Monday, 29 July 2013

Guest post by Kamy Chetty

Kamy is joining me today to talk about her writing and of course writing contests: The good, the bad, warts and all. She's also offering a free kindle copy of Breathe Again to one of the commenters on this post.
If you’re from New Zealand you’d know we have just had the final of our first X Factor NZ. My family has followed this contest over the last 7 months and we have laughed and cried, agreed and disagreed with the judges on many occasions.
It still doesn’t answer the question. Should we or shouldn’t we? Well I am going to say this, having been on all sides of this issue personally. Yes, enter contests, but do it with a purpose and work smart. Know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. What are you hoping to achieve and where are you hoping this will get you?
The reason I am getting you to ask these questions, is because contests can be a lot of work and very expensive, leaving you doing the first three chapters and a synopsis of many stories but never finishing the book. So back to basics. What do you want?
Feedback: Contests are a great way to get feedback. Most contest managers ensure that judges give good constructive feedback but there are a few contests out there that don’t hit the spot for the newbie
Getting Noticed:  It’s an excellent way to get noticed by the right editor or agent if you choose the right contest. Again, it’s about working smart, not hard. Choose the genre and agent/editor you want to be noticed by.
Fast Track: Fast Track submission contests are excellent and Harlequin is always having them. This is a great way to get your name known. Get your name on the loops and Facebook groups
Ultimately it’s all about working smarter. Look out for the contest charts, I know Stephanie Smith has one that she keeps up to date. Choose what you want to enter and where you want to be. In my experience it has paid off to enter contests and it looks great on your writing CV but it’s hard work that makes the difference. Thanks for having me here and I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

There hasn’t been a time in her life that Kamy hasn’t been writing, or dreaming up some magical love story in her head. As an avid reader, it wasn’t long before she realised her talent for turning a phrase, and add to that a profession of nursing, it’s only natural that her stories have a medical theme with that happily ever after ending.
Recently she’s discovered that all those years she’s been fascinated with TV shows like CSI and Bones, has just been foreplay for her dark side and she now enjoys writing suspense with a dash of medical and a dollop of romance.
Originally from South Africa, Kamy now lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her very own hero and two children who keep her busy. She has two dogs who keep her out of trouble and shelves overflowing with books that she loves reading when she isn’t chasing deadlines.

Kamy Chetty around the web: Website Facebook Twitter Author Page

After a tour at war and countless shifts in the hospital emergency room, Nick knows that no matter how hard he tries to change things, people are the same. So when his estranged wife Skylar reveals that she stopped taking birth control and is pregnant, he shouldn’t be shocked. Betrayal burns and panic sets in as memories of his shattered home life remind him that he can’t play happy families.

Skylar knows one thing—she’s head over nurse’s shoes in love with the stubborn and unemotional Nick. She loves him enough to believe in the man he is, even though he can’t see it for himself and hides behind a mask. As he calls their child “hers” and tries to live apart from her, Skylar’s heart breaks, but she refuses to give up hope that he’ll do the right thing.

When disaster strikes, Skylar realizes Nick might never change, so she risks everything and sets him free, hoping he’ll come back, for her and their baby. Is heat, passion and a vow enough to seal this marriage and make them a family?

Reader Alert! 
Their passion and devotion will make you root for them, and their sexual tension will set you ablaze.
Read Reviews Buy Links: Red Sage Amazon Amazon UK B&N

Family Ties
A woman with no family ties of her own, desperate to fulfill her dream of having a child finds she
cannot conceive a child naturally. A man who feels guilt over his ex-wife's death, cannot find closure. Can the attraction these two people feel be enough to overcome their conflicting desires, especially when Jack finds himself the guardian of a baby he isn't sure he can be responsible for.
Read Reviews Buy Links Amazon Amazon UK


  1. I've never entered a contest, but I imagine feedback is the most valuable thing you can receive. (Unless winning involves a publishing deal, then I'd say that's really awesome feedback.)

    1. Right on both counts Alex, thanks for dropping by:-)

    2. 'We want to publish this' would be the very best feedback, Alex!

  2. I really like when the competition I enter gives feedback even if I fail miserably!! Also it's worth reading on the actual winning entries - see why they win too - I remember entering an "end of the world" flash fiction contest and yes, I didn't get anywhere but the winning entry totally blew me away. I read it and thought - NOW THAT'S a story!

    All the best Kamy - lovely to meet you here with the equally lovely Patsy!!! Take care

    1. Aww thanks Kitty. That's a great way to look at it. It's great if you get the opportunity to read the winning entry. Thanks for coming over:-)

    2. I don't mind losing (or at least don't mind so much) if the winning entry is really good, Kitty.

  3. I like entering competitions too, I enjoy writing to a theme, or re-writing a story to fit one. Like a lot of writers I know, I do have a limit on how much I'll pay to enter, and I definitely avoid anything that looks the slightest bit as though it might not be legitimate. Writing competitions are fun, and Its a huge bonus if you are short listed, or if you win. Personally I just love taking part...

    1. It's a great achievement to be shortlisted. But getting the courage to enter is a big deal in itself. It's great to see you here:-)

    2. Writing to a theme can produce interesting results, Maria. I prefer those to the 'write anything' competitions.

  4. I am on the fence regarding writing competitions. When I first started writing, I entered a few - was short listed in two and runner up in another... never the elusive first prize though. I have become more cynical recently. I wonder how many regular competition submitters have actually counted the cost of their entry fees over the year and how that is balanced out by any wins/publicity. I agree, Kamy, that it is important for writers to think about why they are entering and which competition would most benefit them.

    1. Entry fees can be expensive, Wendy. There are lots of free to enter ones though (enough for me to mention several every week on this blog) and these often have good prizes and/or result in publicity.

  5. Wendy you right to be cynical. The good ones to enter are the free ones like Patsy suggests. I found the Harlequin fast tracks and online contests good and they didn't cost anything. Thanks for coming by:-)

  6. Hi Patsy Hi Kamy

    Good to see you over here Kamy.


Thanks so much for commenting!