After I won my first short story competition, I got the bug.

I googled ‘writing competitions’ and it gave me a list of the crème de la crème of writing awards, available to minions like me. It was a veritable feast of avenues in which to satisfy my yearning for winning web publications. My goal; to see my name in lights once more, or even twice or thrice…

I chose a site that looked as if they would be kind to a beginner like me. You know, one that wouldn’t look at my story and bounce it back with a little note saying, ‘you have got to be kidding!’

It was called Writers Billboard and this was the site that gave me the confidence to explore writing further. I won the title for three consecutive months and I have never forgotten that feeling of pride as I looked at my name at the top of their page of winners.

When I entered the fourth time, I knew I was pushing my luck. As predicted they sent me a little note, ‘not this month, Wendy.’ it was then I decided to venture further afield with the memory of the guys at Writers Billboard in my ‘grateful to people’ box.

I wrote day and night, churning out short stories and some long ones.  I kept winning competitions or at least getting runner-up and my confidence was shining like a beacon. Until the day came when I lost, (didn’t win) and I lost again, and again…

I couldn't understand it. How could my writing be getting worse as I progressed? Have they finally realized I’m a fraud and that I actually haven’t got a clue how to put together a readable bit of prose?

Or is it because I am going for the big guns?

Yes, that was it! I was playing for cash prizes and prestige and the stakes were higher:  The Bridport Prize, The Bristol Short Story Award, Biscuit Publishing…and that was just the B’s.

I woke up one morning and decided I needed to up my game. I wrote four shorts in one week and entered them with supreme confidence.

I got a shortlist prize of £10 in Writers Village quarterly contest and I was once more heartened and highly motivated. The ever fabulously eloquent John Yeoman at WV even sent me a certificate. My first! That was such a special moment.

Until I started losing again!

Talk about a roller-coaster ride. It was every cliché in the book and I took it like a sniveling ninny.

That’s when I decided to begin talking to peers, making cyber-friends. That’s when I learnt about the real world of writing.

I’ll tell you about that…tomorrow. xx

  

5/16/2011

Hi Wendy. Indeed, your win in the Writers' Village contest was well deserved! I'm looking forward to reading your next entries.

Reply
Wendy
5/16/2011

Hey, John. Thanks for checking me out.
Best wishes
Wendy

Reply
5/17/2011

Hi Wendy. Thanks for your kind words. Your stories won on merit every time and always against very stiff competition. We hope you will consider entering Writers' Billboard again soon as it is always a pleasure to read your work. Good luck with your career.

Reply
Wendy
5/17/2011

Thanks, Greg. Appreciate your comments very much.

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