The deadline for the story I was writing was midnight last night. I made it! Fingers crossed it is a winner! I like it well enough and Neil, Naomi, and Florence seem to like it a lot, so with any luck the competition judges will dig it too.
Yesterday was nuts. I had several starting paragraphs, tons of pointless chunks of text, and no idea how to get the two alternating main characters (and their situations) to come together at the end. I have been killing myself over this story for a week. Top it all off with the genre being one I’ve never written: Horror. Neil was speed-proofreading as fast as he could in the last hour of January and I was making quick corrections and printouts until 11:59PM. The story was copied and pasted into the entry email and just as I hit SEND, the clock ticked over to 12:01AM.
I don’t think I’ve actually read my own story start to finish yet- I was far too busy! Neil was my ‘trusted critic/reader/editor’ and has read it several times over though. I’m going to wait a week so I don’t kick myself for finding things I’d like to change. The work isn’t perfect, but that unreachable target is something I’m learning to ignore. It’s far too easy to get obsessed and achieve nothing. I’ve spent long enough in that rut.
Though my email was technically a minute late, the judges have accepted my work into the competition (I’ve had confirmation) and I eagerly await their decision. Top prize is £250, but even better than that is the prospect of having something published in a quarterly magazine. I’ve entered loads of competitions and have done plenty of bits of copywriting for the web, but this would be my first published work of fiction.
I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high, but wish me luck! I’ll let you know where to find my story if I make it into the magazine.