Friday, February 1, 2013

F³A: ABNA contest

So, the contest closed a couple days ago. I've entered my cutter book. I entered it under the title Slice. I've changed the name about a million times. Maybe I should just let my readers name by book. Ugh.

I was reminiscing about the contest. This will be my fifth time entering. I've entered a different book every time. First year made it to top 100. Since then, I've made it through the pitch phase and no further. 

The last time I entered I got a HORRIBLE review. And I don't mean a constructive review, but just a mean spirited review. I laugh about it now because, hey, I'm a published writer, but at the time I was really pissed at first. 

Here are some of my favorite excerpts from that review:

Before I post this one, I will say the reviewer thought I was a teenager, which I took as a compliment (though it wasn't supposed to be) as it meant the voice of my character was right on. lol.

"Unfortunately, you have failed to pay attention in the one class required to be able to write well - English." 

"It's a shame that you didn't write anything that hasn't been written hundreds of times already this year."

Before that year I have never seen any books about a 17 year-old girl who wants to play high school football.

"If this was a school paper, I'd have to give it an "F".

He's talking about my grammar, word usage, and sentence structure and "much, much more".  I honestly don't know what he meant. I know he didn't like some of it because I'm not sure he realized my character was southern, IDK.

"It is way to easy today for people to get published," O.o really? "and I sincerely hope that you do not see that as an option. Frankly, this is no where good enough to be called a "book" and you to be called an "author". Pretty harsh thing to tell someone you think is a teenager.

"To not have learned the basics of writing and yet expect people to read what you have written shows no respect at all for your readers."

lol. I just have no idea what to say about that one. I'll add that the other three years I entered the contest, they all commented on what a talented writer I was, I mostly got ousted for violence (content). But I took those reviews gracefully, because they were constructive.

I'm honestly not bitter about this review at all. Like I said, at first I was pissed, and yeah if I would have won the contest, I would have received a publishing contract, but I had 1/5,000 chance. Reviewing is subjective, it's really a crap shoot.

That said, I do think the contest is a great opportunity for unpublished and mid-list authors and that most of the reviewers are very good at what they do. I was just thinking back on the years I'd entered before, remembering all the people I connected with, many of them good friends. It was great fun on the contest forum to chat and share with other writers. 

If you've not entered before, it's too late this year, but you should consider it in the future.

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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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