Tag Archives: Awards

An Honour and An Admission

Last week, I was included in a list of “Most Influential Blogs of 2012” by SilentlyHeardOnce, so I want to start by saying thank you to her for this great honour.

The “rules” of the honour are that you must pay it forward, listing the blogs that are most influential to you, but here’s my problem, and the Admission I mentioned in the title. Whisper it … I don’t read many blogs. In fact, the only blogs I read are my fellow writers for InMon and the Friday Fictioneers. So the most influential blogs on me are our great leaders:

BeKindRewrite

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

and until recently, Madison Woods

These groups bring together writers and provide us with inspiration and community each week. So our leaders have the most influence on me as a blogger. But I don’t read blogs that influence me as a person – political commentary, or tips on how to [insert ambition here] etc.

I see them a bit like Twitter – too high noise to value ratio, and I’m just not willing to commit my time to that. So, I use blogs to supply some of my fiction reading, a few musings on writing from writers who interest me, and not a lot else. Which is pretty much what my own blog is made up of too.

I’m glad so many of you take the time to read it, and thanks again for the honour of your company.

Merry Christmas!

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Awards

Back in July, my fellow blogger, Emma, kindly nominated me in a post about blogging awards. You can see her post, and the rest of her blog here:

http://freejournowriter.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/lovely-lovely-awards/#comment-863

Somehow, I missed her post back in July, but I’m delighted by it now: thanks, Emma!

The various awards Emma recieved have different requirements. I’ve posted some unknown facts about me before, so instead I’ll answer the questions she poses (and answers) in her post.

Favourite Colour:

I love turquoise and pretty much any shade of green, but the official answer is purple. A nice, dark, royal purple. Like one of the two colours of our wedding theme.

Favourite Animal:

I’ve always had an affiinity for cats. In fact, I used to think I was one. Now I have two favourite animals – my cats, Max and Pepsi.

Favourite Number:

Easy. 11

Favourite Non-Alcoholic Drink:

hmm… tough call, but probably fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Facebook or Twitter:

Another easy one. I really really don’t like twitter. Facebook’s main downside is how many times people post spoilers for the Grand Prix results!

My Passion:

I don’t do passions. I love many many things, but I’m not really passionate about things in that sense.

Favourite pattern:

pattern? pattern? How does one have a favourite pattern?

Favourite day of the week:

I quite like Tuesdays, for no particular reason, they just sound nice.

Favourite Flower:

I can’t put it any better than Emma:

“Gerberas, they look so happy!”

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Ladies’ Night in Submissionville

Sorry, boys, but this week’s place-to-submit is Women Only. It’s the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize, an award run by one of the women-only colleges at Cambridge University in the UK and open to entrants worldwide provided they are a previously unpublished female writer over the age of 21. Entries should consist of the first 30 pages of a novel, submitted with a <10 page synopsis of the rest of the book.

You can find full details here: http://www.lucy-cav.cam.ac.uk/whats-on/latest-news/post/128-lucy-cavendish-college-2013-fiction-prize

The entry fee is just £10 per entry (you can submit up to 3 entries).

Closing date isn’t till 27 March 2013, so you’ve got lots of time to polish those opening chapters.

The top 5 entires will be shortlisted (max one per entrant) and those five writers invited (with a guest each) to attend a prizegiving dinner where the winner will be announced. The prize is £1000, and all shortlisted entrants have the opportunity to meet and approach agents and publishers at the dinner. Publication isn’t part of the prize, but there certainly seems to be a history of success over the time the prize has been running.

As if that’s not enough, the event (although sadly not the judging of the competition!) is run by my best friend, so you will get to meet her if you’re shortlisted. Frankly, that’s a better prize than £1000, if you ask me.

 

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Share and Share Alike

Writing is notoriously a solitary pursuit, but the last couple of years have taught me that it can also be a social one, with a great community spirit. Many of my friends in Canada have some from one or other writing group, and I value the associations I’ve made further afield through the Friday Fictioneers even though we’ve never met.

When it comes to writing competitions, the best way to hear about them is through other writers. Occasionally, I’ll get an email from a writing friend saying “Have you seen this link? Might be tempting for you” and as someone trying to submit to at least one contest or magazine per month, the diversity of these suggestions is incredibly valuable to me.

Of course, there’s a temptation as an entrant to keep these things a secret, reducing the number of entries and therefore the competition for your own piece. But let’s face it, there are going to be hundreds or thousands or even hundreds of thousands of other entries, so hiding the event from one’s friends isn’t noticeably improving one’s own prospects in *this* contest, and it’s sure as hell going to reduce the number of contests they introduce you to in the future. It’s a false economy, not to mention selfish.

SOOO…

I thought we could spread the community worldwide right here on elmowrites. I’m hoping to make this a regular feature, probably on Thursdays, so check back then, or subscribe using to link on the right, to catch a series of links to magazines, publishers and contests which give writers a chance to see their work in print. If you come across a place where writers can submit their work, feel free to post a comment and share the luck, and if you succeed, do let us know so we can celebrate with you.

May the best writing win!

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The Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks to the awesomely named and awesomely talented Color Lime (http://thecolorlime.wordpress.com/), I have been nomiated for a funny thing called the Versatile Blogger Award. Which is why, slightly unusually, I come to you on a Thursday and with a post that has very little to do with writing.

Image

Now, the deal with this award is that it’s both very meaningful and rather meaningless. Nominations are not judged or scrutinised – everyone nominated is automatically a winner; Anyone who writes a blog can nominate others and the rules suggest that if you are nominated, you should nominate multiple others – a little like a chain letter (except that there’s no bad luck or lack of sex if you don’t!).

But at the same time, I like to think that if the Lime nominated me, it’s because she genuinely appreciates reading my blog. And that is a big deal to me. She is telling her friends, readers and fans – go see what elmowrites has to say! And that’s the sort of nomination that makes me proud. So thanks, Lime!

For my nominations, I’ve thought about the blogs that i read and follow regularly. I suspect most / all of thse folks have already been nominated, but I’m not going to let that stop me linking them here.

Madison Woods (http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/) – inspirational leader of the Friday Fictioneers, Madison is a fantastically professional blogger and I feel daunted by the power of her blog. If anyone is to succeed in conquering the strange world of the blogosphere, it’s Madison.

The Color Lime (http://thecolorlime.wordpress.com/) – she posts a lot, often multiple times in a day. It’s all completely random, and definitely versatile. And a lot of fun.

Ironwoodwind (http://ironwoodwind.wordpress.com/) – A key member of earth’s last line of defence against alien attack. His friday fiction stories are often intellectual and /or political. I enjoy the challenge, and the broadening of my American history education, and the skill in his writing.

Craig Towsley (http://cleveroldowl.wordpress.com/) – I genuinely think Craig’s stories are my favourite more often than any others. His ability to provide 100 words in the ongoing story of Owl and Raccoon every week always keeps me bounding back to his blog on a friday afternoon.

The Rules

  1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your acceptance post. [done]
  2. Share seven (7) FACTS about yourself. [see below]
  3. Award 15-20 other bloggers the versatility award. [ 15-20 is more blogs than I regularly read. I’ve kept this list short to give the real highlights]
  4. Contact your nominees so they know you nominated them. [will do!]

Which just leaves me….

Seven Facts

1. I anthropomorphise everything, including the laws of physics.

2.I am virtually incapable of visualisation, whether of real things, the future or memories. By way of example I’ve got NO IDEA what my husband looks like. I could not describe him to you.

3. Many things amaze me – the fact that I can post a letter in any post box in the UK and have even a chance that it could land on someone’s doormat hundreds of miles away the following day; the fact that planes fly; the images on the television screen…

4. I have a strong moral compass, but I firmly believe in forgiveness.

5. I can’t write if the TV’s on or I’m listening to music, but background music in a coffee shop doesn’t penetrate my concentration once I’m in the zone.

6. Since I started to take writing seriously, I find myself thinking about plot and characterisation when watching TV, movies or reading a book.

7. I didn’t watch Sesame Street until i was 12 years old.

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Awards versus Rewards

Writing is a strange old profession, because it is both very personal and (hopefully) very public. A lot of writers, whether through choice, laziness or misfortune, write for fun and never reveal their work to anyone, or only to a few family and friends who almost certainly feel duty-bound to be encouraging and positive. A few go a couple of steps further and meet with the opposite effect, receiving endless (infinitely useful but occasionally disheartening) suggestions of change from writing buddies and editors, and piles of rejections from agents and publishers. Only a very limited elite take the process full circle and get positive feedback from disinterested strangers, in the form of publication, massive sales figures and perhaps even royalties.

Last night, I attended the presentation evening at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. It was a small gathering to celebrate the conclusion of their Drabble Contest, in which contestants were asked to write a 100 word story (see my earlier post if you’d like to read one of my entries). The event was a lot of fun, winners were awarded with a small prize, runners up got a mention and a selection of other stories were selected to join these entries in a book which was then available to buy.

As a runner up, there was no Award for me, and no tangible Reward either, but I nevertheless received the Rewards that most writers crave – recognition, understanding, praise – and from someone who has no possible motive to lie or exaggerate. All the books tell you: “Write for yourself!” and there are lots of good reasons behind that which I’ll save for another post. But secretly, we all hope we’re writing for our readers too, so it’s nice when they give us a wave – let us know they are there and that they appreciate something about what we’ve got to say.

One day, hopefully soon, I hope to push myself into an Award – public publication, or a win – but for now I appreciate these rewards when they come. On which note, as ever, comments are very welcome. Feedback – good or bad – is what feeds my writing.

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