Tag Archives: contest

Contests & Crafts!

All right, let’s start this C-themed post off right: the winner of the Aquaphor is:



The second part of our C-themed post is also about a contest: the first three chapters + synopsis of Façade, my current fiction manuscript, were named as a finalist in the Crested Butte Writers’ Sandy Contest, Thriller/Suspense category! Woot!

Even better, I get a chance to revise my entry with the judges’ feedback this week. Then, along with the other four finalists’, my entry will be winging its way to the final judge: Sarah Knight, senior editor at Simon & Schuster.

It’s weird just typing that.

So, I’m off to re-polish my entry!

One more big announcement: along with my mother and three sisters, I’ve started a craft blog! So, if you’re into knitting, quilting, scrapbooking, sewing, baking, home decorating or otherwise creating, please check out Wayward Girls’ Crafts! Check out our giveaways all this week!

And, to wrap up: C is for Cookie. That’s good enough for me.

Do you have any good news to share?

Photo by Jason Meredith

We interrupt this blog for an announcement

Originally posted at my writing blog

I don’t make a secret of it—I hate writing contests. And this is because I have never gotten useful (or even non-contradictory!) advice from them. That may be a reflection on the organization sponsoring the contests I’ve entered, of course, because after my first contest through another organization, I’m quickly beginning to change my mind.

This last weekend, I went to a writing conference. Despite my past experiences and with more than a little trepidation (and very low expectations), I entered the conference’s first chapter contest a month ago. I was really hoping to place, of course, but I didn’t expect to do well.

Nevertheless, every time I happened to see the Saturday lunch hour in the conference schedule (“First chapter contest winners announced”), my hearing dulled, my heart pounded and my stomach shriveled. Just thinking about that day put me through the first stages of a panic attack.

(This made planning my conference schedule very stressful 😉 .)

Finally, lunch rolled around. About halfway through, the conference coordinator got up, and the pulled up the PowerPoint that would announce the winners on the two 20′ screens in the hall. To all 450 attendees.

They received almost 200 entries. They printed over 900 critiques which would be returned to each entrant after lunch. And then they started on the winners. I almost hoped they’d start with my category, just so I could have my disappointment and work to move on. But no—first came third place, non fiction: title, author. Second place. First place.

They moved on to General Fiction. And another category. And another.

And then my category, Mystery/Suspense. Third place. Not me. Hey, maybe this wasn’t so bad.

Second place. Not me. Oh. There was no way I took first place—so I had my answer. It wasn’t me. That’s okay, I know how much these things are the luck of the draw—get one judge who doesn’t love your chapter and you’re hosed. And not everybody loves everything I’ll ever write. That’s okay.

Seriously, this felt like the longest pause of the ceremonies. Despite my best efforts at consoling myself, I could hear the contest coordinator’s voice saying the title of my story over and over again.

Stop, I told myself. Don’t torment yourself.

“First place, Mystery/Suspense: Saints and Spies.” This time it wasn’t in my head. “By Jordan McCollum.”

So that little announcement is why we’re not starting a new series today. Tomorrow for sure.

This came at a time I really needed it. Many thanks to all those who helped me prepare the chapter. Thanks for a great conference, to all those who worked so hard to put it on. I also want to congratulate so many of my friends who also placed!

You can read an excerpt of my winning chapter 😀 !