I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pondering the MBT Frasier Contest

Finding out I was a 2010 MBT Frasier finalist went something like this:
  1. First award-winning author Susan May Warren leaves a message on my cell phone. But, Doubting Thomasina that I am, I don't believe she said I finaled in the Frasier. Maybe her words were, "You didn't final in the Frasier."
  2. I call Susie May back. When she answers, I say, "Did you say I did final in the Frasier or that I didn't final in the Frasier?" (I know, I know, who calls to tell contest participants that they didn't final?)
  3. Susie May laughs and tells me, yes, I finaled.
  4. Someone begins yelling. And jumping up and down. And laughing. Oh, wait. That would be me.
At last year's ACFW conference, I wore my Frasier finalist pin with equal parts pride and humility. Pride because the Frasier is a quality contest--one that focuses on storytelling alone. Entries aren't separated into categories by genre--suspense, historical, contemporary. You compete against everyone else and are judged on the elements of story:
  • a great hook
  • a compelling inciting incident
  • a vivid storyworld
  • sympathetic characters
  • stakes that matter
  • a strong voice
I wore my Frasier pin with humility because I knew the other finalists--and they are talented writers! To be counted among them was an honor--one I didn't take for granted. I still have the announcement that was included in the ACFW conference program on my desktop.

I think every writer should participate in the Frasier. You're probably thinking I'm just saying this because I finaled in the contest last year.

That's not why.

The contest evaluates writers on telling story.That's exactly how readers will judge us: How well do we tell a story?

And My Book Therapy (MBT) helps you polish your Frasier entry with tip sheets like a First Chapter Checklist for Your Frasier Entry and Want to Enter the Frasier and Wondering How to Write a 500 Word Synopsis?

Consider entering the 2011 MBT Frasier contest. Who knows? Maybe you'll get a phone call from Susie May!


  1. I have great respect for this contest! I think it's awesome how you all are in the business of building up the writing community! I hope a ton of writers enter - I know the feedback alone will be well worth it.

  2. I am excited about entering. I am working long hours to be sure my entry meets all the requirements listed. I am looking forward to the feedback!

  3. Sweet post, Beth! Fun memories!!!

    People, I totally echo Beth and can't recommend the Frasier enough...enter, enter, enter. It's absolutely worth it!!

  4. I encourage everyone to spread the word about the Frasier! So, so worthwhile!

  5. Love reading your story and your response to the great news last fall! Thanks for the encouragement to step outside myself and receive feedback from others for honing my writing. :)

  6. Loved spending time with you at Deep Thinkers for the past 5 days, Jeanne. It is so fun to see you pursue the wonderful story of your heart!

  7. I think I finally have the entry the best it can be. Now for that pesky 500 word synopsis! At least I'm learning this in increments. I had to do a 3 page synopsis, then a 1 page synopsis, now 500 words (which ends up being a little less than a page).

  8. Great advice. The Frasier is totally worth the effort. Also, thanks for including the checklist and tips for a synopsis.

  9. I totally agree with Beth and Melissa--the feedback alone is worth it. And thank you Beth for the link to writing a 500 word synopsis. I'd lost it.

  10. I couldn't connect w/ this site while in FL because of internet difficulties, but am home and glad for this post (and the writer, commenters.) Yes, glad this contest is there to encourage us to sharpen our skills. Time for us to "start our engines."

  11. I've been connecting with writers planning on entering the Frasier. I keep sending them links to this post--not because it's all about me, mind you. The links to the tips sheets are invaluable!!

  12. The Frasier is amazing! The feedback is so concrete and you have a chance to get recognition for writing excellence even if you don't final. That recognition can really help with agent/editor appointments at ACFW. It is totally worth it. Thanks Beth for the great link on how to write a 500 word synopsis!

  13. It was fun entering the contest this year. The feedback from the two judges was positive and helpful. Thanks to all for the time and effort to put the contest on. And thanks, again, for your prayers for us as we write.