Gary Hurtubise

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Tag: writing competition

Darksea: A Winner at the 2016 Ozma Awards!

So as it turned out, I was unable to make it out to Bellingham, Washington to attend the 2016 Ozma Awards Ceremony and Chanticleer Author’s Conference (life and stuff got in the way, sadly).  As such, I figured that my lack of attendance would negate any chance I had of winning (not being too sure how these types of awards work…).

Glumly, I watched the first weekend of April go by, waving my chance at winning goodbye.

And forgot about the whole thing…

…(Silly me!)

On a whim, I checked out the Chanticleer website tonight and came across this little bit of news:

How about that?!

The First In Category award winners are to receive a complimentary book review from Chanticleer, as well as a bunch of other promotional items.  And now I can say that my (as of yet unpublished) novel is an award winner!  Priceless.  😀

Thank you to Chanticleer Book Reviews for providing a platform for me to have my manuscript reviewed.  I’m feeling that much closer to turning Darksea into a real book – and me into a real author!   (Reject me now, literary agents!!)

Congratulations to Christopher, Elisabeth, Vijay, Raven, Nicole and Murray for their category wins, and especially to Vijay, for also winning the Ozma Grand Prize!

 

UPDATE: Darksea Has been Shortlisted!

When it rains it pours!

Not 48 hours after I discovered that my fantasy novel Darksea was named a finalist for the 2016 OZMA Awards, I received word that it has now made it to the shortlist!

I’m still sort of reeling from the first bit of news.  I think it’ll take a few days for this latest bit to settle in.

Regardless of what comes next, I feel like I have some real writing ‘cred’ now… guess it’s time to get back to some agent queries!

In the meantime, gotta decide if we’ll be making a trip to the Chanticleer Authors Conference and Awards Gala in Bellingham, Washington at the end of March!

 

 

My Fantasy Novel is a Finalist for the OZMA Awards!

You know when you’re out shopping and you come across the perfect gift for a loved one… but it’s no where close to their birthday, and Christmas is still many months away?  So what do you do?  Well, you buy it, and store it away for that special day.  And then promptly forget about it.

 

Or how about when you take time to book a winter vacation to some balmy, tropical paradise months in advance, briefly imagining the fun and the sun and the <hic>… well, whatever else you imagine might happen as your finger hovers over the ‘Purchase’ button (wincing slightly at what your VISA statement will look like next month)?  Then the cruel weight of the real world descends back onto your shoulders and the warm, gentle glow infusing you from having planned your winter getaway evaporates faster than you can say “I-don’t-want-to-work-I-just-want-to-be-a-famous-full-time-writer!!

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…and then finally, seemingly out of nowhere, the departure date for your tropical vacation arrives.  And you’re like: …oh, yeah.  Oh, YEAH!!!

Yesterday, I was perusing what I call my “Tracker” – a spreadsheet I maintain to track where and when I’ve submitted all my (written) work.  The latest entry for my novel Darksea was: “Sept 2016: submitted to Ozma Awards“.

“Oh,” I thought to myself.  “Forgot all about that one.”

I clicked over to the Ozma Awards website, to find that they had already announced the finalists for the contest.

“Ah well,” I thought, preparing to move on.  Obviously, if I’d been a finalist, I would have heard, right?  Something stopped me, though, and just out of morbid and masochistic curiosity, I scrolled down to see the list.

This is what I saw:

 

…what what what?!?!?!

Could it be?  The novel that I’d essentially forgotten about, having nearly given up on sending it out to agents, has been chosen as a finalist for the 2016 Chanticleer Book Review OZMA Awards?!?!

In all honesty, I had been having difficulty maintaining my confidence and my productivity with my fiction writing up until about Christmas; now, however, with two short stories published and this latest news about my novel Darksea, I’m feeling the muse reawakening inside of me.

Time to (really!) start writing again!

Stay tuned to see if Darksea makes it to the next round of judging for the OZMA award!

 

 

NaNoWriMo is Over… back to Agent Queries!

Participate in NaNoWriMo, every November!

Have you heard about NaNoWriMo?  It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it takes place every November.  The goal: write a novel in a month (or, at least, write 50 000 words of it).

I first heard about it a little over three years ago, and was immediately skeptical of the premise: write 50 000 words in a month?!

Pshaw!  Not likely!

I tried it anyways, and did not succeed.  I tried again the year after, and again, failed.  This year, I was back at it, and came in woefully under-count, as I had two years running.

Am I disappointed in my results?

Well, yes.  Not at all!  Each November for the past three years, I managed to add thousands of words to my various novels.  I didn’t come close to 50 000, but thousands of words are certainly better than none.  This year, I used a good portion of October to world build my latest novel, then I managed to get over 20  000 words into it by the end of November.  Not too bad, considering my motivation recently had been lagging (see last post!).

I can’t think of any reason why I won’t participate again next year too.  Who knows – maybe 2016 will be the year I reach 50K!

Regardless of my result this year, NaNoWriMo served not only to springboard my next novel, but also got e re-energized with my writing.  I’ve got new ideas, new directions, and looming writing competition deadlines to work towards, and I’m looking forward to all of it. 🙂

First step: back on the agent search wagon.

I stopped submitting queries for the month of November, so that I could focus on my writing.

Now that we’re into December, I set myself the goal of getting my third batch of queries to agents out this past weekend, and I succeeded!  (While simultaneously neglecting entertaining the kids.  Gotta love multi-tasking.)  Coincidentally, I also receive a request for a partial manuscript from one of the agents from batch two, which was yet another boost to my motivation and confidence.  Things are starting to get rolling again!

Keep_calm

 

The Big “R”

rejected

 

Ah yes, I’ve read this over and over from blogs by authors, agents and publishers – writers have to develop a thick skin – not the type at the end of your fingers from typing so much, but from suffering through an endless, impersonal torrent of rejections.

I’ve been entering short stories competitions for several years now, and have yet to break ‘honourable mention’ or ‘grab-bag winner’ status.  Nevertheless, the periodic rejections were spaced widely enough apart not to make to much of a dent in my psychological armour.  So no big deal.

I’ve currently got about half-a-dozen short stories circulating out there, searching for a market.  To date, lots of ‘thanks, but no thanks’.  Again – periodically enough not to get me down.

Now that I’ve finished a novel, however, and the search for agents is underway, the rejections are starting to come in at an accelerated rate.  Oh, and I’m reaching out for some freelance work too, to flesh out my writing even more… all to no avail, so far.

So, putting it all together, I’m getting close to having a steady stream of rejections coming in, from four unique sources.  It’s starting to suck.

sad_baby

       I can see why so many writers throw in the towel.  I feel like doing that right now.  I mean, what’s the point?  All this time and energy spent writing and researching and putting myself out there… for what?  Why hasn’t anybody seen my genius yet?

snoopy

Well, I’m not giving up.  I think I’m close.  I can’t *quite* feel it yet, but it’s not far away.

Plus, writing is just so much damn fun; why would anyone not want to be a writer for a living?!  So let’s keep chipping away.  There’s bound to be a few suckers wise individuals out there who’ll eventually end up publishing my stuff… right?! 🙂

Here’s a quote from Pierre S. Dupont IV that fits my situation perfectly, at the moment, and actually does give me a glimmer of hope:

       “I’m in a wonderful position; I’m unknown, I’m underrated, and there’s nowhere to go but up.”

Ok – that’s enough moping for now – I’ve got to get back to my world-building for the novel I’m writing during this year’s NaNoWriMo!

 

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