Recently—not like I don’t have anything better to be doing (like working on DH or the IPS sequel, etc…)—I’ve been delving into the world of short story contests. It started sort of as an extension of the writing classes that I took via Coursera last year, where, at least for a period of time, I had relatively short deadlines in which to write a somewhat cohesive story (or fragment thereof). I also liked the idea of potentially getting some direct feedback on my writing, which not all contests provide but some do, so it’s definitely a great perk (almost better than winning, in some cases) if you can find those that offer it.
In any case, the first one I did was the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2019, in which they send you a set of parameters (genre/subject/character) and from there you have a specific length of time to hit your wordcount and submit. In the first round we had eight days to produce a 2,500 word short story. My group got sci-fi/summer school/fork-lift operator to work with—which was pretty much universally met with cries of anguish from all involved, and at least one other participant (in another group) actually chose my story as her favorite “making due with terrible prompts.” Unfortunately, I didn’t make it past the first round, which to be fair, I didn’t really expect to, but I did get some really great feedback from my judges. So, especially given that it was my very first time submitting, I wasn’t too disappointed.
Undaunted, I decided to try the Spring 24-Hour Short Story Contest, which—like it says on the tin—gives you one single day to write and submit your story. The topic and max wordcount is unknown until the day of the contest so you can’t cheat. In this particular case we had 925 words or less with which to write our masterpieces. There (literally) aren’t enough words to express to you how hard that was for me to accomplish. I was initially WAY over my wordcount and it was rough cutting everything down while still maintaining the the emotion and detail and cohesive plot (on the given topic). But, not only did I manage it… I just found out that though I still didn’t win, I did make Honorable Mention this time!!!!
Anyway, I promise I am still working on my major projects (slowly but surely), however at the same time, I’m finding that doing these contests is a fun way to keep the creative juices flowing. All while (hopefully) helping to make myself a better writer!!
If you know of any other short story contests, feel free to post about them in the comments. I’m always looking for new ones!!
A huge thank you to everyone who submitted their guesses over the last month as to who might be featured in a sequel to In Plain Sight. As I feared, no one got the right answer–and to be fair it was kind of a trick question to begin with–but still it was great to see all the wonderful ideas you all had. Though I’m still not ready to announce the actual answer (I really don’t want to spoil the surprise), all who submitted were entered into the drawing, as promised. The winners were chosen randomly and have been sent their free audiobook codes. If anyone has any issues redeeming their codes, please let me know.
2018 was a super exciting year for me. Getting In Plain Sight out into the world was a dream come true and I’m thankful to all of you who stuck with me along that journey. It took a while, but we did it!!
Looking to 2019, I’m really hoping to have Darkharte, if not published by the end of the year, at the very least I want to have a finished manuscript. Considering how long it took me to get IPS whipped into shape, I know it’s ambitious, but it’s a goal. And it’s a good time of the year to make dreams and set our goals.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I also have a possible sequel to In Plain Sight simmering around in my brain. It’s in the very early stages, and it will be a while before I’m in the right place to work on it, but it’s there and I think you’ll like it. I’d never thought to write a sequel (or even considered that IPS needed a sequel), but then this idea plopped into my head fully formed and it wouldn’t go away. So a little funsies for the New Year, now through January 31st, 2019 (11:59pm PST), use the Contact page to send me your guess as to which character from In Plain Sight might merit their own book and why. The first 5 people to correctly guess will win a free audio version of In Plain Sight. Winners will be notified and receive their Audible promo code by February 4th, 2019. If no one gets the right answer, I will randomly draw 5 names from everyone who submits a guess.
On that note, I wish you all a blessed New Year. Be kind – not only to others, but to yourself as well. Dream lofty dreams and even if you don’t fully realize them this year, remember that each step you take puts you that much closer to making those dreams a reality. So don’t be afraid to take baby steps, and if you stumble along the way, that’s ok, get back up and keep going. Ask for help if you need it. Life is a journey and we are all in this together. And together we can all do amazing things!!
I’m really excited that I was able to get an audio version of my book produced. Not only because there are those of us who like to listen to books while we do other things – work, drive, or do other creative endeavors. But also because I like the idea of having books (and all the wonderful stories within them) be accessible to as many people as possible, even those who are visually impaired or have some other disability that makes reading difficult.
Know it’s been a bit quiet on the homefront, but honestly if it’s November, most of us a NaNo-ing anyways, right?!
With that in mind, I’ve been making good progress on getting a full first draft of my next book – DarkHarte – completed. It’s a fantasy and you can read a brief excerpt here. Those dreaded middle sections are the bane of my existence, but I’m slogging my way through and have every confidence that I will get it done.
In other exciting news, I’ve just received word that the audio version of In Plain Sight is done!!! Once it’s been through the final review process it will be available through Audible and on iTunes. I’m hoping that it will be out before Black Friday, but either way it will be ready before the Holidays. As soon as it’s live, I will let you all know!!
I had an absolutely awesome time at the Holly Springs Book Festival yesterday. Want to give a huge shoutout to my fellow Romance Writers panelists, Amie Knight and Reese Ryan. We had so much fun, and I am so glad to have met you both!
This festival is annual, so if you live in the Raleigh area, definitely look out for next year’s event. You won’t want to miss it!
Every single one of you amazing people who have bought a copy of Ry and Eli’s story, or who have read it via Kindle Unlimited – Thank You so, so much! Honestly, you ROCK so freaking hard!! I don’t even have words…
It’s official – both the Kindle version (currently $3.99) and the physical copies (currently $9.98) of In Plain Sight have been released!!! I’ll be hanging out tonight on Facebook if anyone wants to drop by and celebrate with me. Currently, it’s only available on Amazon, however, in the coming weeks it will likely be available in other places, though at a slightly higher price (due to things that are completely out of my control).
Once you read Ry and Eli’s story, please let me know what you think, not only Amazon reviews (which are always welcome), but feel free to message me here or on FB. I am already aware of some minor formatting issues with the Kindle version, and though I’ve pushed a quick fix for some of them, I am working on a full re-formatting. So hopefully that will be up soon, once I’m done fiddling with it.