Monday, February 27, 2012

What to Expect After You Submit to the Genesis ;-)

Tis the season for the Genesis. In fact, we’re down to the last few days of possible entries.

Have you entered?

Coming from a previous entrant, I thought I might share a little bit of ‘what happens next’.

Are you ready?

1. You try your very best to forget about when the semi-finals will be announced. In fact, you may go to great lengths to erase the finals announcement (May 28th in case you’re trying to forget it ;-) from your memory.

2. While you try very hard to forget May 28th – you wait. Waiting might include many activities. Your regular routine will most likely continue, with only a few hundred reminders per day that May 28th is getting closer. As you wait, some suggestions distractions might be:

         a. Watching movies, especially those similar to your novel

         b. Eat chocolate

          c. Walk, fast and furiously, for…er…28 minutes?

          d. Eat more chocolate

         e. Email other entrants within your close circle and gripe about how hard waiting is.

         f. Find a new hobby - Paper mache, Origami, and plate spinning are a few.

3. Strange side effects may begin to form. Things such as excessive nail biting, a preoccupation with calendars- particularly those months of April & May, a sudden compulsion to reread the book of Genesis....

4. Sometime in April (around April 9th – if you want to make sure not to check your calendars), semi-finalists will be notified. I hadn’t forgotten this date quite well enough and as soon as a phone number popped up on my cell with a weird area code last year I grabbed it.

Remember, being a semi-finalist is a big deal. It means your work landed in the top 20% of entrants. That alone is winning information.

5. Six weeks later, finalists are announced. This actually came as a surprise call to me. My fellow Alley Cats had to remind me of the day. (Life gets busy, okay)

(side note: Entering this contest is an example of a winner too. Just entering - because that means you've made it beyond the writing-infancy stage)

Recommendations to cope with the wait:

1. Find other authors who will commiserate with you :-) Actually, the Alley Cats are the best encouragers EVER! Several of them entered this year, so it will be a DELIGHT to cheer them on.

2. Eat chocolate to dull the despair of waiting.

3. Keep busy. There’s nothing worse than waiting around for something. Time goes by faster when you keep yourself busy :-)

4. Keep writing. Finish the manuscript you entered, or move on to something new. If you final, then you’ll have even more stories to pitch to agents and editors at conference.

5. Pray for patie…er…God’s will. The very thougth of praying for patience means you get suffering. Suffering + Genesis finals does not sound good, does it? :-) In all seriousness, don’t forget God’s loving hands are even in the middle of writing contests. He’s here – and He has a plan. One that includes the stories we write, but (more importantly) the one HE is writing in Us.

What are you doing to pass the time while you wait for…that date that will not be mentioned?

Any tips you can share?


Pepper Basham is a Blue Ridge Mountains’ native, mom of five, pastor’s wife, and university instructor. She writes in various fictional genres but spices them all with grace and humor. She is a 2011 Genesis double-finalist and can be found causing mischeif at The Writers Alley, on her personal blog-, or in her imaginary world. Company always welcome.


Debra E. Marvin said...

my agenda when I submit to a contest is to send it, don't look at it again (because you always find something that you hate about it or a typo) and then forget completely about it.

thanks for putting up that date. NOT. I don't want to know. I want to find out with a phone call or by seeing the list of finalists somewhere.
I DON'T want to be thinking about it when the date is coming up.

so thanks for nuttin!


(So I guess I just admitted that I entered this year. Yes, I did)

Pepper said...

What date? Right?

BEST of luck with the Genesis. When the date-that-shall-not-be-named comes, I hope we hear yours among the honored :-)

Lindsay Harrel said...

I entered on Saturday. I'm trying to just look forward to the feedback I'll receive either way...and not think about whether I'll semi-final or final.

Pepper said...

Good FOR YOU, Lindsey.

One of the best things about the Genesis is the feedback! If you are going into the Genesis with the desire to get good feedback, you are already going to be a winner! :-)

Joanne Sher said...

Not entering this year. Still fixing what I learned from my entry LAST year. But I'm an AWESOME encourager and cheerleader. Rah, rah, sis boom bah!

Naomi Rawlings said...

What great advice, Pepper, and given with a touch of humor. :-)

Good luck to everyone entering!

Debra E. Marvin said...

Despite using that scary date in public, I appreciate the Alley Cats' encouragement. Though any contest is a gamble based on subjective judging, we all hope to do well. I look forward to the day we all discuss the results and congratulate our friends who've finaled!

Keli Gwyn said...

What a fun post, Pepper! You shared some great tips. Keeping busy does help.

I wish all those who entered the best and am eager to celebrate with my friends who final. I'm sure there will be several, including some Alley Cats.

Casey said...

THANKS Pepper.

I REALLY want to remember that date, brand it into my head even. So thanks for that.

I had a shock of fear the other day...I gave my home number, but what if they call on a day I have to work???

Thankfully both dates are on a Monday, so I'm safe.

Not that I really want to think about it. I don't.

I won't.

I won't.

Better say that 28 more times. ;-)

Angie Dicken said...

Casey...I didn't know the day last year, and I got home to a message from Ane Mulligan on my machine. My son had just had surgery so it was a wonderful thing to come home to!
Pepper, thanks for the tips. I am worried about coping with not getting a phone call after being a semi-finalist the year before...yeah, I'm a glass half empty kinda gal!!! Trying to not think of it at all!!
I am glad to know such amazing Alley Cats that even if I don't advance, I'll have someone to cheer on!!:)

Casey said...

Angie, that would be a great thing to come home too. :) Did you enter this year??

Beth K. Vogt said...

The wait after entering a contest: Yet another reason we need writing comrades. They understand the angst like no one else can!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Yay, I'm cheering on all the Alley Cats who entered and all our readers! I entered last week and purposefully didn't check the date announcements for semi-finalists or finalists would be announced. Silly Pepper, good thing I skimmed over your reminders in this post, too :) Those were some great tips, too! We just have to keep busy in the meantime.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Gulp! Yes, I entered again this year.

My advice is (and I'm going to try real hard to remember this) that every year, every contest, is a very subjective thing and even if you think you've improved one hundred per cent since last year - everything depends on which judges read your work and what appeals to them.

This comes from finaling in the Golden Heart one year and never finaling again! You have to shrug it off and move on.

What I like about the Genesis contest as opposed to the Golden Heart is the terrific feedback. Judges are so helpful and encouraging. It really is a win-win contest!

Best of luck to all of you who are entering!


Sarah Forgrave said...

LOL, Fun post, Pepper! Can't wait to cheer all the Alley Cats on!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Can't wait to cheer you guys on! Hope I can do it in person, too!

Nancy Kimball said...

It's my first year to enter Genesis but I've been through a few contest so I've learned to TRY to forget them and just keep writing. Since next year is completed novels only, that seems like a good plan, haha.

Angie Dicken said...

Yep, Case, entered two...( well, will have on Weds;))

Carol Moncado said...

Focus on "Hey! I took some of those pics!" instead of "Aw stink. When again?" ;)