Tag Archives: Contest

Small Steps on My Writing Journey

2 May

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~Lao-Tzu

One step at a time

One step at a time

For 2014, I decided my theme for the year would be to focus more on polishing what I’m already working on instead of starting a bunch of new things. One of the things I wanted to focus on was a middle grade manuscript I began early in 2013. I’d already weeded out other projects that were taking my time and distracting me from my goal. I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other (i.e., words on the page) and git ‘er done.

Finally, I did! I had a complete first draft. Time to celebrate, right?  Well, sure, but…a first draft is not a final-ready-to-send-agents draft. So, my next step was to revise.  I began. But at the same time I entered a contest on an awesome website called Adventures in YA Publishing (if you write YA or MG, check it out here.)

In this contest, you submit a pitch and first line, and if you are in the first 100 submissions, you get feedback. I thought, awesome – I am going to get some feedback which will help me make it stronger. I didn’t actually think I’d get to the second round and get asked to submit my first page for critique as well. But I did. Eep!

From there, the top ten were selected to go on and get their entries judged by prominent agents. When I checked the list of finalists, I closed my laptop with a sigh. Oh well, I got some good feedback and that’s why I entered in the first place. But wait! What was that? My title? I flipped my laptop back open, and sure enough, mine was listed. Now I started to actually get excited. Big-time agents would read my work. Maybe even like it!  Of course, getting your hopes up is a recipe for a shattered heart, so I tamped down my excitement and just focused on getting the feedback.

So, how excited was I to receive a request to see my full manuscript from not one but two awesome agents?  Yeah, this excited:

Not me, but this is what I looked like on the inside

Not me, but this is what I looked like on the inside


A day later, I was notified I’d been named a runner up in the contest!  Out of 100 people, I was one of the top few. Double eep!  As a runner up, I received a first chapter critique from the fabulous Roseanne Wells.  Her critique gave me great insight and new perspective on my story and I am so grateful to her.

As I’m getting more feedback from beta readers and critique partners, I’m taking one step at a time to make my manuscript stronger. And soon, very soon, I’ll be ready to submit my final, polished story to these agents.  I cannot know where that step will lead me, but no matter what, I know it will be something good.

It’s great to look back now and see how many steps I’ve taken just this year. And it’s exciting to think of what steps are ahead. I just have to do my job and keep on walking.

Goodbye, sweet 2012 (and a giveaway)

27 Dec

This year has been such an incredible ride for me, one full of surprises and excitement. In fact, in my entire life there hasn’t been a year with as much change.  If you had told me back in January that I would land both an agent and a publishing deal, I’d have thought you were crazy (um, in a good way, of course). I’m so grateful that it is exactly what happened.

But it’s not without hard work, of course. I spent the previous year on overdrive, honing my writing skills, going to conferences, learning from agents, editors and fellow authors—all who were kind enough to share their knowledge with newbies. I joined Twitter, which opened up a whole new world to me. I pounded the proverbial pavement—bearing rejections—to find the perfect agent for me. I revised, revised, and revised again to make my manuscript better.  I joined two critique groups and recruited many beta readers, finding out that I still needed to revise.

Heck, I’m still revising.

But hard work pays off, and I am so excited about spending 2013 not only writing and editing but working on publicity for OLIVIA TWISTED. I can’t wait to share it with the world!

So to that end, I want to thank everyone who has supported me through this journey, starting with my fellow Chicks. If not for them, I might not have found my path to writing in the first place.

And as a special thanks to our blog readers and to end 2012 with a bang, I’d like to offer up a very special ARC (thank you, Agent P!) of a book that won’t hit the shelves until February 2013—UNRAVEL ME by Tahereh Mafi, the sequel to the bestseller, SHATTER ME! As a bonus, I’ll throw in a copy of SHATTER ME as well. If you haven’t read this wonderful young adult dystopian, now is a great time to fall in love with Adam and Juliette.


All you have to do to enter is leave your email in the comments on this post and we’ll draw a winner (to avoid freaky spammers, spell out words like “at” and “dot”). You have until midnight on Friday, January 11 to comment for the drawing (enter only once, please). That way I have time to read it first. =)

Here’s to just as much wonderful in 2013…for all of us!

Everyone’s a Winner!

21 Jan

Congratulations to that one Muse follower–both lucky and clever–who correctly named all ten 70’s and 80’s sitcoms parodied in 4 Chicks and a Muse: The Theme Song. And now, the winner of the all-new Kindle is revealed, Chick style.

But like all creative journeys, the most important thing is to TRY. So…

EVERYONE who entered the contest will receive a copy of Tracey’s picture book, Addie and Ollie.

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