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Posts Tagged ‘ABNA’

First off, for those who made it to round three congratulations. For those, like me, who didn’t don’t give up hope. The truth is, I wasn’t expecting to get through. I had mentally prepared myself for it so when I found out I didn’t make it, it wouldn’t be such a huge disappointment.

Of course there is was that little part of me that was hopeful. So when the quarter-finalists were announced and I scanned through the names once, twice, three times and I didn’t see my name, I did get a little jab of disappointment. It wasn’t enough to have me crying my heart out. It was a simple ‘oh that’s a shame’ and then it was gone.

The truth is, it’s just a competition. It’s not the be all and end all of your writing career. The only thing I’m a little tiny bit peeved about is not getting my feedback until 23rd May. I’m eager to read it now so that if there are major problems I can fix them before sending my manuscrip tot publishers. I guess I have to be patient. 🙂

I was on the ABNA forums after the announcement and it was nice to see most people congratluating those who made it. However, I was quite surprised to see some really cut up about it and were even being nasty to others. If you ask me, that’s uncalled for. Why can’t people be happy for everyone else? It’s okay to be disapppointed and it’s okay to voice it to others but there is no excuse for being nasty.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the day. 🙂

But once again, I’d wish to wholeheartedly congratulate everyone who made it to the third round. Great work! And remember those who ddin’t make it, it’s not the end of the world. Keep writing and try again next year. For now, remember there are so many other ways to get published. Why don’t you start submitting some query letters to literary agents and publishers?

Bye for now and I hope to blog more often from now on.

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ABNA Outcomes

I was quite excited when I checked the ABNA results for the Romance category and saw my name there. I think I’m still on cloud nine.

So it’s now two years straight I’ve made it to the second round. Last time I didn’t make the third round but the feedback I got was good. I entered the same story and have made some major improvements. Hopefully these improvements will be enough to move me forward. If not, I won’t be disapointed. I really feel that getting to the second round is a great achievement. When you think about it, out of 10,000 entries only 2000 get chosen. It’s a very small number.

Whatever happens, I will be happy with how far I’ve come. I basically said the same thing last year too and I mean it. If I don’t proceed, I’ll just continue writing and improving. One day I might just make it.

But I don’t want to jump the gun, I won’t know anything until after the 11th April 2014. So for now I’m just going to focus on my other writing and not stress about ABNA.

To those that didn’t make it, don’t let it deter you. There’s always next year. 🙂 And when you think about it, it is only a competition. There are tons of them around so you can always look for others you can enter. And what’s stopping you from publishing anyway? It’s not all about competitions.

To those that did make it, good luck!

Whatever happens, keep moving forward. 🙂

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I just posted a blog titled Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA) – My Submission.

Further from that, I am now writing a blog so I can get feedback from you, the reader. Below is a copy of my pitch and I would really appreciate if you would read it and gave me some constructive feedback on it.

Even though I have submitted by manuscript to ABNA, I still have a few days to make changes to it if required. So feedback before 2nd March 2014 will be appreciated.

My pitch is below. Be as harsh as you like, just remember the feedback must be constructive. Tell me what works or doesn’t work and what will help to improve it.

Amazon’s definition of a pitch is this: ‘your pitch should highlight your concept, protagonist, setting, and writing style—all the elements that make your story unique’.

With that in mind, my pitch is below. Just to confirm, the novel I submitted is called ‘The Matchmaker’ and is submitted under the romance category. Thanks in advance.

Comment away! 🙂

***

Pitch

It’s the beginning of summer. School is nearing its end. Three best friends are determined to have the best summer yet.

Shannon, Brian and Nathan have been friends since primary school but when school ends, everything changes. Shannon and Brian realise they have feelings for each other that extend beyond friendship.

A summer romance begins. When the three friends go camping for the weekend, Shannon and Brian realise they have more than teenage infatuation.

One week later, Shannon wakes up in hospital with no memory of what happened after their trip. Unexplainable emptiness consumes her, terrifying images and nightmares haunt her day and night. Something momentous has happened but she can’t remember any part of it.

Her father explains that after losing everything in a house fire, her mother abandoned them but he will not say more. She trusts him but deep down she knows there is something missing. Has he lied to her? What really happened?

As terrifying images and unexplainable emotions consume her, Shannon tries to bury her fears. She begins to take an active role in other peoples’ lives. She becomes The Matchmaker.

Focusing on other people’s happiness helps her forget her own turmoils. Running her friends lives helps her ignore the pain of her own.

As years pass, Shannon becomes a stranger to those closest to her, even Brian. She can’t bear to be close to anyone because every time she is, her emotions run out of control and the pain becomes unbearable. Brian vows to wait for her but even the best of men have limits. When Shannon takes things too far, Brian can’t hold things together any longer.

As her world collapses, Shannon finally uncovers the horrifying truth. Now she must find a way to rebuild her life and win back her true love.

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So it’s that time of year again. The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA) are upon us.

Last year I entered my story ‘The Matchmaker’ and was ecstatic when I made it through to the second round. To me, to be chosen as one of the 2000 contestants out of 10,000 was a huge success. I know 2000 is still a huge number but when you compare it to the 8000 that didn’t make it, it’s big. I realised that my pitch must have been good enough, which was a relief.

Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the third round. The feedback I got, while harsh, was invaluable. There were one or two comments that were uncalled for but I dismissed them. And no, that’s not the bitter side of me coming out. There really were some harsh comments that were not constructive, they were downright rude. I can accept criticism, in fact I thrive on it. What I don’t like is rudeness for the sake of being rude. How is that constructive? It’s demeaning and wears you down. I didn’t get anything useful out of those.

That aside, the rest of the feedback was great and I’ve worked on my manuscript tirelessly for the past year to have it ready for this year’s competition. Yes that’s right, ‘The Matchmaker’ is being entered into ABNA again. In fact, it’s already been submitted.

Over the last year, ‘The Matchmaker’ has been written and rewritten about three times. It’s been a tough year. My critique partner has been a godsend and I will be forever grateful for her help. She’s picked up plot holes I missed, bits of the story that don’t work or weren’t realistic, and offered great ideas to make it work. As a result, the story has completely transformed and I’m much happier with it now.

It’s funny, I thought I was happy with it last time but this time it feels different. It feels like the changes I’ve made may be enough to get me through to the third round this time.

I’m not getting my hopes up, if I don’t get far then I won’t be heartbroken. Hell, there’s no guarantees I’ll even make it past the first round this year. If that’s the case, I will soldier on. It’s only a competition after all. There are tons of them around and there are many publishers I can submit to as well.

I’m keeping positive!

For anyone who is considering submitting to ABNA, you have until the 2nd March 2014 to submit. Good luck and I’ll keep you up to date with my progress. I won’t hear anymore until around 18th March though.

I’ll try and blog more soon. 🙂

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