Wednesday, September 24, 2008


And the results are ----- Wrestling Demons wins 2nd place in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category at the ACFW conference!!!
Here I am with Carol Cartaino at the Highland County Writer's Meeting.
We took this picture for the local paper.


I am totally thrilled with placing at all even though second place might not seem like a win to others. In fact, one lady came up to me after the awards banquet, patted my arm and said, "Don't worry, honey, maybe you'll do better next year." Am sure I was polite enough not to roll my eyes but I wanted to. :)


This is such an honor to win. Once I hang the certificate on my wall, I'll be able to look at it this winter as I'm writing the rest of the book. It's going to be great incentive to finish.
The conference went better than I expected. The workshops were fantastic with lots of new information. It made me realize how much I don't know about writing and how much I do. Realized in the Early Bird class that I had been doing quite a few things I let others tell me were "wrong." Not so -- according to Margie Lawson. It made me more confident in writing with my own style and not stressing critiques or opinions so much.
Can't even list all the terrific people I met! It was just incredible having so many encouaging, supportive people. Will try to list just a few and if I've forgotten to list your name--you email me right away! There were, of course, the wonderful Ohio people--Sharon and Rosanna, Chris and Kathleen, Carol and Shelley. I'm so glad you all sat with me at the banquet and kept me calm. Thanks too for all the chats, the meals and the support.
Janet and Deb--thanks for showing me the ropes and all the fun meals.
It was great to finally meet you both in person.
Naomi -- wow, you are such a terrific person and I'm so glad we met! Really enjoyed the workshops we attended together. Thanks for sticking out the one sheet workshop until mine came under 'attack.' Yes, let's keep in touch!
Becky, Holly, Tina, Karen, Melanie, Rochelle, Amy, Laurie - well, I just know I'm going to leave someone out! There were just too many great people in the same place. Hope to see you all in Denver and that we can keep in touch through the year. Next time, I'm going to take more pictures.
And I have to give an extra special thanks to Sharon Dunn, my paid critiquer, who really made the conference special by taking the time to talk and encourage me. Thank you, Sharon for the critique, the excellent suggestions and encouragement! One of the nicest memories of Minneapolis is remembering how sweet you were to a beginner like me. Hope you sold out of books at the Mall of America book signing. I'm going to put the picture of us with our awards over my computer and hope someday I can be as nice to another writer as you were to me.
Guess what I'll remember most about the conference are all the great people. It was fun to win, even though I did trip going up the steps to the stage. If Brandilyn Collins hadn't grabbed my hand, I'd have fallen on my face. Realized later that I didn't even smile at Camy Tang I was too nervous. All I could think was "Brandilyn Collins is TOUCHING me and I read her books!"
I'm sure everyone wants to know what happened about my book manuscript since the purpose of a writer's conference is to meet editors and agents. Well, a lot happened and a lot didn't. Found out my dreaded one sheet---oh, how could I forget--THANK YOU, LORNA! You did a super, super job designing my one sheet. Anyway, my one sheet was darned good. It even interested Chip MacGregor, agent. I submitted it in a one sheet workshop where three agents offered suggestions. Mine passed and they liked parts. Had left out a crucial word which got a laugh (cringing) but my first paragraph drew them in. They suggested cutting the second paragraph and just using the first to entice a second reading.
SO, I met with two agents and an editor with my beautifully designed, though flawed in content one sheet. Two kept it, one said she didn't want a lot of stuff to carry home but would love--yup, that's what she said--:) --to read the finished product. The others said pretty much the same thing--they would be interested in reading it once it's finished. Which I knew.
Guess my main goal in going was to see if Wrestling Demons could "pass."
If anyone would find it interesting enough to read more. Am more than satisfied at getting an answer.
Oh, and I got my final round scores from the Genesis contest which were very surprising! One high, one low. The judges agreed on several points and those are items easily fixed. The rest of the scores were all over the place---one loved what the other hated. One judge admits to being a harsh judge and said my work was 'edgy' -- go figure. She also thought it might be a 'hard sell' due to the content. Am I discouraged? Nope. This is one book I'm sure of --- but it's sure going to be a lot of work!
It's nice to know that there are agents, editors and others who find it an interesting plot and premise. That should keep me going for awhile.

8 comments:

PattyK said...

Rock on, Donna. I'm so happy you went and enjoyed yourself and met great people and hobnobbed with the literati. Oh yeah--and placing in the contest is the cherry on the sundae.
As for getting SECOND place, just remember that Clay Aiken came in second one year in the American Idol competition--and nobody ever hears about the guy who came in first! (What WAS his name?) LOL.
I think your news is AWESOME!

nlindabrit said...

Heartiest congratulations, dear girl! I am SO proud of you. I have been thinking of you throughout the conference and was hoping you had met a good crowd there. It sounds as though you had an absolute blast with your friends, so I am very pleased for you. Welcome home! You were missed.

Peaches said...

What can I say except to echo all the sentiments expressed above and more? I am confident that you will finish your book and (having had a peek at a bit of it) I'm confident that the right agent will pick it up for the right publisher! AND I will be first in line at the bookstore!!
So proud of you, Donna!!

Leona said...

Congrats my friend! You're gonna be someone soon and I'm gonna say...I knew you when! Beaming with pride for you!

lynnrush said...

Congrats Donna. I'm so happy for you!!!

God Bless!!

Erica Vetsch said...

Congratulations on placing second in your category, Donna. That's a wonderful accomplishment and you earned it!

Kitty said...

what a wonderful time you had and to win 2nd!! great..can't wait to get a letter from you with all the details..

Janny said...

Okay, now I understand you're having trouble getting back in the swing of things after Conference...no prob. The last place I wanted to be after Conference was at the ADJ, but I'm here for awhile yet (until that major contract comes in). So consider this a good-natured kick in the slats to make sure you stay on course!

Oh, and thanks for the blog comments! If you really think I should have a bigger readership, then I give you full permission to point people to my place whenever you feel like it. I'm going to be making a writing-related announcement shortly, so maybe that'll pique a few ears. :-)

(No, it's not aforementioned major contract yet, so not to worry.)

So there you go...
Your blog pal,
Janny