Going Pro: Creds & Eds

Welcome to the sixth post in the How to Edit Your Novel series. Now that you’ve put your novel through the ringer, and likely gone through rewrites, it’s time to look at a few options: contests, conferences, and editors.

CONTESTS

books clip artNovels. While entering novel contests can be good exposure for your book, take caution in which contests you enter. Some may take exclusive publishing rights (like Amazon’s recent break through novel contest). Be certain you know what you’re getting into before you enter.

The contests I hope you’ll seek in particular are critique or feedback based contests. Even if it’s only the first few hundred words or first two chapters. For example, awhile back I won a first chapter critique from Aimee Salter. Her feedback was immensely helpful, and it’s something she does professionally.

I know I keep mentioning Pitch Wars, but I got a lot of great feedback from it too, especially from my mentor Marieke. And recently I entered the Cupid’s Literary Connection contest. I didn’t win, but I got helpful feedback there too–especially on my query. Feedback can be just as valuable as a win. Plus you can see how your novel stacks up among the works of your peers.

Short Stories. Whenever you need a break from the novel, or need to put it in cold storage, it’s the perfect opportunity to write something else–flash fiction, short stories, novellas, etc. This is where the creds part comes in. Winning a contest where your work is published in something gives you credentials for your query letter. It’s no guarantee, obviously, but anything you can do to stand out in the submission pile and catch an agent’s eye is worth the effort.

Even if you plan to self-pub, never hurts to be able to say “winner of the…” whether on your book or in your bio. You want to catch that reader’s eye.

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5000 and counting!

5000 views jae

I can’t believe how my lil Lit and Scribbles is getting all grown up and viewed. I know the 5000 mark happened a couple of weeks ago, but dang people, it was going to be the end of the world. I might never have reached 6000. Anything could have happened!

Either way, welcome to the 5000 celebration!

So it got me thinking. What could I do for a 5000 hits party? 5000 things of awesomeness? I don’t have 5000 followers or blog posts—yet. Well, since the trend lately has been animated gifs, I thought why not mix that with 5 of the biggest events make one, because one is hard enough while linking to the 5 biggest events that have happened while I’ve been on the blogosphere.

NUMBER 5

I went to the Backspace Writers Conference and posted all of my notes. There I met a lot of new friends, including the ladies over at Mystic Cooking. It certainly was a lot of fun to go back to NYC again, check out a few sites and eat very well. I learned a lot at the conference too, some of it hard to swallow at first, but it made me do a major rewrite on SHADE that probably helped me win at other things that happened later in the year.

Jae New York City

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