Thursday, November 8, 2007

Resources for the Non-RWA Newbie Part 2

If you've been doing your research, you'll know that the judges I mentioned in part 1 of my Resources for the Non-RWA Newbie post below are people who you WANT to get your work in front of. These are the people you WANT to notice you. Even if you don't final in the contest, don't think they don't notice. They pay attention. They watch what's going on. That's thier job and the reason they get involved in contests. Otherwise, why would they waste thier valuable time judging them? The same goes for Karin Tabke's First Line Contest. Like Leah Michaels and Rachelle Chase, Karin Tabke is a well known, established author. Her contest is a small, quieter contest, but that doesn't mean that it's not a darn good contest. Believe you me, it's just as important. Hilary Teeman of St. Martin's Press is the final judge for Karin Tabke's First Line Contest. Again, not too shabby. Not even a little. And, if you've been following my blog, you'll know #1) I write western historical romances and #2) that, Hilary Teeman is an author at St. Martins Press and #3) After reading the Bookends, LLC blog entry, a certain editor from St. Martin's is looking for a really good western... Bingo! Invaluable advice! Now, don't you think I entered this contest just as fast as my fingers could type? I did. In fact, I was the very first entry (I won't mention the very inbaressing bo-bo I made, either *grin*). But you see what I'm saying? Who knows, this just might be the break I'm looking for - or you're looking for. Which brings me to the next form of keeping abroad of the romance industry without the help of RWA. Blogs. Blogs are an excellent way to keep up with what's going on in the romance industry. This may be a little time consuming because of the fact that you need to do a LOT of reading to keep up with them, on a daily basis or at least on a weekly basis, but they are an invalualbe tool. I can't stress that enough. That's how I learned abuout Karin Tabke's contest and the Chase the Dream Contest. Karin Tabke's contest wasn't broadcast all over the place like most are. What I mean by that is, it wasn't mentioned on ANY of the writer's lists I belong to (and I belong to a LOT) like contests usually are. On these writers lists, if there's something important going on, this is where you'll usually hear about it. But, apparently, some things do slip by, which is why the aspiring romance writer should join as many as she/he can possibly keep up with in addition to reading blogs. This is how I learned about Karin Tabke's Contest - on a blog (and I can't for the life of me remember which blog). But, there you have it. If I hadn't read that blog, I never would have learned about this contest, therefore, I might have missed a good chance to get noticed, because I write western romance and Hilary Teeman is a St. Martin's editor and she's the final judge for the First Line Contest and a certain St. Martins Press editor is looking for a really good western...see where I'm going with this? LOL There are a lot of very informative blogs that you should keep up with and read faithfully. The ones I highly recommend and suggest you read are the agent and/or publishers blogs and published author blogs. By reading thieir blogs you can learn what agents and editors are currently looking for, what's popular, who's accepting what and more. And, the best thing about this is, these things are not rumnors or hearsay (sp?). They're facts - straight from the horse's mouth (I don't like using that particular term to refer to agents and editor and publishers - sorry if you're reading this - but it gets my point across). VBG On the Bookends, LLC blog (which is my favorite, by the way) every once in a while the agents will post what they're looking for and sometimes whats hot and whats not. In fact, Bookends, LLC's Jessica Faust is offering a free Pitch critique as we speak. Back in May she offered a Query workshop, where she critiqued queries. See what I mean? Authors blogs often list these kinds of things, too. Not only can they keep you abreast of what's going on, they often post mini-workshops, articles and some even sporatically offer mini-critiques (another benefit of keeping up with author blogs is the promotional contests they have. You won't believe the books, calanders and other stuff I've won in the past four months! Woo-hoo! Everyone like to win things, don't they?). Another good non-RWA resource example is The Muse Online Conference that was put on by Leah Schzeas just recently. I cannot begin to tell you the wealth of learning infomation offered at this FREE, week-long online conference. Wonderful presenters, great handouts and friendly people. This conference was not only geared towards romance writers, either. There were a lot of courses presented for poetry and children's writers, fantasy, mystery writers, etc., but, the same rule applies. It's a way to learn, to network and to grow. Another point I'd like to make/stress. I learned about this conference MONTHS ago from a MySpace blog post. Yes, MySpace (believe it or not, MySpace is another great networking tool). The post told about the conference and gave the link to the site. Once there, I was able to register and sign up to receive a reminder (since I registered months in advance). My point is, you have to keep your eyes and ears open. You have to read everything, and I mean everything, you have to join everything and you have to get involved. Register for online classes, courses and conferences (as I mentioned, the majority of these are free). Join MySpce, Facebook, Shelfari, attend chats, join writers groups and eloops and lists (and, let me just mention that a lot of editors, agents, publishers and published authors are members of these lists. They may just lurk in the background, but they're there.). Yes, it's a lot of work and believe me, it's very time consuming. It involves a LOT of reading and heavy online involvement but, in the longrun it just might be worth the effort. If you want to learn and grow and possibly get your foot in the door or your manuscript in front of a publisher, editor and/or agent without the help of RWA (even with the help of RWA), it's necessary. Plain and simple. If you want to play the game, you'd better be up for it. End of Part 2 Note: I planned on only having 2 parts to this post, but it ended up being much longer than I expected, so I've seperated it into 3 parts. Check back in a couple of day for part 3

1 comment:

J. Kaye Oldner said...

Checking in on you! How's Nano?