5.02.2006

Miss Snark Revises

I have made all sorts of comments about contests being good fer nuttin but just today I realized there is one instance when contests, and also previous publication of pieces of the novel, come in handy.

I received a query letter. The whole entire premise of the novel sounded so stupid I almost didn't read on. Then in the third paragraph came the news that pieces of the novel had been published in literary mags, and another piece won a prize I'd actually heard of.

I kept reading. Knowing somewhere, somebody didn't think this was stupid was enough to make me read more carefully.

So, enter the contests, send out the pieces, quote the results, it may be your salvation in the slush pile.

Even Miss Snark must revise upon occasion!

10 comments:

dink said...

Whoa! You answered a question that was on the tip of my fingers.

I was wondering about the yea-neigh factor of subbing a portion (chapter) of a W.I.P. to a short story contest (the chapter works as a short story).

It appears that's a "yea" ...

YAY!

I think you should add my mind to your "what I'm reading" list.

Thank you Miss Snark (woof and a cookie to K.Y.)

Patrice Michelle said...

Make sure you understand the rules of the contest...ie, if it wins and gets published in a mag...who owns the rights and for how long, etc.

yossarian said...

The key phrase here being "a prize I'd actually heard of."

lizzie26 said...

Sign of a great agent: One that admits she/he has to change her/his way of thinking. (Don't worry, Miss Snark. I'm not kissing-up. I have an agent. : ) )

dink said...

Patrice, that's good advice for ALL writing contests.

I'm very finicky about contests. They have to have a well established track record, list of previous winners,give the specifics you mention about rights, and give the name/credentials of the judge(s).

There are some very dangerous contests out there! I came across one where just entering the contest gave the contest promoter ALL RIGHTS --yarg!

Anonymous said...

Yes, be sure to read the contest rules and regulations. I won first place in the NTPWA fiction contest, received a nice paper award 'suitable for framing' which I framed, plus $50. Meanwhile, the story was accepted for publication in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine for $800. But yes, read the fine print.

Anonymous said...

I should have mentioned, winning the contest didn't help or hinder the sale, since both things happened nearly simultaneously.

Anonymous said...

Is there a "safe" place to locate contests? Google turns up tons, some look more scary then others. I found several for Romance, a few for Mystery - what about Fantasy or SCI-FI?
Thanks everyone!!

Sal said...

Is there a "safe" place to locate contests? Google turns up tons, some look more scary then others. I found several for Romance, a few for Mystery - what about Fantasy or SCI-FI?

Try some of the clicks here. I just went through and checked all the links on the page. L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future might be just up your alley. No fee. $ prizes.

Buena suerte.

Steorling said...

Poets and Writer's magazine also has a good submission calendar for lit mags and other awards for poetry and short fiction. And if you want a good nightmare inducing read try last months "The X-Files". A not very humorous (from a writer's persepctive)set of confessions from a lit-mag editor and his snobby schaeffer pen of doom! (the rest of the comments that would normally follow fall under the "if you don't have anything nice to say" clause and have been omitted as redundant anyway. Read the article with a paper bag handy if you're prone to hyperventilating)