3 Tips While Celebrating Writing Contest Submissions – Whistle While You Work?

Photo by hortongrou

Photo by hortongrou

Leave a comment stating the contest you entered and the category/or genre at the end of this post to be entered in a drawing for the following prizes:

A copy of IIdea Sparkingdea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel


MBT Community Events*A Copy of The Truth About Conferences: The My Book Therapy Guide to how to have a successful Writer’s Conference

*A $10 Amazon Gift Card


Last night I hit an epic high in my writing year. You know that moment. The one where you hit SEND! It only happens a few times a year, for contests and submitting to editors or agents.

That high moment lasts for just a short time and then the WAITING WILLIES kick in. Yep, just when we feel we’ve arrived we have to wait to see if we will be rejected.

If you are new to the writing road, realize that WAITING is a huge part of your new career! Now that you’ve hit SEND there are some things you should keep in mind.

3 Tips While Celebrating Writing Contest Submissions:

*Celebrate your achievement. Allow yourself to take a few minutes and celebrate your hard work. Do your happy feet dance.

*Realize the purpose for the contests. Yes, we all want to win. BUT don’t start writing your acceptance speech just yet. The truth is that even if your submission is perfection, you still might not final. Judging is subjective.

The focus of your contest entry should be receiving solid feedback. If you focus on this area, you will be much more satisfied with the outcome. Finaling or winning is just the bonus round.

*”Whistle While You Work” and just keep writing. If you stop and wait for the results of a contest, you will lose valuable writing time. Especially since the announcements of finalists can be discouraging if you don’t final, utilize the steam you have right now.

Have you entered a contest this past year? Let’s celebrate together!

Tell us the name of the contest and the genre/category you submitted to enter the drawing.



About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

15 thoughts on “3 Tips While Celebrating Writing Contest Submissions – Whistle While You Work?

  1. dtopliff says:

    I entered Frasier
    And Genesis in 1) Historical, and 2) Romantic Suspense

  2. Love the Penguins! I hope everyone enters the Frasier, or Genesis (ACFW), Touched by Love (RWA) or the Daphne (for suspense writers). Or all of them. The feedback I received helped me get published!

  3. Lisa Jordan says:

    Contests are a great way to gain feedback. Plus they give you courage to put your work out in front of other readers. I love what you said about celebrating your achievements. Each of these milestones are one more step in your writing journey.

  4. I entered LOVE IS JUST A WORD in the Frasier. It’s YA. In the GENESIS I entered a suspense novel and a young adult novel. Gulp! My suspense is not for the CBA but I toned it down for the purpose of the contest–to get feedback. I love that part! It helps me improve quicker. Thanks for letting me celebrate, Michelle. I’m whistling! As always, thanks for the encouragement. I’m going to go watch your videos now. They’ll make me smile.

  5. Alana Terry says:

    I entered my inspirational fiction manuscript in the Women of Faith writing competition. I made it to finalist round and am waiting to hear back. I think the idea of celebrating needs to explored deeper. In addition to happy feet, what else are some meaningful ways to celebrate “finishing” a manuscript?

    • Michelle Lim says:

      Well, there is always chocolate! One of my personal favorites! Or sometimes just taking a day off of writing, or doing something just for yourself that you love. My kids and I often celebrate together by going to the movies or making cookies when I reach a big writing deadline because they are part of my success.

  6. patti shene says:

    I entered First Impressions in historical fiction, I believe was the category. My scores were horrible. I cried for a week. (Well, not really, but I think my vision did get a little blurry as i tried to read the comments!)

    • Michelle Lim says:

      Oh, Patti, I’m so sorry that it was a painful experience. Sometimes the first few contests or submissions are the most difficult. Developing thick skin about the results is tough. But you have a lot to be proud of…you took a risk and put your work out there, all in the purpose of improving as a writer. It’s okay to grief the results and then get back up and keep writing, applying what you’ve learned. Celebrating your courage!!

    • Oh Patti- I’m so sorry about your experience. You aren’t alone. I think we’ve all gone through that, but remember it’s three opinions. That’s all. I had a 98 and two in the 60’s in one contest one year. Go figure. How does that happen? Write your story and let their comments make you a tighter writer. If you stay with it you’ll see success. I promise. Wish I could give you a hug. Glad you shared this because it helps. We have to stay together and encourage. Best, Michelle

      • ediemelson says:

        Patti, I’ve had the same experience before and it can be devastating. Take time to rant and rave and cry because they’re so stupid, then ask yourself why God allowed such a painful and possibly unfair experience. I did, and God showed me that first and foremost I’m writing for Him. He’s the One I need to look to for affirmation and confirmation. I also needed to know this industry is governed by preferences of individuals and companies. In so many ways, it’s not a “fair” industry. Writing isn’t like solving a math problem, there are guidelines, but very few black and white rules. He showed me, in that way, the contest results were good for me. I needed to move forward with my eyes open. It also helped toughen my very tender heart. Now it still hurts when those harsh critiques come, but I’m focusing on what God is saying, not just people. I’m sorry this happened, but I’m glad you’ve chosen to share it with others who totally get your pain and can help you move past it. Blessings, Edie

  7. Michelle Lim says:

    So great to hear everyone’s encouragement here!

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