I love Harlequin/Mills&Boons for being so new-writers friendly. This was one of the reasons I've decided to try my hand at writing for them. All the published/contracted authors I've encountered at RWNZ conferences spoke highly of H/M&B's editors and how they practically learnt craft from them while revising/rewriting their books.
Those, who like me were still trying, were also very enthusiastic. SYTYCW and New Voices (in which I couldn't participate because according to the contest rules I was deemed published) are perfect examples of how supportive these publishers are.
For those of you, aspiring romance/woman's fiction writers who don;'t know yet I also recommend eHarlequin site - with writing advice, free online reads, and many pitching opportunities (check the For - particularlyThe Write Stuff section). great for inspiration.
I haven't had much time to seek inspiration as I have been heavily perspiring, working on my new NaNoWriMo project and rushing to get my SYTYCW assignments sent off before the deadline. I must admit I'm lagging behind with my NaNo- due to some health issues, and also SYTYCW. But I've managed to complete four out of 5 assignment - the opening page, gripping scene, synopsis and query letter, which will make my 5th assignment - actual submission in December much easier.
Anyway, since I'd managed to plot my novel almost completely prior to Nano, I don't have to wait for inspiration, just sit at my laptop and sweat the words out.
My novel is set in rural Northumberland, which is rather quite far away from where I now live. So I'm using this little space-travelling technique:
|Eglingham Moor, Northumberland, England|
by Kate Kyle
(this place plays an important role in development of attraction between my hero and heroine)
I've never had any of my SYTYCW assignments picked up for critique, whether last or this year, but I've read the editors' feedback with great interest- great stuff to learn from.
I've learnt bits and pieces from blog post and chats, too. My favorite was the article on synopsis and query letter. I'm still not an expert on any of them, by any means, but I'm feeling just a little bit more confident. And I'm sure I'll come back next year, even if I'll managed to get a contract with M&B by then :)
Have you been picked up for critique? Did you enjoy the event? Did you learn anything new?