A Contest – eek!

OMG – am just slightly excited, and nervous, that I am taking part in a Secret Agent Writing Contest on Miss Snark’s First Victim’s blog: http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/p/secret-agent.html   If you don’t already know of this blog,  it’s worth having a look – I just found out about it recently (I’m usually way behind everyone else) – and it seems to be a really supportive and active writing community providing useful advice and positive vibes  – which always come in handy! 🙂 

For the contest entrants have to submit the first 250 words of a manuscript.   Only 250 words but it feels as if I’m laying my whole soul out there for comment.  I don’t know how my work will go down (I’ve submitted the first letter from Josie in High-Heels And Slippers which opens the book) but I’m trying to tell myself to take it on the chin and use all feedback as a way to move forward, as I have done before.  We’ll see what happens…

I have to say that accepting criticism and feedback has been a hugely helpful, though not always easy, part of the steep writing  learning curve  for me.  It started by attending a critique group three years ago,  trembling as I read my work aloud and then listening red-faced as people I hardly knew, commented on what I’d written. 

Over a year ago, I took part in an ebay auction and paid a substantial amount (which went to a charity) for an experienced agent’s critique.  Her comments arrived by email on Christmas Eve and knocked me for six!   She had some extremely encouraging things to say but also some criticisms  – I found myself focussing on those and my spirits slumped.   I fell out of love with my book and with writing in general.  But after processing it for a while, seeking advice from my writing group who had now become dear and trusted friends,  I came to see that a lot of what she said was valid and extremely valuable.  I took a deep breath, sucked my in gut and got to work revising. 

I think (hope!) that I came out with much better book after that and now I am extremely grateful for that initial agent feedback.

It led me to take part in another blog contest which to my utter joy and surprise led to a full manuscript request!  Oh the high of knowing that maybe I was onto something, that I wasn’t being a complete fool dedicating so much of my time to this strange occupation that is writing.

I still don’t have an agent contract  – oh the illusive contract – but I feel that if I can keep putting my work out there for feedback and take it all in,  I’m hopefully, getting closer to one. 

So I guess that’s the point – to keep going and continue to learn  – and I suppose that’s handy for lots of things in life, not just writing! 🙂



Filed under creative writing, fiction, novel, writing

2 responses to “A Contest – eek!

  1. Oh! Interesting! I didn’t know about that blog. Thanks for the heads up. I won’t be entering the contest. Not ready to get anything together with Passover around the corner. But glad to know about the site. 🙂

  2. Hi Nina – as far as I know the contests run every month – so plenty of time to give it a go – it’s kinda’ strange receiving comments on your work from people you don’t know but very interesting! Still waiting to hear what the Secret Agent thinks of my entry… 🙂

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