Friday, September 14, 2007

A Heat Wave is Coming

Amber Quill Press has posted the rules for their Fifth Annual Amber Heat WaveTM Contest. The entry period isn't until January, but the best time to prepare is now!

This is the only way right now that an author can become part of Amber Quill. If you are lucky enough to win this contest (and there are always several winners) you are then able to submit any work to Amber Quill and take part in their top-selling AmberPax collections.

I sold to Amber Quill as a result of this contest, and continue to feel lucky to have done so. It's a great company with excellent editors and a wonderful staff and team of authors, and a well-run business to boot.

I don't know if I'll be a first-round judge this year, but my experience in past years makes me want to give you some advice, if this is something you're interested in doing:

  1. Make sure your story is erotic. No matter how good it is, if there is no sex in the story, you won't win.
  2. Don't make it only about sex. The best stories are highly emotional and tie the sex into the plot and the relationships.
  3. Don't write something just because it is in demand. Yes, same-sex stories are the top sellers now. But if you aren't into that kind of stuff, you probably don't want to try it. It will show.
  4. Get someone to critique the story in advance, or at least to proof it. Several someones, if you can. Polish that puppy within an inch of its life. The preliminary reviewer is ruthless.
  5. Above all, have fun. These are extended short stories, so you can write it in less time than a whole book. It's an ideal opportunity to try something you've never done before and always wanted to, and you never know where that experience might take you.
Good luck!

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