WFNS Competition Review of My Debut YA Fantasy Novel!

I’m flying a little high right now.

I submitted my debut young adult fantasy novel to the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia for their Atlantic Writing Competition for Unpublished Manuscripts at the beginning of January. Don’t get too excited for me. I didn’t win or anything and I don’t expect to. They have announced the shortlist for all of the categories except the young adult competition (not enough applicants). The winners, including the one for the young adult category, will be announced in May. [Update: I didn’t win.]

One of the reasons I entered was because they provide an assessment of your writing based on the first 80 pages of your work.

The person who assessed my writing found plenty of things that I need to fix, which were not a surprise since I’ve had similar comments from my critiquers on Scribophile. (You can read about my amazing experience on that site here.) So I’ve been working on fixing those things the reviewer mentioned since I submitted my manuscript in January.

But I wanted to share the reason that I am flying high. The reviewers are only required to read the first 80 pages of the novel. Here is what my reviewer wrote at the end of the assessment:

The story hangs together well and is a fun adventure to read. I couldn’t stop reading it, and really enjoyed the twists and turns. I can see a series of these stories – Reviewer for the Atlantic Writing Competition for Unpublished Manuscripts

Did you see that?  THE REVIEWER COULDN’T STOP READING IT!

Woohoo! I am doing something right!  The other beautiful things the reviewer said:

A well-plotted and involving adventure story, with endearing and well-drawn characters and an exciting story arc.

*I drop the mike and walk off the stage*

How Scribophile Can Help Your Manuscript

Looking for Feedback in All the Wrong Places

I have a beta reader who gives me great feedback on the overall scope, characters, plot and pacing of my manuscript.  But it is always a good idea to get as many different points of view as possible.  So I went on a hunt for more beta readers, particularly those who can give me suggestions on the technical side of writing, such as sentence structure and grammar.

On some of the sites that I checked out, the feedback consisted of ‘good book’ or ‘I liked it’.

Ummm… thanks but that’s a little vague.  Are you just here to read books for free?

I need feedback from writers that are better than me, writers that can teach me things.

Hitting the Motherlode

I found Scribophile at the end of December.  It has helped me connect with some really good writers from all over the world, who have taught me how to become a better writer.  And everyone is super welcoming!

If you are a writer and you haven’t heard of Scribophile, I need to tell you about it and you need to listen.

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