I rarely talk about my writing, mainly because I’m usually too busy editing to do any, but way, way back in June, I made a decision to enter Ink and Insights writing contest. The requirements for the contest was for writers to submit the first 10k of their novels, and as it so happened, I had written 15k for the April CampNano (and done not very much with it since then).
It’s a novel I first wrote back in 2009 (for Nanowrimo) and have since changed and rewritten. It’s been into screenplay format and back again, only for me to then lose every word of it (a bit of a cloud drive disaster, but I shan’t bore you with the details).
Ink and Insights:
‘Ink & Insights is a writing contest geared toward strengthening the skills of independent writers by focusing on critique and feedback from industry professionals. Each entry is assigned four judges who specialize in the genre of the manuscript. They read, score, and comment on specific aspects of the manuscript. (Characters, dialogue, style, pace, tension, etc. for novels.)
Once all four judges have finished, the four scoresheets with feedback are returned to the writer with a numerical score.
I’ve never been one for sharing my writing, but seeing so many manuscripts coming through for editing and watching them get polished and then published, not to mention the amount of nagging some of my clients and friends have given me about not writing/editing the novel I keep mentioning, I decided they were right and it was time to take a step forward.
There were two levels I could have entered – Apprentice or Agent. Being the bundle of nerves I am about sharing my writing, I opted for the apprentice level, which, theoretically I am. My novel hasn’t had the benefit of a professional editor or even an alpha reader on it. While I might be a walking encyclopedia of writing techniques, it’s hard to see your own writing objectively (which is why even editors need editors, in my opinion). So with that in mind, I spent most of June furiously editing my first 10k and then entered as an apprentice writer. It was like being back at university – I only just made the cut-off date/time.
Today I received my ‘grade’ and I was thrilled. I did a lot better than I thought I would and it’s given me a real confidence boost. The feedback from the four editors is invaluable, really detailed, and all four were able to zone in on my weakest areas. All four editors said they were keen to read more, so yeah, I’m buzzing about this. Once my head settles down a little, I’m going to collate the feedback, have a good read through it and start addressing the areas I need to improve on.
** Just to add, that I have received my overall position in the contest and I’m thrilled to learn I came 7th, I’m also too shy to shout about it so thought I would sneak it in down the bottom here.**