Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Strong Start

Almost two years ago, I searched the web for a writing workshop and found TheNextBigWriter. I was hesitant at first, worried about the whole credit system, but when they announced they were having a contest for members I decided to go for it. I entered last year's contest with my first novel The Evolution of Janie. I didn't win, but I got something much more valuable - an amazing group of writers and readers that helped me develop my skills and make drastic improvements to my story.

This year the Strongest Start Contest came around again, and I entered both The Evolution of Janie and Songbird. I wavered on where to put Janie. The paranormal aspects of it made me want to go for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category, but at the last minute (okay, I had about a day to go) I moved it to the Romance category, because to me that is ultimately what it is. Thank God I did!

Both novels made it to the finals in the Romance category and The Evolution of Janie won!  

It was one of those moments when I was uncontrollably doing the "Oh, Yeah!" dance in the livingroom while still in pajamas. My two-year-old even joined in :) There was a moment when I thought how sweet it would have been to win the main category, but having read the novel Priscilla the Great by Sybil Nelson the thought quickly passed and I realized how lucky I was the powers that be (Sol) decided to split into categories.

I don't know if I'd mention winning this contest in a query letter, but I now have a voice inside of me saying - Someone liked this. Someone voted for it.

Swift on the heels of my success came the inevitable fall. Only an hour after finding out I'd won, I got the first rejection from my new round of queries. I have to say though it was a little easier to take knowing that I'd just won.


On my iPod:

Where I Started by Wide Mouth Mason


  1. Congratulations! This most certainly is wonderful news. :) As for the queries - just keep at it. Eventually your work will find an advocate and a home.

  2. Well done Angie,
    Keep the rejection slips in a scrap book for a reality check now and then but don't let them knock your confidence. I bet, if you looked it up on Google, you could find dozens of examples of famous authors who wre rejected at first but didn't give in - The Beatles were turned down by the first record company they approached!!

  3. A rejection is just one very cynical person's opinion that they probably made on a sleepy afternoon. I've read a blog by an editor who said, she has missed out on some great authors when they were starting out and has no idea how she missed their talent. Caffeine hangover maybe? Even if you have talent it's going to take time to get out of the 'slush pile'. If 0.1% of the world's population like your book then it will be a massive best seller. The chances of pleasing a publisher are perhaps higher than the general population at least!