Thank You to All 17 Contest Entrants

GREAT BEGINNINGS LOGO

Thank you! We had an astonishing 17 entries (we were hoping for 15) for our Keystone Great Beginnings Contest. The judges are currently reading and scoring entries, and winners will be announced at our online meeting, April 26th at 7:30 p.m. and here on this blog.

It takes a lot of courage to submit one’s work for critique and scoring. Only one can win 1st place with a $50 prize. If you don’t win, don’t give up. Keep working on your craft, your story. Take the judges’ comments and learn from them. It will help you improve and maybe, the next contest you enter, you’ll place!

If you win here, you’ll be rewarded monetarily, and that will show potential publishers two things: 1) you are serious about your writing, and 2) you are willing to put yourself out there and try to get published.

Two years ago, I entered the ACFW Genesis contest. I didn’t make it past the first round, and one judge seemed quite harsh with their low score. After a period of time, though, I was able to re-visit their score sheet, and learn what I needed to do to improve my novel.

The next time I submitted it, I made the semi-finals in Operation 1st Novel.

So whether you win or place here, even with an Honorable Mention certificate, the point is: learn, progress, and keep submitting. Perseverance is the key. I know. I’m still persevering, hoping for a publishing contract in my future. Blessings to you.

My Top 5 Writing Tips for Christian Authors

KelleherBlogger: Ellen Kelleher writing as Elle E. Kay http://www.elleekay.com/

There is so much useful information available on the internet that it is difficult to narrow the list to a manageable one, but here are the most helpful tips I’ve discovered. #amwriting #writingtip

  1. Prepare spiritually. Yes, it sounds like common sense, but how often do we sit down at our computers or open our notebook without having first taken the time to pray. Click to Tweet How often do we neglect our daily Bible reading? If we prepare spiritually, we will be writing with Jesus on our minds and in our hearts. There is no other single step that will produce a more fruitful result.
  2. If you get stuck use a prompt. There are websites devoted to providing prompts to kick start your writing. There are picture prompts and word prompts, full sentence prompts, and even story starters. Don’t just sit there starting at your computer. Use a prompt. Some of the best writing I’ve done started with a prompt.
  3.  Edit. Once you have a beautifully written masterpiece, put it aside. Come back a few months later (sooner if you are on a deadline) and look at your work with fresh eyes. Tear apart that manuscript and make it better. You may be surprised at the number of errors you find. Once you’ve done that, share it with your critique group (ACFW has a good one called Scribes). Then after all of that, pay for a professional editing.
  4. Market. Yes, you need to market. It isn’t fun for introverts. I get it. We still have to do it. You should have a presence on social media. At the very least, you should be on Twitter and Facebook. You should also seriously consider a website and a blog.
  5.  Reviews. Most reviews will be positive, but there will be some negative. Don’t dwell on the negative. Sometimes you can even wear them as a badge of honor, like when someone accused me of proselytizing. Well, thank you. Yes, I followed my Lord’s command and told people about Him. Amen. I’ll take that one star review. If you can’t handle the negative reviews, don’t read them. Click to Tweet Whatever you do, don’t respond to them.

There you have it. A simple list of the most helpful advice I’ve found. #writingtip #amwriting