Posts Tagged ‘Zebulon’

ZEBULON – What’s New?

By: Amy Armstrong

Almost exactly two years ago, I moved to Denver with a lot of debt, a broken heart, and the urge to finally take my writing seriously. At 37, I was beginning to worry that I could die before I was published. My mom consoled me though. I have been published already. It was a short article in ArtCalendar about resume writing for artists, but she seemed to believe that item is now off my bucket list. I still want to write a novel that is traditionally published and I continue to nurture my big dreams because Pikes Peak Writers has been there for me since the start. Consequently, when SM Rose contacted me about volunteering to be part of the Zebulon 2020 Committee, I immediately agreed.

 Over the past few months, I’ve often wondered if I bit off a lot more than I can chew. Actually, I know I have, but I’m trying my best to stay afloat here because the Zebulon is a valuable part of everything we offer writers through PPW. It’s an opportunity for feedback that many writers receive on their writing for the first time as well as visibility for emerging writers.

The Zebulon Logo

 Unlike a submission to a literary magazine, The Zebulon accepts novel excerpts (most literary magazines do not) and provides each contestant with feedback in the form of ratings on various aspects of their piece. For an extra $25, contestants can receive a one-page critique from one of our judges.

The Judges

 The judges are another part of The Zebulon that are particularly special this year. I make a point of networking with authors throughout Colorado as well as around the country, and several of our judges are professionals I reached out to personally to help our writers grow and refine their craft.

No contest will ever be perfect. However, we have worked hard on The Zebulon relaunch to make it even more helpful to writers, and I hope that the changes are beneficial.

Here is a list of highlights of changes we have made:

  • Entries are sent via Submittable to remain consistent with our contest’s goal of mirroring professional publishing’s submission process.
  • We no longer require a query. Novel excerpt entries now consist of only a synopsis and the 2,500-word sample.
  • The short story category is back. Writers now can submit up to a 5,000-word short story from any genre.
  • Prizes are now monetary to encourage a diverse pool of applicants. While we hope everyone will want to join us at Conference next year, we know that is not always possible.

 Making these changes has been challenging. Some people within the organization embraced them more readily than others, but growing pains are part of the process. I’m still happy I agreed to volunteer for the committee. Anyone who wants to discourage me is going to need to try harder.

The Zebulon opens September 1st, 2019 and closes November 1st, 2019, 12:00 p.m, MST. Only the first 200 entries will be accepted.

Hosted by Pikes Peak Writers, the Zebulon gives fiction writers at all levels the chance to get their work in front of professional agents and editors. The contest simulates the real process of submitting to an agent, serving as an excellent learning experience. Do you have what it takes to get published? The Zebulon will help you find out.


Amy Armstrong

Amy Armstrong has been doing a little bit of everything in the writing community, since she came to Denver in 2017. She participates in live storytelling and readings throughout the Denver area. Locations include BookBar, The Mercury Cafe, and the Whittier Cafe. She volunteers for Pikes Peak Writers as Coordinator of Social Media and was recognized as the 2019 Volunteer of the Year. 

Write Brain

By: Robin Laborde

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A special two-part Write Brain:
The New Zebulon 
Amy Armstrong, Presenter
and
250 Words That Will Make or Break You
Natalie Mae, Presenter

2020 Zebulon

The August Write Brain began with an update about the 2020 Zebulon Contest, including TWO double-sided pages of information about what has changed during the contest’s year-long hiatus. A few of the more notable changes:

  • Contest entries will be accepted through Submittable rather than a custom-built portal.
  • The short story category is back! 
  • No more query round, but a synopsis is still required. (Darn.)
  • The Zebulon will offer monetary prizes only in 2020, rather than discounts on conference registration.

See the Zebulon Rules for the latest information and deadlines.

250 Words to Beef Up

After the break, YA author Natalie Mae shared tips for beefing up your first paragraph. In an unexpected but super helpful twist, she began her presentation by sharing an early version of the first paragraph of her novel Duplicitous and comparing it to the published version. The exercise clearly demonstrated the improvements she made, including that oh-so-important delicious first line. For even more insight into Natalie’s journey to publication, visit her website.


Robin Laborde

Robin Laborde is not sure exactly how long she has been a member of Pikes Peak Writers but she enjoys it very much. She worked as a technical writer for over ten years and has had nonfiction articles published in newspapers and magazines. She is currently writing a speculative fiction novel and working part-time at the East Library in Colorado Springs.

Zebuloning Into 2018

Readers, we have a guest post from SM, this year’s Zebulon Contest Coordinator.  The Zebulon could not be in better hands.  Take a look.  -Gabrielle Brown, editor.


Hello, my name is SM, and I’m your new Zebulon Contest Coordinator. Living in the Great White North, I may at times add a touch of the Canadian spirit to the contest, but fear not, the Rocky Mountains are close to my heart.

First off, I’d like to thank our outgoing coordinator, Dawn Smit Miller. She’s done an extraordinary job at organizing past Zebulons, PPW’s premier fiction writing contest. I feel I have mighty big shoes to fill, so bear with me as I find my own voice.

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