Well, look at that...
We're celebrating this milestone in true Go Teen Writer fashion—with a 1,000 word contest!
Here's how it'll work:
1. Starting this Thursday (March 13th) we will be open for submissions. That means, we are NOT open for submissions yet. We want you to have several days to get your entries ready so that no one is tempted to be all rushy-rushy and crank something out in the next five minutes.
We will be open for contest submissions Thursday, March 13th - Monday, March 17th OR until we receive 200 entries.
Believe me, the choice to limit the contest like this has been a long discussion between me and Jill. But because we're the first round judges (see point three on how judging will work) and we're the ONLY first round judges, we knew we had to limit the contest in some capacity so we could still be (relatively) sane people at the end of March. Even with limiting the contest to 200 submissions, that's still 200,000 words for us to read. If you have an issue with the limitations and would like to discuss it with me, you may email me here.
2. When you submit your entry, it will be no more than 1,000 words. We highly recommend that it be the first 1,000 words of your story, but that decision is yours. We also highly recommend that you not conclude your entry in the middle of a sentence. It's very jarring as a judge. It's better to submit 972 words of complete sentences and thoughts than it is to leave us off in the middle of a sentence or explanation but use all 1,000 words. (If you're confused about word count, there'll be an explanation below.)
3. This contest will have three rounds of judging. Jill and I will work together to compile a list of finalists. We will give those entries to the very talented Shannon Dittemore (author of Angel Eyes series) and Laura Anderson Kurk (author of Glass Girl and Perfect Glass) who will select their absolute favorites. Their favorites will get sent on to Amanda Luedeke (Literary agent, MacGregor Literary) and she will pick the winner.
We feel so grateful to Shannon, Laura, and Amanda who are donating their time and talent to helping us make this contest happen.
Other questions you may have:
Where do I submit my entry?: You can't right now.
Can I email my 1,000 words to you right now?: No.
I don't see how to submit my entry. How do I do that?: You wait until Thursday the 13th.
(Okay, fine, questions you might ACTUALLY have):
Who is this contest for?: This contest is restricted to writers age 21 and younger, who are not traditionally published, and who do not have an agent.
How many times can I enter?: One entry per person.
Will I get feedback on my entry?: We will do our best to give each of you something helpful and concrete that you can apply to your writing. But Jill and I also have young kids and books of our own to write, so we won't be able to line edit or talk over specifics with everybody.
If I win, do you publish my entry on your website?: We would never publish your entry without asking your permission. When we publish winning entries, it's because the author has told us it's okay.
How do I find the word count?: Every time we do a contest, someone is thrown off by word count and sends me something grossly incorrect. The industry standard for word count is Microsoft Word. In my old Word, I think you had to go to "Tools" and then "Word count." The current version I have (2010, I think) keeps track of it down below:
|See that place circled in red in the bottom left corner? There's your word count.|
Another option is using a site like WordCounter.net.
One final note: When Jill and I talked about how we could possibly make a 1,000 word contest work, we knew we had to put some kind of limitation on it. There are only two of us, and while the Go Teen Writers blog and community are very important, they're only a portion of our professional responsibilities. While it pains us that the limitations we've put on the contest (only accepting 200 entries and staying open to submissions only for a few days) will inevitably exclude some writers, we hope you can understand why we needed the restrictions in place.
As it is, Jill and I will be reading and providing feedback for 200,000 words free of charge, and that will take up a lot of time and energy. We're happy to give back in this way to a community that we're blessed to be a part of, but we still have to put boundaries in place to remain healthy.
Any other questions I can help answer?