So the amazing Melissa Tagg [coordinator extra-ordinaire of the MBT Frasier Blog Tour] sent those of us participating a bunch of questions that we could answer if needed help getting this blog started.
And I’m not ashamed to admit… I’m gonna use ’em ;).
But before that – have you seen her new cover?! You can see it in the right sidebar of her blog about the Frasier from yesterday. Isn’t it awesome?
Right. Why you should enter the Frasier? And what about my experiences?
What motivated me to enter last year?
Great feedback. Fabulous final judges. And that MBT retreat as a prize? Wowza! Plus I knew some of the finalists from the year before and they told me what an amazing experience being a finalist was.
Plus the pizza parties at ACFW [where the winner is announced] are a riot. Seriously. I have not laughed that hard in ages. And while you don’t have to final to go, the announcement of the winner is a sure highlight. But the rest of it is amazing fun. Not a finalist? Go anyway.
Why are you entering this year?
Uh… no. I’m not. I don’t think I am. I wish I was. But see, we have this family vacation coming up. A big one. Our first one in over a decade [you know, when I only had 1 kid instead of 4… and she didn’t eat solid foods yet]. And we’re gonna be gone eleven days – plus I’m sure y’all have seen the gas prices in the last month…
So, I’m having to budget my contest money. Very. Carefully. And I think I’m only gonna get one or two entries this spring – if I’m really lucky. 😦 There’s some good contests out there – and Frasier is one of the really, really good ones. Man, I wish I had a money tree…
Did you learn anything from writing that 500-word synopsis?
That I hate writing synopses? But seriously, trying to figure out what’s important enough to include in that synopsis is a really good exercise. What’s important. What’s not. What’s really, really important. The very essence of the story. What it all boils down to. That’s something that all writers should need be able to do. Writing a 500-word synopsis helps you do that.
Note: Do not under any circumstances THROW your laptop across the room during this process. It will not end well. But if you don’t throw it and work through the 500-word synopsis, you’ll be glad you did.
How did the feedback from judges benefit you?
They were right. The judges saw things I didn’t. I was too close to the story and couldn’t see the problems. The characterization problem. The random insertion of a taste or smell line just so I could say that I had all 5 senses in there [because those are the two I struggle with]. The feedback helped me fix those things and many others. Anyone who enters will get the same thoughtful comments I have gotten – and many others have as well.
Do you have any advice for people who are considering entering this year?
DO IT! Enter! If you’re not planning a Disney vacation for ten [or if you are – and you have a money tree – enter then call me ;)]… GO FOR IT! The final judges are incredible – Susan May Warren, award winning author and Founder of MBT. The incomparable Steve Laube of the Steve Laube Agency. And Shannon Marchese, senior fiction editor at Waterbrook-Multnomah.
Read through the guidelines. Make sure you have what they’re looking for worked in – things like the five senses [and not just a throwaway line about how it smelled like puke [trust me on that one ;)]], proper formatting and so on. Then polish those entries till they shine and be like Mike. JUST. DO. IT.
I can’t wait to see who wins this year!
Entries for the 2013 MBT Frasier Contest for unpublished novelists will be accepted through Sunday, March 31, at 11:59 p.m. The contest is open to Voices members. The winner will receive a scholarship to a My Book Therapy coaching retreat ($500 value). Final round judges are award-winning author Susan May Warren; literary agent Steve Laube; and Shannon Marchese, senior fiction editor for WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. For more information, FAQs and to enter, visit www.mybooktherapy.com