Wednesday, August 24, 2016

James River Writers


It was an ordinary morning today until I opened an email with this note from Annette Marquis of the James River Writers in Virginia.
Thank you so much for your entry in the Best Self-Published Novel contest. Our contest committee has finished the first rounds of judging and passed their top six choices along to our final judge, Christopher Rhodes. We are pleased to inform you that your book, Dust on the Bible, was selected to move on to the second round. Congratulations!
The James River Writers is an established, reputable organization with a history of supporting writers. I'd love to go to their conference in October, but a family reunion in Illinois takes precedence.

A plethora of contests has sprung up online purporting to recognize excellence in self-published books. A quick look at some of them suggests that awarding medals is an up and coming business. 

Entry fees may range from $75-$95. And the number of categories in some of these contests is mind-boggling— "70 categories to choose from" (Next Generation Indie Book Awards).  Reader Views Reviews awards from two to eight awards in 29 categories biannually. The Ben Franklin Awards names three winners in 54 categories. The National Indie Excellence Award has about 160 categories; Independent Publisher's Ippy Awards gives gold, silver, and bronze medals in 83 categories. I have to wonder how many quality judges they find to decide excellence in 83 categories.

The Book Designer website has a list of contests, but after looking at it, I question whether my money would be well spent entering them. Last year, I went for the WritersDigest contest for self-published novels. Wasted my money.

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