Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Dancin'

Last Friday the phone rang while I was writing. It's still too cold to work out in my office so I'm in the living room for a few more weeks. Nelson sat behind me playing a video game, but since he has an aversion for talking on the phone I reached for it. My pulse increased when I spotted the area code because it wasn't a Cdn one. Nor was it an 800, 888 or that one will all zeros.

When the caller said she was Ane Mulligan from the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), I knew it was good news about a contest. I'd spent March entering 5 different writing contests and writers volunteer as coordinators and judges for many different contests. Of the 5 contests I entered, the earliest I expected a response was around Apr 18th from Duel on the Delta.

But Ane called on Apr 8th. I was so excited. And confused. She said I'd semi-finaled. I missed the 'semi' part because writing contests don't have 'semi-finalists'... you go from a contestant to the finals. Even in big contests like the Genesis where there are 60 or so entries in a category like mine - Historical Romance.

When Ane said 'semi-finalist', I heard 'finalist'. She went into details about what I needed to do when my manuscript was returned in a couple days and the deadline for the final round. I read her words... but I was still confused because she hadn't actually said the name of the contest yet.

So I finally blurted out, this is for the Fool for Love, right? It was the first contest that came to mind because it was the last I'd entered.

Ane said no, I semi-finaled in the Genesis.

The Genesis? How can I describe my feeling when she said that one word... a thousand horses galloping through me veins... a landslide of boulders tumbling down a mountain... freefalling before pulling the cord to open your parachute...

She explained that the Genesis had changed. My entry had scored high enough to be in the top 20% of my category and would now go on to a new semi-final round. I know I sounded like a dope. And if I didn't know Ane, I'd believe she thought I was a dope. Thank goodness we've met and she knows better. I hope.
PhotobucketThe word is... I'm officially a semi-finalist in the Genesis and my entry is against 14 others in this next round as there were 73 in the Historical Romance category. The announcement for the finalists will come in mid-May.

To keep myself grounded, I'm telling myself it's no big deal - just another step in a contest. But I've received enough personal congratulary emails from writing friends - some from my favourite authors - to realize this is a big deal. It's the Genesis. And it may be the only call I get from the Genesis people. (Not that I don't believe in my writing, but judges are readers and not every reader likes what I write or how I write it.)

So please allow me to gloat over this 'call'. Breathe Anita ... just breathe...


  1. SO excited for you, Anita! That is AWESOME!

  2. Congratulations, Anita!!! You've worked hard and you and your story deserve to be a semi-finalist!!

  3. Huge Congrats, Anita - got my fingers crossed for the next stage.

    Happy Dance Away :)

  4. I am jumping with you. Congratulations. I bet your stomach didn't settle down for awhile. Did you call all your family and writer friends?
    I love when God reaches down in our doubts and gives us a message..."keep it up, you are doing exactly what I called you to do and I will reward you for it."

  5. Anne, Karyn and Janet - thank you, Ladies. I'm thrilled you came to wish me well. It means a lot. :)

  6. Hey Diane, my tummy's still rumbling. No, I didn't call anyone yet. This blog is the only 'annnouncement' I've made. Probably because I've been in that top 25% of the Genesis for the past 3 yrs and never finaled. Don't want to get everyone's expectations up. Anyway, this blog is my 'voice' and my family comes here to see what I'm up to if they haven't heard from me in awhile.

    Thank you for the reassurance. Just what I needed to hear. :)

    I appreciate you dropping in Diane. Thank you.

    Anita Mae.

  7. Congratulations!! And like Janet said, "Happy Dance Away!" You've worked hard for this -- enjoy it!!

  8. Thanks, Elaine. It's my first major 'reward' for 6 yrs of work. Enough to keep me writing, anyway. :)

  9. yay Anita!
    i'm Snoopy happy dancing with you and your good news. i'm praying that the judges find favor with your work and see how diligent you've been in perfecting your craft.


  10. So happy for you, Anita! Wishing you all the best as you continue on in the contest.

  11. Thank you, Carla. I really appreciate your support. :)


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