10 Things You Should Know About Lenora

Lenora Bell - Author Photo

  1. She’s from a tiny town in Alaska and a moose followed her home from school once. 
  2. Her debut Regency romance novel is coming from Avon Romance in May of 2016!
  3. She’s lived and worked on five continents (and counting!).
  4. The way to her heart involves chocolate and…yeah, pretty much chocolate.
  5. She’s a musical theater/glee club nerd who had a (very) brief career as a lounge singer in China. 
  6. She knows how to order cocktails in six languages. ¡Me gustaría un mojito por favor!
  7. The one item in her closet she couldn’t live without is a lace day dress worn by her great-grandmother Lenora.
  8. She thinks what the world needs now is love sweet love! 
  9. She can’t decide what color her hair should be.
  10. She would adore receiving an email from you!

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Ten Reasons You Should Enter Avon FanLit

Posted at May 11, 2015 7:41 am in , , ,


If you’re considering entering the Avon FanLit online writing competition, you should. Here are a few reasons why:

Characters talk to you while you’re sitting in class, or in your work cubicle, or while you’re reading Pride and Prejudice…for the twelfth time. Dangerous, brooding dukes send you heated glances. Saucy debutantes toss their curls and make clever innuendos. Suddenly you’re compelled to grab a pen, your macbook, a cocktail napkin and some lipstick…because you have to capture that sparkling dialogue or it will fade. Here’s a chance to tell the world your story. 

Is it just you? Or are other authors pulled by the same tide, the one that keeps you awake past midnight scribbling Downton Abbey FanFic? You’re not alone. FanLit is a community of similarly romance-and-history-obsessed people who can offer support, advice, and inspiration. 

She’ll be mad at me for saying this because she’s genuinely humble and modest, but Tessa Dare, the Grand Prize winner of the last FanLit contest, is amazing (but don’t take my word for it.) She’s also one of the Avon authors responding to questions and posting words of wisdom on the FanLit Forums. One of her recent posts urged contestants to, “HAVE FUN. I always write my best when I’m having fun, and I bet you will, too. Put your own personality in your writing!” 

So go forth and learn from the best!

Fabulous editors like Tessa Woodward, Amanda Bergeron, Chelsey Emmelhainz, and Elle Keck actually read your chapter submissions. They also shape the chapter prompts, effectively giving you a down and dirty crash course in plotting a romance. Think of them as your chaperones at Almack’s Assembly Rooms–the fun ones that let you drink a glass of ratafia and then give you a gentle push in the direction of the brooding duke.

Reading other submissions and connecting with other writers will help you view your own work with a more critical and thoughtful eye, and your writing will improve as a result. Is that opening hook strong enough? Does the cliffhanger of a final sentence leave the reader dying for more? 

For many years, I never submitted anything or entered any contests because I thought I wasn’t good enough yet. But you know what? Julia Quinn, Sarah MacLean, Eloisa James, and Loretta Chase all started somewhere. They started with the belief and confidence to relinquish their writing to the world. Even if they had doubts about whether any one would want to read it. They took that first step. And believe me, it was scary.

A lot of writing contests charge submission fees to enter. That’s totally fine, but this one is free and it could change your life. Submissions for Chapter 1 are being accepted until May 17, 2015.

The grand prize winner receives a publishing offer for the opportunity to develop a manuscript for possible publication by Avon Impulse. How crazy awesome is that? It’s a bit out of control how many Impulse titles I have on my Kindle right now…passionate books from Vivienne Lorret, Ellie Macdonald, and Sophie Barnes, to name a few.

Chapter winners receive three of my all time favorite books in the whole world. Enough said!

Yep, I totally dare you. What are you waiting for? If you have any doubts…send me an email! I’ll talk you into entering :)

Did I win the grand prize during the first Avon FanLit? Nope. Was I even one of the chapter winners? Nope, not even close. Did I win anyway? Hell yeah! 

Why’s that? Because I met a community of creative, caring, brilliant writers and over the past nine years we’ve shared triumphs, laughter, and tears. They never gave up on me, even when I gave up on myself, and that’s true friendship. I wouldn’t be a soon-to-be-published Avon author if it weren’t for FanLit.

So go for it, you intrepid wordsmith, you.
I dare you!

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