revise/resubmit requests. That is awesome!

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  41. Conrats DIVA RENEE! Your story is one of my most favorites I've read here!

    With writing like that, IT"S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME!!

    I'm cheering you on (sans short skirt) with my pompoms waving wildly in the air, you are on your way! I look forward to that day I pick up a book and it has your name on it!

    Happy birthday Seekers and Villagers, what a great group!

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  42. Thanks for the encouragement, DEBBY! Yes, I've figured out--thanks to Tina's class, SELF EDITING FOR BEGINNING WRITERS--that R&Rs are part of the business. Tina shared actual R&R letters from a few Seekers. It really helped to see that my letters were right on par with the kind of letters you all receive as published authors. I highly recommend Tina's class to all the new writers at Seekerville the next time she offers it.

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  43. RENEE, what a fun post! If you write fiction like you blog, your success isn't far off. Oh what a journey we are on...
    TINA is right, it's getting our name out there and connecting with people, which will eventually result in a sale.
    This year I entered the Unpublished Maggies, the Tara and Lone Star (both of which I won in my category last year), Hot Prospects and the Phoenix Rattler, along with taking a shot at Manuscript Matchmakers. The only thing that panned out is Phoenix Rattler, I'm a finalist -- with a story that had been gathering virtual dust on my computer! On a whim I entered two things in Phoenix Rattler, the "old" story and the one that won my category in Tara and Lone Star last year. Last year's winner did not place in the Rattler, and the earlier story did. You Cannot Predict Anything In This Business, because it's also a ministry and a calling.
    I also entered First Impressions and that's probably it for the calendar year, my contest budget is depleted. Hope to make a new start next year with Genesis etc.
    I could really use the critique, but you know me, I'll always take books.
    This is a good/bad weekend for me. I'm facing some unwelcome changes in my main job -- not laid off/fired/position eliminated, but some other shakeups and sausage-making that will probably call for a reorganization of my so-called life, and maybe early "retirement" even though writers seldom retire. The downside is Dave and I may have to do some financial reorganization, the upside is I may have more time to write and even to go full-time. It is in His hands. I'm calm and ready for this new adventure.
    Kathy Bailey
    Holding fast in New Hampshire

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  44. Good morning GLYNNA! I can't help having a CAN DO spirit with all the encouraging words from you and the rest of the Seekers. Spending time at Seekerville every morning has kept me moving forward through the shark-infested contest waters. Thanks so much for your encouragement today.

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  45. Thank you so much, ROSE! Enjoy your weekend.

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  46. Good morning, Tina. Thanks for the heads up on all those contests. There is an assortment to choose from. I need to get myself choosing one. Today I start working early voting in Florida. I usually bring a book if it gets slow, but this time they are predicting a busy eight days. This is my tenth year and my third Presidential race. Maybe I'll try to work on a contest entry in between. Thanks for the push.

    Renee, I love your positive attitude and your continued efforts to keep plugging along. I, also rubbed elbows with you and Jill both in the Blurb2Book contest. Came close, but didn't get the call. Seekerville so inspires me. I love this blog. Good luck in your future endeavors and I hope your future shines bright for you. Your little Westie sounds adorable too. Have a blessed day all.

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  47. Hi TRACEY! Thank you so much for your kind words this morning. I appreciate you cheering me on, sans short skirts, and all!

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  48. Happy Birthday Seekerville on this 29th day of October. Sniff, the party is so close to the end. Sigh!! But it has been a great run. Everyday more exciting than the next. Seekerville rocks.

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  49. I forgot to send goodies to the table. Let's put a nice bouquet of pink roses on the buffet and some chocolate mint cookies and chocolate covered cherries too. Yum.

    Please put me in for the critique drawing.Thanks.

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  50. Good morning KAYBEE! Wow! I think you've entered more contests than I have. Way to go! I eyeballed that Rattler contest when I saw the agents who were judging them, but I'm already working on those R&Rs. I figured it would be more of a distraction at this point. CONGRATULATIONS on catching their eye! Thanks for sharing how your old manuscript did better than the new one. I had the same situation with my first R&R with Love Inspired. The revision took me a step farther away from their formula. I guess we just have to keep working on our craft and eventually we'll dial it in. I'm sorry to hear about the uncertainty in your financial world. I'm facing the same issue right now with a new fiduciary ruling that will affect my day job. You're right, our futures are in His capable hands. Let this be a time for us to grow closer to our Lord and to trust in His wonderful provision. In the meantime, keep answering the Call to write your Christian fiction and I'll do the same. I can't wait to read one of your books in the near future.

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  51. Hi SUZANNE! That Blurb2Book contest was a nail biter, for sure. So many stages to it and each one was so drawn out. I found the Harlequin Heartwarming Blitz a much faster pace--sort of like ripping off a band aide, LOL. I believe LeAnne Bristow sold on the Heartwarming Blitz. I guess the bottom line is we just need to keep entering these contests and eventually we'll both sell! Thanks for dropping by this morning. I'm sure we'll meet again soon.

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  52. Big CONGRATS to Diva Renee!!!
    What a fun month at Seekerville...Happy Birthday and thanks for all you mean to us readers!

    Note to Jill: I took a peek at your book on Amazon.....looks great, and I can't wait to read it!

    Please put me in for the package of books! THANKS!

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  53. Thank you JACKIE! Yes, it's been a great month of celebration for Seekerville's 9th birthday, thanks to Tina's hard work and perseverance. She makes everything fun!

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  54. TINA I feel compelled to hug you this morning so interweb HUGS to you, lady! (and that's not just because you mentioned those lovely giveaways but do toss my name in, you know I love it!)

    RENEE, Congratulations! Keep at it, there are readers just waiting for the chance to enjoy your stories! :)

    Y'ALL, HUGS for ever'body!!! Just because Jesus and books and sunshine!!! Happy birthday, Seekerville!!! :D Pass the ice cream, please!

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    1. Thank you, BETH! I'll take a hug anytime! Enjoy the sunshine today.

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  55. CONGRATS DIVA RENEE!!!!
    Loved reading your post and I LOVE your attitude!! YOU are an inspiration!!
    Wear that DIVA TIARA PROUDLY!! :)

    Thanks, Miss T for all the contest updates and news.
    And I am THRILLED to learn about CWA - - oh my!! CAT Writers Association - - Who knew?!?! Cannot wait to check that out!!

    Met my goal earlier this year for entering 5 contests, so now will prepare for upcoming GH and Genesis (again, LOL)! But even though no winning titles for moi, I have learned much from the judges feedback, so I shall persevere! :)

    Heading to Atlanta today to enjoy a yummy meal at MaryMac's (LOVE their southern cooking!). But trying not to feel emotional as my baby boy prepares to move to Pittsburgh for his new job. (Sniff sniff)

    Hugs, Patti Jo

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    1. Thank you, PATTI JO. It sounds like you're well on your way to becoming a contest diva. Best wishes in all of your contest endeavors. Keep plugging away and enjoy your trip to Atlanta today.

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  56. You look wonderful with your diva crown on, Renee!!! :)

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    1. Why, thank you MEGAN. Blessings to you. Enjoy your weekend.

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  57. Congrats Renee, you are indeed worthu of wearing the diva crown!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail (dot)com

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    1. Thanks, CONNIE! It's been fun wearing it today. Sadly though, I must pass it to the next diva. Who will it be, I wonder? There seems to be several propsects here today who could wear this coveted crown.

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  58. Way to go, Renee. I have only entered three contests. I really need to get back into writing (my Daddy passed away a year ago on Halloween) and enter more. Enter me for the books! Bye, everyone.

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    1. Good morning, KELLY. I admire you for pushing through this difficult time. I remember experiencing the loss of my own dad and feeling as though my writing had slowed down to a crawl. I think it's perfectly normal to feel this way. It seems to be God's way of helping us heal. Rest assured that our writing is all part of God's perfect timing and don't ever doubt or give up on your dream. Because, I believe, if you have the dream to write burning deep inside your gut, then God's fingerprints are all over that dream.

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  59. Congrats to you, Renee, and thanks, Tina, for the contest update. I'm kind of interested in the ones that are free of fee (I can't afford a thirty dollar interest fee! That's extortion. Are you kidding me?!), but I think maybe I should abstain from entering any contests until I actually have a manuscript to submit. Te-he. Got to get the book written first.

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  60. Congratulations Diva Renee! You'll never win if you don't even enter. So the courage lies in taking that first step. So congrats again! Plus, the diva crown looks pretty good on ya! ;)

    Tina, this reader is IN on the bag of goodies from the vault!

    Awesome contest updates. I guess it is getting to that time of the year! Happy entering!

    Hapoy Brithday to Seekerville. Happy weekend!

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  61. Wow, Birthday Month is drawing to a close, contest season is gearing up big-time, and we have a mah-velous November Diva--yay, RENEE!--inspiring us to keep learning, writing, and striving for our goals!

    Happy Saturday, Seekerville! Off to start on our standard weekend chore list with Project Guy. Hope to drop in again later!

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  62. Renee! You make a great diva. Congratulations! Love this part: "You’re out there swimming the treacherous contest waters, gulping down pond scum, and fending off attacks from flesh-eating contest Piranha." Yes, you understand lol. And can encourage because you've been there. And now have three revise and resubmit requests! You've felt the nibble at the end of the line, the light at the far end of the journey, etc. Congratulations! I will be following you and can't wait to read one of your books!

    I finally had to create a spreadsheet to keep up with the contests I entered. So far, 11 contests, with two more to go, plus a few more from this post. Thank you! I've compiled the feedback from previous contests, and with the forthcoming feedback, will continue honing my stories. One story is going through a complete makeover.

    One note from the contest update: "Let's start getting ready for the ACFW Genesis Contest which will open January 2016. The first 15 pages and a one-page synopsis!--Shouldn't that say January 2017?

    Thanks for this great post and the wonderful Birthday month posts. I've learned SO much! Now can take some time to figure out what I've learned and put it to use!!

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  63. Kelly, I'll be remembering you in my prayers on Monday. That first anniversary is always so hard.

    Hugs and love!

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  64. Suzanne, the pink roses are lovely. Thanks for sharing their beauty with us!

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  65. Kaybee--WOW!!! You were Miss Contest Extraordinaire this past year. Way to go!!!

    Praying for the changes you're facing. I'm calling them New Beginnings. God has something good in store for you and Hubby. When one door closes, He always points us to another one that provides even more than we could have hoped to imagine. Asking an abundance of blessings for you and your family!

    Hugs!

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  66. Patti Jo, enjoy Mary Mac's Tea Room. And your time with your son. BTW, Southwest has reduced airfares for the holidays. Just an FYI! :)

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  67. The birthday bash gets better every time I pop by! Congratulations Renee on being crowned Diva! You'll get there!

    I'm with Annie--I'm in for the bag o reader goodies, Tina :)

    Would love to be tossed into all remaining giveaway hats, in case I can't make it back here before the party winds down. Busy busy lately...

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  68. Good morning, fellow Villagers!!! Waving!! You had me with chocolate, Tina. I'll follow you anywhere for a little taste of heaven. Chocolate is one of God's best creations.

    RENEE, congrats on being named this month's diva!! Whoo-hoo!! You make feel like such a slacker. I did enter one contest this year, which is 100% more than last year. AND, I realized that I have an R&R and didn't know it. Plus I found out what R&R means. Silly me. I thought it had something to do with a trip to Cancun.

    Thanks, Tina, for a terrific contest update!!! I may enter 2 or 3 or 4 this year.

    Waving at all you readers!!! Tell all your reader friends about Seekerville and please come back!!!!!!! We LOVE readers. :-) You may notice I use a lot of exclamation points here. That's because I can't use them in a mss. Editors hate them.

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  69. Good morning, fellow Villagers!!! Waving!! You had me with chocolate, Tina. I'll follow you anywhere for a little taste of heaven. Chocolate is one of God's best creations.

    RENEE, congrats on being named this month's diva!! Whoo-hoo!! You make feel like such a slacker. I did enter one contest this year, which is 100% more than last year. AND, I realized that I have an R&R and didn't know it. Plus I found out what R&R means. Silly me. I thought it had something to do with a trip to Cancun.

    Thanks, Tina, for a terrific contest update!!! I may enter 2 or 3 or 4 this year.

    Waving at all you readers!!! Tell all your reader friends about Seekerville and please come back!!!!!!! We LOVE readers. :-) You may notice I use a lot of exclamation points here. That's because I can't use them in a mss. Editors hate them.

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  70. Congratulations, Diva RENEE!!! I loved your post, and I appreciate you sharing your journey! So encouraging!!

    Thank you, TINA, for another wonderful contest update!! This month has just flown by - Happy Birthday, Seekerville!!

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  71. It's been a lovely month! Thanks, all of you authors and guests! And please include me in today's festivities! :)

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  72. Felicitations, Renee! Your story is really encouraging!

    I entered my first contests ever this year - two flash fiction contests with Splickety. The first one didn't go anywhere, but the second, the September contest, I won! It was only 700 words--not exactly a full-length novel--but it's been wonderful for my confidence in my writing. Especially when one of the editors wrote back personally to encourage writing a full-length novel based on the story. Actually, that was better than winning the contest!

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  73. Welcome Diva Renee

    What an exciting way to finish off the birthday month! Thank you TINA. I am totally pumped at the reader's choice options. I entered the judging portion before I came here to comment.

    This month has been awesome again. And of course, it's not over u till the cake is gone!

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  74. Yay!!! More contests. I love contest updates. Thanks Tina.

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  75. Renee Super congrats on being a contest diva. And yes, those requests are much more valuable than any crown or win. We all started out somewhere. Very few win on their first attempt. So super congrats for persistance and stamina and that hopeful dream staying alive.

    Best wishes on those submissions.

    Hugs

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  76. Did anyone bake a cake for today's celebration? I didn't see one on the breakfast bar...so I scurried to Fresh Market and came home with an assortment of pound cakes and coffee cakes.

    Help yourselves! I'm enjoying a slice of a pecan coffee cake topped with icing! Yum!!!

    (As Barbara mentioned, editors hate exclamation marks. But some of us love to use them in our comments!)

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  77. CONGRATULATIONS November Contest Diva, Renee McBride!

    Good luck to those entering upcoming contests!

    It has been so much fun celebrating your 9th birthday!!!

    HAPPY SATURDAY, Seekerville.

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  78. Congrats, Renee, on all your contest successes! And yes, requests are definitely success!! That's how I sold my first book. :) Thanks for sharing your story. I love your humor. :)

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  79. Josee, congrats on your recent finals!!!

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  80. Rachel K, congrats to you as well!!

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  81. Thanks, NICKY! You don't have to wait until you have a completed manuscript to enter contests. In fact, there are several contests where you only have to enter the first five pages. It really helps you hone the beginning of your manuscript too, which is always my major challenge. Check out FIRST IMPRESSIONS, FAB FIVE, and similar contests. Who knows, it might even create the excitement you need to get that manuscript done.

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  82. Hello JUST COMMONLY! Thank you for the compliment. I rather enjoy wearing this crown. It's been very inspiring just talking to everyone this morning.

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  83. Thank you for dropping in, MYRA! Have fun with your PROJECT GUY, lol!

    Hello, SALLY! Sounds like you're well on your way to becoming a Contest Diva! I'm so impressed with your spread sheet. Perhaps I need to incorporate a similar method of tracking.

    SARAH, thank you for your confidence and encouragement today!

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  84. Hey, BARBARA! Well, a trip to Cancun doesn't sound so bad to me. Congratulations on your submission and R&R! I bet there are more newbies out there who are in possession of R&Rs and don't realize it. If you're in doubt, this is a great place to ASK!

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  85. I entered a lot of RWA contests. It was an excellent way to get feedback from a variety of people who had no interest in pampering my ego. Some of the feedback was very helpful, some of it was ... well, rather unkind, to be honest. But in either case, I learned, even if all I learned was how to cope with an unreasonable comment.
    The best one of all was the Manuscript Matchmaker contest -- I would not have had a salable manuscript without the feedback I got from the forum and the editors.

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  86. Great quotes today!


    It has been fun celebrating your 9th birthday!!!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Seekerville !

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  87. You're welcome, LAURA! I'm so glad you found it encouraging.

    Salutations, RACHAEL! Congratulations on the win! I've never heard of the Splickety Contest. I'll need to check that out. I find that contests are hit and miss, as far as feedback is concerned. You never know which one will give you the boost you need to go to the next level, unless you enter. Have fun writing your novel.

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  88. I feel most welcome, MARIANNE. Thank you for dropping by today.

    SANDRA! Thank you for your encouragement today. It means so much to me. I just want you to know that I've learned so much by reading your books, as well as the other Seekers here. Thanks for being so transparent and helping us newbies find our way through the publishing maze.

    Hi MISSY! Thanks for sharing that you sold through an R&R. It's very inspiring.

    EVELYN! Congratulations on the Manuscript Matchmaker Contest! You're so right about contest feedback. We're not going to please everyone with our writing style and shouldn't expect to. We just have to keep entering those contests until our work lands in front of the right judge--preferably someone who will throw money at it, LOL!

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  89. I want to thank TINA Radcliffe for crowning me the contest diva today. It's been fun chatting with you all this morning. I wish everyone well in your contest endeavors. Most of all, DON'T EVER GIVE UP ON YOUR WRITING DREAM! Have a blessed day.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SEEKERVILLE! ...AnD mAnY MoooRe!

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  90. Hey, BARBARA, I'm in on the trip to Cancun!

    Just cleaned a toilet, groomed very hairy dogs, and ran the vacuum. I'm ready for a vacation!

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  91. Do you hire out, Myra? My house needs to be vacuumed. :)

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  92. It's the Weekend!

    "Many of life's failures are people who did not know how close they were to success when they gave up." Thomas Edison.


    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein.

    "If you've been working on the same novel for the last 24 months..it's time to write the next book."

    "What? And give up on my book when I am only one submission away from acceptance?"

    "For each famous quote there is an equal and opposing quote rendering the first rubbish."

    "Wisdom always works except when it doesn't."

    "Fit wisdom to your specific needs. Don't change yourself to fit someone else's idea of wisdom."


    Vince

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  93. Okay, I signed up for the NRCA reader's judging! Never done anything like this but it sounds fun :-) They have an inspirational category...and that's all I read :-)

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  94. Congrats, MISS NOVEMBER :), AKA, Renee!!!!

    I am a reader too and I wanted to comment on TRIXI'S comment!!!!! I have been judging some contests for the last couple years and it's been a fabulous experience! Let me know if you want to do it! It usually happens after the first of the year. I think I am up to about 4-5 contests now - maybe more! It's been fun! It's been a snowball effect....once you do it, others learn about you and start asking you to judge THEIR contests!

    Please add my name to the drawing :)

    Valri

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  95. Hi Renee! A Nebraska Girl in the News!

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  96. Hey, VALRI! I actually signed for both reader's judging contests. If you have any hints, tips, advice, or share your thoughts...I'd love to know. Never judging a book before, I hope I can benefit the authors. Little scary, but it sounds fun anyway. We'll see if they pick me :-)

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  97. Congrats on being diva Renee! Best wishes for your future success!

    I'm intrigued by Trixi and Valri's comments- I didn't know that readers could help judge! I might look into that down the road... once my toddler is in school ;)

    Please include me in the drawing!

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  98. Hey there, Ms November Diva. I enjoyed the humor expressed in your blog, and hope you are able to always write with that tongue-in-cheek element. Your perseverance will pay out in the Lord's time...
    My hat's off to you for trying seven times in one year. (I manage to brave the waters once a year, and my entries have always bombed.)
    But this comment is about YOU. Follow your heart (and editors' suggestions), don't give up as long as you have the desire, and we'll all see your name on the cover of your lovely stories.
    Congratulations on your 9 years, Seekers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  99. Renee, congratulations on those THREE R&R letters!!! That's like winning gold - you're very close, as everyone else has already said. You're a winner already. Nothing like editorial feedback to help you write what readers love to read. Plus, you obviously have the gift of writing comedy with a great "voice". And that IS a gift - some of us can only write angst and mystery, some write drama, and some like you can make us laugh.

    Can't wait to see your CALL story on the HQ website SOON!

    And as always, Tina, thanks for that contest round-up. It's about time I sent my latest WIP out in to the world and these are wonderful opportunities. It makes the end of the year more exciting when we're starting the dead of winter.

    Please include me in the writer drawing!

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  100. I love to judge contests, too. I have learned a lot about writing that way! It helps me be more objective when I critique someone else's work. Then I can take what I learn from that and apply it to my own work.

    We appreciate all you readers who judge books! It takes a lot of judges to pull off these contests each year. I know the contest coordinators appreciate you.

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  101. JACKIE - Thank you for your kind comment. That's so nice of you. xo

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  102. Late to the ongoing celebration today, but huge congratulations and hearty "Hear, Hear!" to Diva RENEE! Keep on keepin' on! Sounds like you are almost there!

    Thanks, as always, TINA, for the fabulous contest updates!

    THANK YOU, SEEKERVILLE, for a wonderful birthday bash, your continued support and encouragement, and for adding a pound or two to our waistlines with all your delish birthday goodies! :-)

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  103. Wow, Diva Renee! With three R & Rs, you'll soon be wearing that evening gown as you sail away from Unpublished Island! Congratulations! Fun to read your story!

    Tina, thanks for the contest update and all the information, such as the free self-publishing book. Much to consider....

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  104. I will enter some of these that are coming up if at all possible (especially the Genesis) but for now my mind is centered on the book I am starting on November 1 for Nano. I am normally a pantser but I have a lot of prep work done for this one like the title, a blurb that is exactly 100 words. goals, motivations and conflicts for my two main characters. I know the beginning and the end and now I just have the write. Oh and I even created a cover for the notebook I will be keeping a hard copy in. I find I have so much anticipation building as I wait for Tuesday to arrive.

    This morning we had something going on at church for a few minutes. My friends picked me up since I can no longer drive. When we were through they surprised me with a trip to the Smoky Mountain National Park and Cherokee. Since my story is a historical fiction about the Cherokee. I was in full mode for checking on certain things. How did they know I wanted to do a little more research. They didn't but God did!

    Please enter me for any of the drawings and especially for the Critique.

    The trees are so beautiful here in the mountains and I believe most of the world has come to view them. Loving the beautiful weather and thankful Mr. Vertigo decided to leave.

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  105. Thanks for holding down the fort while I went to do my speakerly duties at a writer's conference, Renee.

    Praying for many more crowns in your future. And a first sale asap.

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  106. Congratulations Diva Renee McBride! What an accomplishment. And I appreciate your perspective. :)

    Looks like some good contests out there! I may submit to Great Expectations. I'm in an in-between place right now. I want to submit to contests again. :)

    It's been one of those years . . .

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  107. Congratulations, Renee McBride! Eager to see the cover for your book when it's about to be published, which will be SOON! Thanks for inspiring us all.

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  108. If you are doing NaNo, buddy me.

    http://nanowrimo.org/participants/tinamr

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  109. Diva Renee, you're an inspiration!! Congratulations on the three R&Rs!! You're well on your way.

    Thanks for the excellent contest update, Tina!

    I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday!! After several nights burning the midnight oil to get my R&R sent back to the editor, I've been rather lazy today which has been nice. Mountain Man and I went out to breakfast, then we went to Huntsville to Lowe Mills which is an artsy/craftsy kind of place. Let me tell you, there are a lot of talented people in North Alabama! I resisted the beautiful jewelry and artwork but spent a small fortune in the specialty tea shop. Well according to Mountain Man it was a small fortune, but it really wasn't that much. I mean who could be expected to resist taking home Sassafras Strawberry or Briar Patch Brew (a blackberry, blueberry, raspberry blend)? Then after lunch at Panera Bread, we came home where I've been lazing on the couch reading Laurel Blount's debut Love Inspired book, A Family for the Farmer.

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  110. Diva Renee! Congratulations on those Revise and Resubmit requests! And Kudos on being this month's Contest Diva, too. I was smiling all through your post ... delightful humor. Thank you for the smiles.

    Double wow, Tina! So much here to follow-up on. I downloaded the free copy of The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing. Thanks for that tip. Do I dare go to the Cat Writer's Association website? Will you send someone after me if I don't return in a few days, please.

    Cheering on all you contest entrants!

    Nancy C

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  111. Loving all these success stories -- thanks to everyone for sharing!

    Nancy C

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  112. Fantastic post, Tina!! Thanks so much for all the contest info!! I'd love to be entered in the drawings...both! Thank you!!

    I'm doing NaNo too! Trying to practice Scrivener before the official start date! Will be fun to encourage one another. I'd love to buddy with others also...http://nanowrimo.org/participants/kathryn-barker

    Cheering for contest Diva Renee McBride!! You go, girl!!

    Wishing you all a delightful remainder of the weekend!!

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  113. I want to go to a cat writer's conference, Nancy C!!!! You and me!!!

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  114. I love tea shops. Anymore with trying to downsize, the other doesn't tempt me.

    And lunch at Panera's and Laurel's book. You are special.

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  115. I would love to be considered for the book πŸ“š giveaway!

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  116. RENEE!!! THREE "Revise and Resubmit” letters from contest judge editors??? Girlfriend, that is WAY BIGGER and WAY MORE IMPORTANT than a piece of paper that says you came in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. That piece of paper will not get you a contract, but those three "Revise and Resubmit" just might, so GOOD LUCK, my friend!!

    And SUPER CONGRATS on the R&Rs!!!

    TEEEEEEENA!! Wonderful Contest Update -- wish I wasn't on a contest freeze! :(

    HAPPY WEEKEND, EVERYBODY, AND HAPPY WINNING!!
    Hugs,
    Julie

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  117. Great WE Tina? I read the links and wish I had more finished manuscripts to send off.

    Yvonne congrats for on your revise and resubmit requests.

    Oh and I'd love to be in the drawing for the books but I REALLY want that critique! Can one self promote for a critique or is that just begging? LOL

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  118. Renee, Congratulations on being the Diva of the Month. Congrats on your R and Rs. (And the dog in the picture with you is absolutely adorable).

    I think after Tina's excellent post this week, writers are excited about both giveaways today: the critique or books so we will have something to deconstruct.

    Thanks for the contest updates.

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  119. Tina I just buddied you for Nano. I also set up my novel on the site

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  120. You're a true inspiration, Renee McBride!

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  121. Thank you, TERRI!

    Thanks, TANYA! Sunny is very photogenic and he knows it! Such a dog!

    Hey WALANI! Nice to see you today. Have fun with Nano.

    SHERRI! Thanks for being in my corner. You're always an inspiration to me.

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  122. RACHAEL!!! I just saw your comment! You won a contest.

    GO YOU!!!!!

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  123. I'd definitely love to be entered for the giveaway! :) Who'd want to pass up on such a deal! :D

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  124. Thank you for the wise words, Renee! I hope someday to have a book published, but I am such a perfectionist and the thought of going through all of the rejection first is terrifying! I love reading the encouragement on this blog though. Y'all put things into perspective for me! Unfortunately I don't have much time to write right now, I have a toddler to look after and another baby on the way. Hopefully within the next few years I will be able to really get going on a manuscript!

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  125. You're a true inspiration, Renee McBride!

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  126. Love getting to learn all kinds of tips from amazing authors!!!

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  127. Thanks for all the great insight. I appreciate the encouragement. Please sign me up for the contest. God bless.

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  128. Renee, yay for perseverance and yay for your revise and resubmits!! Best wishes!!

    Tina, please count this reader in :)

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  129. I love your humorous perspective, Renee! Please count me in for the contest!

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  130. πŸ™‹I want in! I want in!πŸ™‹

    Thanks for the great read and the chance to win!

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  131. πŸ™‹I want in! I want in!πŸ™‹

    Thanks for the great read and the chance to win!

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  132. Such a fun post :) Right now I'm trying to make my WIP something worth submitting to a contest. I will get there. For now, I'd love to be entered into your drawings - specifically the critique! That would be so helpful!!!

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