Contest brings out writer’s non-competitive side

Maddie falls for the Chandler family and their little town, but her job is on the line: Logan’s leading a battle to save the business from developers – and she’s the attorney sent to shut it down.

It’s a romantic comedy. No, it’s funny, really.

After all these years I’m fairly confident in my writing ability, but I don’t have much confidence in my ability to win contests. I was that person in gym class who hid under the bleachers, so I wouldn’t have to lose gracefully. In high school I finally got up the courage to run for student council, only to come in ninth … out of eight candidates.

On our volunteer fire department I ran for captain, but only got four votes for corporal. And we don’t have corporals. Apparently I was given a bit of corporal punishment.

Finally I did win two elections for the Albion Town Council, but only because I promised the voters to put a weatherproof plastic dome over the town. It turns out I was being just a bit optimistic on both cost and feasibility matters. Still, I only lost the next election by six votes after promising never to send troops into Churubusco. (Little historical inside joke, there. Vote for me and I’ll explain it to you.)

It’s a spotty record at best, but this time I have to dig in and actually try to win, which is something I probably should have thought to try before. It would have made dodgeball way less painful. You see, it’s almost impossible to get your book published if you don’t send it out into the cold, cruel world of publishing.

So, for the week of October 2 through October 11, everyone can go to the contest’s website and vote for their choice – not just once, but once every day. (Okay, it’s actually ten days, not a week – I write because I hate math.)

If I get into the top 25, my manuscript will be one of, I’m guessing, 25 or so that will be judged by the Harlequin editors. (I say “or so,” because they’ll choose three wild card submissions.) If I make it to the top three … well, I don’t see the point of looking that far into the future, considering I once ran a marathon and posted a worse time than a guy who had a heart attack halfway through.

I should have stopped to help, but didn’t want to come in last. How was I to know I would anyway, when he hobbled to his feet and ran past me to the ambulance? Maybe I should rethink that Good Samaritan thing … I’ll bet a good round of CPR would have bought his vote.

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