Saturday, November 14, 2009
RWAustralia EMERALD Award
Coming up on the RWAustralia contest calendar is the EMERALD Award for unpublished writers.
Why would you enter this competition over others? It's designed to mirror the submission process. The first round involves entering the first 18pgs of your manuscript. If your entry makes it to the second round then you have to submit a full manuscript. Three finalists from both sections then go on to the final judge for placings, usually an editor from a major publishing house.
It's also a dual competition - you can enter the category section or single title section (or both - some have done this). And you can enter multiple entries in each! :-)
So, what makes it really special? Your work is scored and judged by romance readers in the initial two rounds - not a writer in sight - they're your potential readership market.
The benefits? There are several.
The competition is specialized - a category section and single title section. While the genres may differ, you're competing against others who write the same length manuscript.
You're also learning the discipline of the craft; you're training yourself to meet deadlines while honing and practising your skills while learning how to cope with praise, criticism and rejection; there's the multiple judges feedback (invaluable when you compare that entry fee of $38.50/entry to an appraisal service).
If you final, you bypass the slush-pile/query process & your work gets in front of an editor; you add to your writing resume and that looks good in a query letter to prospective agents or editors when you submit.
Have I convinced you to enter yet? I hope so, it's certainly worth it. You can find the entry forms at www.romanceaustralia.com/emerald.html (NOTE: you do need to be a member of Romance Writers of Australia to enter.)
Entries close Novermber 27th 2009, so get your manuscript in - what have you got to lose? But, more importantly, think of all you can gain!