I've mentioned in a couple of my last blog posts that I'm current entered into 7 short story competitions, something I haven't managed to do for a couple of years now. One of the competitions has recently announced its winners and I was disappointed not to have made the short list at least. I think the story I submitted there had been re-written and chopped up to suit various word counts on at least 3 occasions, but this time I felt I had the right length and detail. Sadly that wasn't the case and I've reluctantly decided to retire that particular story for good now.
However, I was delighted to receive an email the other night informing me that I had made the short list for one of the other competitions for which I'm entered. This was a real shot in the arm and a timely motivational kick up the backside. The actual winners will not be announced for a few weeks yet, but at least I know that I'm in with a shout. This also gives me encouragement that some of my other stories might also stand a chance elsewhere.
During 2010 and 2011 I was placed in quite a few competitions and it was almost a regular occurrence to be short listed. Then for whatever reason, my spate of success dropped away and I think I managed one more placement over the next couple of years. I don't know whether my writing had deteriorated or perhaps my style became out of vogue, but for whatever reason, success, even minor success, completely eluded me. Yes I was having stories accepted for anthologies with Static Movement and others, which was great, terrific in fact, but I couldn't win a competition for love or money.
Now I'm really hoping that this news about being short listed will be the herald for an upturn in my progress as a writer. I don't know whether I'll be placed in the top 3, but whether I am or not, it is a step in the right direction and progress.
Onwards and upwards...