The last week, while fighting a nasty chest cold, I’ve been putting together several entries and applications. Pushing through being sick made the whole process harder, but I’m proud of the final product on all of them.
First, I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards which opened last night and continues to accept applications until February 6th. It’s a free contest, and a good friend of mine has gotten great attention from making it to the Semi-Finalist round. There is a lot of pressure put on that first round, though, where the fate of your novel is determined by a 300 word pitch. Welcome to the publishing word – I spent more time on that than any other part of the novel, since I’ve already revised Clean several times up to this point.
Then, I started putting together applications for a few professional-level science fiction / fantasy workshops: Odyssey, Viable Paradise, and the University of Kansas Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel Workshop. Those three, along with the short-story-only Clarion, are considered the best of the best. Attendance there is ranked by a lot of professional writer’s groups to be equivalent to the street cred you get by publishing a story in a professional magazine. Plus the intensive workshops give you contacts and craft lessons you can’t get anywhere else. I’ve wanted to attend one for a very long time, and this year I’m going to make it happen. More later on this as it develops.
After a few more tweaks and a recommendation letter approval, all the applications will be out the door. Then, finally feeling better, I’ll do a little happy dance. It’s time to make things happen.