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.