Tuesday 27 March 2018

I Won a Contest! - A little inspiration about entering contests by Kelly McDonald #ChaBooCha

My post is really quick as I am drowning a little… and Becky may have to edit a lot (otherwise, I hope you read fluent typo).

I just got a publishing contract.


Hooray. Through a company called Whitelight Publishing House.

Thought it would be a good one to write about. I have been telling stories, performing them, writing them for years and years and years.

I have quite a handful of finished but not edited novels and middle grade books.
I have heaps more picture story books.

I am in a handful of anthologies.

I’ve won places in quite a few awards such as a 1st for a middle grade story in the CYA conference, and was named emerging writer of the year in 2013 (same year as win if I remember.) that story was a chaboocha story!

Sounds pretty good hey, except I haven’t had the courage to send to publishers.

Because… they aren’t finished. More to the point I still don’t feel quite good enough.
I love my Chapter Book Challenge. It makes me take time for me to write, but this year something different happened.

I entered a contest. It was with a company (Whitelight) who I have had my eye on. They are a vanity publishing house, and you can self-publish through them. I am not really interested in self-publishing my stories, but I am interested in creating a fairy oracle set I have been working on. It has a story too. And I think I want to control it because I want it to be exactly how I see it. I also have the perfect platform to sell it through my business. I’d also like to incorporate some kind of kickback to kids with cancer with it.

So I entered an old story about a ghost. I love the story, but my writing back then was um…. Sucky I think best describes it. Terribly sucky.

It was the last day to enter when I found it. But I knew the judging was still a few weeks off, so I entered, then asked if I could give the updated version before the judging. They said ‘yes,’ so I had a week to edit the first few chapters and send it in, hoping that they could read between the lines for the unedited bits.

Well, I made the finals. Four of us.

From here, it was given out to the public to see which one the public wanted to see in print. I won with 44 percent of the votes. To say I am thrilled is an understatement.

My ghost story has become my ChaBooCha as I scramble to edit the rest of it. – Now  with a deadline!
It is not how I thought I would first become published. But it is an open door and I have my foot firmly wedged in it.

I’m so excited.

It is so worth taking the opportunities that arise. Enter competitions. You never know. And besides from winning, you get to learn about the submission process, following guidelines and rules.

Get your work out there everyone!

And good luck!

Now, I am off to make a book cover. I’ve made about nine now I think (some for our Teacup Tales too). So to make the hype a little more active around my book, I am going to run a little model contest! Contact me if you want to know more about the contest.


Kelly McDonald has been entertaining with stories and magic for more than 24 years as the Magical Faerie Crystall. She is married with two beautiful children and spends as much time on her writing and art as possible. She has been involved in many challenges and groups, including 12x12, Chapter Book Challenge and WOWnonfiction. Kelly has been awarded a first and third in the Australian CYA conference, and has numerous Commended and Highly Commended awards for her writing. Her fantasy art can be found  at http://www.facebook.com/gardenbabies or http://www.gardenbabyfaeries.webs.com and her author page is www.facebook.com/kelly.mcd.author.illustrator.


If you are a signed-up member of ChaBooCha, comment on this post and you will be entered to win your choice of an inspirational magnet from this section of my shop. (The magnet pictured above is just one example.) Winner will be drawn by a random number generator at noon on March 31st and announced within 24 hours of the drawing. 


  1. Congratulations! You have to put it out there to win! Glad you put it out there!

  2. Congratulations Kelly! Well deserved and I can't wait to see your book in print :)

  3. Congratulations Kelley! You are absolutely right. We need to take every opportunity! Thank you for the encouraging post!

  4. Well done, Kelly! I like how you combine business and giving back.

  5. So amazingly grat and awesome!!! Love the article too, very you, and it doesn't matter how you get your foot in the door, it's open now and you have all of our feet wedged in there in spirit holding it open as well!

  6. Congratulations on winning, and thank you for sharing your experience and your process with us. We

  7. Congratulations 🎈 on your win.,,and I agree, it’s a great way to get your work out there and read!! Best of luck with your ventures Kelly!!

  8. Congratulations. Winning give a great boost of confidence! Keep going!

  9. Contests are great for many reasons. So glad you won!
    Thanks for sharing the story about your story.

  10. Congrats, Kelly, on wining the contest and best of luck with your book.

  11. Congratulations on winning a contest and getting a book ready to be published.