The hustle and bustle of the holidays continues into the new year as romance writers near and far consider entering the Golden Heart (or Rita) or one of the many wonderful chapter contests.
Chapter contests are one of the best ways to get feedback. And feedback from other writers is absolute gold to a writer working on his/her craft.
If you’ve ever been in a contest, you should consider volunteering as a judge. It’s an opportunity to give back to the community. Not to mention you will learn more than you could imagine.
If it hadn’t been for one fabulous Romance on the Rocks writer, I would never have volunteered to judge–I felt inadequate to the task. But she made a comment that caught my attention….she told me it was a great way to give back to the writer’s community. And it’s a community that has given me so much assistance and support–how could I say no?
So I volunteered. I judged a contest and read six entries. Each one had strengths and weaknesses to varying degrees. As I read and worked to provide substantive feedback, it made me examine the structure and style in each entry. Those 50 page entries plus synopses also helped me see where my submissions were lacking.
As we move into the new year, take a moment or two and look around for an opportunity to give back. You won’t be sorry.