The Results Are In...

...I didn't make it into the Quarterfinal round of Amazon's contest.

And that's OK.

Am I disappointed? Sure.

Am I in the depths of despair? Or a slough of despondency? Hardly.

Why? Well, for several reasons.

First of all, getting cut does not mean that my novel is some horribly written thing that is good only for the trash can. It doesn't mean that my story is unpublishable. It just means that the individual who was assigned to read my excerpt didn't like it in comparison to others. That's perfectly all right and totally normal. Books, whether in manuscript or published form, are entirely subjective to the likes and dislikes of the reader. One person may love the same exact story that another person hates. That's part of the writing business - not everyone is going to like what I write. That doesn't change it's value or worth or quality. I know I have a good novel. I have a PW review from last year that proves it. I don't need to overhaul the manuscript (especially since all the feedback I've gotten on it is positive). I just need to get it in the hands of the right person, and that will happen when the time is right.

Secondly, winning the contest was never a realistic option. I'm not talking about statistics or anything of that sort. What I mean is that my novel does not fit in Penguin's catalog. They wouldn't have signed me even if I made it to the top three - I just don't fit their list. I entered for the potential reviews from the Vine reviewers and Publisher's Weekly.

Thirdly, and most importantly (yes, I'm one of those writers who, except on rare occasions, save the best parts/points for last), God is sovereign. And He is good, and does good, and does not withhold good things from His children (even though we might think He does). He could have easily orchestrated things to further me in the contest. He didn't. And, to me, that means it was neither good nor necessary for me to progress beyond the pitch round.

That's all I need to know :)


  1. Love your perspective! Keep writing and doing what you love. I believe a good writer never writes to get published. I believe a good writer writes because there's a passion and a story that needs to come out. Publishing should be an after-thought to what's really a piece of you.

  2. That's great that you can be positive about the whole experience. I'm the opposite, my reviews were negative... I knew I couldn't win, but I wanted the reviews too... until they were nasty and rude. But that's beside the point, I'm glad that you are positive! And I need to remember too that God will have a purpose for everything, even if I can't see it.

  3. Allison - I completely agree, and thank you for the encouragment. It was kind of you to drop a note for me :)

    Krista - From the ABNA discussion boards, it seems like quite a few contestants (some of whom made it to the next round) got reviewers who were just plain mean. I'm sorry to hear you were one of them. Don't take the reviews too seriously though. It's two people's opinion on your story - not a hard and fast, absolutely true judgment of it. Who knows? A different reviewer might have loved your excerpt! So, if you love writing, let this roll off your back and keep going :)


Do share your thoughts - I enjoy reading them :)