Writing Contests – a headache?

I just received the results for my book entry by email from a romance writer’s contest that shall remain nameless. I wanted to share the feedback on my work, because I am still scratching my head over it. I have found over time that people either really like my writing or they definitely don’t. So with that as a preamble, here are the results. Total score is out of 100 points.

Judge no. 1 –

Overall, your story has potential, I can envision the journey your hero is going to take, but I’m not certain of your heroine, and there is some revision neededTOTAL SCORE: 56

Judge no. 2 –

Wow – an excellent fight sequence. Very good. This entry is almost at Very Good. It just needs to show the suspense/mystery sooner in the book. The descriptions and world-building were very good. Dialogue between the secondary characters at the work-yard was excellentTOTAL SCORE: 89

 Judge no. 3

Great job!(said 3 times) I really feel I know what’s driving the hero and heroine. Wonderful job with the balance of dialogue and the follow works great. Great job on showing the different personalities of the back ground players. Found them likeable and have a feeling the hero and heroine are going to be fun to read.Very Good! I would like to read more of this story. TOTAL SCORE: 98

 Now, what should I take from this? Well, first of all, out comes the grain of salt. I think it proves my point – the reader either really likes my work, or they don’t. I think the second point would be, two out of three isn’t bad. Two of the judges liked what they saw.

Perhaps I’ll just hang my hopes on what Judge no 3 had to say and keep writing. What do you think?


Cover release

An exciting new romantic suspense by Sylvie Grayson –

Cover release

Cover release

Soon to be released, check out the back blurb…..

Be careful what you go after…

Katy Dalton worked hard to finish college, holding down two jobs, and she saved money. Then she gave the money to her friend when he convinced her to invest it with a local business. But her job disappeared and she needs her money back fast, the money her friend Bruno has already loaned to Rome Trucking.

When Katy insists he return her money, Bruno stops answering his phone and bad things start to happen.

Brett Rome has a career in hockey and the last thing he wants to do is leave a promising opportunity as coach to return home and run his father’s trucking company. But Paddy is sick, can’t handle the day-to-day business, and Brett has to come home.

What he discovers is not the picture of a successful business that he remembers, but one that is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. To add to the chaos, a young woman walks in demanding her money, the money his father borrowed from her.

He hires her. Then bad things start to happen.

Can Brett put this broken picture back together, and is Katy part of the problem or the solution?

A thrilling roller coaster of a story…

Sylvie Grayson has found her niche, you’ll love this book…


Editing your writing

Is editing your own work all that difficult? I think it is. Once I’ve finished writing a piece and gone over it four or five times, my eye starts to skip even obvious errors. I’ve been working on an MS where an auto correct function took most contractions and spelled them with a quotation mark instead of an apostrophe – i.e. don”t instead of don’t.

For some reason, once that occurred the spell check wouldn’t pick them up. So I went through the piece manually changing them. Then I sent the pages to my pad to read it again and discovered I’d missed a bunch. See? It’s not that easy to do your own editing.

I’ve tried to work out a system once a piece is finished –

  • Run spell check
  • Run list of overused words
  • Read through on computer and edit
  • Send to pad to read and make notes of obvious errors
  • Final read through
  • I consider reading it out loud, printing it and reading it on paper
  • Then I start looking for other eyes on the MS because I’m bound to have missed something.

Joan DeMartin wrote a good piece on Lipsticking website about self editing. You can read it here –


How do you edit? All suggestions welcome!