I know some of you are aware of this news already, but I'm finally able to officially post that **I HAVE WON FIRST PRIZE** in the local section of the 2010 Frome Festival Short Story Competition.
I actually received the news about a month ago, but was asked not to announce it until after the prize giving, which took place yesterday.
I was thrilled to win for a number of reasons, not least because the news arrived a few days before I left (paid) work and felt like wonderful affirmation of my decision to take the summer out of paid employment to focus on my writing. It's always lovely to win something, of course, but for me, the real pleasure is in knowing that other people have enjoyed something I created. And especially so this time since 'The Other Side'
is one of the first short stories I've written for about 7 years, as I've been focussing on novel-writing. In her talk that formed part of the presentation, author Kate Harrison
, one of the judges, said that those who had been successful in the competition could think of themselves as Writers with a capital W and believe that, maybe, one day, they too might reach the glittering heights of Authordom. It gave me a warm, slightly teary glow. Short story writer supreme, Paula Williams
, very generously gave a detailed comment on all of the commended and winning stories in the Local Section, and said some lovely things about mine (cue more warm glowiness). Meanwhile, Alison Clink
offered an interesting run-down of the record 555 entries in the competition - from all over the world, apparently, and all shared valuable tips on writing and the publishing industry. I'm sure I wasn't alone in appreciating the time and generosity of all three in sharing their thoughts and experience with us.
Afterwards, we were treated to lunch at a nearby restaurant, which provided opportunities for meeting other writers, the agent who will be reading and feeding back on the winning entries, as well as chatting with Alison, Paula and Kate. It's always fun to have the opportunity to get together with fellow writers at various stages of their careers, as well as being a great chance to network (and on a crappy night's sleep and with a steaming headache, I did my best to network my little arse off!)
Some of you have asked whether my winning story will be available to read, and the answer is, hopefully. A complete surprise for me yesterday was being told that 'The Other Side'
is one of the stories that has been selected to be submitted to a national magazine. There's no guarantee of publication of course (when is there ever?!) but fingers crossed. So it's a case of watch this space
Well, watch this space
and YAY!!! Because in the midst of socialising and networking yesterday, I kind of forgot the YAY! bit. Although I guess the rather amazing fudge ice-cream I had on the way back to the train station counts.