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It’s on … Can We Guess Your Characters Age? Blogfest Contest

Thursday, 8 December 2011  |  Posted by Brenda Drake


The contest is closed. Please check back on Monday, December 12th to see the top 20 semi-finalists.

Here’s how it’s going down …
Post the first 250 words of your finished, or not quite finished, manuscript (any genre) to your blogs. This contest is about voice–whether or not your character’s voice matches his or her’s age. So if you mention the age or school grade in the first 250 words, please edit it out or block it out for this contest. Don’t list the genre or title on your posts. If your 250 words falls in the middle of a sentence, continue to the end of the sentence.

From December 8th-9th hop around each others’ blogs and try to guess the age of the character, give critiques, or praise. Revise your entries, if you want, and email them to me by 11:59PM (EST) December 10th. (If you want, you may skip the blogfest/critique portion of this contest and just enter the contest.)

A panel of judges will choose the top twenty entries for the semi-finalist round, which will be posted to my blog site, so if you don’t want your entry posted, don’t enter the contest.

Entries can be sent now. The cut off time is December 10th at 11:59PM (EST). Send your entries to brendadrakecontests@gmail.com. Please don’t send questions to this email. If you have questions or want to change your URL, please use the comments below.

Make sure to exclude any information from your entry that reveals the age (like, actual age or school grade – hints are good). Make sure to include the age of your character at the end of your entry. I will be the only one who sees the age. Our three judges, a university press editor, write, and college student, will not have the age. If two out of three judges guess your character’s age, your entry will move to the consideration round. From the consideration round, the top twenty will be chosen and posted to my blog by December 12th. 

Here’s how your entry should look …
To: brendadrakecontests@gmail.com
subject: Can We Guess Your Characters Age? Contest

Name: Brenda Drake

I hate the confessional. The booth is too tight and just plain creepy. You think you can hide your sins in such a dark place but that’s a ruse. I feel completely exposed. Vulnerable. I smooth my xxxxxxxxxxxxxx skirt over my knees. The door shuts on the other side of the partition wall. The priest settles on the bench and slides the window open. I hold my breath, praying it isn’t Father Romano.
“You know it be a bit early for a confession, Jude.”
I exhale at hearing Father Kelly’s Irish accent muffle against the lattice screen.
“Yeah, but I sinned …you know.”

“You were here not quite a week ago. Surely, your sins can wait a full week.”
I sigh. “Well, today’s a big day. I don’t want to go to the ceremony with sins over my head.”
“Alright, then, we best hurry. The proceedings are due to start. Please kneel.”
I yank up my socks, shift to my knees on the prayer kneeler, and make the sign of the cross.
“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” I say, touching my forehead, chest, and then each shoulder with my pointer and middle fingertips. “Bless me father for I have sinned. My last confession was this past Tuesday. This week I lied to Sister Anne about forgetting to bring my homework when I didn’t do it. I wished Gwen would lose all her beautiful hair when she teased me about my sword skills. And I turned Father Romano’s clock back an hour so that he’d be late for Mass last Sunday.”

“You did that?” He chuckles and then clears his throat. “Um, I mean, that be all?”

Character’s age: 16

Fill free to comment on my sample. It’s a very rough draft from my NaNoWriMo project. 

The winners will be chosen from the list of twenty semi-finalists by our fantabulous guest judge …

Gabriela Lessa is an editor, literary agent assistant, writer, blogger, journalist, Brazilian, insomniac and word nerd. In addition to being an Associate Editor at Turquoise Morning Press and an assistant at a major New York-based literary agency, she works independently to offer editing and consulting for authors. Her work is to make manuscripts shine! Check out her reasonable editorial and consultant rates here. She’s simply great! Now, I wish I could enter *pouts*.

Follow her blog, it has some great information!

And, of course, we have prizes … 
1st place – Edit of first 30 pages + 25% off any services they want to hire
2nd place – Edit of first 20 pages + 20% off any services 
3rd place – Edit of first 10 pages + 15% off 

So what are you waiting for? You can still sign up to participate! Check out the other participants’ entries and critique/praise their posts.

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