Like most things in the world of book publishing, writing competitions can take a loonng time to result in…results.
I recently posted about my experience entering #RevPit in Part 1 of Watching and Waiting and Staying Up to 2am. #RevPit is an annual contest where editors chose a writer, and work with that writer to polish and prepare their manuscript for agent submission. Living on the other side of the world from where #RevPit was held, I stayed up to 2am (my time) to submit as soon as the window opened, so I didn’t miss out on a consideration slot with my two editor picks. My middle-of-the-night venture paid off – I was shortlisted soon after the window closed. I didn’t end up as the editor’s final choice (would you believe results were announced 2am my time as well? I did NOT stay up), but my shortlist did earn me a zoom chat with the editor. She gave me great feedback and direction on how to move forward, so it was still a win for me!
Anyway, on to Part 2 of Watching and Waiting and Staying Up to 2am:
So I entered a second writing event not long after #RevPit. It was the WriteMentor summer mentoring program (WriteMentor is based in London so yeah, it’s heading into summer over there). Now unlike #RevPit, I did NOT have to wait up to 2am for fear of missing out with this program. The submission window stayed open for a couple of days and accepted anyone who entered. A lot easier – and less tiring!
So I chose my three preferred mentors at a leisurely time of day, and this is how I went. (These mentors are listed in no particular order of preference.)
Mentor 1 – did not request additional materials from me. 😒
Mentor 2 – did request additional materials from me. 😀 I sent them off within 24 hours – and waited…
Mentor 3 – announced he would not request additional materials from anyone, but would decide his mentee solely on the initial submission package. 😲
Like I said, I had no preference for any one of these mentors over the other two. All looked amazingly talented and nice and I’d be honoured to work with any of them.
And how did I go? Well, here comes the 2am part. Again. Yep, for the second time in a couple of weeks, a contest was being announced at 2am my time. Again, I did NOT stay up.
And the result? I wasn’t picked by Mentor 2, the one who requested my materials, and I wasn’t picked by Mentor 3 either
Mentor 3 did email me to tell me how difficult it was for him to decide between me and his eventual choice. Unfortunately for me, he decided on…his eventual choice. He said I came a close second.
At first I didn’t know whether to scream with joy or frustration (I seem to be developing a track record of coming close…but never first). But after I thought about this result for a while – and contemplated hitting my head repeatedly against a wall – I read his email again. Slowly. Then took the positives in it and held them to my chest.
I CAME A CLOSE SECOND!
So what’s the morale of this two-part post? No morale, just that if I hadn’t entered #RevPit and WriteMentor, I never would have met these wonderful people over cyberspace, people who willingly give up their time to support and encourage writers to realise their dreams. And I never would have received such wonderful and constructive feedback on my work.
These two comps were worth the time and effort I put in to enter. Oh, and I didn’t need to watch and wait long to find out how I went. Results for both were announced a couple of weeks after they closed. And even though I wasn’t picked for either, any watching and waiting (and staying up to 2am) paid off.
Now, what can I enter next?
Have you ever been picked for one of these contests? Or for something similar? Whether you were picked or not, how was your experience?