In the last week I haven't won two competitions. This isn't surprising since one I didn't enter and the other had a great many entries. What have I learnt from this experience? Anything?
I discovered this week that a writer I admire, Tracy Fells, had a competition success rate in 2013 of merely 33%. I was amazed at that because her name appeared in so many lists. But what I hadn't known was that she had entered eighty-seven competitions. Gasp!
Note to self - write faster!
I am a firm believer in competitions. They are a godsend for the aspiring writer. Not only do others notice (illustrious others as well as friends and family) but a placing in any list provides massive self-validation. The lonesome writer needs lots.
That's the main reason that CreativeWritingMatters is launching another competition. We're calling it WoW! because it's for a short story of one thousand words (best to say it out loud), although we'll allow fifty either way. The closing date will be 31st May and I'll be posting a page with more information under the competition tab on February 1st.
Tracy won second place in the H.E.Bates competition. Congratulations! And to Anne Corlett for winning. You can read both their stories HERE. I'm thinking of getting a dog (see pic).
Closer to home, I'm going to sing the praises of an Exeter Writer, Dan Knibb who has been short listed for the Harry Bowling Novel and Flash prize. When he's famous I shall tell anecdotes about his first term in my class.
Edit: I've since discovered that a 20% success rate is considered good! Keep sending 'em out, folks.
A slightly belated Happy New Year! My pre-New Year blog didn't happen because the computer decided it was also having a seasonal break. Sigh. I was away from home so couldn't use my back up - left safely behind - or nip along to my local Apple shop.
In spite of that, there's lots of good news here at CreativeWritingMatters.
If you don't already know, go HERE to see which talented writers have made it to the long list of The Exeter Novel Prize. We are very excited about the competition and are already looking forward to finding out who will be on the short list. It will be posted on 7th February.
Also new on the site is Chapter Twelve of The Creative Writing Student's Handbook. We're coming to the end of the book now, I can't believe the time has gone by so fast. Margaret and I are contemplating the next step. We have been very encouraged by the comments received so far and will consider them very carefully. Please do leave a comment, even if it's not directly concerned with the current chapter but is in some way relevant to the book.
I'm in the middle of redrafting my latest novel and I'm already making notes for the next one. I've reached the point where I'd feel rather twitchy if I didn't have a novel on the go.
Finally, I must post this verse from a student of mine from long ago. It made me laugh out loud. He sent it to me this morning.
Did you once write short stories and now want to start again?
Then sign up for a course with young Cathie Hartigan!
She'll bring out your confidence and crush all your fears,
And if worse comes to worst, you can steal her ideas!
She's had stories published and even whole books,
(She's pleasant to look at but this isn't about looks),
You'll meet similar people and your work will be seen,
So why wait? Join up in 2014!
I don't know about young - I'm old enough to be his mother! Not sure about the whole books either but hey...Chris is a journalist and writes a very good blog. Take a look HERE