The February 21st deadline for submitting to the 2014 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest is rapidly approaching. For details go to: http://www.writersleague.org/109/Manuscript-Contest. In 2013 Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu won in the middle grade category. This is her experience.
I entered the 2013 Writers League of Texas contest in order to sign up for the critique. And I won! First place in the middle grade novel category.
When you win a prize, you ought to show up. But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the June 2013 agents’ conference or the reception to honor the winners. I live in Japan but was house sitting for my CAL child in Berkeley and had already signed up and committed funds to attending the SCBWI conference in LA in August.
I was able to claim my WLT prize, an opportunity for a meeting with the judge, Sarah Davies, over the phone. She is well respected in the field of children’s literature, so I feel very fortunate to have been awarded the prize and to receive her comments and her encouragement of my writing.
Later, I submitted it to Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties. She is a top agent in the field and quite intimidating on paper with an illustrious list of clients. After watching a speech she had given about writers finding our own GPS, I saw how down to earth she is and what she is looking for in a story. Buoyed by comments, critiques, and the contest win, I decided to submit.
She says she fell in love with the potential of my story and my writing! I am working with her on revisions and we hope to be in the position of submitting my winning story Somewhere Among in 2014.
The opportunity for a WLT critique far exceeded the price of the entrance fee. I received invaluable tips on the manuscript and its 250 word synopsis months before the results of the contest were known. Having a critique was an award in itself, but I am honored to have been chosen by Sarah Davies as the winner. Thank you, Sarah and WLT!