I wrote a Waterstone’s What’s Your Story postcard and dropped it off at the book shop in town. What’s Your Story is a competition of sorts where a couple of lucky and/or talented adults and one child will win a published page in a book of postcards written for charity by big-name authors; JK Rowling and a dozen other best-selling authors are involved. Waterstone’s is also giving away a place for an Arvon Foundation writing course. I entered, of course. My entry came in around four hundred words and I personally like the story very much. It’s fiction and deals loosely with sex education classes in the United States school system. I’m friends with some people at my local Waterstone’s and they’ve read my card. I truly trust their opinions and they like my entry too.
There’s just one problem…
I may have shot myself in the foot by having the word PENIS in capital letters in the middle of my typewritten entry. It’s not gratuitous. It’s important to the story. It’s about sex-ed class for chrissakes. This one little word could keep me out of the front window display and could possibly keep me out of the book. (Yes, I’m confident it’s good enough for the book.)
I think I feel a bit cheated. I wrote something good, and the contest wasn’t limited to a particular subject matter or reading level, so I entered something I believe in and like. I could have written about love or a journey to the sea or a bowl of fruit, but I didn’t. What mattered was what I wrote. I suppose knowing that will have to do.
Perhaps if the manager reads the entry, he’ll see the card is harmless and treat it fairly. Fingers crossed.