My contest entries for two upcoming conferences have been mailed! I mailed 13 entries for Ozark Creative Writers contests last Saturday and 8 entries for Ozarks Writers League contests today. Most of what I submitted was new work that has never been submitted anywhere else. Others were old favorites that I shined up a little.
I really enjoy writing for a theme. I let my imagination roam free while contemplating the theme and see what happens. I normally surprise myself. I sit down at the computer with an idea and start writing. Sometimes the result is a piece that makes me really proud.
I read one of my themed submissions at my last Joplin Writers’ Guild meeting. I’m not sharing the title or anything about my story because judging is done blind, and I don’t want to be disqualified. My fellow members really seemed to enjoy my little story, though. I could write dozens of stories for the stated theme, which was Nursery Rhyme Crimes. Whomever dreamed up that theme was a genius.
Believe it or not, the most fun I had was writing for the Haiku contest. I mulled my Haiku over in my mind so much that I woke up in the night and scribbled ideas in the little notebook I keep on my nightstand. Unfortunately, all I had in the way of a writing utensil was a lime green crayon, so I had a difficult time reading my ideas the next morning. I have since put a pen on my nightstand. The point is that the contest made reach deep down inside myself to produce my art.
I’m relieved the rush is over, but it’s bittersweet. I didn’t get enough written to enter in all of the contests that interested me. I couldn’t get my inner editor to shut up, and I revised each of my submissions several times. Next year, I will start much earlier, and hopefully be able to enter every contest that tickles my fancy.
While I entered several contests, I may not place in any of them. Competition is stiff. I know that because I’m familiar with the work of many of my competitors. One thing I’ve learned in life is that no matter how good I get at something, there’s always someone better.
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