Back in April, I entered a short story competition run by Writing Magazine. For those unfamiliar, it’s probably the biggest selling writing magazine in the UK, aimed at aspiring and professional authors.
I’ve entered a lot of their competitions over the years – I could wallpaper my spare room with the submissions they’ve rejected – and only been shortlisted twice, once for a short story and once for a novel extract.
The notification period for this one came and went and I experienced my usual emotions, telling myself it was fine not to have won – no, really, FINE – analysing why the story was bad, why my work wasn’t sodding good enough for those darn picky judges – again.
Then an email plinked into my inbox – congratulating me on my competition win.
And you know what, instead of being delighted, chuffed, bowled over my my own skill and talent – I assumed the email was fraudulent and forwarded it to a writer friend for a second opinion!
Well, my loves, the story did win and has now been published in print and online – the link’s here for all who want a few minutes’ read. May I recommend making an event of it – perhapes fetching a nice cup of something hot and a biscuit (a Penguin for that retro feel, or perhaps a chocolate Hobnob for you dunkers)?
It feels like quite a milestone, after submitting to the magazine so often. Seeing the story there in print and reading the editor’s comments online was the most delightful thing I’ve experienced since I started writing.
And for those in the UK who want to feel the paper in your hands, do rush to your local WH Smith’s and buy a copy (October issue). Even if you don’t like my story, the rest of the mag is very good.
Happy reading all.
P.S A public thanks to Maureen (whose glorious poetry you can read here and here) and Jackie (a wonderfully talented short story writer), my writing group pals, without whose advice and feedback the story would not have won.