Ten Christian Writers Guild members recently received the news that their entries were named semifinalists in the 2011 Operation First Novel contest —and everyone rejoiced!
Well, maybe not everyone. If you were one of the other 110 entrants, you felt blue, even defeated.
Give yourself a half hour to mourn, but remember, putting your work out there for review in one of the world’s most prestigious first novel contests was brave. You deserve to be emotionally drained.
But you are not a loser. In fact, you’re in great company. Conservative estimates suggest more than 100,000 novels are written each year in the United States alone.
In a real sense, you did. You took a critical step—you submitted your writing for review. You poured out the story God laid on your heart and invited experts to judge it. You were obedient.
But you also won because, as an entrant in Operation First Novel, you will receive your judging score sheet with comments on your novel in seven key areas: Characterization, Plot, Conflict, Dialogue, Setting, Mechanics, and Overall Writing Quality.
These comments—mailed to you soon—come from a writing or editing professional. If you apply the suggestions to your manuscript, you could be a finalist next year.
And the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild is here to help you reach that goal.
Michael Ehret is the Guild’s editor-in-chief. He has written for newspapers and other print and online outlets. He edited several nonfiction books, was the senior editor for a faith-based financial services organization, and is the editor of ACFW Journal, the magazine of the American Christian Fiction Writers.