Claymore Dagger Submission and Online Writing Class

Sorry I didn’t post on Friday! This week has been mad crazy hectic.  I’d say I bit off more than I could chew and barely  swallowed it without choking. 😛

The week began with me finishing up my last round of edits to the first 3 chapters of my novel for submission to the Claymore Dagger competition sponsored by Killer Nashville (a conference I’m attending in August). I have been revising the book since January in preparation for this submission.

Problem is when you revise the first 3 chapters for a contest, you suddenly realize how much work the rest of the book needs, so I did 2 massive rounds of revisions between January and now. In my head, the deadline for the competition was May 5, so I planned to finalize it all this weekend.

On Wednesday, I attended the MWA Symposium, which was so amazing it deserves it’s own post on Monday. I got to hear some terrifically talented writers speak about what they love doing.  I met some terrific people, learned a lot about the craft of writing mysteries, and came out of it feeling enthusiastic about the Backspace conference in May.

After leaving the conference, I came home and started on the last chapter revisions for the Claymore Dagger contest. Something was bothering me and I checked the Killer Nashville website and realized the contest submission had to be received by May 5, 2010. UGH! That meant I had to finish all edits by Friday and overnight it just to be safe. Dumb dumb girl! How did I miss that? Luckily, I caught it in time and that meant Wed and Thursday nights and subway rides were devoted to editing.

Around that time,  I also decided that to prepare for the Backspace Conference I should attend the Writer’s Digest Critique Series: Novel Queries & Pitches Live Webinar next Thursday, which required me to pay for the class online and send my newly drafted hook (from a burst of creativity on Sunday night) in for a critique.

On top of it all, my course,  Essentials of Mystery Writing, started Thursday. And of course the textbook is taking 3+ weeks to ship from, get this,  PA to NY?!  I’m expecting some Amish guy to pull up in his buggy to deliver it. 3 weeks is freaking insane. So I am screwed for the first week’s reading assignment. The textbook is also hard to find. Barnes and Noble resellers estimated 4-6 business days if I wanted to buy another copy, which is around the time the one I purchased from an Amazon reseller (on April 16th) is due to arrive.

But the course sounds really fun and I started reading the lecture and posting. It’s a 6 week course and I’m hoping to learn more about the craft of mystery writing.

So back to the Claymore Dagger submission. Last night after work, I stopped at the post office to gather the Express mail envelope and form (thank god my post office is open until 8 PM). I filled everything out at home, printed out the final version of the submission, populated the submission form, and then at 9:15 AM, I raced into the post office before work to get that mailed out. 

 I cut off this moseying lady with a huge Macy’s bag cause I knew she would be standing at the window filling out paperwork for hours. I got in and out in record time and the submission should arrive Sat by noon. PHEW! Mega huge weight off my shoulders! I even made it to work early and was able to do a  quick impromptu meeting with the boss.

So this is why my Friday post didn’t happen and instead you get a Saturday post. 🙂

I’m not even going to mention what is going on in my day job or my personal life because it’s enough to drive a girl bonkers. But oddly enough, I feel more alive than I have in months. I love challenges and deadlines and fearing I won’t make it and then making it.

Now for May, I just have to focus on my writing class, my next conference, and drafting my other story. And trying to get the weird, sticky stuff off my counter because I did zero house cleaning this week and it shows.

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4 Responses to Claymore Dagger Submission and Online Writing Class

  1. Emma says:

    Wow you really are committed to your writing! All the conferences and online classes sounds like a lot of work. I’d love to take part in a writing conference but that is really difficult because my husband has to work long hours and I’d hate to leave my son even it was just for 2 to 3 days. But these online classes seem interesting–well, except for the textbook thing. Maybe you could give me more info on that? Does anyone else here know anything about online writing classes or maybe tried them?

    • They are but they keep me on track with my writing. I read voraciously and write everyday, but I wanted to take it to the next level with learning the craft of writing mysteries and understandng as much as I could about writing and publishing. Maybe when your son is older, you can do a writing conference? For now, online courses are great.

      Writer’s Digest offers a ton of courses:

      I’ve done a couple of there 1.5 hour webinars as well and I’ve learned from them too. Writer’s Digest has pretty much anything to fit your schedule. There are other online classes out there, but I haven’t tried them so I can’ say how they are. Can anyone else recommend a great online class?

      And if you can’t attend conferences, almost all of them are video taped and available for sale:

      MWA Edgar Symposium:

      Backspace Conference–if you join the group you get access to videos form the conferences (I think an annual membership is 40-50$):

      Hope that helps!

  2. Emma says:

    Wow, thank you sooo much for these links!! I think I’ll get some of the Edgar Symposium recordings first. I’ve always been interested in writing mysteries and they also have a lot of other more general tips on writing. The webinars also sound very interesting, maybe I should try a few of those before actually singing up for a whole online class. Anyways, thanks again for everything!

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