Friday, March 09, 2007

Contest, contract and fun news

Have I told you that Echelon Press is running monthly contests, themed for each month? Yes, I must have since I won the January contest, Fast and Frigid, with The Tulip Kiss. Have I also told you that Karen is a pretty cool publisher to work with (although there are some times I can be a pest and probably get on her nerves - lol). Well, this month's theme was fast and fanciful. Basically things to do with magic had to be involved in the story. I encouraged Jane and B. (shall not reveal her identity out of respect to her) to write and enter with me. We had fun writing - doing 30 minute word wars, and then sharing the pieces of each story with the other two. Every time Jane's and B's parts would show up - I would anxiously read and want more - I couldn't get enough of either of their story; Jane said the same thing about B's and mine and B would say that she really wanted more of Jane's story - and that she wanted to know what happened at the murder scene of mine.

We all have different styles of writing - Jane edits as she writes. She will work on one scene until she is satisfied it is what she wants before moving on to write the next section. This kind of scared me with a deadline looming as I was afraid she wouldn't have the story completed before it needed to be submitted. Well, she actually finished before I did. B did too. I was the last to submit my story but I needed B's help with the editing before submitting.

The fast part of the contest is that you have about week or so to write and submit the story. Then Karen choses a winner the very next day; she sends contract via email and then after the contract is signed and sent back, you have 5 days to edit the proof. She publishes the story the week following her decision.

We all submitted our stories Tuesday like we were supposed to. So Wednesday morning I was looking at the website and something bothered me about the "Book of the Month" box. It said February's book of the month and it just came out either the end of February or the first part of March - so I emailed Karen asking her if it shouldn't have been March's book of the month instead of February. She emailed me back thanking me for catching that; then she tells me she had made her selection of the stories and lo and behold, she picked Jane Roberts story - I am very excited now because this is my friend Jane with whom B and I wrote our stories and submitted. The next sentence in the email really blew my mind.

I did however truly enjoy your story, Butterfly Halves, and would like to publish it in our regular download line (Young Adult category). It is a pretty neat story.
Now if that isn't praise, I don't know what it is. I have to tell you, I really believe Karen is about promoting the authors and she does what she can to get the authors out there, even if it is a downloadable story. I didn't win the contest, but a contract on the story is just as good as winning.
I'm glad Jane won, wish B had been offered a contract as well but am excited also that I was offered one.
Official reviews of the story from a couple of people who have read it, including my daughter who is for all practical purposes a nonreader. I had printed out a copy Wednesday for her to read; when I picked her up from school, I just went on to the post office and put my contract in the mail. We live in a small town so the time between actually picking her up at the school and going to the post office, weighing the envelope, and putting in mail, checking the boxes, and arriving home, was probably about 20 minutes total. Since she doesn't really like to read, she reads slow. She may advance a page or two in that length of time. When we got home, she stayed in the car and finished the story. She came inside and gushed, "I loved it. It was so full of imagery. I was pulled into the story. I wanted to know what was going to happen. I could just see the wall and the light and felt like I was right there. Great story." Now if that isn't very high praise, I don't know what is.
From another reader, one of the ladies at the church my daughter attends, she had the same copy Hailie had read earlier and read it that night and sent me an email this morning with this praise - "I agree with Hailie. It was great!!!!!!! I read it as soon as I left church, sitting at BHP waiting on Anna. They were right to offer you a contract! Have a good week, and keep on writing!"
Again, two high praises and the story isn't out yet.
Congrats to Jane - and everyone be on the lookout for "Hear the Wind Blow" next Wednesday (Jane's story) and be on the lookout some time soon for "Butterfly Halves" - I can't wait to see the cover design on these two stories -
Now, I've shared my good news and Jane's - see you all in the postings - E :)

1 comment:

Rain-drop said...

Congrats to both you and Jane! That is so great that you got a contract, and that a good friend of yours won. How awesome!

I am very curious about your story, "Butterfly Halves." Also, I think you make an interesting point about how each writer writes differently. I thought it was thought-provoking, for my personally, to read how Jane edits her scenes after writing them. That is good that she still managed to finish hers in time! That definitely is a talent, to be able to edit during, and to finish the story on time.

Echelon press is treating you well! Karen sounds like a very nice woman. :)

*high five to you!*