Monthly Archives: January 2012

Voting polls are up . . .

Go to the entries in the header. The polls are at the bottom. Remember, you can vote for your top three in each category. Have fun!

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Entries are up . . .

Look in the header for the entries.  Please check and make sure yours is there and everything is as it should be. I’m not going to put up the voting polls until this evening because I want to make sure the entries are correct. So please email me ( if you are missing or if I wrote the wrong pen name or if you want to send me lots of chocolate milk.

As you read, look for the following things:

1. Do they follow the rules? Remember, here’s the prompt.

Using these words, write a 200 word (or less) scene: jam, plant, squirt, bulldozer, cookies, simplicity. Here’s the twist–someone in the scene has to get slapped. This scene does not need to relate to your novel.

2. Do the required words work into the scene well? Do they stick out?

3. Do you connect to the characters?

4. Do you want to keep reading?

5. Did you laugh?

6. Were you surprised?

7. Which entry stayed with you after you were done reading.

You get to pick your top three in both the 14 category and the at-home category. Voting closes on Thursday so you have plenty of time. Remember, if there are any problems or omissions, please email me.

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The Contest

I have learned a lot so far from this contest.

1. This was a first few paragraphs contest, not a first line contest. Amy made a comment on the last post about how she read the entries–focusing too much on the first line. I had that problem too. I had to keep reminding myself this was not a first line contest, this was a first 150 words contest which is very very different. I wonder what the results would have been if it had just been based on first lines.*

2. It’s important to feel connected to the MC from the beginning.Voice is a big factor in this. There were some characters in those first few lines that I knew right off the bat and I wanted to follow them, to get to know them.

3. The competition is fierce. With every entry I wanted to keep reading. Even with the ones that had a quieter start, I wanted to see what was going to happen next. I was really blown away by the talent and the range.  Bots and lawn mowers, making out under stairwells,  kissing grandma on the lips, cutting, murdered parents, missing hearts, and crystal basilicas. I could go on and on. That’s why picking was so difficult.

4. I used Carol’s questions as my guide and after reading all the entries over and over, I went and took a hard look at my WIP. That first page is so crucial.

5. We read differently. No matter what, we are partial to certain types of voices, certain types of stories, certain types of journeys and that will skew our reading. This is why it’s so important to keep sending your work out to agents and editors until you have someone who loves your work. First, of course, rewrite, revise, rewrite. Get it in the best shape you can but then dont’ be discouraged by rejection. We all have different taste. Good solid writing, no matter the genre is crucial, but from there, it’s a matter of finding the right fit.

6. I love all of you. This is so fun and I’m excited to read the next batch.

So send in your entries. I’ll get them up as soon as I can after ten Tuesday morning. It might be right away, it might take awhile depending on if any of my kids run outside naked at that particular time. I think this will be an interesting challenge. Totally new writing, everyone has the same six words/constraints, very limited time. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Remember to send your entries to and indicate whether you are  an “at-home” competitor or in the 14. New pen-names please!


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And. Here. They. Are!

Ann Dee, Kyra and I have been amazed by the work that came into the Project Writeway contest. So amazed, in fact, that– here’s the truth of it–we had the hardest time picking winners.

Before I tell you who won, let me just say this–Writers–the work was quite good. All of you can be proud that you entered in the first place (I think entering a contest is scary–especially one that’s so visible), and the fact that your beginnings were so terrific. Thank you for playing. We hope you’ve had fun.

In no particular order here are the top 14 winners. That’s right! 14! We told you we had a hard time choosing! (Drumroll please!)

Amelia Blanchard
Isla Lynn
Darcy Wren Wilder
Sylver Cloud
Cherry Frost
Ima C. Krette
Sonja Thomas
Mosso Menos
Ophelia Faire
Nicole Shanti

Just so’s ya know, this week’s winners were chosen by a 50 % popular vote and a 50 % judges vote.
And just so’s ya know a bit more–because we have 14 players instead of 12, well, that means we will have a double elimination at some point so that we play just for the 12 weeks.

Now, this is IMPORTANT–Even if you DON’T see your name on this list, continue to play. There WILL be an at home winner who also gets a critique by an agent. PLUS we have books to give away and other prizes. But you can’t win if you don’t keep playing! This goes for ALL of you–even if you are eliminated from the MAIN contest, go to the Play at Home part of the game and keep playing. Don’t quit! This contest should help you improve your writing. One contestant has already contacted me saying how she’s learned from the work that was posted and how she thinks she can improve her own writing.

EXTRA EXTRA! Here’s the next writing contest for everyone. TOP 14–et all– Using these words, write a 200 word (or less) scene: jam, plant, squirt, bulldozer, cookies, simplicity. Here’s the twist–someone in the scene has to get slapped. This scene does not need to relate to your novel.

We have new rules! This time, don’t tell ANYONE what you wrote or what your pen name is. We want this to be a REAL blind vote. You may not vote for yourself. You may vote for your top three (3) in the two categories–the Project Writeway Top 14 and three (3) for the At Home players! Here’s another twist, change your handle. Yup! We want you to change your pen name. WARNING–if you don’t use a pen name, you’ll be disqualified!

This contest is a quickie! Deadline is 10 a.m. Tuesday. That’s tomorrow morning. Mail your entries to Late entries will be disqualified. It’s IMPERATIVE that you put Top 14 OR Play at Home in the subject line. Voting closes Thursday evening at 5 pm and the winners are announced on Monday.

This is so exciting I can hardly stand it. 🙂 Good luck!


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