I’m a Winner!

I am one of the winners of the Transformational Author Experience writing contest 2015! For over two years, I’ve been working towards achieving this dream of getting the top prize:

Book Proposal Review and Consideration for a Traditional Publishing Contract with New World Library (Publisher of Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”).

It means my book proposal will be read by Mark Allen, the President and Publisher of New World Library, and considered for a traditional publishing deal. There are nine other people who will be considered too. Effectively, I have 1 in 10 chances to be published by New World Library. Looking at the titles published by New World Library, I realize that there’s a small chance for him to pick my proposal over self-help books and other content which is more like “The Power of Now”. But, it also means that among hundreds of proposals, mine was strong enough to make it that far. It gives me a huge motivation to get on and move forward with my manuscript. It’s been somewhat abandoned lately as I was too busy writing up my next book. Perhaps, despite all my self-doubts it stands a good chance of succeeding. I’ve also won a ticket to a live Transformational Author Breakthrough event in Baltimore, MD in 2016. Whether I can attend it with two young kids or not remains to be seen. For now, it feels super exciting to win all these prizes.

My transformational author experience started in the summer of 2013. By then I’ve been generating material for over a year. The way I worked with Dr Barbara Turner-Vesselago, my writing mentor, was to write up memories which had a lot of energy. In no particular order, I wrote many chapters about my childhood in Azerbaijan. Perhaps that’s why the material lacked a coherent storyline. Joining the writing contest in 2013 pushed me to shape those isolated pieces into a book format. The storyline was not strong, and the book resembled a collection of short stories. Nonetheless, I hit that send button before the deadline and… won nothing.

For a year, I continued writing and generating more material. I listened to Christine Kloser’s interviews with leading experts in the publishing world, and took close notes. The storyline of my book became more prominent. Using Christine’s gentle guidance, I continued strengthening my book proposal . Pressing the ‘send’ button was still nerve-wracking. I won one of the smaller prizes. Being in the top 30 out of 200 people who submitted their proposal was incredibly encouraging.

But I still wanted to win the top prize.

I continued learning from Christine’s expert advice and incorporating her suggestions into my proposal. This year, my book proposal was as strong as it gets. Not only has my manuscript a coherent storyline, but also I’ve been working on my author presence through blog and social media. I am over the moon that all those efforts paid off, especially because this is the last year of the Transformational Author Experience and its contest with a plethora of amazing prizes (http://transformationalauthor.com/2015-winners).

I’m telling this story to encourage you to carry on towards your dream. If you persevere and learn from your prior experiences, there is a good chance that you can make it. It may not be from the first go, but each experience serves its function. The first year of the contest pushed me to think about the storyline; the second year encouraged me to reflect on marketing and my author ‘brand’; the third year taught me how to bring those strands together.

Dream Big and Keep Going


39 thoughts on “I’m a Winner!

    • Thank you, Jonathan! Love hearing from you. I was thinking of you when I was writing the second part of the post today. Hope all is well. I might pop around next week or the week after. I’ll let you know in advance.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ula. I was determined last night 😀 I’m more relaxed today. It’ll be what it’ll be. But… It has the potential to give that nudge (or a push) to get on and revise the manuscript! It looks like NaNoWriMo may need to wait till next year…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Lorraine, it feels amazing and I am deeply grateful for all your support. I feel your presence and I am always touched when you reach out. A big thank you!


    • Whatever it takes, Solveig 🙂 Pressing thumbs sounds great.
      It’ll take between 4-6 weeks before I find out. I better take you up on your beta-reading offer soon. I know you are working hard at the moment. When is the next window of opportunity? Many thanks again for your support and cheer!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wonderful news and well-deserved Gulara!!!! Here’s to the next step being transformational! Whoot whoot whoot! VERY excited for you and thank you for your encouragement to all of us to keeps our dreams alive 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Susan, I’ve got a big smile on my face while I read your cheer. It feels amazing to win the prize; it’s even better to get so many warm messages from people I deeply care about!


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