As you may have gathered, this year I’ve been concentrating on writing competitions rather than subbing to the magazine market (though I’ve done a little of the latter too). After a dismal start with little to show for my efforts, I had begun to doubt the wisdom of this strategy – but as we all know, writing teaches you nothing if not patience, and the second half of the year has proved to be much more rewarding.
The results of the Pens of Erdington 2015 creative writing competition will be officially announced at an event at Erdington Library on Saturday 12th December, but I happen to know one of the winners – yes, me!
To say that I’m chuffed would be an understatement (I did do a little dance around the kitchen when I found out!). Jan Watts, former Poet Laureate of Birmingham and the Judge of the shortlisted entries, has said some very encouraging things about my story, and I’m looking forward to meeting her on Saturday.
Competitions such as this one are great for giving focus to your writing, and they allow you to explore some writing styles which wouldn’t generally fit the magazine market. (And I won’t deny, a win is a huge confidence boost.) I highly recommend trying your hand at a few. Writers’ Forum magazine has a competitions listing page, and there are several online lists such as www.writersreign.co.uk/short-story-competitions
If you’d like to find out more about Pens of Erdington, including their future competitions, visit them at www.pensoferdington.wordpress.com