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

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Frasier and Why You Should Enter It

I asked God for patience and He gave me a book to write.

The Frasier wasn’t the first contest I’ve entered—probably about the sixth or seventh. The scene I entered had already won first place in one and second place in another. Several editors and agents had asked for proposals, proposals rejected by what seemed like return mail. That fast. A problem existed. I just didn’t know what it was.

I knew I had a good story, and one editor even commented I was a decent writer. (At least she didn’t say mediocre.) But it stung because I want to be a great writer telling an irresistible story, one the reader couldn’t put down. I asked published friend Debby Giusti if she knew anyone who could look at my work and tell me what I was doing wrong. As quick as a blink of the eye, she said, “Susan May Warren. She can help you.”

I knew Susan was a great writer, but I didn’t know about My Book Therapy until I Googled her. I emailed Susan the first three chapters for a critique. When she called to go over it with me, her enthusiasm for my book and writing gave me hope—even though the critiqued chapters looked like a Christmas tree decked out in yellow and blue lights. But, scattered throughout the critique were comments of what she liked and so many encouragements. She even said I should consider entering the first scene in the Frasier.

I studied her comments, and now with a better grasp of what a first scene should have in it, I rewrote it and took her suggestion. It finaled! Happy Dancing! I was a Frasier finalist!

At the ACFW Conference in Indianapolis (where the winner was to be announced), being a Frasier finalist opened so many doors and is one of the reasons I believe two editors and two agents requested a proposal. While I didn’t win the Frasier, I actually received something more important. The critiques from the preliminary judges and then the final judges gave me a deeper understanding of what my WIP needed.

The critiques were detailed with helpful insights and encouraging comments, and after studying them, I realized I needed to make a few changes before I submitted my proposal to those who had requested them. I asked for and received the time needed. I’ll be sending the proposals off in the next two weeks and my story is so much better, especially the opening scene, thanks to the critiques from the Frasier.

I encourage everyone to enter this wonderful contest. Even if like me, you don’t win, you’ll get feedback that will help you take your writing to a higher level.

Pat Trainum


  1. Congratulations! I am so encouraged to read of the journeys other writers are traveling. It is difficult while on that road to know where it will lead. But to look back and see what God has done is amazing.

    I look forward to entering the Frasier and the feedback from it. As a writer, I believe I've gone as far as I can go on my own. Susan has been a tremendous help on the Monday night chats. I encourage anyone who hasn't participated to start on Monday. Even if you don't chime in on the discussion, follow it and I guarantee you will learn.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging post!

  2. Pat, I'll be praying for God's favor as you polish and submit your proposal!!

  3. Pat, it was wonderful to meet you at Deep Thinkers! Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your story, and for the encouragement to stretch myself and enter the Frasier. :) If I can get my scene written and polished, I'm gonna do it! I will say a prayer as you complete your proposal, and as you hear back about it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Pat,it was fun sharing the first Frasier finalists experience with you! Wonder who the finalists will be this year?

  5. Pat,

    AMEN! you totally have me thinking about entering. If I can get this scene done, I'll enter :)

    Last year was exciting at the Pizza Party! I loved seeing the finalists encourage one another and congratulate the winner.

    This is a contest that others can feel confident in submitting to. The encouragement from others is undeniable.


  6. I'm so excited to enter something new. Gotta get on that...yikes!

    Everyone should definitely enter. The feedback is super helpful!

  7. Christine, I know what you mean about going as far as you know how...been there, done that, got the tee-shirt to prove it. That's why entering the Frasier is so important. The feedback is absolutely the best! Wishing you the best as you enter the Frasier.

  8. Jeanne, go for it! I know you can get it ready. And it was great to meet you and get to know you at DT. I just got home an hour ago.

  9. Thank you, Lisa. Covet your prayers!

    And Beth, I hope I'm one of them. ;>) I'm entering. It was so good to see all of the first generation DTs this week! And to meet new writers.

    Ginger, no excuses. You get that first scene together and enter it!

  10. Amy, no excuses from you either.

  11. Thanks, Pat. Great post and good challenge -- crafting our work for contests does help us grow (I'm entering.) I'm also pleased that several people in Tampa area want to connect with this blog now.

  12. I'm so glad you had such great support! And congrats on being a finalist!