AppleJacked-Third Place Daphne du Maurier Award

 AppleJacked is an RWA-Daphne finalist

in Unpublished Mainstream Mystery/Suspense!

Fast forward to June 26th:  And the winner is....Not me! 
But that is okay because I came in Third!
Yay, me!

Congratulations to Ruth (1st) and Lis (2nd) for your wins. 
I look forward to reading your books someday.

For those of you unfamiliar with writing contests, here is my short stump speech about the concept. I have entered contests for several reasons. Of course, I always want to win, but knowing the stiff competition, I have ulterior motives.

   1-Know why you are entering.  Is there a prize? Publication? Opportunity to chat with an agent or editor? Or the first thing I look for, is there written feedback from the judges? In the case of the RWA KOD contest, I consider the judges' feedback to be a great reward, win or lose. In every contest where I have received feedback, I may not always agree with some of the comments, but they are always offered from an instructive point of view and are usually right on target. Thank you, judges, your volunteer work is appreciated! Having acted as a judge myself, I appreciate the effort and consideration you put into the work. The writing community is awesome. 

   2-Vet the contest for credibility. I may not be the first writer to tell you that there are a lot of scams out there targeting the writing community. But I am crossing my fingers that I don't get caught in any, so I am extremely cautious. I check with other writers or writing groups to see if the contest is legit. Some are closed to members only, others are free. Most however, have a fee associated with the entry. Read all the rules carefully before you hit that payment or submit key. 

   3-Consider the cost and payoff. Depending where you are in your writing career, you may only be looking for credible feedback from someone who is not a relative or friend. Find a contest in your genre, vet it, and give it a shot. That's how I gained encouraging and valuable feedback in 2015, for AppleJacked. I also placed third and it gave me the courage to keep at it, despite the many flaws in that early iteration of the story. Published writers still want feedback, but also the recognition that will help market their work and build sales. A final perk I'll add to the contest world--new friends. Watching their journeys to publication has been priceless. 

With this new third place finish for a much revised AppleJacked, I am pumped to use the feedback to make it better. I anticipate an early 2022 publication. I had entered ChainLinked as well, and the feedback on it is very important for my final revisions as I have an August 2021 launch date-yikes! 

So, what about you? As a reader, do you consider whether a book has earned awards in your book selection decisions? Or, as a writer, how do you feel about writing contests? Hope you share some feedback. Be well!


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