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Writing Contests Still Stir My Creative Juices

You may have noticed that Ozarks Maven is a little late today. Please accept my sincere apologies. The reason my blog post is so late is because yesterday I spent 16 hours writing and editing stories for several contests being held at one of my upcoming writers’ conferences. I was at it until 1:30 this morning and then back at it by 7:30 this morning.

The deadline to have my entries post marked is today. My Post Office closed at 11 o’clock this morning, and I was there by 10:30 a.m. Yes, I had to mail two paper copies of each entry along with a cover page for each. It only cost me $8.00 and change for Priority Mail, so I’m not complaining. My package was too heavy for First Class.

I entered 13 contests this year. Many of the short stories are ones I wrote specifically for these contests. There is one contest in particular that inspired me. Once I read the theme, I couldn’t get it out of my head until I’d written the story. The theme is Nursery Rhyme Crimes. I had so much fun writing that story. I think it’s my new favorite.

I woke up yesterday morning inspired to enter a contest that I had previously planned to skip. The theme is Tell Me Why, and I had to write about why my favorite book is my favorite. The word limit for that contest is 250, so my essay had to be succinct. It took me longer to get my word count down to the limit than it did to write the first draft.

I have a story that I really wanted to enter in one of the contests. Unfortunately, the largest word limit for any of the contests is 3000 words. My story was approximately 6000 words when I started paring it down. I was only able to get it down to 3500 words before I had to leave to put my entries in the mail. While I’m disappointed, I realize it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe next time.

My novel has taken up so much of my time for the past year or so, that I haven’t written many short works. Short stories are my first love. I’ve been working on my stories for this particular conference for a month or so. The past week, I’ve really been hitting it hard. After writing five brand new pieces of short prose and significantly changing the plot on three more, I feel invigorated and inspired. My creative juices are pumping through my system at break-neck speed.

I’m spending a good portion of the rest of my day today preparing entries for round of contests for another conference. The deadline for entries for those competitions is August 31st. I have some poetry ideas for that one. I love poetry, but I haven’t written much of it in the past few years. I’m about to change that.

I hope you all have a wonderful and creative day!

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 Instagram or Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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