Friday, 15 July 2011

Finding my New Voice

New Voices 2011 is around the corner. In two months time Mills & Boon will be once again giving aspiring authors the chance to get their work out there, for critique, comment, perhaps praise. To ultimately be judged and, for one hard working talent, given a unique opportunity to shine. The first New Voices was last year; I had been playing around with writing for four years or so, managing 40,000 not-bad-at-all words with the talented @nellbelleandme (turned down by at least ten short sighted agents, not that I'm bitter), submitting two partials to M&B and attending one exhilarating day of workshops at the York Festival of Writing. But New Voices 2010 was when I began to take writing seriously.

I wrote last year's entry cross legged in a tent in Devon, listening to the wind and the rain beat down around me (it wasn't the world's greatest holiday), fighting my daughter for the laptop as she rediscovered Monsters Inc in a big way. It was a way of passing time whilst I waited for feedback on what would become Standard R 2. Good feedback from a Mills & Boon editor at the York Festival of Writing had filled me with confidence, maybe a little too much. I didn't expect to win but I'll let you in on a secret, I did expect my entry to shine in some way.

My holiday writing space - in a rare, dry second

It didn't. The first entries on this blog relive that time in all its raw emotion, embarrassing and slightly uncomfortable to read maybe, but honest. The confidence was replaced with doubt, gnawing, gut wrenching doubt that even the many positive comments on my entry couldn't fix. But, for the first time, I had begun to participate in writers' circles online, befriending other writers, on Facebook and Twitter..Writers who were learning from their disappointment and moving on. Right, so I would too. I gritted my teeth and carried on.

I rewrote the competition chapter and a second and put them aside to come back too, along with the 2nd rejected R (the first rejected R is best left alone)
I started this Blog
I did Nano – 50,000+ words
I entered So You Think You Can Write and a Harlequin Valentine's Competition
I joined the RNA New Writer's Scheme
I did two courses with Jessica Hart, sadly not in Tuscany
I gave up editing my Nano (it belongs with the first rejected R) and started on a new book to submit to the New Writers Scheme

Not bad for nine months work, especially as all this is squeezed into those brief moments when I am not parenting, working or at cub camp (at this time of year every week seems to be cub camp).

And I am looking forward to New Voices 2011. I have a couple of ideas, one historical, 2 contemporary to play with the second I get the still untitled NWS manuscript off. I am looking forward to seeing how old writing friends have progressed, meeting new ones, reading all those entries, obsessively refreshing to see if anyone has commented on mine – oh, no. That was last year's behaviour. This year I will be much calmer about the whole process (ahem).

Roll on September
Anyone not familiar with New Voices can still visit last year's website at My unedited work of genius complete with page long intro and flashbacks is brilliantly entitled Revengeful Seduction but sadly comments are now closed.


Xandra James said...

I'm looking forward to New Voices again - I'm hoping to see a lot of the names I saw last year and see how far they've come.

If you need someone to read your first chapter, let me know... am always here for a fellow NV 2010 reject ;)

Good luck and get writing! lol

Alexandra said...

Nerve wracking stuff. Are we mad to put ourselves through all the angst yet again? Good luck with this year's NV.

Julia Broadbooks said...

I will always remember that first New Voices fondly. It was crazy scary to jump into it all on my own, but I'm so glad that I did. That's where I met all of you!

Doris O'Connor said...

Ah the madness of new Voices. I will always remember it fondly, because for me too it kick started my writing journey. I joined a crit group, made some very valuable friends and have not stopped writing since.

Not sure whether I'll enter again, but even if I don't I will be cheering from the side lines! :-)

Lacey Devlin said...

Lots of luck with NV! I'll be keeping an eye out for your entry.