Monday, May 7, 2012

Super Awesome Contest of Niceness!

It's here at last!  My first blog contest!  (Imagine a drum roll here.) 

Since signing with Dan, the past several months have been amazing (and terrifying!)  One of the best parts has been that I've met so many wonderful people.  So many of you.  I want to give something back.  That's the reason behind this contest. 

It's easy.  As you might have noticed last week, this contest is all about niceness.  I don't think there's enough of it in the world, and I think we could all use a little bit more niceness in our own lives.

Let's get down to business.  First the prize.  Since most of you are writers, I spent some time thinking about what would be most helpful to you.  I came up with two things.  The winner can pick which one she (or he) would like.  Either a critique of your first chapter or a $25 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble or Amazon. 

A word about the critique.  I tend to be...thorough.  Not mean.  I just write down everything I think of.  It can be alarming at first to get something back from me.  Again, I'm not mean, I just mark up everything.  One of my students opened up a story I had critiqued from them and said, "Oh my God, there's red everywhere!"  She had to close it and walk away before coming back to it. 

Ahem, consider yourself warned. 

So how do you enter?  Easy.  All you need to do is go to the comments on this post and write the nicest thing that someone has ever done for you.  Not the nicest thing you've done for someone else.  The nicest thing someone's done for you

Tweet about it and you get entered twice.  (Just make sure you put @sknipper on the post so I'll know to count your tweet.) 

That's it.  Comment on this post.  Share the nicest thing someone has done for you.  On Thursday I'll randomly pick the winner and announce it on that day's post.  Finally, make sure I have a way to get in touch with you.  Either a link to your blog, an email address, follow me on twitter, etc. 

Tomorrow, I'll share the nicest thing someone has ever done for me. 


  1. yay! niceness! Yay you!
    Okay, it's hard for me to pick just one nice thing. my husband is the master of nice. He's done so many nice things in the 20+ years I've known him. He is WAAAY nicer than I am. I study niceness at his feet, seriously.
    So here goes. For Christmas this year, my husband secretly took my book (which I was querying at the time) designed a beautiful cover for it and had it printed at He said he wanted me to hold my book in my hands, to make sure I understood the magnitude of what I'd accomplished. I understood the magnitude of an amazing husband, that's for sure.

    1. Wow! That's so thoughtful. Yet another reason for marrying a Nice Guy. They get what's important to you!

  2. Wow. Thanks for doing this!
    I just got back from six months in Nigeria doing communications training. I have three small kids, so traveling isn't as simple as it used to be. When we arrived in Abuja at 3 in the morning one of our Nigerian colleagues was there to pick us up. He had personally arranged and paid for our transportation to the city we stayed in (which cost about $100, I estimate), and when we arrived we found our house completely ready for us to move in. There was a week's worth of fruit and vegetables in the kitchen, and a basket of comfort food for our kids (nutella, peanut butter, jelly, etc.). That might not sound huge, but it probably cost him more than a month's income. It was seriously nice of him.

    1. I have four kids and know how hard it is to travel with them. (A few years ago we took 3 of them to China with us...exhausting!)

      But wow, your colleague's kindness is overwhelming. What a way to welcome you.

  3. I am happy to describe this, but it is certainly not able to be tweeted =) so I'll tweet a link to this place!

    Nicest thing anyone has ever done for me:

    My husband helped me become an attorney. I was a paralegal when we met, who would casually say "I could be an attorney." but I never really felt that was true. My husband believed in me, when no one else did, and enrolled me in an LSAT prep course (LSAT being the GRE for law school) Thanks to his support I did well in school, but the true testament to his love came after graduation.

    For the three months that summer I studied for the NY & NJ bar exams (the scary test lawyers take to get licensed) my husband (who was a fiance at the time) put up with my crazy. For 3 solid months (90 days) I woke up had 4 shots of espresso, something to eat, and began hitting books. Watched lectures on video while eating lunch (and downing diet cokes), and quit around 5 pm. I'd then make dinner, and drink 2 glasses of wine, and go to bed.

    Rinse, repeat.

    My husband took over all of the household duties, left me alone whenever I requested, came home whenever I needed, and kept me in espresso and wine the entire time. Then he drove me to upstate NY where I basically did nothing but take the test. He brought food, wine, whatever.

    About once a week I would freak out, thinking my briain my actually explode with the amount of information I was supposed to retain. At every step of the way he kept me going.

    Thanks to him, I passed both bars with flying colors.

    1. Another great husband! I have several friends who are lawyers and I know how much work it involves. Your husband deserves a big Thank You!

  4. Husbands are great, right? As I'm (finally) starting to meet other writers, I'm noticing that nearly all of them have supportive partners who believe in them completely. And I don't think it is coincidence.

    My "nicest thing" story also is about my husband (sorry to jump on the bandwagon). Graduate school has been kind of miserable for me, and I'm not sure whether I want to continue with it. My heart fluttering, I told my husband that I want to take next year off. And incredibly, he was 100% supportive of the idea.

    You may not think that this is a big deal, but I've been working since I was 14. I've been going to college since I was 15. And to finally have time off, to not feel like I have the weight of making a living for us on my shoulders, I can't tell you how relieving it is. It's like someone going up to Atlas and saying, "Here, let me hold that for you." That's how it feels anyway.

    And that's why husband's are awesome. I think everyone should have one.

    Thanks for the great contest, Stephanie.

    1. I think having a supportive spouse is such a plus for a writer. It's such a difficult life that we need all the help we can get. Your husband certainly sounds like a great supportive guy!