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So what’s the real point of entering a contest?

In my opinion, the reason to enter a contest is not to see if you final. Some very good manuscripts get overlooked; others are duly rewarded. The purpose of entering a contest, I believe, is to get healthy feedback from judges, and if you’re lucky, feedback from a final judge who is an agent or an editor. (We have both). It’s so beneficial. No matter where we are in the process of producing a book, the first or one of many, we can all use neutral, educated critiques of our writing.

It’s wonderful to be a finalist in a contest, but to those of you who have yet to accomplish that feat , don’t worry. You’re a winner! And a very big winner if you take the suggestions and comments from all the judges and put them to use, reviewing the work you’ve submitted.

Winner, take a bow and get to work!

And, by the way, good luck!