As I predicted, I didn’t take a break from writing. Instead, I wrote roughly 40 pages in my sequel and signed up to participate in two different writing contests (yay!).

I’m actually really excited about these contests because it involves more than just one 140 character count hook. The first one, #PitchtoPublication (rules, details and goodies can be found here), is being hosted by the lovely and talented Samantha Fountain. Currently, we are smack dab int he middle of the submission window, which closes Friday, July 3rd.

PitchtoPub is kinda of scary though; you gather all of your materials, ship it off to Samantha and then she forwards it to the five editors of your choosing. Not too bad, right? Well, each editor can only take up to 100 queries before they cut off submissions and from those 100 queries they have to whittle down their options to 3-5 (ish). That’s a lot of “maybes” and “almosts” that don’t quite make the mark, and since the editors are doing this of their own volition free of charge (so much gratitude), they can’t spend the time sending out rejection reasons to each participant.

But I love this concept – editing is so crucial to the process of writing and publishing a novel and I’m afraid it’s often overlooked. I’ve had mine edited several times, once from a freelance editor through Elance. The insight was incredible and helped me see wholes in my writing that I was initially blind to. That’s the thing about writing – you take the time to craft something special and because you know it inside and out, you think everyone else will know it too. The problem lies in the fact that no one knows your baby like you do, so you need to cover your basis, have an editor look for wholes, and patch where necessary.

Anyway, I digress. Out of the 3-5 manuscripts they either request partials or fulls and from there must only choose ONE to move forward with. As it stands, my query has a 1% chance of landing an editor. Yikes. From then on, there’s much editing and agent rounds and publication potentials and so on and so forth. All of that I will happily detail if my manuscript gets selected.

1% is slim though, but the feedback the editors have been posting on Twitter makes it all worth the while. Most of them have been offering snippets of critiques without giving away the author or title of the work. Obviously this makes for anxiety attacks and nail biting as us authors try to decipher their responses and determine if they are talking to us. Regardless, there’s been a lot of feedback that has made me want to alter/modify/edit my own work for the better, and in my book that’s a win.

Now, moving onto the second contest, #pg70pit. This contest is similar to PitchtoPub, but authors have a greater chance of getting their manuscript reviewed. This contest is ran by the equally lovely and brilliant Lara Willard and all the goodies and details can be found here. This contest starts TODAY, July 1st, but don’t rush to submit unless you’ve got an MG novel. Each day is age specific, so tomorrow will be for YA and Friday will be for NA/A. Any genre is acceptable, so look into it!

Instead of just one per agent, 7 entries are selected from each age category, in addition to any slushies’ choices which result in 7 extra entries per category (in other words, a total of 42 submissions will be selected). By July 7th, the contest moves into the agent round. Check out her site for details, and as always, if my MS makes the cut, I’ll detail the experience myself.

Happy writing!