Wednesday, April 11, 2007


No, not for me. For the contest I griped about for using scamtastic verbiage and tone in a newsletter. Actually, this post is long overdue, and thanks to author Steven Savile for leaving a comment on the above-linked post and thus reminding me the internet is a small place. At any rate, it's time to give credit where it's due.

Back in November when I received the newsletter that got me fired up, I forwarded my complaints to the folks who run the contest. I got a prompt reply thanking me for my email and telling me that my concerns were passed along to the folks who control the newsletter. That was the last I heard of it.

When I received the next newsletter, I was very impressed with the improvements. The sales pitch element was toned down and the content focused on the contest and how it has helped other writers. There was even a direct call for feedback about the newsletter content and such. Of course, there was no way for me to know if it was my email that triggered the change or something else. Still, I felt all warm and fuzzy. Even when some of the more recent newsletters went back to a stronger sales pitch tone, they at least didn't use the smarmy scam-type set up that got me angry before.

So for anyone who read my original post about the Writers of the Future Contest's questionable newsletter and was swayed to think less of the contest, please consider it redeemed. And if you're considering submitting to the contest, here's a quote from Steven:

I can definitely chart a turn around in my sales and upturn in career since the win back in 2002, and have no trouble being their poster boy for the contest. I went full time as a writer two years ago and am contracted up for a good two or three more.

If you'd like to get more specifics on Steven's experience, you can submit a question to him via his website. He responded to me (I was responding to his comment on my blog...ah the joys of tech) very quickly and candidly.

As for me, I will be submitting Ghost Story/Pinemeadow Fog to the Writers of the Future contest probably by the end of the month once I've finished revising it.

1 comment:

Steven Savile said...

Hi Kellie,

Glad your experiences second time of asking were a little more positive. As I said privately, the contest was very beneficial for me, but I can understand folks reservations when they read solicitations which seem to be about money. My comment is always this:

With Silverberg, Williams, Niven and Pournelle, Sawyer, KJ Anderson, Brooks et al serving as judges how often does a new writer get to have that kind of validation? The fact that these guys found my work worthy was one of the key motivators in me beginning to take it seriously. From my group in 2002 Jay Lake has a Tor deal plus a gazillion other things going on, Luc Reid has written a non-fic book for Writers Digest, and Geoffrey Girard and Robert Defendi are both working on novels for Games Workshop - that's 50% of the class selling books to major publishers within 3 years of winning. Patrick Ruthfus, the guy behind Name of the Wind is another winner, from the year before. There's a lot of talent that passes through the workshop - and believe me, the money is nice but nothing compared to a week in the company of Tim Powers and KD Wentworth discussing the craft of writing.

The offer stands - any of your friends or readers who are curious or want to know more of my experiences at the workshop and post contest - just swing by the website and drop me a line via that link you posted and I'll get back to them as soon as I can.

As with anything the contest is what you make of it - at worst it is a nice credit and pro-rate sale, at best it is a springboard.