Are you ready to Chase the Dream?

The Chase the Dream contest starts January 1, 2010 and continues for 8 weeks:

This is absolutely the best bang for your buck contest there is. Authors Rachelle Chase and Leigh Michaels host the contest and really take the time to line up an all-star judging panel as well as offer a lot of great feedback on what works in an opening. Send your first 1000 words and Rachelle reads through the entries to choose a finalist each week for 8 weeks. If you don’t win the first week, keep on entering the same opening or another one the next week.

Check out the line up of agents and editors this year too! If you final, you get guaranteed feedback from them. Plus there are video blogs on the site about what each agent/editor is looking for in an opening. Then there’s the mini-critique winner each week. Leigh Michaels will go through and offer critique on a non-winning entry. I learned so much just following along!

Last year, I had just revamped my opening to Butterfly Swords. I took a deep breath and sent it in. This turned out to be the very first contest that Butterfly Swords finaled in. If you check out Week 4 from 2009, you’ll see a very rough draft of the opening scene — one of the few left online after I pulled my excerpts. 🙂

So polish up and send in that opening. I received two full requests, one editor and one agent, off of this contest alone. This really could be a dream come true. Good luck!

Workshop approved!

I found out a workshop workshop proposal I’d submitted for a writer’s conference in New England was approved! This is so exciting. I’ll be speaking about tips for constructing a compelling partial submission through page 1, page 5 and page 50.

It’s a little nerve-wracking to do a craft workshop since I’m so new at this, but I have spent a lot of time learning how to put together the opening chapters, how to make them stand out and what pitfalls to avoid. It’s been over two years since I stood in front of a class to teach. At least I have a couple months to smooth out the presentation since the conference isn’t until March.

I’m using some of the material for the workshop in my post for Tuesday at the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog which is titled, “The First Five Pages…and the Red Line of Death”. Hope you can come by! Maybe the comments from the post to help me prepare for the workshop.