I made the initial cut in the James Jones First Novel Contest.Â The winner gets $10,000.Â Surely winning would also get you an agent, if not a publisher.Â Â Usually around 600 writers enter.Â In addition to the top winner, there are two runners-up and five finalists.Â Eight chances to win.Â Just being a finalist would be a big boost. Wonder what my odds are.Â Figure, for the sake of argument, they eliminated three quarters in the first round.Â That would leave 150.Â Eight shots.Â A lot better odds than when you send a short story off to one of those little magazines. Is making the first cut what the Brits call being â€œshortlistedâ€ for a prize?Â That has a nice sound to it.Â Like youâ€™re definitely a contender.
Iâ€™m leaving for a trip to Lebanon and Palestine today. I always feel a bit disoriented and vaguely homesick on travel days.