Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Putting on My Lip Gloss: January 19, 2011 – Writing for Stilettos

Photo Credit: Novelicious

I was checking out Novelicious, not only because it’s one of my favorite Chick Lit Websites, but also to look up an article I remember being published about year ago and I came across a new section dedicated towards Aspiring Authors, titled The Secret Dreamworld of an Aspiring Author by Anna Bell. One of the things I love most about Novelicious is that they are always exploring (in depth) another vantage point of the world of chick lit, this one being the Writer’s perspective. What used to be a weekly event called, Writer’s Wednesday, has been modified to Writer’s Tuesday and includes everything from, Author Interviews, My Writing Room (where Writer’s work their magic) and Top Five Writing Tips from a wide variety of your and my favorite Chick Lit authors.

But back to Anna Bell’s blog entry…..she began talking about a National Association in the UK called the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA) (not to be confused with the Romance Writers of America (RWA) as I did). Ms. Bell said in her post that RNA Membership is only open to published authors – now I looked this up on their web site and it does at least appear that “published” is somewhat arbitrary in that it can be in a magazine, a book, a short story, a newspaper etc etc; but I don’t think it means your everyday blogger or entrant in NaNoWriMo. That being said, they also have an “exclusive” membership to amateur/wanna-be writers, like me, called The New Writer’s Scheme. (Hooray! There is hope out there for me and a support network of writers.) However, as she so disappointedly realized, the exclusivity of this amateur membership is such that they cap off members at a count of 250 and by the first few hours of January first, membership is CLOSED! So heartbreakingly, Anna Bell blogged on about hoping to have better luck next year. (I wish you all the best, girl!! Us fellow wannabe writers gotta stick together, right?!)

So anyways Ms. Bell’s post got me thinking about what I could do here in the U.S. to jumpstart my journey on the path towards becoming a published chick lit writer (especially after verifying that yes, the RNA’s New Writer’s Scheme was officially closed and not open to U.S. residents…bummer.) As I said, it initially reminded me of the National Group here in the U.S., the Romance Writers of America (RWA), which just so happens to have a sub-chapter dedicated to Chick Lit. Anyone can become a member of the Chick Lit Writers (CLW) subdivision of the RWA – you just have to be a fan of chick lit (and, of course, you must be willing to shell out the fees). I have yet to join the Chick Lit Writers but it’s very tempting, the more I work on my writing, read more chick lit novels, meet authors and read other book reviewers’ blogs.  Not only does it seem like a great networking and educational tool for anyone interested in chick lit – and especially those interested in writing chick lit – but the biggest attraction for me is their annual Get Your Stiletto in the Door writing contest.
Photo Credit: Chick Lit Writers (CLW)

The Get Your Stiletto in the Door writing contest is for anyone (you don’t even have to be a member of the CLW) to submit a never-before published manuscript of chick lit genre fiction to the Chick Lit Writers division of the RWA. If my memory serves me right (because the rules will not be published again until Spring 2011), the contest is judged by notable chick lit writers, reviewers and editors. I believe the winner gets their work published in a notable piece of literature and of course, publication on the Chick Lit Writers web site. Most of all, the contest gives wannabe-writers a chance to have their manuscripts read – rather than tossed in a bin, shredded by Macmillan, HarperCollins or whoever is accepting chick lit fiction these days or just thrown into a pile of “To Be Read” scripts never to be seen again – and for me, I know I’m not going to win any contest or publish an Emily Giffin-worthy bestseller these days, but to gain the recognition of someone willing to actually peruse my work (and I guess they will send it back to you with edits or comments of some sort if you include a SASE), that’s worth more than gold to me (okay, maybe not gold, but you know what I mean). If nothing else, the contest (like what NaNoWriMo 2010 did for me late last year) could provide the excitement of working towards an actual chick lit novel written by me (no matter how novice my work might be at this point) could be just that source of motivation I’ve been looking for to get a finished product out the door (or at least up on my computer screen).

So, Anna Bell, thank you for your post on Novelicious. I will definitely be looking forward to what you have to say to all of us aspiring writers next Tuesday!

Photo Credit: Novelicious

Putting on My Lip Gloss is a new series of blog posts that represent my personal thoughts, ideas and general ramblings related to chick lit reading and writing. Every day is an inspiration – I never know where my next post is going to come from, but when it does, I always feel like putting on my lip gloss! Thanks for reading.

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