The problem with being on the opposite side of the planet from the majority of the English-speaking world is that sometimes competitions go live at, say, 4am. I’ve started taking major advantage of scheduling. I use TweetDeck (a free program) to schedule some of my Twitter posts for while I’m asleep and hopefully dreaming of David Tennant in leather pants (hello, Fright Night!), or while I’m at work. WordPress lets you schedule blog posts too, which is awesome.
The gorgeous Stacey and I were chatting about the awesomeness that is the Miss Snark agent blog (which I’ve raved about here before – you can find a link to Her Royal Snarkiness on my Links page). Stacey asked me if I’d heard of Miss Snark’s First Victim, a blog started by the first writer Miss Snark ever critiqued. In the spirit of helping other writers the way she was helped, MSFV runs regular competitons, including the annual Baker’s Dozen and the Secret Agent contents.
So I looked it up and decided I wanted to try my new opening paragraphs in the Secret Agent contest. (I’d try Baker’s Dozen but it’s not till the end of the year!) And of course the window for entries to be received was something like 3am to 7am. On a Tuesday morning.
Google to the rescue! I found a neat little Firefox/Chrome plugin called Boomerang. I like to imagine it was designed by an timezone-challenged Aussie much like myself, given the name, but it also has a feature to resend emails so maybe not. Boomerang works with Gmail and lets you schedule your emails. I searched for the timezone of the contest, figured out the local time to send the email, and kapow! (Also, send!)
Even more excitingly, I’ve been chosen at random by the random number generator gods to be one of the January Secret Agent contest entrants. Take that, timezone differences!
(Let’s take a quick moment out while I hyperventalate at the idea that my words are going to be more widely available than a few beta readers or Pitchwars mentors. It’s only 250 words, but still!)
(Ok, I’m done.)
… The only thing is that the entries go live on Wednesday morning. Or Wednesday LATE-o’clock, local time. I don’t think scheduling can help me with this one.
Timezone differences: 1.