Getting published! Finding the link!

After attending book fairs and classes with other authors, I heard a reoccurring theme when it came to finding a publisher or agent.  I asked those who didn’t self-publish how they managed to get an agent to look at their work.  Many of them answered by saying they found an agent or were approached by one after entering and placing in a writing contest.  The Writer’s Market and other reference books offer such listings.  It’s as simple as typing the word writing contest in the search engine.  In my support of self-published authors I found something this week that would help curb any critics to our decision.  You may gain more “credibility”, and I use this word carefully, with those who may turn their nose down at self-publishing by entering and placing in a contest.  I thought I would share the link I found this week during my own research – http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writing-competitions.  It has references and contest links for non-published writers and self-published writers.  Remember to keep doing your search and look for opportunities.  There are many other authors and organizations that have programs or contests to help you get started.

~Mahieu Spaid

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11 thoughts on “Getting published! Finding the link!

  1. Entering contests is my plan as well. After I finish the first draft of my novel, there are several short stories that I’m going to go back to and edit, and I have a short story in my head waiting to be written.
    All of those short stories will go out to contests once I feel that they are done enough.

    • Christopher –

      I hope your plans are moving along this summer. I hit the summer slump at the beginning of the month. I’m thinking a breaking by creating a small poetry book. Let me know how things are going!

      • I had a bit of mental incontinence, where I was writing, but only in forced drips. Wasn’t pretty. But I pushed through and everything seems to be fine now. I’m very close to finishing the first draft.

      • Hi Chris,

        Just thought I would ask if you tried publishing in the ebook market? I’m trying to figure this out for a humor piece with one of my book characters. I decided to go the non-traditional route since this is such a niche piece. Any thoughts?

        – Mahieu

      • I am still editing my first draft. I’m realizing that it’s going to be a long, long process.

        My plan has evolved. I’ve written several short stories, which are in various stages of editing. Once they are as good as I can get them I will flood the short story market.

        I have a few publishing credentials, but I want to add on. Once I establish a few more and have at least two novels completed I am going to go in search of an agent.

        In the meantime I will continue to write my series of novels, write short stories in between the novels and novel editing.

        Down, down the road if I feel that I have exhausted all avenues I will then self publish, but by then I hope to have several novels written. Series seem to do much better in the self publishing world.

        Hope this helps.

      • Hi. I finished the first draft on July 10th. I talked about the moment on my blog. I start the editing process in ten days. I’ve been trying to keep my eyes off the rough copy, but that’s been difficult.
        In the meantime I read a great book on manuscript editing called Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. Also, I’ve written two short stories.
        All is going according to plan.
        Thanks for wondering.

  2. I have entered a number of contests this year with no success. Most of them also do not offer feedback, so i am feeling like I have wasted time, money and effort.

    • Hi Joe,

      I’ve been busy with a number of shows and promotions but I wanted to respond to your comments. I hear what you are saying. I hope you keep going with your work. When I speak and network with other writers I always ask how they broke free from the slush puddles stacked on the floors of all the publishing houses. The majority of published authors I know found an agent and were published because they continually entered contests. Mind you – not all of them came in first place but they were noticed. It’s no gaurantee but at least you’re getting your work out there. When I’m in writing classes or in a support group for writers two groups form – those “still working” on their manuscripts and those that are published. You don’t stand much of a chance of getting published if you’re “still working” on your manuscript but mean it will never be finished. I’m no expert or winner of a big contract. I just wanted to share my own experiences and conversations with other fellow writers so they didn’t give up. As writers, we also need to face the business side of promoting ourselves. Your money and time are part of the job. Those are business expenses that are sometimes necessary for what we do. I wish you success on your efforts. I know I always feel satisfaction from learning about someone who won against the mountain of manuscripts. I just hope you and I make it there some day! – Mahieu

      • Thanks for the encouragement. Interestingly in the last three or four days I have received a settling peace about the whole process. I feel I am closer than ever before and know it is getting ready to happen for me. I understand time and effort are necessary, i really do. I guess i want to succeed faster than I should expect to be normal.

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