Tuesday, September 18, 2007

To-Do Tuesday: Getting the Word Out

Welcome to today's rather late edition of To-Do Tuesday. Yes, loyal readers, I'm still 900 months pregnant. Your good thoughts & wishes are much appreciated. But, I can't focus too much on that because I've got a lot of news & announcements to share. I've also got a timely question of the day, so read on!
Reminder: Meeting Tonight! Conference Approaching!

Our September meeting is tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Salem Public Library. The lovely and always-entertaining Lisa Pulliam will be speaking on PR issues for authors. I've read several interesting articles and blog entries lately on the subject of self-promotion, and I'm eager to hear Lisa's thoughts! I hope you can join us!

Also, don't forget to bring/send your checks for our fall conference. Whodunnit: A writer's guide to working a crime scene on October 6, 2007 should be a fun, educational day!
Show & Tell Workshop

October is brimming with great online class options, but one of the most promising is the Show & Tell workshop offered by the Outreach RWA chapter. This interactive workshop will feature feedback from the instructor and fellow classmates. The instructor is award winning author & teacher Shannon Donnelly. Click here for more information.

Cimarron Dreamin' Conference October 12-14

You know, I couldn't think of a reason one might visit Tulsa in October. Then I found out that Allison Brennan, Jenna Peterson, and Jodi Thomas are all offering workshops at the Cimarron Dreamin' conference. Suddenly, Tulsa looks rather appealing! This conference is a bargain, and by limiting attendance size, individual attention is assured! Click here for more information.

Perfect Pitch Contest

Are you tired of having to wait for the final round to get published author/agent/editor feedback? Do you want to focus more on your pitch/query? The Perfect Pitch contest offers a unique opportunity at a bargain price. Simply submit your pitch in any romance genre, and one of these authors will review it:


October 1st Deadline for e-mail submission! Click here for more information!

First Kiss Contest

The First Kiss Contest is another unique contest with an October 1st Deadline. This contest focuses on the pivotal moment when your hero and heroine kiss for the first time. This is a great chance to get feedback on your sexual tension and emotional impact, and to showcase a part of your MS beyond the opening scenes. Click here for more information.

30 Books in 30 days

Cindi Myers is giving away 30 books in 30 days! Check out her website for more details about this fun promotion.
New Opportunities with Steeple Hill

In this week's market update, Cindi also reports that Steeple Hill is expanding their lines of Inspirational romance.

Love Inspired Historicals is actively seeking new authors:
Love Inspired Historical, Steeple Hill's
newest line, launching in 2008. LI Historicals will publish two books
a month – one western and one non-western setting each month.
Inspirational readers seem to be more open to reading many different
time periods. In addition to western settings, the editors are
interested in all kinds of American settings – colonial, Civil War
and post Civil War, all the way up through World War II. They're also
interested in European settings and Biblical Fiction. Stories
featuring missionaries in exotic locations are welcome. Stories may
be dramatic and emotional, light-hearted, or suspenseful. But no
matter the setting or story, there can be no explicit sensuality,
graphic violence or language. Send submissions to Melissa Endlich or to
assistant editor Jessica Alvarez. They are both actively acquiring
for the line. 70,000 - 75,000 words.

Love Inspired Suspense is also seeking new authors:

Love Inspired Suspense expanded from two books a month to four books
a month in February 2007. They are "very eagerly" looking for
inventory. This is a great opportunity for new authors. Readers here
are looking for "strong, highly dramatic, high-octane reads." There
are very few things you can't do in these books – though violence is
mostly off-screen. They'd love to see more CSI-type and legal-
thriller type stories. The stories are 50 percent romance and 50
percent suspense. Both must be fully developed. 55,000 - 60,000 words

Full guidelines available here.

Question of the Day: Why Judge?

After looking at the line-up of judges for the Perfect Pitch contest, and receiving a reminder to sign up for the GH judging (have you???), I wondered about all the different motivations writers have for judging contests. For some, it is a way of giving back. For others, it's a chance to hone critique skills or zero in on areas they'd like to speak/write about. For me, it's a chance to come back to my own writing with fresh eyes. I find that after judging a contest, especially in a genre that I don't write in, I return to my work invigorated with new ideas of what to work on. In judging this past year, I've learned a lot about synopsis writing and pacing/plot--real life examples that go beyond what I've seen in books and workshops.

Do you judge contests? Why or why not?


Karen Duvall said...

I really enjoy judging contests, partly for all the reasons you mention, but also because I think it's a privilege to review the work of prepubbed authors who I admire for their bravery and persistence in an extremely challenging industry. I'm in awe of all writers, but those who enter contests find a special place in my heart.

I don't judge many contests due to time constraints, but I always judge the Colorado Gold (the entries were surprisingly poor this year and that's a huge concern) because I'm a member of RMFW's Published Authors League and because I enjoy it. This year I'll be judging the EPPIES, which is a contest for published ebooks. It's a great way to see what's going on in this publishing niche.

Cindi Myers and I are pretty good friends and I spent some time with her in Denver during the Colorado Gold conference. She's also a member of RMFW and presents some great workshops every year for our conference. Cindi helps judge our Colorado Gold contest, too. It's a way for all of us to give back to the organization that helped get us to where we are today.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

I haven't in a while, but I'll probably sign up to judge the GH (thanks for the reminder).

Great post, Bethany! Always so full of fabulous info.

Paty Jager said...

I've judged several contests and should judge the GH but I still have contest entries for TWRP I need to read and I've been inundated with submissions lately, so I don't feel I have the time at the moment to judge the GH. But I have in the past and I enjoy judging. It's fun to read a good entry and it is hard to judge a bad one. I try to find good things to say about something because we've all been at the learning stages and someone gave us help so I feel it's only fair to help others who are struggling and learning.

Great blog as usual Wavy!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I didn't get to this blog post sooner, Wavy. Great information as usual!

I am soooo sorry you're 900 months pregnant. LOL You are just too funny!

Yes, I judge contests and I do it because it's fun and interesting to read the writing of unpublished authors. It's amazing how good some of them are and that they're not pubbed yet. It proves, once again, that writing is very subjective.

I'll probably never enter a contest myself, but that's because I'm too cheap to put out the $dough$! LOL

Fun post!

Genene said...

Good info, Wavy!

(And, yes, I have some news items to send to you also.)

I have judged contests, although I didn't this past year becaseu -- as Karen said -- time constraints.

I do it to give back some of the great info and encouragement I've received from RWA members. As others have mentioned, it's also fun to read a really good entry and challenging to read one that could use lots of work, striking a balance between offering comments that are helpful without crushing the author's spirit.

Don't know if I'm going to judge this year. Probably, but I want to get through mid-October and see what else is on my plate before I make any more commitments. :)