Home » contest winners, news » Recommendation by Joe Courtemanche

Recommendation by Joe Courtemanche

From Joe Courtemanche, second place in ACM’s 2013 novel contest:

In 2012 I entered a writing contest sponsored by Athanatos Ministries. It was an unusual contest in that you had to submit a full manuscript. I chucked my file into the email and promptly went on to the rest of my life.

A few months later I was surprised to find out that I’d made it through the first round. I got a wonderful email from the contest organizers along with the notification that my entry would now be handed over to a mentor.

I thought I had a pretty good book on my hands. So did my mentor – but they were honest with me: lots of room for improvement. I really needed that feedback.

Over the next few months I worked with Dylan (my mentor) on the book. Our email exchanges were always interesting. Dylan pulled no punches and I didn’t whine and cry as much as I expected. I changed a lot about the book – including the title. I trimmed fat, got rid of confusing parts, and generally sucked-it-up and got on with the task of being a professional writer.

I am now a finalist in the Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel. I have an agent largely on the basis that I was the runner up in the Athanatos contest. That carried a lot of weight when I pitched myself to the agency. My book is in front of at least five different publishers right now – all of whom have requested the full manuscript.

I am convinced that without the mentoring and guidance I received as a result of entering the Christian Novel Contest of Athanatos Ministries in 2012 I would not be where I am today. My book is much better, I am a much better writer. And if the whole purpose of this writing journey is to proclaim God’s message to the world, I am a better messenger as a result of my participation.

Please consider entering this contest if you want to improve your skills and get honest feedback. If all you desire is a pat on the back, send me the entry fee (you can skip sending your manuscript) and I’ll send you a glowing email to make you feel better.

Be blessed in this journey.

Joseph Courtemanche
author of Assault On Saint Agnes

Joseph and Anthony Horvath (Executive Director of Athanatos Christian Ministries, the host of the writing contest) shared the stage at an event honoring America’s military in October, 2013.  Read Joseph’s account.

Comments are closed.