Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The 2013 CreateSpace Writing Contest

Hello All, thanks for stopping by today. A week ago, on Wednesday, December 26, 2012, I posted my thoughts about the new year and my resolutions for how I'm choosing to live my life in 2013. Blogging will be part of that life, but today I've decided to take a two- to three-week hiatus from posting and possibly from visiting other blogs.
          The reason? I've decided to enter the CreateSpace novel contest. For those of you who may not know, CreateSpace is the publishing arm of Amazon. Each year the organization sponsors a contest for writers of adult and young-adult novels.
          This year the submission date begins on Monday, January 14. Because CreateSpace accepts only a certain number of submissions, getting the manuscript uploaded on the 14th is important.
          I've decided to submit the historical novel The Reluctant Spy on which I've worked for about thirteen years. It takes place in first-century Palestine and is about 127,000 words in length. I've blogged several times about this manuscript on my other blog--the one on writing.


          Recently, a fellow writer read the manuscript and made suggestions as to how I might strengthen the tension and create a less lengthy book. Her comments make a good deal of sense to me. So in the next two weeks, I'll be deleting sentences, paragraphs, and whole episodes from the manuscript.
         In addition, I will be reading for typos. Also, CreateSpace requires a writer to submit a "Pitch" that will pique the interest of the judge reading it. The pitch must immediately capture the attention of that judge. Only then, will she or he want to read the "Excerpt" of the novel to take the submission into the second round of judging.
         So I have a lot of do to get ready for uploading on the 14th. I know all of you will wish me luck. I entered back in 2010, but my work was eliminated in the first-round of the contest. I'm hoping to establish a better track record in 2013!!!
        Fortunately for me, a blogging friend is visiting from the 14th to the 17th and she will be able to help me upload the pitch, excerpt of 5,000 words, and completed manuscript.
       The upshot of all this is that my next posting on this blog will be Wednesday, January 23. See you then!
         First Postscript: For those of you who might have some interest in this contest, please click here to read the contest rules posted on CreateSpace.
         Second Postscript: On Sunday, December 30, 2012, a fellow writer posted an interview with me about my life as someone who delights in crafting a good sentence!!! If you'd like to read the interview, please click here. 

Artistic rendering of the Prodigal Son from Wikipedia.




45 comments:

  1. I am excited to hear about the contest you are entering...and I look forward to your posts when you return.

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    1. Dear Stephanie, I'm excited also. Last time, my pitch gave away some info about myself and so I was, I think, automatically eliminated from the contest. Peace.

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    1. Dear Baiba, Thank you. I'm really nervous, but if I don't try I'll never know what could have happened! Peace.

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  3. How wonderful! I am so happy you are entering this. I expect good things to come for you from this. What a terrific way to start the new year!

    I am off to read your interview~

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    1. Dear Shelly, this is a contest I hope you will be entering one day. With your ability to create characters who truly breathe on the page and your ability to place them in a scene that is a mind-visual, you, too, will one day---I hope---be writing novels. Peace.

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  4. Although I will miss you, I'm so excited to hear that you are entering this contest. Sending best wishes and hugs.

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    1. Dear Inger and Fishducky, and me too and three and four!!!! You both gave me input on the paragraphs from the novel that I posted on my other blog. I'm hoping that I can scrutinize much of the rest of the novel and delete those words that hinder the flow of action. Peace.

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  5. May God bless your endeavors.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Dear Janie, thank you for your well wishes. I'm nervous but determined this time. Peace.

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  6. I have a feeling you are good at Pitch. ~Mary

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    1. Dear Mary, I'm not so sure of that. A pitch is just like the blurb about the book that's on the flap of the book jacket. We go to book stores and libraries and read that inner flap and based on that we decided to buy or check out the book--or not.
      I'll really have to work at building a pitch that will entice those judges to want to read the excerpt. If that happens, I miss the first cut and become eligible for the next month of judging. Peace.

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  7. I am so excited for you, and will cross everything tightly for you.

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    1. Dear EC, I can see you like a pretzel salted with good wishes for me. Thank you mightily! Peace.

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  8. Good luck, Dee. We all are hoping that you will qualify. Your writing is so beautiful.!

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    1. Dear Arleen, thank you for your good wishes and your compliment about my writing. The fellow writer who is helping me edit the book has given me many good suggestions for cutting that will, I think, build more suspense. Peace.

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  9. I am wishing you all the best in this endeavor. Following your dream with such persistence is bound to pay off! I look forward to hearing how it goes, Dee. Sending you peace, as you so often send it to me. :-)

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    1. Dear DJan, thank you for your good wishes. I guess I am persistent. What I so wish I was also is someone who can craft a story that people want to read. I'll keep all of you updated on what happens. The first cut comes in mid to late February. If the pitch I write keeps the judge interested, then I'll make that cut and in the time period of mid-Feburary to mid-March the judges read the excerpt and decide on who will make the March cut. Makes me nervous just to think about it. Peace.

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  10. We will be here when you return and I hope all goes well with your writing

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    1. Dear Jo-Anne, thank you for the assurance that all of you will await my next posting. I still haven't found a way to be one of your followers, but I will. Peace.

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  11. All the best with the competition, I love the name of your book, it sound just the title to win. Hug. good on you!! Well done.

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    1. Dear Crystal Mary, I do so hope that title attracts attention. Now the job is to write a pitch that the judges find irresistible. Peace.

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  12. I'm so excited to hear this, Dee, and wish you the best as your edit and re-edit The Reluctant Spy and crafting that important "pitch". Do keep us posted. I keep meaning to get over to your other blog, but seems my time is fleeting these days. The quiet I looked for in December maybe my solace instead in January. At any rate, good luck!

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    1. Dear Penny, that pitch is so important. Today, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I'm going to work on the manuscript, mostly cutting out extraneous words and scenes. Then next Monday I'll start on the pitch. It can only be 300 words or less so each one must carry its burden of content/intent. I'll spend days writing, editing, polishing, and then going through the whole process all over again. I tend to be wordy, as you probably know! So getting the pitch to only 300 takes real effort on my part. Getting to the essence of the book.

      Whenever you get to the other blog will be soon enough! I am a firm believer in listening to our bodies and doing what is best for these muscles, sinews, tendons, organs, mind, heart, emotions, and extremities that have served us so well for so many years. Our bodies are marvels and if we just listen, they will let us know what they need. So please do be gracious to yourself this month and longer.... Peace.

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  13. Wishing you great success and am so impressed that you are taking the bit in your teeth and "just doing it." Surely this will be the right time. Please let us know when you know.

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    1. Dear Arkansas Patti, I'm a little surprised that I decided to do this. Ii've worked on the manuscript since 2010, when I entered the contest before. I think it's stronger now. But that pitch is really difficult. I'm sort of dreading starting that next Monday.

      You can be assured that I'll post about what's happening! Peace.

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  14. How cool.Happy for you..

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    1. Dear Karleen, thank you for your kind words. I'm happy for me also because I've taken renewed faith in my writing. For several years I'm thought that my writing was inferior but with the help of blogging friends like you who encourage me to craft stories, I'm coming to believe that I do have some ability. Peace.

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    1. Dear Karen, thanks for the good wishes. I wish you every success with your writing this year also. Let's go for it!!!!! Peace.

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  16. Dee,
    You'll do very well with anything involving this book--it's special--and that's the truth! ;-)
    -E

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    1. Dear Elisa, thank you for your words of confidence and encouragement. Your belief in my writing gives me the courage to persist. And that's the truth too! Peace.

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  17. Go,go,go Dee! Knock their socks off!

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    1. Dear Michelle, wow, if I only could "knock their socks off"!!!!! I'm wondering if you are going to try your hand at more writing. Your memoir was so well done. So honest and touching. I'm hoping you plan to write more as readers await you. Peace.

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  18. Dee, I can't think of a better reason for taking a blogging break. Wishing you every possible success with the preparation and the pitch.

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    1. Dear Perpetua, thank you for your good wishes. I'm really spending my days editing, polishing, rewriting, deleting--everything that has to be done to get the manuscript in as pristine a condition as I can. Sunday or Monday I'll start to work on the pitch. Writing 300 spare words or less is so much harder than writing 3,000 words for the novel. I'm wordy, as you know! Peace.

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    2. Dee, from my regular preaching days I know it's much harder to write a good 8 minute homily than a much longer 20-25 minute sermon. :-)

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    3. Dear Perpetua, I bet you remember the trying to delete every extraneous words and phrase, sentence and paragraph. I need to start working on that pitch because it's hanging over me and becoming more and more ominous the more I avoid starting! Peace.

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  19. My very best wishes for a successful outcome, dear Dee. I hope you’ll have some good news when you return.

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    1. Dear Friko, I've missed reading your postings for the past two or three weeks, and I so appreciate your stopping by to wish me success with this contest. I hope that I've be among the 10,000 who gets entered in it. I hope also that my pitch will get me through the first cut. And be assured that I'll be writing about whatever happens. Peace.

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  20. Wonderful, Dee. You have so many rich writing experiences and your dedication to the craft. I so admire your discipline. I am so glad you share with us so we can cheer from the sidelines! oxo

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    1. Dear Debra, I'm surprised sometimes that once I put my hand to the plow, I seem to stick with the field until it's furrowed. I've always been that way, but since I've gotten older, I run out of stamina more quickly. So I must work each day for as long as I have energy for editing/polishing, etc., Then I simply take naps and stare into space! Peace.

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  21. You inspire us all with your dedication to the writing craft. Even though I'm a bit late I send you my sincere and best wishes for making the cut.

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  22. How wonderful that you are doing this... My heart is full of so many wishes for your success, as well as admirations that you have the stamina and will to take it on! You write so beautifully and movingly and I would just love for the whole world to discover your special gifts.

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