Bah-Humbug! No, I’m not Scrooge, but I feel like him. You see, I submitted a 500-word, short story to a writing contest. The theme was to recount a childhood experience about Tales of Winter. I polished and entered, Marbles in a Squeaky Snowsuit. Then I crossed my fingers and toes.
A week later, I pounded my desk. “Rats!” No, I’m not referring to those furry critters. I didn’t even place in the darn contest. Then I vented my frustration on Marcy Kennedy who has won numerous writing contests. Visit her website to read her winning entries.
Then I was all set to include my story on my blog when Marcy said, “hold the presses.”
She didn’t really say that, but she offered the following advice:
“Contests are funny things because the winner (and others who place) is sometimes determined by the judges’ preference. Not always, but that certainly can play a factor. A set of articles that Lisa and I co-wrote won an award from the Canadian Church Press but didn’t in TWG’s Canadian Christian Writing Awards. When we got the feedback from both contests, it seemed like what one set of judges really liked (the informal tone and focus on our personal experience) the other judges didn’t (they wanted to see more research and stats).
Don’t post the story on your blog, at least not yet. I’d suggest submitting it a few more times before you give up on selling it. Sometimes it takes 4-5 submissions before a short story or essay will find a home. If you’ve sent it out numerous times without a personal response (a personal note added to a rejection is actually a positive thing), then it will be time to give it a new life on your blog.
I was writing for years, trying to get published or win contests, before things finally clicked into place. Keep your chin up. You’ll get there.”
So…I’ve decided I’m not going to post my story. I know you’re disappointed. Don’t cry. You’ll just have to wait until I win or you see it pop up on my blog.
Wait! Before I go I’d like to encourage other writers. Don’t give up!
Dare to Dream Large
P.S. If you have a similar story you’d like to share, or if I have encouraged you in some way, please leave a comment. Well, I’d best get back to writing. There’s another contest I need to enter.