Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Paragraphs and Figs




I entered literary agent Nathan Bransford's first paragraph contest today after reading about it on Twitter. I fretted over which first paragraph from the file on my desktop might be catchy enough to gain attention. Then I rewrote the one I chose, over and over and over again. What do you think of writing contests? Do you enter them? Did you enter this one? Last I checked, Nathan Bransford had over 2000 entries. Imagine that. 4:00 p.m. tomorrow is the deadline. He says he's going to read all the entries. I sat and read through them for about two hours, and my eyes were beyond bleary.

I made baked figs with toasted pecans and vanilla bean organic blue agave syrup for desert tonight. Yummy, but rich. The Husband relaxed in his favorite chair and sipped a bit of cognac with his figs, I washed mine down with Sleepytime tea. Hope you had a good evening too!

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

16 comments:

Jan Morrison said...

Even though I can't eat what you described just yet (3 more months til I can) I NEED the recipe! It sounds so lovely.
I don't enter contests much anymore. I find it takes too much time and the other part of biz with writing takes quite enough. Also, I'm afraid of getting really good at sound bites when I need to get good at the long novel structure! I love books on writing but I find not all of the writers write a good novel - why is that? I think sometimes we get too used to a certain form - writing exercises etc... and can't do the marathon or even the stretch of a short story. So that's my two cents on that!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

My husband would have rushed to your house if he knew you were doing anything with figs! He loves them and has them most mornings with breakfast.

Love your pics. Makes me want to come over and snuggle up.

Yes, I enter many writing contests and have won several. I think they help build a writing platform for the future with publishers.

kerrycharacters said...

Sounds like the perfect autumn evening. Thanks so much for your comments - you have encouraged me beyone measure. I have put off writing for so long and have decided to give it a try. The pecan figs would be good fuel methinks....

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Yum...figs!

I don't do writing contests, but I think they can be good to stimulate our imaginations and make inroads with agents or publishers.

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Journaling Woman said...

It is 6:52 a.m. when I am reading this and must go to work soon. But I would have loved to have entered the contest...I guess not this time.

I've never had baked figs or a fig for that matter, unless Fig Newtons count. I don't get out much. :)

Joanne said...

I do enter writing contests, but not too often. I've entered only a handful. I think a win of some sort helps that all important platform, as a marketing tool to add to your credentials.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Delicious post titles and photos!

I entered the first paragraph contest too, so good luck to us all.

Kim said...

This dessert sounds absolutely divine! My mouth is watering here at my desk at work.

I do enter writing contests but din't know about this one. Would love to know which paragraph you entered.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I entered it as well. I didn't rewrite anything, just copied and pasted the opening paragraph from my WIP. Ah well. He retweeted a comment I sent to him last night, so I shall take that as a good sign!

Elspeth

ellen abbott said...

I don't enter writing contests but I do submit pieces to juries exhibitions. What they tell you when you don't get in is that it's not because your piece was not worthy but because that particular jury had a different esthetic. Next time, next jury, the same piece could be accepted.

Oh, and the figs sounded yummy.

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

I'm a bit of a contest junky but I think, Jan, your comment makes some sense-getting really good at sound bites when I need to get good at the long novel structure.

That may be my problem. For a while 1000 words was my limit. Now I easily write novellas- up 30,000 to 40,000 words but struggle to get further. I've been working on a novel (for a contest -of course) and it must be 60,000 words or more. I have struggled like crazy and I'm still short 700 words. My story is done. I can't see where those 700 words can fit.

Love the pics -Elizabeth!

Maggie May said...

I loved the look of those figs and just had a peek at your little granddaughter. What a treasure!

Nuts in May

Tom Bailey said...

"I made baked figs with toasted pecans and vanilla bean organic blue agave syrup for desert tonight."

When I eat things this sweet I passout since I eat sugar so infrequently.


Good luck on the contest....

staceyjwarner said...

I love Sleepytime tea! Do you get the kind with extra Valerian? They sell it at Target.

I'd love to read your first paragraph. What great contest. I've entered screenplay contests but not for my prose writing.

much love,

Jemi Fraser said...

I didn't enter Nathan's contest, although I did read some of the entrants yesterday. He's got a LOT of work ahead of him!!! I enter very few contests - I usually only get to the computer late at night, and there's so much else to do :)

Jenn said...

I didn't enter this one but have begun to consider similar ones recently. In the past I have entered a lot of Haiku. The first line of a book is so critical, it is what will make or break the reader reading it (I think anyway) so that one would be a little scary to me. Sounds like you had a lovely, stress free evening. Good luck with the contest, you'll have to let us know how it goes!