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 Barbara's Blog.....

November 2019: Our annual competition for unpublished novels (by women, in English, from anywhere in the world) will end at midnight, November 30 as usual. Send us your manuscripts as detailed in our "Enter the Contest" section for a chance to win a $500 prize. All entries are fairly critiqued, a service that has helped many women to improve their work and get happily published. 

July 2019 - Another great year in progress for A Woman's Write! Thus far we have entrants from Ireland, England, India, the Netherlands, France, Australia and the US. We've written reviews for some of our former participants now happily published, and helped others with editing services. We are always pleased to let our contestants know that we are real people here, not apps or bots, and we will answer questions and offer help to other creative women whenever we can. Thanks for joining us!

December 2018 - So pleased with the results of our annual judging and the new 2018 winners who are announced on our home page. This year we've communicated with women writers from the US, Australia, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany. Every time I write a critique for our competition submitters, I feel a surge of joyful energy. When I was a young teenager I had "Pen Pals." One was an American girl about my age who lived in Austria because her father was an ambassador there. Another lived in the wilds of Minnesota in a farming/homesteading family. These contacts opened my world, and that world got even bigger - and smaller, you might say - when I was able to travel from 1980-1994, to England, Ireland, Botswana, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Spain, Norway and India. Reaching out now to creative women with varied, rich life experiences, helps me relive those years of exploration while assisting new and hopeful writers at almost every level of their new careers. 

July 2018 - Just got a great email from Alexis Williams Carr, Editor, New Millennium Writings, informing me that I won an Honorable Mention in this year's New Millennium Awards for my full-length, unpublished novel, Cante Hondo, a Gypsy tale that takes place on two continents plus the world of imagination and magic. This means that my work was in the top 15% of entries, and I'm proud to say, since I edited it, that it passed the judges' scrutiny. My recent nonfiction book, Generous Fruits - A Survey of American Homesteading, was deemed by the publisher to need NO editing before publication; I was complimented on my excellent work in that regard. Please contact me if you need good editing services - anytime. 

March 2018 -  Lately I have reviewed several books about suffragettes. It's an interesting word, by the way, almost a demeaning one though it was probably not seen that way during its era. 

I think of how courageous such women were, to be different, to defy all convention. They marched - but with relatively few ordinary women to march with them, because so many women were trapped in their roles and afraid of spousal and societal reprisal if they took a stand.

 

March is Women's History Month. Here's a link to an article I wrote for www.Homestead.org this month, about a strong, bold woman who lived through most of the 20th and part of the 21 century and had a great influence on American women especially - Helen Nearing - 

http://www.homestead.org/21-history/helen-nearing-twentieth-century-pioneer/

Helen Nearing was a violinist, spiritualist, and consummate gardener, canner and PUBLIC SPEAKER and prolific WRITER. Hats off to Helen Nearing!

I've been Editor, Hostess, Inventor, Modifier, and Monitor of A Woman's Write since its inception in 2007. In that time I have seen the site blossom from a simple contest for short stories to the annual Novel Contest that attracts creative women all over the world. It's gratifying to see it grow, but personally even more rewarding as it has allowed me to develop relationships with like-minded females not only in the US, but in Canada, the UK, Pakistan, India, Australia, Kenya and South Africa. 

My own writing career started around 2003, when I began to get the picture about computers and their usefulness for communication. I discovered that I could review books, and by doing so, get free books to share or sell. Not long afterwards I discovered www.homestead.org which has published at least 60 articles of mine over the past eight years. Every new venture has brought more contacts and chances to push myself. 

The most important thing I have learned from reviewing books is to do what I'm told! -- by the website, by the rules that the web hosts put forth. This has led to the simple "game" of word counting. This skill has come in handy for entering contests myself, where a word count is required, and for writing grant applications. I have applied for and received three grants, and each one has improved my writing ability. Obey the rules as they are set out, and teach yourself to trim and modify and rethink and trim again. Make every word "count."

 

November 27, 2016-- As usual we are all a-thwart and a-twitter here at A Woman's Write as the last minute entries roll in for this year's Unpublished Novel Competition. And for some, the same issue mentioned above--word count or word space--arises. Our synopsis requirement is chapter-by-chapter, and no more than two pages, single spaced if need be. That's a lot! But many of our entrants find it difficult. Here's one of my ideas: take 5 words out of every segment. If you still have a third page, take 3 more out of each segment. Just keep doing this, and you will begin to see how simple it is, and how much tighter your writing becomes. A plot synopsis doesn't need to include every sub-plot, and every character's name and history. Keep it simple. 

December 11, 2016 - All done for the year! Check out our homepage for the winners, and best wishes to all our entrants for a happy holiday and a great NeWriting Year! New competition entries will begin Jan. 1, 2017!

June, 2017 - We've added a new feature to A Woman's Write -- book reviewing! Since I've been a reviewer for goodness knows how long, it came as a natural outcome to add this service to the site. Please check it out the "Reviewing Services" page for any published book you wish to promote.

 

As the year is flashing by, we have received a happy helping of new entries to the competition. Remember: Entries received before July 31 can still be edited by our staff if that is needed, and re-entered before the end of this contest year. It's our pleasure to read women's works needing no further assistance, as will be indicated in our contest critique. But when such services are needed, we're always ready to help.

Some entrants have asked about the requirement for Word documents rather than any other sort of submission. We know fashions and technologies change, and if at some point we see that good old Word is no longer prevalent, we will change our rules. Until then, please submit your contest entry using Word documents, following the formatting rules on our "Enter the Contest" page. And of course, feel free to let us know about other reasonable trends. Thanks! And -- write on!