Friday, March 20, 2009

Confessions of a Contest Groupie - and a Contest from Lisa Jackson

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Mostly sunny, high 60 degrees, but it's chilly out there this morning. Robins are prancing in the yard, my lilac bush is budding and tulips are pushing through the ground. Welcome Spring!

If you're a regular visitor to Donna's Book Pub, you've probably noticed I frequently post about contests. I confess; I enjoy entering writing contests, and winning is fun for sure, but I also enjoy sharing contest information with writing friends--and writers in general. Contests can be a way to polish a manuscript before submitting for publication, and they definitely help pump up self-confidence when you win.

Last evening, I received an e-mail informing me that I won the Judge's Merit Award in the Pikes Peak Branch NLAPW 2009 Flash Fiction Contest. I also had entered their contest last year and received a note that I was among the top five, so I made a mental note back then to enter again this year. Of course, I promptly forgot about the contest until Tricia Sanders posted an announcement about it on her blog, A Novel Approach. Last night, after I e-mailed the contest coordinator thanking her for letting me know about my win, Tricia was the next person I e-mailed to thank for the reminder about the contest. Tricia is one of several writing friends I share contest information with; the way we look at it is we're not in competition with one another, but with ourselves to do our best, and cheer on our friends when they win!

Okay, enough about my philosophy on contests.

How about a fun contest to come up with a character's name for a book?

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson has a fun contest going on to do exactly that! The character can be a : hero, heroine, villain, victim, best friend, police officer, or a pet. If a pet, she asks entrants to indicate the kind of pet and add a descriptive note as to the breed or mix: Dog, cat, bird, horse, fish, hamster, chicken, pot-bellied pig, snake, or other.

When I think about memorable character (human and pet) names, Hannibal Lecter, Scarlett O'Hara, Atticus Finch, Nancy Drew, Lassie, Garfield, Snoopy, and Rin Tin Tin come to mind. For Lisa's contest, when I read about the police officer name I thought of Tricia (she knows why), and the pet names brought Pat W. to mind. Pat blogs about pets of all sorts on her blog, Critter Alley.

So, if you're up for a challenge, put on your thinking caps and try to come up with a name. Here's a link to Lisa's Name a Character Contest.

Good luck, and if you win, please let me know so I can post about it here.


  1. Oh my gosh! Congratulations on the NLAPW win! I will confess I entered, too. The best writer won! Nice job.

  2. Congrats, Donna! Will the winners be posted online? I'd love to read your work.

  3. Hi Dianna,
    Thanks for your kind words. Isn't it amazing that as writers we get excited over winning $20 and a certificate?
    You're no slouch yourself when it comes to winning contests. Let me see now, weren't you the writer won an award for the best short story in a North American Catholic Magazine one year then followed up the next year with another nomination for the same contest. I look forward to interviewing you and Don next week about your new book about St. Charles.
    Thanks again,

  4. Cathy,
    I'm not sure if the winning stories will be posted online, but if you shoot me an e-mail at I will paste the story in an e-mail back to you.

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  6. Congrats, Donna! And by the way, I entered a pet name. We shall see....

  7. Good luck with the pet name in the contest, Pat.


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