Monday, February 27, 2012

Let's Not Get too excited Yet, But...

For longtime followers of this blog, you're familiar with my recent entry into the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. If you don't recall, don't know of the contest, or are new to reading my blog, it goes a little something like this:

Each year for the last five years, Amazon in cooperation with Penguin Putnam Publishing has hosted an annual contest for aspiring novelists. One winner is chosen in two categories, general fiction and young adult. These winners receive a cash prize as well as publication of their novel by Penguin. The contest is comprised of several rounds. The first round is open to the first five thousand entrants in each category.

For the last month, all of the entrants, myself included, have been waiting to learn whether or not we're one of the top one thousand entrants in each category who will be moving on to round two. This is particularly tricky to accomplish because whether or not you'll advance is dependent solely upon your ability to pitch your novel in three hundred words or less. This pitch must not only summarize your plot, it must also show character and story development as well as demonstrate an understanding of your target audience. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, that's a tall order to fill in three hundred words or less.

Well, I'm pleased to officially report I've made it to the second round with my young adult novel. Now, I'll wait another month to find out if I'm one of the top two-hundred-fifty who will make it to round three which is known as the quarter finals. This is a crucial point for writers as a portion of our novel will be posted on Amazon for customers to download and rate. Those entries with the most positive reviews will move to the semi finals.

It feels good to have made it out of round one this year. I'm pleased with the accomplishment, but I'm cautiously optimistic. Competition is tough, and it's too early to start thinking I actually have a shot. Not to mention, it's far from over.

Wish me luck and know I'll keep you posted either way. And rest assured, win or lose, I'll never stop writing.

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