April is almost up, and I’ve entered two contests that the finalists are to be announced in May. *ugh* I’m seriously having nightmares! And about each contest separately, go figure.

In the first dream, I got such mixed scores, and only half of the crit.’s were given back to me, and they hadn’t announced the finalists so I had SOME of the scores but no idea if I finaled. It was a very frustrating dream!

The second, which was two nights ago, was equally as frustrating. In it, I got back the results, and I don’t think I did very well, but again, they didn’t officially tell who finaled. Then I woke up…

I will admit, my nature does not tend towards patience, however this is something I’ve recognized long ago and have worked to overcome. Sometimes I do a great job, other days I fall head first into the pool of impatience.

I have a query out and haven’t gotten a final response, but I’m okay with it. At the moment it’s a “maybe”, and that’s better than a no! *grin* But seriously, I know God has the perfect timing on everything, and the perfect agent fit for me as well, so I’m really not fretting TOO much.

But the contest thing is KILLING me. Mostly because there is a set time of a few weeks that the results WILL come in. I know, I know, God knows if I should final or whatever. I need to have patiently wait. But for some reason it’s harder for me. I’m trying really hard not to get my *hopes* up too high. It’s the whole “If you expect nothing and get nothing, you won’t feel so bad.” I really want to have the attitude of, “I’m in it to get the great feedback!” but… seriously? Every single person that entered those contests are hoping to win. There WILL be a let down to not final.

But… someone has to not final. In fact, a lot of someones do. And, to be quite honest, it really stinks. But… it’s part of life. It’s part of publishing. It’s part of the journey.

I know I didn’t answer any questions, but curious as to who else out there is waiting on contest finalist results. How are you coping? Are you biting your nails till they bleed? Or are you sipping a fruity (for this blog, non-alcoholic) drinks with umbrella’s and lounging until the results are in? Are you believing that you will final because God told you to enter, or are you trying to keep your expectations low just in case?

My hope is to find a few fellow friends to commiserate with while I wait! I just hope the carpet where I’m pacing holds out and my nails aren’t irreparably damaged in the mean time!



  1. of course we’re anxious about getting the results! i certainly am. mainly b/c i want to see where i stand among other writers. i don’t expect to win (don’t get me wrong, that’s be great!) but i’d like to see where i am amongst the competition. no nail biting for me…honestly b/c i have no idea what to expect!

    sorry your dreams are so frustrating!

  2. LOL, yes, you are so right, Jeannie! That’s a huge part of it. At some point its really nice to see where at on the continuam you are… I mean, I think I write well and completely believe in my story, but a contest seems like it validates what “level” we’re on.

    I’m hoping I start having some “oh I made the finals” dreams! That way at least I’d wake up excited! LOL

  3. Oh Krista,
    I TOTALLY feel what you’re feeling!! I had two entries into the Genesis and 1 into the TBL. I keep counting the days until I get the results. It’s getting so close now! Since it’s my first year entering, I have absolutely NO idea what to expect. But I’m hoping to find out where I stand in relation to other writers. Am I coming out close to the top, am I in the middle, or at the bottom (hopefully not!)? And if I final, that would be a huge bonus!

    I learned last week from my blog posts, that I really need to focus on enjoying the writing journey. So I’m trying to be patient and I take a deep breath when I get too hyped up! And then tell myself: enjoy where you’re at in the journey and don’t feel the pressure to be further along than you’re at.

    With that said, will you please let me know the minute (second) you hear any news!?! 🙂

  4. Jody, what category did you enter? If I remember correctly, you write historical, right?

    I entered three in the genesis, and one in TBL. My stomach is clenching just typing that! LOL

    I entered the Zondervan contest last year, and they used the same score sheets (or same type anyway) as genesis. Obviously I didn’t final in that, but I got what I’d call average scores. It’s hard because you have no idea what *good* scores are. They said 60 is *average* and mine were all above that, but what if everyone else got WAY above that?

    I’ve redone the first chapter of that since submitting it to the Z conference based on the GREAT feedback I got, so I’m particularly interested in seeing the difference in scores on the Genesis. Okay, I’m not just interested, I’m DYING TO KNOW! Not really dying… but you know what I mean

  5. Hi Krista,
    What is the Zondervan contest? Is it going on this year? Or was it a one time thing? I entered all of mine into Historical Romance. I’m glad I’m not competing against you!

    Now you bummed me out! Here I was thinking the contest might give us a better idea of where we fall in the pack! But you’re right, if you don’t know the rest of the contestants scores, then you really don’t know where you fall!

    OK. I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one jumping out of my chair waiting for contest results!

  6. The Zondervan contest was last year in combination with the Mt. Hermon conference. Not sure if it will go on this year or not. The grand prize of it was a contract with Zondervan and a $10000 advance. I got back the results, obviously didn’t final, but that was so okay. I got such GOOD feedback by 3 real editors of Zondervan. It was just an awesome experience. I felt like I basically got to query a huge publishing house three times and get detailed responses as to why they were rejecting my novel and what they liked and didn’t like.

    Regarding scores… again, I believe 60 is “average”. I’d be interested in what others have scored in previous years who have finaled/not finaled, but I’m sure a lot of people are loth to give details. From my grilling of a few judges I know, I think below 60’s aren’t great, 60’s are okay, 70’s are good, 80’s are very good, and 90’s are great. but that’s a HUGE generalization and my interpretation, so please don’t take that as anywhere near gospel.

    Make you a deal. After the scores are given out, regardless of our place in finaling, I’ll share mine with you if you share yours… hehe!

  7. Krista: Oh, my dear sister, waiting is the hardest thing we do in this life, isn’t it?
    I loved Richard Mabry’s guest post on Rachelle Gardener’s blog a few days ago about enjoying the journey.
    Don’t just let Jody know your results: let us all know! And if you are a finalist or win, we will have a chocolate party! Whoo hoo!

  8. Best of luck to you in your pacing. Contests can really wear on you as can the whole querying process. Patience is key.

  9. Yes, I loved his post as well! Although… it is so not my nature. I’m a “grab the bull by the horns” kind of person, so sitting back and enjoying the journey… It goes against nature! LOL. But, I AM working on it and getting better.

    Of course I’ll share! That is, unless they are like terrible or something. Then I’ll probably wallow in sorrow and a bit vate of chocolate myself for a few days, then come out, 20 pounds heavier, ready to do better next time. LOL

  10. LOL lotus girl, they can! They can wear out my carpet pretty good too:-)

  11. You’ve got a deal, Krista! We’ll have to definitely compare notes! Will be fun to have someone to share it all with! So, let me know when you hear, OK?! email me right away!

  12. I def. get nervous waiting for contest results. You just never know how judges will score you, if you’ll final, etc. I haven’t entered any lately, but there’s a few coming up that I want to do. And I’m already nervous. LOL

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. 🙂

  13. Well, I just read the comments and I have to warn you, contests aren’t the best way to see where you fall. 🙂 Just because it’s so subjective.
    The last contest I entered, out of one hundred points, one judge gave me a 95 and the other a 57. LOL So don’t base your writer’s worth too much on the comments/scores, okay? 🙂
    But if you have all the judges saying the same thing or giving the same score, then the comments are probably something to consider.

  14. Jessica, GREAT point! I’ve heard a lot of complaints about that disparity in contests as well. The Zondervan contest was really good because, while the comments were different, they all pointed to the same problem, so I was able to identify what I was doing wrong and fix it. It really helped shape my future writing as well for the better. And, they were all critiqued by Z editors.

    But most contests aren’t judged by “professionals” the first time around. They are by fellow writers, all on different points of the journey. Plus, as you stated, they are subjective.

    I think of them kinda like critiques, although with these, a lot more is invested and at stake.

    Jody, you’re on! I’ll e-mail you if you’ll e-mail me!

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