Author Topic: In a query, any point in mentioning being shortlisted in a writing contest?  (Read 977 times)

Offline Munley

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Is that a plus, or does it just come off as this writer being a finalist who didn't win?

Offline louise00

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For me? I suppose it depends how well-known or prestigious the writing competition is?

Offline Tabris

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Also, was this manuscript the one that got shortlisted?

Offline Munley

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Good things to take into account. Thanks.
All I have right now is a statewide contest for a short-short piece of fiction. On the finalist list right now.

Apart from the query question, I found that cutting down a "regular-sized" story to the low word count demanded by the content was an excellent exercise. How much could I really cut without losing all sense of time and place and other details that make the characters feel real?

I feel as if I've already won something whether I win the contest or not. Or can impress an agent with that win.  Think I'll enter another one.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2022, 04:31:11 AM by Munley »

Offline ShadowBeam

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Hello Munely,

Tabris and Louise00 posed some good questions and food for thought. I suspect this would depend on the agent, as with most things. I think being shortlisted for a contest shows that others have recognized your talent.

Just for kicks, I checked out Janet Reid's perspective on this, on Query Shark (because I love her blog).  Here's what she said, in her classic brutal style: "Don't mention contests unless you won. Even then, they don't mean much." (https://queryshark.blogspot.com/2008/08/56.html)

In any case, I'm glad that you're finding the contests rewarding and best of luck to you!

(By the way, I noticed you're in Nova Scotia and wanted to send West Coast greetings from Vancouver!) :)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 09:14:55 AM by ShadowBeam »

Offline Munley

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Good morning ShadowBeam,
Thanks for the link and your comments.

Just met a guy from the West Coast yesterday, an employee at a lumberyard. He looked to be about 60. While he was checking out my purchase, he said he was so homesick. "I just don't like it out here," he said. I asked if he planned to go back some day. "Oh, yes!" he said. "I don't know when, but I definitely will."

I'm originally from Pennsylvania, but though I miss it sometimes, I plan to stay here. I love the Canadian Maritimes!