Nancy's Books

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Writing Motivation/Writing Contest

As I meet aspiring writers, many tell me they have become discouraged because the publishing market is so difficult to break into. Their assessments are correct. Difficult, but not impossible. I look back on my first seven years as a training ground. I didn’t sell a manuscript, but I kept writing and reading and learning. The practice paid off when I received “the call.” I discovered that seven years is the average number of years it takes to get a book accepted by a major publisher. Why so long? For most writers we’re learning our craft. The competition is fierce so our writing has to be of high quality but it also has to fit the publisher’s list of books. Becoming acquainted with the various publishers, editors, and they types of books published at each house is another time consuming task that takes time to learn.

Build writing time into your schedule. You may not have time to devote three hours per day, every day, to writing. If you have down time, like waiting to pick up a child at school, use those few minutes to work on your story. Some people write entire novels in twenty-minute time blocks because that’s the only free time they have.

Find writer friends, either locally or online, and form a critique group. Set a schedule to send manuscripts to each member of the group. My group sends a maximum of 1,000 words every two weeks. Knowing that you have to send a manuscript or a chapter every two weeks is motivating.

Next week, I’ll discuss more ways to keep the writing momentum going.

Good Housekeeping Short Story Contest

Applicants must submit an original short story, 3,500 words or less, on a theme that reflects an aspect of women’s lives today. Winner Selection: One (1) grand-prize winner and two (2) runners-up will be chosen at the sole discretion of Good Housekeeping’s judges panel. All entries will be judged on artistic merit and originality. In the event of a tie, whichever story the judges deem most suitable for publication in Good Housekeeping will be the winner.

Details at http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/win/fiction-contest
Deadline: 1st September 2011

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