First, the winner for my First Ever Contest to win some wall candy for your writing space:
Thanks to those who entered and congratulations to Theresa Milstein! Shoot me an email at strikingnotes(at)yahoo(dot)com with your mailing address and your pick for your second photo! Don't forget that you can pick anything from my website
And in other contest news, Shelli on the Market My Words blog is running a Pay It Forward Contest through Feb. 4. In appreciation for all those that helped her along the way, she's offering up a referral to her own agent. Understandably, she's not randomly picking a writer to recommend--Shelli's generously using her own time and effort to find a new voice and help bring some well-earned attention to them. The rules are on her contest link above, but she does ask that you pay it forward by acknowledging those that have helped you along the way.
In my early days, the El Dorado Writers Guild helped me break a lot of newbie habits. They still meet, if anyone else needs an open, caring group. My YA critique group, including Nancy Herman, Rachel Allen Dillon, Christina Mercer, Joe Vollmer, Thelma White, and new member Janelle Weiner are vital. And betas Karla Nellenbach and Alison Kemper Beard have helped me see where I'm being stubborn, and called me on things I was trying to get away with. Whew, where would I be without all of you? Still writing on my own, repeating the same bad habits, that's where!
And lastly, I wanted to remind everyone that Operation Awesome is doing another Mystery Agent contest starting tomorrow, and this time they are asking for a 25-word pitch. So get flexing those pitching muscles so you can be ready to enter--they fill up fast!