I am very honored that my MG entry into the Smartwriters.com W.I.N. contest, Yamabushi and the Seven Gods of Happiness, took an honorable mention. Many thank-yous to Cynthia Leitich Smith, who judged the MG segment.

I am also more than a little befuddled. Yamabushi was a last-minute thing. I wrote a first chapter and an outline only to cement an idea, and I would consider it by far the weakest entry I made. I thought my YAs were much stronger (as well as completed).

Let this be a lesson to me: I have to understand what made Yamabushi more appealing that the YAs. Was it the story? The hook? Or the synopsis? Am I so close to my own work that I don’t know which story is better or more likely to sell?

Either way, I am still thrilled to be mentioned among this group of excellent writers. I’ve been wondering which novel idea to pursue as my next project. Now I know.

Written by : thunderchikin

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  1. newport2newport August 1, 2006 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Congratulations on the Honorable Mention!!! That’s wonderful news. And even better, the award gives you an idea of how readers are responding to your work (and where to go from here).

  2. thunderchikin August 1, 2006 at 11:00 am - Reply

    You’re absolutely right: It’s terrific to get this kind of feedback. I’ve always wanted to to hand a stack of first chapters and synopses to an editor and say, “which one grabs you.”

  3. tamarak August 1, 2006 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Well, bawk-bawk-ba-GAWK! Congrats on the Honorable Mention!!

  4. susanwrites August 1, 2006 at 11:45 am - Reply

    Congratulations!!! It should be interesting to see your comparision of what won and what didn’t. I hope you learns things that help you hone your manuscripts.

  5. marypearson August 1, 2006 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Congratulations! Yes, the mystery of writing and what we think is our best work and what others think! Even when I get critiques, there will be parts that I think are “iffy” and perhaps need to go, and then the critiquer will say that is the part they loved, whereas the parts *I* think are brilliant ; )are the ones that are red-lined! Yep, mystery!

    Hurray, on your terrific recognition!

  6. annemariepace August 1, 2006 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Congratulations! I’m very happy for you!

  7. thunderchikin August 1, 2006 at 1:13 pm - Reply


  8. thunderchikin August 1, 2006 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Thanky much, cowpoke.

  9. thunderchikin August 1, 2006 at 1:17 pm - Reply


  10. thunderchikin August 1, 2006 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I would do the comparison publicly if I weren’t so, erm, chicken.

  11. beachalatte August 1, 2006 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    congratulations to you thunderchickin!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  12. bege_ August 2, 2006 at 6:09 am - Reply

    Congratulations thunderchikin! (btw, have I ever told you what a great name you have?!)

    B 😉

  13. cynthialord August 2, 2006 at 6:27 am - Reply


  14. thunderchikin August 2, 2006 at 7:58 am - Reply

    You would be the first. Thanks!

  15. amanda_marrone August 2, 2006 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Congrats!!!! I too sometimes get baffled by how people respond to different work????

  16. ___sascha___ August 5, 2006 at 7:53 pm - Reply


    Maybe you are just improving as you go and as the last thing you wrote, this piece incorporated all the little lessons you’ve picked up along the way with your other work.

  17. thunderchikin August 7, 2006 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Nah, I’m not improving. Blind pig syndrome.

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