By Nichole Giles
Remember last week when I mentioned that I had closed my eyes and allowed someone else—who I didn’t know—choose my workshop class at random? Yes, well. As I said, I was putting my faith in fate and divine inspiration.
So let me just tell you how that all turned out.
I already mentioned how valuable I found the comments of the women in my class. And how wonderful the instruction of “Her Majesty, Queen Claudia Mills,” my class leader/teacher. She is quite an amazing woman.
Now about the rest. The day we read my manuscript—I brought one chapter—the assistant in my class, “She Who is Like Unto Aphrodite,” otherwise known as Kerry, handed me my pages and asked for a clean copy. I’m not going to claim I didn’t wonder why, but I gave it to her without questioning her motive. Again, I blindly hoped something good might come of it.
In the meantime, the conference committee held a contest for the “Best First Page,” which I entered. I am of the opinion that it never hurts to enter contests, especially free ones. (Well, free after I’d already paid my conference fees…) So I printed my first page without changing anything, except for adding a header, and dropped it in the basket.
On Friday morning, as we discussed new manuscripts, (we had time that everyone got to go through two) Kerry called me out of the room. She handed me back my chapter—which was marked with comments from the editor representing Mirrorstone Publishing. Kerry then asked if my manuscript is finished.
My heart sank, because the answer was no. But I did tell her that the book is drafted, and I have intentions of having it polished and ready by the end of summer.
Kerry looked at me and said, “Well, don’t rush it, but when it’s done Stacy will look at it. You can probably take as long as a year if you need.”
Whoa! Hold on. The editors at this conference weren’t even looking at manuscripts. Or so they claimed in the beginning, and here I was, holding a manuscript chapter that not only did the editor comment on, but asked for as well.
Apparently, I was destined to be in class with Kerry, who loved my manuscript enough to pass it on to someone she knew. What a DOLL!
My new friends and I exchanged email addresses because during the week, we gained the desire to start a writer’s group together. (And already a few emails have started circulating.) So I have a whole new group of writing friends. (Don’t worry, Authors Incognito, I’ll never forget all of you!)
But my story doesn’t end there. Later in the day, during the closing extravaganza, the conference committee announced the “First Page Contest” winners. I took third place, out of 68 entries. And mine was the only fantasy piece of the three winners.
As I floated (yes, floated) out of the auditorium that day, I remembered five days past—to Monday morning and my misgivings about allowing fate to take over. See, apparently my faith was strong enough because however much I might have gained from being in another class, I KNOW I got the most—the best—out of being in this one.