Remember back in January when I said I had some surprises in store for you this year? Well, the first surprise was the Help From Above Birthday Contest, which didn't attract the attention I had hoped it would since there were no entries. However, I'm hoping this next contest is much more attractive to you, and yes, it's one of the next surprises I mentioned in January.
With that out of the way, the question now is this: Are you ready for one of my biggest contests ever?! Oh yes, this is the one I made a short announcement about a few weeks ago on Twitter, as well as in my latest fan club newsletter and in the May 2008 edition of Coffee Break for Writers. I've been so excited about this that I had to make a brief mention, and I even prepared a few things ahead of time -- months ahead to be exact.
About a month ago one of my readers e-mailed me, and as I do with all the fans and readers who e-mail me or write me through postal mail, I replied to her with advice and encouragement. But before I replied, I visited her blog and discovered that she -- like many of us -- has a God-given talent, which is why I gave her encouragement; I seen her writing talent through her blog. In fact, I enjoyed her blog so much that I subscribed to it, and her next post was what inspired me to write my first blog series entitled Fiction Writing Tips, which I decided to tie into my Mentoring Session Contest.
As I read the post my reader made on her blog, I also realized my contest could be of great help to her if she decides to enter. Why? Because in that post she said she had finally decided to start writing a book, but she admitted that she didn't know where to start. Not knowing where to begin is common among many aspiring writers who finally decide to sit down and write that book, and that's why I decided to write the Fiction Writing Tips series to go along with the free mentoring session with me via e-mail. And the best news is the free mentoring session will last until the winning writer writes the last word in his or her first -- or next -- fiction novel!
The Fiction Writing Tips series will include information for aspiring and veteran fiction writers, and I truly believe the series should be tied to the Mentoring Session Contest since they're related. Following is what will be included in the Fiction Writing Tips series and the Mentoring Session Contest:
Fiction Writing Tips Series:
1. Writing an outline.
2. Getting to know your characters.
3. Writing the first draft.
4. Editing the first draft.
5. Tips on researching publishers and agents.
6. Free templates.
7. Links to additional reading...
8. ... and anything else that strikes my fancy or is suggested by you.
The first post for this series is planned for May 25, 2008.
Mentoring Session Contest -- Winner Will Receive:
2. Honest (but gentle) criticism of your book, query, synopsis, chapter by chapter outline and press release.
3. Free editing.
4. A list of possible publishers to market your book to.
5. List of possible book reviewers.
6. I'll give you a review of your book, which will be published here as well as on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
7. I'll interview you, and if you're planning a virtual book tour for your book, we can include my interview with you here at Life of a Writer.
8. Marketing advice.
9. A special gift valued at $30. This special gift will be announced at a later date, because I need to check to see how I can purchase a gift subscription first.
Again, this mentoring session will not end until you've written the last word in your book. If it continues over three years, though, I might have to announce an expiration date.
The winner of the Mentoring Session Contest will be announced at the end of the Fiction Writing Tips series. The winner will be drawn from a hat and announced here at Life of a Writer.
If you believe you're ready to write your first -- or next -- fiction novel and would love some help throughout the process, there are four ways to enter my Mentoring Session Contest:
1.Post an announcement about the Fiction Writing Tips series along with the Mentoring Session Contest on your blog, and link that post back to this one. Please link the words Fiction Writing Tips and Mentoring Session Contest.
After you've placed the announcement and a link back to this post using the above-mentioned words, return here and leave a comment with the link to your post. Once I confirm that you've followed the directions above, I'll place your name in the hat for the Mentoring Session Contest.
2. Comment on any of the posts in the Fiction Writing Tips series. You won't be able to do this until I publish the first post in the series, which is scheduled for May 25, 2008.
3. Follow me on Twitter. Once you've completed this task, return to this post and leave a comment letting me know what name you go by on Twitter, so I'll know it was you that followed me.
4. Subscribe to Life of a Writer via e-mail. Within 24 hours after you subscribe, I'll send you an e-mail to let you know you've been entered. At this time, I'll ask for your name, because your name is what I'll use when I announce the winner.
If you perform all four tasks, then you'll receive four entries into the Mentoring Session Contest, increasing your chances of winning. Also note in regards to commenting on the Fiction Writing Tips series, if your comment is of a spam nature, then it won't be published, nor will you receive an entry into the Mentoring Session Contest. If you post an actual comment that adds value and is not spam, then you'll be just fine.
And that, my friends, are the complete details. If you have any questions about the series or contest, or if you have any suggestions for the Fiction Writing Tips series, contact me or leave a comment.
If you don't want to miss any of the posts in the Fiction Writing Tips series, subscribe via e-mail or add Life of a Writer to your favorite RSS reader. Remember, if you subscribe to Life of a Writer via e-mail, you'll receive your first entry in the Mentoring Session Contest. Good luck!