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  • Writer's pictureJanette Johnson Melson

Genesis Contest - Ready or Not, Here I Come

As you can imagine, coming up with things to write about on a monthly basis can be difficult. So far, because there’s been so much going on for the last two and a half years, it’s been pretty easy. But I’m struggling a little this month. I have often thought about how difficult it must be for preachers—having to write a soul-searching sermon every week. It has to be a calling from God because I don’t see how a person could do that week after week and year after year without the help of the Almighty! It just seems like too much. Here I am, just trying to come up with something interesting once a month, and I’m beginning to struggle already.

Anyway, I’ll probably keep it short this month because of that. What I want to write about is the newest contest I’m preparing for, the Genesis Contest, offered by American Christian Fiction Writers. ACFW is the national writers’ association which I am a member of and which is helping to guide me through this writing journey and publishing process. Like the First Impressions Contest, which I have entered twice now, it is for authors like me who have not been published yet. Unlike that first contest, though, a requirement of Genesis is that the manuscript should be complete. Since I actually finished mine last July, I am now eligible to enter. I am excited because I will get even more feedback than from First Impressions since I must enter the first 15 pages of my novel, plus a one-page synopsis, instead of just the first five pages.

The feedback I have received from the two prior contests has been invaluable. Getting feedback on three times the number of pages, plus my synopsis, is going to be even more so (I hope). Of course, I thought the first 15 pages were pretty much ready until I got my first rejection, and the agent pointed out several areas of weakness. So, I am editing those pages once again. (I’ve never been so tired of reading something in my life. LOL.)

Remember the three-page synopsis, which was part of the proposal I sent the agent in October—the one that started out with nine pages? Well, I now have to further reduce that down to a single page. Actually, instead of trying to reduce those three pages to one, I decided to do a complete rewrite from scratch. And my first attempt wielded two pages, so I must be getting better at it. That’s way better than nine! I still have to cut it by 50%, though, and the deadline for the contest is March 15.

Since this is my first time to enter this contest, I don’t know whether they will judge the synopsis itself or use it to judge the concept of my novel as a whole. I hope they do both. If there is something about my story line which makes it difficult to sell, I need to know now so that I can fix it. Of course, I am in love with my characters and their story, but that won’t do me any good at all if I can’t get anyone else to read it.

Prayers for me are so appreciated. And anytime you want to share your prayer requests or thoughts/questions with me, you can do so through my email, (, Facebook page (@JanetteJohnsonMelson.Author), or website ( Several of you have already been doing that, and it always boosts my spirits and makes me smile.

You will never know how much you mean to me. Love you bunches and boocoodles!

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