I’m thrilled to announce that my novel made it to the semi-final round in the Young Adult category of the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Genesis Contest for unpublished writers. I can’t name the novel because judges are working on whittling down the list of finalists. Check out the semi-finalists in all categories here.
My heart is so full. Someone likes my work! Please know how much I appreciate all the family and friends who have encouraged me over the years. Thanks, also, to my critique partners. Your honesty and support have been invaluable.
I started tinkering with the storyline in 2013 when my kids were in high school. Over Christmas break, I visited a couple of bookstores in search of some clean reads for them. Everything I found focused on vampires, magic and romance. Changing strategy, I checked out a Christian bookstore. Still nothing. Lots of middle school fiction, but few young adult books.
I thought, I’ve been a writer all my life, so I can churn out some quality fiction in no time. Boy, was I wrong! Fiction writing is very different from newspaper, magazine and website writing. My speech and script writing skills offered zero help. I became discouraged and shelved the project for a couple years.
When my youngest graduated high school, I revisited the story and roughed out a first draft. It took almost two years to complete. I carried it to a writer’s conference where I received lots of feedback . . . most of it directed to a total rewrite. Sigh.
After pushing self-doubt to the farthest corner of my mind, I took a bunch of online writing classes, studied books on writing and devoured dozens of novels in the YA genre. A year later, I rewrote and submitted the first 15 pages to the 2018 Genesis Contest. The judges were not impressed. Ugh!
I prayed and polished the entire manuscript. In March, I resubmitted those updated 15 pages to this year’s Genesis Contest. Last night, a very nice contest coordinator left the exciting message on my voice mail that I was one of the semi-finalists. I cried. It’s been such a long journey.
If you’re an aspiring writer, I encourage you to keep plugging. God has a plan for you. It may not be on your timeline but, I promise, He’s always working for your good.
Have you ever been in the dumps about your writing journey? How did you climb out?