Follow The Rules!

This past year I entered my first writing contest. I was excited. I love, love, love, my second completed manuscript. I didn’t win. I didn’t even make it to the second round. To say I was confused and disappointed would be an understatement. I don’t know. Maybe I set my expectations to high. Maybe it wasn’t written as well as I thought. MAYBE I DIDN’T FOLLOW THE RULES!

Okay, I followed most of the rules, but I missed one very important detail. My submission was entered under the wrong genre. To defend myself, I initially overlooked some things that could disqualify my entry and I was contacted by someone on the submission committee, to make changes. That particular committee member listed my entry as Romance-Suspense.

I didn’t read the definitions for the different genres. My book is a Romance, and it is suspenseful from beginning to end. Romance-Suspense worked for me, although my initial thought was Historical Romance.

I completed what was asked of me and resubmitted it under Romance-Suspense. After all, that was what was communicated to me, and the committee member should have known what they were talking about. I didn’t question it.

I’m preparing to submit my work in yet another contest. I am that confident in it. This time I read all the information carefully, including the genre list. I was stunned. Included in the description for Romance-Suspense is contemporary. Well, there’s nothing contemporary about my novel. It’s set in the 17th century.

I question why the committee didn’t just move it to the correct category once they realized it was misplaced, or why the committee member that contacted me had placed it in the Romance-Suspense category in the first place. I also question myself. Why didn’t I take the time to read every detail to ensure everything was correct. It was my responsibility, not that committee member’s!

Something to think about!

-Jan R

Follow The Rules!

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