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WIP Wednesday: Submissions, Crit Groups, and Nashville


I received an update on my submission to Harlequin this week, so I thought this would be a perfect time for a WIP Wednesday.  I haven't done one in a long while and there are a number of things that could stand for a little update love.  So here we go...

My Wanderlust Submission

I queried Harlequin Blaze eight months ago.  Three months later they requested my full and told me to expect a 3-5 month wait on turnaround.  I will hit the five month mark in a about a week.  So, when I won the Great Expectations contest (and got a recommendation from the Harlequin editor who judged the contest), I sent a follow-up letter (Harlequin does everything by snail mail) and settled in to wait again.

This week I received the terrifying soul-sucking bane of my existence self-addressed stamped envelope.  My husband handed it to me with that look - like he was preparing his I-love-you-and-you're-awesome-no-matter-what-some-editor-says speech.  So, I tore open the letter and--thank the heavens--it was only an update.  *phew*  The editor congratulated me on the contest win and assured me that I'm on top of her to be read pile.  So, I need all  of you to send positive thoughts in Canada's direction (where their offices are) that the read goes well.

My Critique Group

After feeling like a literary agent for a week, reading through all the contest entries, we have chosen not one but two new members for our group!  The amount of talented people who applied to the contest was awesome, so it was not an easy decision.  But I am excited to welcome Suzanne and Katrina to our little group!

The Beta Club

I'm on the fence about whether or not I should continue the Tues/Thur Beta Club feature here on the blog.  Comments have been dropping off and yesterday the number of comments was downright dismal.  And that was not due to the entry--which was a delight to read.  I know putting yourself up for public critique is difficult enough, but it's even harder when you put yourself out there and then you get no comments.  So I don't want to put authors through that if they are not getting a decent payoff from it.  And I don't want this to just be about me giving someone a critique.  The variety of opinions is what makes the feature so helpful to authors.  So if everyone is tiring of the feature, that's fine.  We'll move on.  If not, then let me know that too.  (Either way, if you have already submitted to the Beta Club, you will get a crit from me.  If I do decide to discontinue the feature, I will just send the crit to you privately.)

My Current WIPs

I'm 41k into my erotic romance.  I still think I'm a little nuts to do this dual timeline thing, but I feel like it's what the story needs, so I'm striding on in my insanity.  I'm not sure how long this one is going to be, but at 40k, I figure I'm at least halfway through.  So yay for that.

My contemporary romance WIP is at 18k and I'm starting it with my crit group.  I'm hoping to get the other WIP fully drafted before diving headlong back into this one.  As I discussed on Monday, drafting two at once is a major challenge for my one-track mind.

RWA Nationals

As many of you know, I recently signed up to attend RWA Nationals in Nashville, which I was very excited about.  Unfortunately, the city of Nashville have suffered a devastating flood--which has also ruined the Gaylord Opryland hotel, where our conference was going to be held.  So, right now, things are up in the air.  RWA is looking to move it somewhere else if they can.  But they book these things ten years in advance and it's a big convention, so not an easy task.  Hopefully they don't cancel it altogether.  But more importantly, I hope you will all keep the people of Nashville in your thoughts.  Having grown up in New Orleans, I know how horrible flooding can be, so I hope the city can get on its feet soon.  And speaking of New Orleans, please send positive thoughts to the Gulf Coast as well with that terrible oil spill.

Alright, I think that's all the updates!  Sorry for the mishmash, but I wanted to make sure I hit all these topics.  

So, how is your WIP going?  Do you have any submissions out there that you're waiting on?  What's your feeling about the Beta Club--nix it or keep going?

**Today's Theme Song**
"Everything" - Buckcherry
(player in sidebar, take a listen)


Reader Comments (24)

So glad that it was just an update and not a rejection. Good luck with it. Sounds like you're making excellent progress on your WiPs.

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie McGee

Wait... what? *Screeeeech* Something other than rejection letters can come in SASE????? *Spins circles around the room* Weeee!!! Sending good mojo to Canada for you!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterValerie Geary

awww i feel bad that one of the only times i don't crit on the beta club hardly anyone else does either (i was super busy at work and forgot)

I really enjoy the beta club, but i can totally see that if there aren't enough comments it doesn't really help.
Maybe instead of dropping it completely, you can try and ease down a bit? maybe one or two a month and see if that garner's more crits?

Also SUPER GOOD LUCK on the full!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFalen

I loved participating in the Beta Club and I think it is a great feature. I am guilty of not always coming to read the submission and critique though. I have a couple suggestions:
1. Shorten the submission to 400-500
2. Do it once a week and encourage people to read it throughout the week and continue to add comments

Thanks for the updates Roni. I will admit that regarding Beta club your critiques are so good it is hard to find something to add sometimes. Usually I just try to add thematic reactions.

Otherwise best of luck with your submission!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Rush

Happy to hear things are still going well with Wanderlust. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Congrats to your new crit groups members. You may be crazy for working on two WIPs at the same time, but results are what matters and 41K is nothing to sneeze at. :-)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawnB

Sending good thoughts your way!!!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Dao

Yay! I will send truckloads of positive thoughts to canada with Roni written all over them! LOL!

I think your Beta Club is fantastic - though I'm not always great about commenting. I agree that once a week would be good, but I'd be sad to see it stop. :-)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon O'Donnell

I think the Beta Club is a great idea, however your crits are so great I usually don't have much else to add. Therefore I read, but don't comment. Like someone else suggested, maybe twice a month.

Fantastic news on the full ms. Sending lots of luck your way.

I'm glad you found people for your crit group. I wanted to submit but was in the throes of a personal situation and couldn't think straight. My loss I'm sure.

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPiedmont Writer

I love the concept of this post! Awesome.
Fantastic news about the full.
Love "Everything"
MY WIPs...sigh. Two massive ones on the go and a dozen or more ideas jockeying for position.
I'm a new follower :-)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

LOTS of positive vibes coming your way!!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthe cautionary tale

I'll definitely send the positive vibes your way!!!

I do enjoy the Beta Club feature, but I've slowed down on commenting on blogs lately. Just trying to find balance with how I spend my time. I like the suggestion of going to once a week, though. With school about to get out, a lot of people are going to be busy with their kids.

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

I'm surprised that the editor sent you a snail mail letter (what kind of archaic enterprise is Harlequin RUNNING?) to update you, but I'm so pleased she/he did. I mean, that's kind of a fantasy right there.

I like the beta club. But I don't always have time to respond because I'm at work. I will say that two a week is a lot for me....if you maybe consider cutting back to once a week, then at least I can set aside a day for it that I know you'll do the post.

Just a thought.

Congrats on everything're close and you know we all fully believe in you, yes?

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSierra Godfrey

That's really unfortunate about the flooding-I can't imagine what that's like.

On the bright side, seems like you'll be getting a response on your WIP pretty soon! Am praying for you!

My vote is to keep the Beta Club.

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOddyoddyo13

Congrats on getting an update and not a rejection. I'm hoping for good news for you in the future. :)

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

Congrats on the SASE being positive!

I enjoy the Beta club, though I've only just started participating recently. Perhaps scaling it back by doing it less frequently would be helpful? I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do appreciate all the work you have put into it!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJust Margaret

I loved my experience w/ Beta Club. Sorry that I haven't been over to comment on the last few. I would say that if you do plan to discontinue, at least post the excerpts of those who've already signed up. For me, getting your crit was awesome, but it was even cooler to get feedback from your followers.

(I also like Rebecca @ Diary's suggestion about doing one a week instead of two.)

(P.S. I'll try to comment on the excerpts more often.)

I'm sending some seriously strong vibes northward for you!!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber Tidd Murphy

Yay for Harlequin! I hope it works out.

I'm trying to finish my first draft by June. It's going to take some focus to get it done.

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

I am keeping my fingers crossed for you!!!

sending lots of hopeful and positive thoughts your way! it's funny how badly we want an, but how much we're rather get no response than a rejection!

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTamara Hart Heiner

I agree with a lot of people. I like reading other people's work (though I'm not the best at critiquing), and I think having it once a week would be better.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDork Vader

Good luck and I'm glad you got an update. That's gotta be a good sign. :)

I'm waiting on a few submissions right now and I'm doing my best just not to think about it!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIndia Drummond

I love Beta Club and hope to get something ready for submission one of these days. I hope you don't give it up completely. I love Rebecca's ideas of shortening the length and doing it once a week. I also agree with Matthew, that you are so thorough, it feels silly trying to come up with something else that is meaningful to say. But, I would be willing to comment more if it would encourage you to keep the feature.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShelli

I was in the car all day yesterday and shooting a wedding then helping tear down a wedding all day today so I am just now coming to read the last few entries. Looks like things have been really busy for you lately!

I love the Beta Club, sadly I don't get to comment every time, but I have been making an effort to try and comment when I can. I totally understand if you need to discontinue beta club though. I really do love reading everyone's submissions, and your critiques as well have been very helpful to me.

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergeorgia

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