5 Reasons Why You (Even if Self-Pubbing) Should Enter the Melody of Love Contest

Hey guys 🙂

Just a heads up that my local RWA chapter (Music City Romance Writers) will stop taking entries for the Melody of Love Contest on September 7th. (Click here to enter and for more info) Since this is the last week to get those entries in, I thought I’d do a post on WHY it would be beneficial for you to enter the first 25 pages of your manuscript, whether you’re taking the traditional route or the self-publishing avenue.

1. Feedback: Whether you’re attempting a traditional publishing route or self-publishing, the critique feedback from the authors in our chapter will be extremely helpful in finetuning your MS. What better way to find flaws readers might have missed than to have published authors and trained writers read your work?

2. Final Judges: If you’ve been looking for a way to get your manuscript in front of Entangled, Carina Press or The Knight Agency editors/agents, this is a GREAT opportunity. The final 3 manuscripts in each category will be sent to the respective judge: Paranormal: Candace Havens with Entangled, Young Adult: Heather Howland with Entangled, Historical: Kerri Buckley with Carina Press, and Contemporary (including New Adult): Pamela Harty of The Knight Agency. Our entries are not that high this year so the chance that they will see your work is greatly improved. If you’re planning to self-pub, this can be an opportunity to just make certain traditional publishing isn’t the route for you. Editors/agents could request a partial or full.

3. Visibility: Winners and runners-up will be posted in the RWR magazine and their names will be posted on our MCRW website. Getting your name seen, especially if you’re planning to keep plugging until that MS is pubbed, is invaluable.

4. Credibility: This goes for those seeking traditional publishing and self-publishing as well. Winning or finaling in a contest pre-judged by your peers and final judged by industry professionals lends credibility to your work. It can be added to queries for proof that your MS has what it takes to avoid the slush pile AND can be added to blurbs for promotion of self-pubbed books.

5. Experience: Putting your work out there to be judged can toughen you up in a business where it’s imperative to develop a thick skin to criticism. One of the most important qualities a writer can possess is persistence, and without that thick skin, it’s easy to give up. Contests work three fold. They not only give you the experience of seeing your work judged, but they also teach you by providing helpful feedback AND boost your confidence. Remember: You might not win NOW. But that feedback COULD help you fix issues within your MS so that agents/editors stand up and take note. For those that are Self-Publishing? Your work should be critiqued heavily before publishing and this is an affordable way. PLUS…you can gain the support of your peers and in the world of self-publishing, you need all the support you can get.

REMEMBER: It’s JUST the first 25 pages that has to be entered. You can do that, right? Maybe you have an old MS you just couldn’t get right. This feedback could help you iron out the issues.

Hope to see entries from you guys!

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