Nancy's Books

Sunday, March 4, 2012

First Draft/Calls for Submissions

Staring at a blank page or bare computer screen can be a scary endeavor for any writer. But it can also be exciting. After all, you’re starting a new adventure called a first draft. The mind set plays a crucial role. Sometimes, we’re afraid we can’t get the story to unfold in a logical, engaging manner. At this point, don't worried since you can’t get it wrong. The first draft is SUPPOSED to be chocked full of mistakes. This won’t be your best writing but it will be a start in developing the idea.

The first draft is the place to let creative juices flow. “Get it down; then get it good” is an expression some authors use. Experiment with the plot and dialog. Mistakes, and lots of them, will pile up. Our words are not chisled in stone. If they were, corrections would be difficult if not impossible. But since we can erase or delete mistakes, no risks are involved. The most important aspect of a first draft is to simply get the story told. Turn off your internal editor. Metaphors? Descriptive language? Sensory images? If you don’t write any, that’s okay too. Those can come later with revisions that add sparkle to the story.

A writing associate gave me this sage advice: The first draft is the starting point, not the finish line.

Call for submissions for young writers:
Stone Soup, the magazine by young writers and artists
CURRENT NEEDS: "Send us stories and poems about the things
you feel most strongly about! Whether your work is about
imaginary situations or real ones, use your own experiences
and observations to give your work depth and a sense of
reality." Pays $40.

Call for submissions for adult writers:
Birds and Blooms
Do you have a funny birding or gardening story to share from your backyard? We want to hear it! Send us your best “backyard blunder,” and the winning story will receive $500.
To enter, email your true story to Please put “backyard blunder contest” in the subject line. All Entries must include your full name, address, city, state, zip, telephone number and email address (if you have one), in addition to your essay which may not exceed 400 words.
The winner of the Contest will be determined by judging all the entrants’ submissions based on the follow criteria: originality 20%, quality 60% and personality 20%.
DEADLINE: March 15, 2012.
Details at

Check out more contests on my blog:

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