Inspired by the 2014 Great Expectations Contest

Do you enter writing contests? There are a lot of them out there. Some give wonderful advice. Others not so much.

One of my favorite contests is the Great Expectations Contest. The North Texas Romance Writers run it and I know from taking part in their judges’ training and from receiving great feedback, they encourage judges to make constructive and positive comments.

A few months ago I entered my latest manuscript, SUCKER PUNCHING MAGIC in the 2014 Great Expectations Contest and I received the news that my entry had made it to the finals.  That in itself was exciting.

Then recently, I received the final results. My manuscript didn’t wow the final judges–maybe because it’s more of an Urban Fantasy and less of a cookie cutter romance. Both leading character are misfits. The hero is a shy teenage troll, who finds the courage to be himself while the heroine is a screw up, who is a little ditsy, but, by the end of the story, she manages to do a number of things right.

I didn’t win a huge prize or get a request. That’s okay. I felt affirmed by the judges’ comments. Both final judges agreed that my piece was well written and unique. I consider that a victory.


And the feedback from the first round was the kind that inspires me to wake up each morning and churn out chapters.  I’d like to share thirteen of my favorites.


Thursday Thirteen Polyhedron courtesy of M.C.

Thursday Thirteen Polyhedron courtesy of M.C.

Thirteen Compliments

  2. I think the author has done a good job of creating two interesting characters.
  3. Great Job. Thanks for the read. I wanted more.
  4.  I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the story. I also really enjoyed the way you introduce the fantasy.   
  5. I ABSOLUTELY think the pacing is amazing and that this story has such a fun voice. I applaud you also, for keeping the voice going even though the character perspective changes a bit.
  6. You as the writer have a vivid imagination and the story certainly has a unique twist.
  7. You have a very original story here. I liked the twist on things.
  8. The writing is excellent. The voice is fresh and unique. Characters are very relatable and inviting.
  9. Most everything was done right.
  10. The concept was unique and unusual – you kept the reader reading. The writing was tight and inviting, again, keeping the reader reading.
  11. I really like Jude’s point of view voice.
  12. Right into the story and that this isn’t our normal world. Smiling.
  13. The flow is very well handled. I got right into the story and understood what had happened and why the world was how it is without any info-dumps. Also, the characters are all very unique, their own persons, within a short amount of pages. Nicely done.

Have you ever entered a contest? What happened? What was your experience? Please share.





8 thoughts on “Inspired by the 2014 Great Expectations Contest

  1. Mary Quast

    I haven’t entered a book in a contest. However… in one of my novels the hero is a rock star and a few of “his” songs are featured in the book. For the fun it I entered one of the songs in a national lyric contest and it placed 2nd.

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