Writers are used to hearing "no" a lot, as in "Thank you for your submission, but NO!" When we get a "no" that includes constructive criticism, or even sincere encouragement, we're thrilled. And when we get something like this...
Just about one month ago, I posted an entry about agent (and faithful blogger) Janet Reid, who decided to celebrate the publication of Unraveling by debut author Liz Norris by sponsoring a contest. We were asked to send in a work of fiction. Up for grabs:
1. Registration for the Backspace Writing Conference in New York, May 24-26
2. Hotel for three nights (Thurs, Fri, Sat)
3. Travel stipend of $300
4. Lunch with Liz Norris' agent
In short, 100% good.
Janet has been providing updates along the way. Some were a little discouraging, though helpful, as she basically smacked us down (nicely) for poorly named document titles and poorly formatted docs. I'm sure I speak for my writing brethren when I say her comments ultimately will help us. But seeing them made us think (and repeatedly post), "Uh-oh!"
And then there was Thursday's post.
As we read the entries it's clear it's not a question of sorting good from bad. Every entry has merit...every writer who entered is a good writer. The entries don't resemble the slush at all. They resemble finalists in writing contests I've judged over the years for MWA and RWA chapters.
Wow! Even though there only will be one winner, how can we not be totally psyched by her words? In previous posts, I've talked about "why I write." This is one of the reasons that I write.
If you want some insight into how grateful we are, stop by this post and read our comments.