I didn't place in the anthology, but it looks like all is not lost. When I came on this afternoon, I had an email from Trace. Looks like they are going to give my story a second chance. *Cool!* They gave me a list of what the judges said, and a list of corrections they'd like to see made, and have invited me to resubmit it.
Here's the letter: (slightly edited--the specifies of attatched judges comments/changes recommended removed)
As you might already know, the manuscript you entered into our 3rd Annual Heat Wave Contest, CROSSING BORDERS, unfortunately, does not appear on the winner's list this morning. This does not mean, however, that your story went completely unnoticed by our judges. Indeed, based on their recommendations, I have decided to email you with an offer (a challenge, if you will).
During the three stages of judging, many manuscripts were almost immediately disqualified due to exorbitant editing problems, storyline inconsistencies, emotionless prose, etc. But your manuscript actually made it through to the final stages of judging, receiving high enough overall scores to mark it as being "special."
Therefore, for your consideration, I have take the liberty of pasting the judges' various comments below, which will give you the reason(s) why the story came "thisclose" to winning, but why they ultimately decided to set it aside at the last minute....
Certainly one of the better stories I've read. Definitely engages all the senses and fulfills the criteria for erotic romance. Some well chosen analogies--I liked the silver bullet analogy. The story does, however, contain a lot of passive phrasing, some repetitive words and phrases, and some typos.
A very good story with a lot of potential. There were some things that need correction. (particulars edited)
Now, here comes the challenge, should you wish to accept it.
If you decide to revise your manuscript based on the comments the judges made, then resubmit the story to me, I will be happy to consider it for future publication with Amber Quill Press. Of course, though there are no guarantees the revised manuscript will be something we will eventually accept for publication, I wanted to at least give you the opportunity to revise and resubmit it. Please also note that, since this offer is outside the realm of the Heat Wave contest, the word count rules (5,000 to 12,000) no longer apply, meaning that you do not need to worry that any changes you make to the manuscript would extend its length beyond any specific guidelines.
Should you have any questions regarding the judge's comments, revisions, etc., I will be happy to answer them.
If you elect to reexamine the manuscript and revise it accordingly, that would be terrific. If not, I certainly understand. Whatever you decide, please know that I thank you for entering the story into this year's contest and wish you nothing but the very best!
Trace Edward Zaber
Owner/Editorial Director/Creative Director
Amber Quill Press, LLC
The Gold Standard In Publishing!
Guess I better get to polishing!