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My Conference Submissions are All Finally Mailed

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 wrote the new stuff especially for the OCW and OWL competitions, but that doesn’t mean I’m submitting exclusively to them. The contests I entered do not include publication if I place, so they allow simultaneous submissions. They offer prize money and a great deal of bragging rights instead. While those things are wonderful, the main reason I entered these contests is that it’s fun.

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.

Another fun contest theme was Famous Houses or Sites in the Ozarks. This one was a poetry contest and the only rules were it had to be written about a famous house or site in the Ozarks and be 40 lines or less. It could be any form, which made me happy. I wrote a free verse poem. Again, I won’t share which famous house or site I chose because judging is done blind.

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.

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

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