It is exactly one month since I sent my manuscript off to the New Writer's Scheme. Obviously I made the process as white knuckle as possible, printing it out the morning I was packing to go on holiday - on a camping holiday which means ten times as much stuff to assemble. Cue much panic and yelling: "It's not printing! What's happening?" and much blaming of my husband because it was obviously all his fault I had left it until the last minute.
Then more panic. Where were our self adhesive labels? Why didn't we have any postcards? And (my personal favourite) "I HAVE FORGOTTEN TO WRITE A SYNOPSIS." But, three very stressful and tearful hours later, it was sent off and now I am waiting not very patiently for it to arrive back (looks out window for postman for the tenth time this morning).
What is particularly scary about this is that the NWS reader will be the first person to set eyes on this particular story. The first page was read out at a writing class and discussed with friends, I also gave them a little detail on the back story but since March nobody but me has read it. I wanted the NWS reader to see my plotting, writing, dialogue and characterisation uninfluenced by any crit from outside in order for me to learn where I am going in the right direction - and where I have it spectacularly wrong. A complete contrast to my New Voices entry which has been extensively discussed by my crit partners.
But how lucky am I that this book of mine will be read by a professional who is willing to give up their time to comment on my writing? Romance writers and editors are so very generous with their advice and support through courses, social media and conventions. My twitter timeline has been full of writers from all over the world getting together for conventions filled with workshops and one to ones in NZ, Australia, New York and our own RNA annual convention in Wales. The M&B New Voices page on Facebook is frequented by published writers commenting, cheerleading and blogging tips. Is every genre this friendly or is this as special and unique as it seems? There is information galore for the budding writer, all we have to do is find it, read it and learn from it.
Schemes like the New Writer's ones are very special indeed. I have seen two of the reports sent to other entrants and they are filled with with guidance, constructive criticism and invaluable advice. Thank you, thank you, thank you to whoever is currently reading Summer Fling. I hope the middle doesn't sag too much *cringes* and I am (just a tad impatiently) looking forward to reading your report.