I want to tell you about an awesome opportunity that I discovered last year.
For over two years now I have been a part of an online community of Christian writers. It is a teaching community that focuses on how to write better and then eventually sell better, of course. The women heading this project have a love of writing (they are published) and a passion for encouraging.
They have tailor made the group to teach to you at whatever level you are at - serious, dedicated writer or interested-but-in-my-free-time kind of writer. You won't be disappointed either way. Feel free to check out the group My Book Therapy here.
The reason for my post today is about a contest they offer titled the Frasier Contest. This isn't like other contests I have entered. The goal isn't publication or winning first place - the goal is feedback! That is something I have found hard to get since I have started writing. I'm not talking the kind of feedback I get from my mom or my sister-in-law - NOTHING AGAINST THEM - you guys are great! I am talking about deep, concise (measurable) feedback from people who have traveled the writer's journey and who know the ins and outs of the publishing world. Good feedback.
Here are some of the reasons I entered the Frasier last year.
- I knew I wasn't going to win any prizes or final in any big fancy contests with my writing - it just wasn't there yet. However I didn't really know where my writing sat. I wanted some honest feedback.
- I had been learning along with the fantastic leaders at MBT (that's My Book Therapy) for well over a year and I needed to see how that learning was impacting my writing. There is a difference in having a talent or skill for writing and having a talent or skill for telling a good story. I wanted to know if I had what it takes to create a great story.
- Contests results are always so subjective. Other contests I'd joined didn't show me where I was weak because they all marked from different perspectives. I wanted feedback I could trust.*
*Now, I have to add that all results are still subjective because everyone reading is their own person and they see things through their own eyes and experience. However, the judges of the Frasier are trained in the MBT steps and are all looking for the same markers which means they mark you on whether it is there or not.
It also doesn't matter what you write (as long as its fiction) or what genre you are focusing on. They are not marking your writing on what you wrote but HOW you wrote it. The fundamentals that stretch across the genres and styles and are very measurable.
I will be honest with you, my results last year were NOT stellar. However it was such a good road map to follow once the tears dried to know where I needed to improve and what I needed to study up on. I didn't just get a low mark - I knew exactly where the mark came in and what I needed to do to fix it.
The awesome thing was, after the results came back, MBT puts on many chats and teaching webinars to focus on those exact areas they rated your writing on. I am excited to join the contest again this year to see how I have improved on those specific areas. I now have my own personal measuring stick.
I can't stress enough the value I gained from this experience. (And remember, I didn't score that great!) Consider it like your own writing tutors, standing beside your computer cheering you on! The ladies really do care if I succeed or not. That is priceless!
If you are considering taking your fiction writing serious I urge you to check out this opportunity. You will learn so much about yourself and your writing you will join every year. Just like I am!
And by the way, there is a prize for the top rated writings. You win a scholarship to an intensive writing retreat. It is a $500 value of one-on-one teaching and training with serious, published authors Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, and many more wonderful teachers. Great fun!
What do you need to enter? I am so glad you asked.
- Send the first 1500 words of a novel manuscript (and not one word more) plus a 500 word synopsis through the link on the MBT Frasier page. The synopsis will not be rated. It is just a help to the judges to see where you are trying to take the story.
- Be unpublished in the last seven years in the adult or young adult FICTION categories; (that means nothing in print, over 20K by publishers, both tradition or electronic who pay advances, royalties, or offering subsidy contracts). You also can't be a contracted author as of March 31, 2013 to enter.
- Become an MBT member (free) - join our bleachers group here.
- Pay the contest fee of $40.
All these guidelines and so much more information can be found on the MBT Frasier page.
Just Do It! They are waiting for your next masterpiece right now!
Final words from MBT: Entries for the 2013 MBT Frasier Contest for unpublished novelists will be accepted through Sunday, March 31, at 11:59 p.m. The contest is open to Voices members. The winner will receive a scholarship to a My Book Therapy coaching retreat ($500 value). Final round judges are award-winning author Susan May Warren; literary agent Steve Laube; and Shannon Marchese, senior fiction editor for WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. For more information, FAQs and to enter, visit www.mybooktherapy.com.