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Added a post  to  , Summer Festival of Writing 2022

What are you submitting for Friday Night Live*?

With the deadline to submit less than a month away (July 4th), I'm getting so excited to see the writing we get this year. With at least two of last year's shortlist now signed with agents, it'd be silly not to give it a go... In the words of Sarah Mahfoudh, one of last year's shortlistees, here's why you should absolutely enter your work:

Just go for it. There's nothing to lose and everything to gain. I am terrible at putting myself forward. I almost didn't enter FNL because I thought I didn't stand a chance. At the very last minute, I decided to be brave and just go for it and I'm so glad I did. For me, just entering a competition was an achievement. It was such an incredibly proud moment for me when I received the email to say I had been shortlisted but even if I hadn't received that email, I would still have been proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and being brave enough to try.

So what are you submitting? What are you nervous about? Let's have a chat about everything FNL in the comments - I can't wait! 

*Remember, if you're going to the York Festival of Writing too, you can only submit to one FNL! 

Comments
    • Hi Elsie, I have entered for FNL! But my only worry is that I feel my 500 words fell a few words short of covering the part I consider a clincher 😊🤔

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      • Hi I'm hoping to submit my opening 500 words for the York FNL. I know exactly what you mean about it missing the novel clincher but I'm more nervous about actually sharing my words if I'm honest. 

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        • I sent off my 500 words yesterday (and I confess I'm not sure which of the two competitions I've entered; the online one or face:face one!). I'm currently 37k words into the manuscript, might have a finished first draft by sept. Fingers crossed on all counts!

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          • Hi Rachael, you entered the Summer Festival FNL. If you're coming to York and would prefer to enter that one, I'm happy to transfer your entry over. 

            Good luck with your writing! 

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          • Is it the opening we're supposed to submit, or any 500 words we feel encapsulate the novel?

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            • Hi Jo, everything I've read about FNL says 'first 500 words' I think that's the main point of the exercise, it's the first 500 words a reader would read. Good luck with yours!

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              • It is indeed the opening! We find that if people are hesitant to submit their opening, it's because it needs more work! 

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              • I sent my first 500 words a couple of weeks ago, then got paranoid that I hadn't successfully sent it as I didn't get any confirmation email! I put so much work into my submission that I couldn't bear the idea of it getting lost in transit! I found this an excellent exercise as my first chapter used to be around 650 words, I decided that rather than send the first 500, I would edit it to 500 complete, that discipline has given me a tighter, more punchy first chapter and has also informed the style throughout the book. The novel is written in first person and in moments of tension or excitement, this economy of words really helps convey that energy. So even if my opening doesn't get chosen, just entering the competition has been worth it already!

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                • So true Gailen! It sometimes feels like panning for gold; a sieve full of dirt and stones, and somewhere in there are the nuggets of beauty. 

                  But it's a delicate game, to return to your whittling analogy, one artist ( I forget who) once said 'take care sharpening your pencil, in search of the perfect point, there's a danger you could perfect it out of existence. '

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                  • Hello David,

                    I just saw this. So true!! That's when it's time to step away and change your perspective. Yesterday, I did a friend a solid by telling her to give it at least 24 hours (more would be better) before she returned to her current writing project.

                    I bought Matt Bell's 'Refuse To Be Done', but with a tendency toward OCD, that may not be the best advice for me personally. I will say this--honing my first 500 for Friday Night Live, UNWC and JW's various self-editing offerings have made my work better. And sometimes, that means revisiting what made you passionate about that first draft. 

                    Write, on,

                    Gail

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                    • This may shock you, but add yoga instructors to that list. Counter-intuitive, I know. 

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