For those of you who haven’t heard as of yet, I am a Semi-Finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. This is awesome(!) but also leads to an interesting dilemma.
I’ve made it into the Odyssey Writing Workshop, a pro-level six-week intensive held in a college during the summer. I’ve put down my money to attend, and I’m looking forward to it. But the dates are such that, should I make the Finals, I’ll have to miss maybe three or four days of the workshop. The ABNA rules, after all, say you have to be able to fly to their awards ceremony or you don’t get the prize. Or even the finals award. When I signed up for the contest, I didn’t think I’d make it this far so the dates didn’t really matter. And when I got my acceptance for Odyssey in February, the odds were still crazy long that the two would ever compete.
But here we are. Statistically (if they were pulling entries out of a hat), I have about a 6% chance of getting a call on May 16th. That’s 6% odds of having to do both, which sounds small enough, right? My sister fought longer odds and won to go to LA for a free Christina Aguilera meet and greet. Her idol at the time, and she was up against every teenager who read the magazine. It can happen.
So, just on the off-chance and to cover my rear later, I emailed the instructor with the question. She wanted details, of which I have few, other than what’s in the official rules. I can’t tell how long the trips were for last year, for example. It doesn’t seem to be on the internet, at least not for me to find without a fine-toothed comb. So we’re all in limbo. Apparently this has never happened before and they don’t have a policy, but they’re nervous – the classes are intensive and missing them would be really tough.
So part of me thinks it will be easier for everyone if I’m not a finalist. I’ll go to Odyssey as planned, learn lots, take the slower route knowing the plan. But the other part – the crazy awesome, childlike, yay-me part – thinks, bring it on. A free trip to Seattle/New York and a chance to meet agents? Maybe get a publishing contract? Yes, please!
We’ll see in a few weeks!