First of all, I’m guest blogging today at Magical Musings. Stop by and leave a comment for yet another chance to win my book.

Now, let’s discuss the contest. Honestly, I was wondering if I’d even get 100 entries, so I was rather surprised at the turn out. I’m sure Megan will be too. I had to enter a lot more entries for people than I thought I would, which meant I was pretty much sitting at my computer all day yesterday. So I’m exhausted.

As this contest is new and I’ve never done one before, I knew I’d make at least one mistake. There’s been some upset over first paragraph versus 150 words. Some people were trying to follow the rules exactly and only put their first para, while most others put in close to 150. I understand why people are upset. I put in 150 words because I knew some people might have a line of dialogue and only that would count as their paragraph. I actually talked about this in the comments section of a previous post. Ultimately it will be up to Megan. I can’t imagine she’ll disqualify for that though, as most people put more than their first para. If it is over 150 words, we will disqualify.

Listen, I totally understand how crazy these contests can get. It took me almost seven years to get published. Some days I was insane with the need to get published. But let’s remember this contest is free, you’re not losing out on anything. And honestly, I’m sick. Horribly sick. It started last night. So don’t bother to email me complaining, because frankly I feel like crap and won’t care about your problem. I might have cared yesterday, before I was sick, but not today. Nope, today I’m more concerned with the fact that my son is expecting me to have lunch with him at school tomorrow and help out in his class and now I might not be able to go. So complain to each other, but don’t complain to me.

I wanted to have this contest because I know, believe me, I know how hard it is to get published and how much money you can spend on other contests. I’m hoping to have more contests. I’ll have as many contests as I can. So don’t annoy me, or I just might say forget it.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned lately, from a writer’s conference I attended and from this contest, is how incredibly important that first line/first few lines are. Start with a bang!

Now, if you feel you could’ve done better, or if you feel you were ripped off in this contest because of the word count vs paragraph rules, then I’ll let you in on something… My friend and fellow Kensington author Beverley Kendall is going to be holding a similar contest with her editor Peter. But she’s limiting her entries and she’s going to learn from my mistakes and be much stricter on rules. This contest will take place in December and it will be free. So you will have another chance! Here’s the info:

Get your manuscripts polished and your pitches ready to go!

The first week in December The Season’s will be holding a Pitch Contest for unpublished authors on the blog. My wonderful editor, Peter Senftleben, at Kensington and my fabulous agent have agreed to participate. I’ve posted the rules in the ‘For Members Only’ section of the forum.

Now, go out and enjoy the day and stop worrying about getting published, because honestly, it doesn’t get any easier even after you’re published so you’re going to have to learn to deal with the hardships. As for me, I’m going back to bed.

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