No, never!

I mentioned in my slog blog (I don’t know why I call it that) of 5th May, that I would continue to tell you about my competition successes and failures.

Seeing as there were more failures than there were successes, I’ll start with those.

Someone once said to me, if you want to get published, it will help if you have a strong internet presence. At the time I argued, surely if our writing is good enough and we have strong material, it wouldn’t really matter to a publisher or potential agent whether we are active on the internet or not.

She proved me wrong…Damn!

I have a new stance now. I believe we must do everything we possibly can to get recognized in the publishing profession and being active on the internet is one of them.

I remember entering the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards in 2010. I was kicked out at the first hurdle, as I was this year too, but when I joined the related forum, full of wannabes like me, I met some great people.

I entered the Brit Writer’s Awards last year. I got long listed and that’s as far as I went. However, I linked up with some guys of the same ilk and suddenly a facebook group was formed that continues to this day, discussing pending competitions and individual achievements. So, if you want to talk about successes and enduring the competitive road, go meet the guys.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=127370923944894

I’ll let you know how I fare with the Brits this year, but don’t hold your breath. It’s anyone’s game.

The list goes on with regards to competitions, but I want to mention http://www.firstwriter.com/  where I get a lot of my information. They send regular updates to members email addresses for pending competitions as long as you pay a small subscription. I find First Writer invaluable as it also lists publishers and agents as well as other helpful information.

With regards to my particular successes, I highly recommend the following, because they allowed me a win or at least a runner up and some even published me in their anthology. And that is a big high.

http://www.meridian-writing.co.uk/

http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/slq/3.2/competitions/unoma-azuah.htm

http://www.flashstories.net/

http://www.littleacornpress.com/

http://theartilleryofwords.weebly.com/

http://www.wordsundone.org/

There are more, but if you fancy entering a competition give one of these ago. After all if they were crazy enough to publish me, anyone who’s crazy enough to read my blog won’t go far wrong.

Good luck and keep at it.

Thanks for reading.

Wendy

xxxx

5/29/2011

That answer, you answered yourself. However I always ask myself why I do it: Especially when I get down about it all. And right now that is just how I feel. Down but not out. We write because we love to. We write because we are addicted to it. That's my excuse.

Stoney

Reply
Wendy
5/30/2011

Right on, Stoney! Write on!

Reply
Lily
6/2/2011

Hi Wendy,

My name's Lily, I'm 17 and I'm an aspiring writer. I came across some of your stuff on bookrix and since then I've been kinda hooked - your writing is just SO good!! I don't understand how you haven't been given a publishing deal already! My favourite genre is teen fantasy, so The Perfects is right up my street. I've just finished my own novel, called "On the Wings of Love", which is about a girl called Rose, who falls down a mountain while camping with friends, and she's saved by a species of half man, half bird people. She falls in love with one of their kind, a young man-bird called Sparro, but their love is forbidden by the man-bird society, which wants to keep its existence a secret from the rest of the world. I'm pretty much ready to go about sending it off to publishers, but i don't know where to start, and whilst im sure im good enough to be published, im worried that i'll just get a string of rejections.... I was wondering if you could tell me a bit about your own experiences with publishers, how you choose which publishers to send it to, how you present it to them, what to expect if and when they reply, and just any tips you might have for getting ahead. I'd really appreciate any advice you might have, as it's great to learn from such an experienced and accomplished writer like yourself!!

Thanks Wendy, love Lily XD xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Reply
Wendy
6/3/2011

HI Lily

It was so nice to get your message.
I love the premise of your book. We have soooo got to move on from Vampires.
I believe the twilight followers are looking for something else. They just dont know it yet. Ha!

Your mythical creatures sound divine and the scope for such a story is huge and dare I say an option there for a sequel?

As for publication....Opportunities are there for everyone. It's just a case of finding them and delivering the best possible proposal.

I would be the last person to offer you advice about how to go about it. My cover letters stink and I loathe writing a synopsis. I believe a pitch is an art form in itself and if you can master it, you can at least feel happy about your 'sell'.

From my point of view, I don't know if they hated my book or they hated my pitch.

I haven't read your work (please 'friend' me on BookRix and then I'll check it out), but even without reading it, I would say edit, edit , edit.

I thought I'd finished my book six months ago, but I changed the beginning of it only last week. That means it wasn't ready when I pitched. A friend told me as much and I didn't listen.

When you decide to get it out to agents, check out their websites and address the letter to someone within the organization (apparently they like that). I once wrote an email submission to a guy called Phil, but his name was George. I got a bit of a sarcastic reply off him. Lol

Choose agents who specialize in your genre. I've had some curt replies off some. "We only do historical biographies" I could practically hear them screaming at me.

Most of all, and i say this with my fingers crossed behind my back. Note the plot hole there? Naturally I'm using my fingers to type this...

....dont be afraid of rejection!

That's what I'm supposed to say

What I mean is...be afraid, be very afraid!!

Seriously, it will happen, so expect it. If you get a letter asking for your full M.S after the first submission, you are good. Really good!

Best thing to do is have a cry, as I do, punch a pillow, kick the cat, file it and move on.

I wish I could offer you more, but this subject of getting published is endless.

Good luck with your book and don't lose hope. Never, NEVER give up!

Love Wendy
xxx















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