~ By Mary E. Thompson
The Stiletto Contest opens March 8! That’s in only three weeks. Is your manuscript ready? If you’re entering a published manuscript, well, you’re in luck. It’s already out there, so you don’t have much to do. Double check your files, read through all the rules, and mark your calendar to enter the contest by April 12.
That’s not too bad. But if you’re unpublished, you might have some work to do.
Unpublished entries are limited to the first 7000 words of your manuscript, plus a
New this year, in order to enter, you also need to judge. And that means you have to be a general, PAN, or PRO member (more info on applying for PRO coming in two weeks). If you’re unpublished, you need to apply to PRO so you’re eligible. And in order to be PRO, you need to have a completed manuscript, so finish those pages!
Edit Your Pages
Few things will tank an entry faster than a poorly edited manuscript. That doesn’t mean you have to know every rule of writing or that your entry can’t have a single error, but you
Even better, ask a friend for help! There are tons of other authors out there who might be looking for someone to trade pages with.
Put out a call on social media, ask someone you respect
Check Out the Score Sheets
Once you’ve finished your manuscript and know it’s top notch, check out the score sheets for the contest. We made major changes to the published score sheet this year in an attempt to provide published authors with feedback that brings real value to them. The unpublished scoresheet is similar to last year with a few minor changes.
We all want the inside track. To know what someone is thinking. We spend our lives trying to imagine what someone would say or do in a situation. Then we put it on paper. We’re never wrong because those people are from our heads, but the judges aren’t. Judges are real people out there in the world, evaluating your work. If you want a peek inside their heads, check out the score sheets. You can find them both on the judge’s sign up page, which is linked at the bottom of the contest page.
If you’re really brave, use the score sheet to judge your own book and see where you think it will stack up. Now’s the perfect time to do it!
Are you ready for the Stiletto Contes to open on March 8?
Mary E. Thompson is an author of more than 40 contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. Her curvy heroines and sexy heroes steal the hearts of her readers and make them wish her characters were real. Mary is also the co-chair (with Liza Keogh) of the 2019 Stiletto Contest. Read more about Mary and her books at MaryEThompson.com, where it’s a curvy road to happily ever after.