Show and Sell!

by the Night Writer

Tiger Lilly and I have been working through final revisions and polishing on her first novel. At first the idea was to have it ready by May 14 so it can be entered in a contest sponosored by The Writer’s Digest. Then it turned out that in her chosen category – Young Adult Fiction – you are limited to just 2000 words. You might be able to get a manga within that limit, but it doesn’t get you through Chapter One of her urban fantasy. So, bummed. Then, last night, I was perusing the Digest’s website and found out they are also sponsoring a self-published novel contest, and that e-books can be considered if they are offered for sale on a website. The deadline for entry is May 17.

So, boom, back into full production mode on the finishing touches — but now we need a book design and the whole thing converted into pdf form as well. Then I just need to find a website, or a blog — one with a writerly-sounding name — where she can offer the book for sale in order to comply with the rules. Hmmm. I’ll ponder this as we buff and shine. Watch this space, as they say.

The original Digest contest also has opportunities for shorter-form writing, including a Personal Essay category and one for Religious/Inspirational. I’ve been thinking of modifying some of my favorite pieces from the history of this blog and entering. First prize in each category is, I think, $1000, and there are other cash prizes as well. It’s kind of fun to think I may have money just laying around so to speak. Recently our friend, The Zumbro Falls Impressionist, had a week-end long art show at her home and sold a number of her paintings. Because she works “en plein aire” and has to capture the natural light she has had to develop the skill to paint quickly and effectively. A typical painting, she says, takes about three hours. When I heard that I thought that a typical post for me takes about three hours to write. While I can’t “sell” a completed work that here’s for everyone to see in its entirety, I can enter these in some contests and perhaps get a little windfall.

The trick is deciding what pieces to enter. Over the last five years there have been several things I’ve written that have surprised and delighted me. Given the contest categories, I’ve narrowed it down to a few I’m considering. Trouble is, it’s hard to be dispassionate when analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of an essay in the way the judges might. Below I’ve linked the original posts that I’m considering for the contest (witih tweaks). If you’re reading this far, and can spare a little more time, I’d be interested in your vote on which of these to enter. Thanks!

Personal Essay:
Are You Marriageable?
Remembrance Day

Spiritual/Religious
Dad to the Bone
Duty is Ours. Results are God’s
What a Dad’s to Do

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