Winners' Circle - Angela Ripley

February 11, 2017

Welcome to the Winner's Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are cheering for Angela Ripley! 

What contest was your winning entry submitted to?
First Pages Novel Contest

How many writing contests have you entered?

Tell us the title of your entry and a short summary of the story.
Eve Unknown is a near future urban sci-fi whodunnit where the main character doesn't know what crimes she's guilty of committing.  In a world where people are born remembering their past lives, wiping the memory of convicted criminals is the best way to rehabilitate them. Trouble is, Eve is starting to remember...  

What inspired your winning entry?
The idea for the world building for this novel, came to me as I was wrapping up my first ICL course and considering going into the advanced novel writing course (but for a new adult/adult audience).

How has entering this contest helped your writing?
This contest was really timely for me. I'd been struggling to get an agent to show any interest in my queries, so I knew my first few pages and book blurb didn't have the impact I needed. This contest forced me to focus on those two elements specifically. My next query resulted in a partial request.   :)   

Are you a full-time writer? If not, what is your "day job"?

I work for the Canadian government as a manager of IT services.

How long have you been writing?
Since 2010

What will you do with your piece now that it's been recognized?

I'm currently waiting for a reply on a partial request for this manuscript. I have a few other agents and small publishers that have expressed interest based on some twitter querying events. If none of that goes anywhere, then I'll look at self-publishing it.

Any fun plans for the prize money?
The announcement that I'd won the contest actually came in the middle of our family summer vacation, so we used the winnings to go on some adventures (local water parks, indoor skydiving lessons, and flying trapeze)!

What do you do when you're feeling discouraged or blocked? Do you have any tips for your fellow writers?
When a rejection hits me out of left field and gets too far under my "protective armor" I sometimes need to distance myself from social media (and social interaction in general) and give myself time to rebuild that armor before I can put on a brave face. Often that "rebuilding" takes the form of binge watching sci-fi on Netflix and eating nacho chips with a jar of jalapeno cheese sauce.  

If you could go to the yard sale of any character in the history of children's literature, whose would you go to, and what would you buy?
My absolute favorite books growing up were the Little Golden Books. We had the whole series, including several starring Sesame Street characters. The one I liked best was the Monster at the End of this Book. I think it would be great to browse along a Sesame Street yard sale to haggle for a good deal on Grover's super cape, or Oscar's pet elephant Fluffy.  

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your ICL experience?
The two courses I took with ICL did me a world of good.  I apparently had far more to learn than I realized, and the consistent, external deadlines really pushed me to produce.  My instructors were amazing, personable and knowledgeable.  Those courses were well worth my time and I've already recommended them to several other friends who were looking to get into writing themselves.

You could be our next contest winner! Check out our latest contest and enter for a chance at winning one of five cash prizes. Click here.

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