Thursday, 7 October 2010

Today's New Voices Announcement

If I'm not careful, I could get all worked up and jittery about today's impending announcement.

For anyone who doesn't know, the Mills and Boon editors will later be making public a list of those New Voices contest entrants whose work shows promise, and who they'll be contacting once the competition is over. Which is quite a biggie really, especially for an aspiring romance writer who would so love to have just a hint from HQ that her work shows a spark of something they quite like. 

If I let myself, as a daydreaming romantic fiction writer might, I could start imagining how fantastic it would feel to have that kind of affirmation of my work, and start dancing round the room, thinking: Will it be me? Will it be me? And then as doubt and panic set in, it could change to: Wail! This is my last chance!  Wail! Today I might find out for certain that they didn't like me!

If I sound like I'm speaking from experience, well I admit, I have been there quite a bit this morning, and am having to fight not to let it start over again.  But fortunately for me, my attention is also focused on quite a few other things. In no particular order, here are just a few of my current preoccupations:

1. I have an interview to write up - with a celebrity chef I was lucky enough to meet this summer - about his DOGS, and I'm going to pitch it to a doggy mag, whoo hoo! A bit daunting, as I've never done a celeb piece before, but exciting too!
2. I have a dilemma to ponder: what the HELL am I going to write for NaNoWriMo? Will it be another historical romance? Will it be "that idea" for a more arty novel I've had hanging around for ages? Will it be something else completely? HELP! What shall I write?
3. I have something to look forward to -  I am going on a HOT DATE with my husband on Saturday night, (see last post for events leading up to this). I've just booked a table for two at The Blue Bicycle in York, a restaurant which used to be ... wait for it ... a 19th century brothel!  They have booths made from beds!

Going on a date with my husband here on Saturday night
Look! Booths made from beds!
4. I have a project I'm loving - I'm actually very excited about submitting my re-write of Ch1, along with another 2 chapters and a synopsis to Mills and Boon. I now know more than I did before about what makes the editors tick, so my chances are better, and I'm enjoying the writing big time.

My original New Voices entry  ... There are some things I really like about it, and some things I don't, and it may or may not show to the editors some spark of what I could eventually be capable of. But for now, I have other things to concentrate on, more projects than I've mentioned above, and it's just as well because the essential is to keep on writing, keep on sending work out and having new exciting plans and aims.

I'm still looking forward to some hovering round the New Voices site later on this afternoon though, and even partaking in a bit of manic page refreshing. I just feel a lot better now my eggs are spread over a few baskets so to speak. And  I really am excited about Saturday night!

What are you up to right now? Anyone else got other irons in the fire, or projects underway?


  1. That restaurant is so cool! You have to let us know how that goes.

    And yeah, I'll be one of the hundreds who'll be flooding the New Voices site seeing if I am really good enough to catch their attention... *sigh*

    But in the meantime, I'm writing a blog, finishing off the re-writing of chapter 1 & 2 of my poor New Voices entry and also pondering NaNoWriMo too.

    I thought I had long decided what to write but suddenly I'm thinking i might go for a M&B Modern - as I could actually (hopefully) finish the first draft word count in 1 month.

    Good luck with deciding what to write - just don't burn yourself out trying to research too many books at once! :) x

  2. You have some awesome things on that list keeping you busy, but I totally understand how you feel about New Voices. I'm not expecting to be on the list since my entry is very rough and these were the first comments I received on it (hint - that means I need to do a lot of work on it!) but part of me can't help but be excited about the "What if?" :)

  3. Hi, Sophia!
    I love the hot date with husband at that restaurant!!! What a great place. I would love to see it.
    And I agree with Sabrina, you have awesome things on your list.

    When I was an aspiring author, I entered many contests (and would have entered New Voices in a flash had it been offered then). My objective was to come to the attention of editors, not necessarily to win. I came to view the task of getting published as a process. That I would be published was a certainty, and everything that happened writing-wise brought me one step closer to that goal. Every rejection, every contest final, everything. It worked, too, because not too long after I had the call from Mills & Boon. matter what happens with New Voices, you ARE one step closer.....

  4. I am right with you there Sophia.In fact before writing this I quickly popped over there to check whether there had been an announcement. It seems not, back to waiting and sliently hoping then, or not.
    That restaurant looks amazing, I am sure you will have a fab time. So important to go on dates with your hubbie, which reminds me, I must grab mine and make some time, our datenight has not been happening lately.

  5. I love the Blue Bicycle you lucky pair (out-of-towners it is THE romantic restaurant in York...) have a lovely time. As for the rest, I know! I am deciding whether to do Nanowrimo myself (I signed up,)have been amusing myself with the novella, have work, daughter, husband far down the list. Last night I sat down to 1. look at a small freelance job I have been offered,2. Start my cub scout helper training 3. Critique a chapter - it was already 8pm and I was totally overwhelmed, all this before the actual writing I want to do. But better to keep buy than refresh that page over and over (she says off to do that very thing!).

  6. Good luck with sending off your revised story for Mills and Boon! As for NaNoWriMo go with something you know you're not really going to get stuck on... it's not a time for dwelling on things, it's a time of just writing, writing, writing...

    Have you had much luck with getting stuff published in mags etc? I am studying with the Writer's Bureau, so my assignments are basically researching mags and writing an article etc. Once it comes back from the tutor, I'm to send it off to that mag... but haven't had any luck yet. Only on assignment 6... I just want to make money, only a tiny bit... enough for me to give up my 'weekend' job... But obviously it needs to be regular. Can't burn bridges yet :-(

  7. Xandra, I think I can probably only do one book at once, which is why I'm having trouble thinking what on earth to write for NaNoWriMo! Articles are different - I tend to be able to work on a few at a time. Glad you've also got things on the go and look forward to being NaNo pals when I finally decide what to do for it!

    Sabrina, sounds like we're in the same boat! I do actually quite enjoy the drama of getting excited about the competition results, I have to admit!

    Diane, I love your view of the task of getting published as a "process" and shall immediately adopt it! Thank you! And yes, the Blue Bicycle looks great, doesn't it. I've never been before as it's out of out usual price bracket - this is going to be a real treat.

    Doris, you do datenight? Even in theory, that's fantastic. Yes, do start it again! Then I won't be the only one getting romantic about my hubby, ha ha! Looks like tomorrow now for announcement day ...

    Rose Red - good news about the freelance job! You're doing loads AND you go to work as well, don't know how you do it! I can't manage to get to the critiquing group at all at the mo - too much on!

    Teresa, I've had a fair few articles published, but that was some time ago - I want to start submitting again, and I'd *love* to break into travel writing. Once you've finished your Writer's Bureau course I would really recommend the book "No Contacts? No Problem. How to Pitch and Sell a Freelance Feature," by Catherine Quinn. It doesn't tell you how to write articles, it assumes you already know, but it does tell you exactly how to approach editors, how to get commissions, and how to work effectively, and it's about the UK market, not the US one (unlike many writing books). It also gives a lot of insider tips you probably wouldn't find anywhere else. A highly recommended desk manual to have when you start submitting to mags!

  8. I've really looked at the judging part of the contest as an opportunity to see these entries through the judges' eyes. I've read all of the ten entries that are to recieve a critique and I'll be interested to see how closely my opinions are mirrored in the editors remarks. Sort of fine tuning my self editing skills, if you will. I found that, while not all of the top ten were to my taste as a reader, I had no trouble seeing what they saw i those winning chapters.

  9. Julia, that's a really good idea. I haven't read all of the entries to receive a critque yet, but will have a look at them later, hopefully before eds' crits go up.

  10. Way to go Sophia! As a singleton, I am so envious of your hot date with your husband. *GGG*

    But one thing that excites me about the New Voices experience, is that the editors involved are so open about what they expect from prospective M&B authors (the contest winner who has gone to to sell 2.5 million books!?) and have given many tips a lot of editors either don't think about giving writers or don't have the time to do so. After stressing about what a M&B editor would want from me, it's rather gratifying to see that they are looking for books from the heart--granted, books that fit the line one is targeted, but an original and emotional and sensual story nonetheless. I look forward to seeing what else you have up your sleeve!