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Last spring I was invited to help with a writing contest to be held in the fall, the main focus being getting feedback. I said “Sure!” really having no idea what I was getting into. But I tend to do that, jump in and figure out all the details later.

I am so glad I said yes!

The fabulous Elsie Elmore did a wrap up post…what a great idea! So I’m stealing it.

And #TeamMaleficent appeared wrapped in magical green flames!

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Son of a Pitch has been a wonderful experience! I read and critiqued all 52 (I think there are 52) entries, which took me three days of pretty much constant reading, and thinking, and trying to word my thoughts so they would be helpful. Or I just added my reactions, because it’s fun to know what people think as they read your words. I apologize if my comments went a bit awry…I got tired and possibly ate too much chocolate…

So many entries. So many queries and first pages. So many unique ideas. So many well written pages. Dialogue, setting, description, character development, and those few bits of detail that MAKE ME WANT TO KEEP READING…it’s all important.

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As writers, we love to come together to help fellow authors find what their words lack. To find the phrases that don’t make sense, the places where a little extra detail could amp up the tension.

I did my best. I made new writer friends. I think! I hope! And my wish is that they stay my friends, that they let me know how their publishing journeys are going, so I can share in all the joy and cheer them on during the frustration.

Well, I voted for five…who will hopefully continue to the final round. Voting was difficult. I looked at the writing–the entries were loaded with good writing! I looked at the query to see how the story was set up. Let me tell you how many well written, interesting stories I didn’t vote for because, well, I went with the age and genre I know. I’m a YA girl…I’m a fantasy/horror girl. So that’s where my votes went. How subjective is that? Incredibly subjective…as is the publishing world.

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And I set my votes in the comments for everyone to see. If I seemed interested in your story from my comments, I WAS AND STILL AM! If I didn’t vote for yours, it DOESN’T mean yours isn’t good. I struggled to get my list down to five and to do it ended up eeny, meeny, miny, moe-ing…AS HORRIFYING AS THAT WAS THAT’S WHAT I HAD TO DO.

I’m not sure how the final round goes…like I said, I’m flying by the seat of my pants here. But the final round happens next week!

I certainly hope all the authors participating found something useful out of the experience. Remember…this is one step on a long journey.

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Find your power. Find your dark magical strength and never give up.

 

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