Like many others on the East Coast today, I am anticipating a snowstorm tonight through tomorrow. A possibly monstrous snowstorm. It’s no surprise that I would love to be somewhere different. Say, somewhere that’s sunny, warm, and has beach chairs.
But if I were somewhere sunny and warm, I probably wouldn’t be getting much writing done. Because how can someone get any writing done while sitting on a beach chair? And then I might be thinking, “If only I was trapped inside during a snowstorm, I would get so much work done.”
As writers, we’re really good at imagining being somewhere else. Somewhere Else is always great. It’s where we finish a manuscript. Where we find a great critique group. Where we sign with an agent. Where we sell a book. Where we get great reviews. Where we win awards. Where we sell another book, that’s of course a 2-book deal. Where we negotiate movie rights. Okay, maybe not the movie rights so much for a picture book. We writers try to be somewhat realistic.
Today, however, I don’t want to imagine being somewhere else in my writing career. I want to stop and enjoy where I am for a moment. Instead, I want to help other writers get to the place they want to be.
Therefore, I’m offering another contest for a free critique – one for everyone who enters, and one for writers of #ownvoices. Here are the rules:
1. The story must be a fictional picture book, less than 1,000 words.
2. The story can be in rhyme, but I will only critique the story, not the rhyme or meter.
3. #Ownvoices includes writers who feel their experiences are not well-represented in traditional publishing. To me, that includes (but is not limited to) writers of disability, gender diversity, under-represented race, religious minority, and Native backgrounds.
4. Writers who enter under the #ownvoices contest can also enter the contest for everyone.
5. To enter, comment below by explaining which contest(s) you are entering.
6. You get one entry for your comment that you’re entering.
7. You get an additional entry if you note where you’ve shared this contest on social media.
8. You get an additional entry if you comment what you’ve achieved so far as a writer that makes you proud.
9. Comments will be accepted through Friday, March 17.
I will randomly pick the two contest winners on Monday, March 20th. Given how crazy New Jersey’s weather has been so far, it might even be sunny and warm by then. And I’ll have to buy a beach chair.
Thank you to everyone who entered the contest! I loved reading your comments about what you've accomplished in your writing journeys so far. Sue Ford and Jeff Glade are the winners of picture book critiques.