Lady M still here. Sofia is heaven knows where with Donald but no prizes for guessing what they'll be doing. I hope you've all had a great week and enjoyed learning about D.H. 'Bert' Lawrence.
This week I am thinking about competitions. Are you a 'doer'? Do they give you a thrill? Have you won any large prizes? Or are they a waste of time?
Personally, I started doing competitions many years ago when, like most things in life, the format was very different. In those days one went around the shops looking for leaflets and qualifiers and then posted your entry in plenty of time so that you didn't miss the closing date. These days those type of comps are few and far between and considered to be 'snail'. The majority are on-line, quick and easy. I remember subscribing to a magazine, Competitors Companion. I would await its arrival eagerly each month and then go through it marking the comps I was going to do before trudging the shops, finding the appropriate forms and making purchases necessary for entry. It was good fun. Also, I had a pen friend through the mag, who I am still in touch with. We even met once in Malta which was fantastic. She always managed to scour the earth more thoroughly than I and would find entry forms in obscure places and for years we would send them to each other. If there was a competition for who found the most or did the most she would win it. She is one of the few people I know who has won major prizes like holidays. I have won many prizes, but all runner-up, nothing major. Even so, it's always a thrill when the postman delivered a winning envelope or a surprise parcel.
I think my best ever competition was when I took part in the Regional Monopoly finals in 1984. I was invited to a hotel in Birmingham for the day and we played Monopoly. It was such fun. I came fifth and won a deluxe Monopoly game. I was over the moon and I still have that set today. I also won £100 worth of books and tickets to events at the Cheltenham Festival. Naturally, for a writer that was a great prize.
Of course, there are different types of competitions. Some are just the luck of the draw, some require research and answers to questions but more commonly there's the tie-breaker one. No, I've never been very good at that and I've tried but my brain just does not seem to be able to think along those lines.
However, I am about to enter an exciting contest for authors. It is the Next Best Fiction Author Contest organised by Insights Events USA and Hampton Roads Publishing companies. More details at www.nextbestauthorcontest.com Authors submit their bio, blurb about the book and the first two chapters for round 1. I've submitted all the details and am really excited. At the moment we are all eager for the voting to begin. I see us all as racehorses in the paddock waiting to go into the stalls and under starter's orders which will be May 1st. From that date the public get to read the first two chapters of each author's work and vote for the ones they like the best. I've entered Love You Forever. I know some of you who've read Look After Each Other and Sofia's Legacy are waiting eagerly for this one. Well, you'll be able to read chapters 1 and 2 and tell me what you think. If I make it to the second round (in the top 20%) you'll get chapters 3 and 4. Then, yes you've guessed - if I make it to round 3 (top 10%) you'll get chapters 5 and 6. The winner receives a contract from the publishing company. Obviously, I'll be talking more about this in future blogs but for any authors reading this there's still time for you to enter your work just click on to the link. Good luck to all my fellow competitors in the race. Let us remember, it's not all about winning but how you play the game. From our time in the paddock together I feel that you're a great group whether a young filly or one (like myself) getting ready for pasture. I feel a great comradeship between us and sure many of us will stay friends in the future.
Until next week,