Writing contests are important in showing you where you’re at as a writer. When I first entered Meghan’s Choice (MC) in the ACFW Genesis contest back in 2014—she didn’t even make the semi-finals (the top seven entries)
I took all the criticism (HARD) but tried to incorporate what the judges said to improve my story and my writing. I’d learned from some of the best writers and I tried to learn well.
I got MC professionally edited, which helped a lot. Then, I got my courage up and entered more contests. I entered the last Operation 1st Novel—and made the semi-finals of that (one of ten).
I also entered Best Opening Paragraph and Best First Page and The Golden Leaf at the Advanced Novelist Retreat in 2015. It got 3rd in Best Opening Paragraph, and 2nd in Best First Page, and Honorable Mention in Golden Leaf.
That encouraged me. So, when I wrote Rose’s Redemption (RR) last year, (and 2017), I got it edited, and I entered contests. She did well! 1st place in BOTH Best Opening Paragraph and Best First Page. And 2nd in Golden Leaf. RR also made the finals of the Phoenix Rattler (ACFW Arizona).
Last year, I entered MC in three contests, and made the finals of two of them. So, this year, I entered RR in one contest.
If she doesn’t win, I may be somewhat disappointed, but I’ll survive it. Just knowing I made the finals cut is extremely satisfying.
Both Meghan’s Choice and Rose’s Redemption are available from Amazon. Here are the links if you’d like to check them out.