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Busy Writing for Contests

I have to give my husband some serious credit. Last Sunday when he asked me what I wanted to do for the day, I told him I wanted to write. He agreed to leave me to it and was true to his word for most of the day.

He handled some yard work, put the second coat of paint on our breakfast nook, and did a variety of other things. Though I did laundry and made dinner, he handled pretty much everything else and left me alone so I could concentrate. I appreciate his efforts, and I accomplished a great deal.

Most of my writing events have been cancelled this year. There is only one that’s still tentatively scheduled. The Ozarks Writers League (OWL) Fall Conference is one that I always enjoy. I’m not alone in fervently hoping we’re able to have it this year. Every writer I know is anxious for the company of peers. We were forced to cancel the April conference, so we haven’t seen each other in nearly a year.

I’ve been working on my conference contest submissions. I’m pushing the release date of my short story collection back until after the contests because I’m creating some great new stories that I want to include in my book. Anything that’s been previously published at the time of the contest is ineligible.

I recently wrote a little story for my Sleuths’ Ink Mystery Writers quarterly contest. There are some amazing writers in this group, and I learn something every time I’m with them. Needless to say, competition is always fierce. That’s why I was shocked to win 1st Place in the contest. I’m entering that story in one of the OWL contests, of course.

I sent my newest prize-winning story to my critique group for their input because I was able to expand the story for OWL. Larger word limits are our friends and should be capitalized upon. One of my critique partners thrilled me by saying it’s one of the best things I’ve ever written.

It made me wonder if perhaps I need to spend more time writing mystery and less time writing romance. I’ve had a few people tell me they prefer my mysteries. Perhaps I can combine the two like Janet Evanovich. I adore her work.

In addition to the new mystery I wrote a couple months ago for Sleuths’ Ink, I’ve written a nonfiction piece, a flash fiction piece, edited a ghost story, and am batting around some ideas for a poem for the OWL contests. I have some beloved older stories that I’d love to submit, but I hesitate to do so.

The problem is that I’ve misplaced my 2018/2019 submissions book, which is where I keep track of what I’ve sent to where and when. Though I have my 2013 through 2017 submissions list, 2018 was a year in which I submitted heavily. I don’t want to run the risk of submitting a story to one of the same contests in which it placed in the past, so I may only send new pieces. Better safe than sorry.

The deadline is August 1st, so it’s crunch time. Don’t worry, though. I do some of my best work at the 11th hour.

Stay safe and healthy, my friends! Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and job, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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