I've been involved in running competitions for many years now, and although I'm always encouraging writers to send enter their stories, I have to admit to being slow at sending out my own work. My excuse this last year is that I've been finishing another novel, and there's a third textbook on the way too. I did, however, send my novel, Secret of the Song, to the Dorchester Literary Festival competition. It has a long name: The Hall and Woodhouse DLF (see previous sentence) Writing Competition. This was a rare competition, one for independently published books, fiction and non-fiction with a connection to the South-West of England. I posted a copy of the book to them before last Christmas and forgot all about it.
It was a wonderful surprise to hear I was on the long list of seven a few weeks ago, and an even more marvellous surprise to be in the final three. There's to be an award ceremony in July, when the three of us will read and be interviewed by the wonderful journalist and presenter, Kate Adie. Gulp! I am both excited and terrified.
I'm sure all those who have been shortlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize and attended our ceremony are laughing behind their hands now!
I'll be back with a blog about the event whatever happens. I'm absolutely chuffed to have got this far, and it will be lovely to meet the other finalists, Chip Tolson and Philip Browne and the competition organisers in Dorchester. I'm sure we'll get on very well. The festival itself isn't until October and they have lots of fantastic events. Do check out their website: Dorchester Literary Festival
Being placed in a competition is such a thrill, but (note to self) you won't get anywhere if you don't enter. The Exeter Story Prize and the Exeter Flash are both open for submissions now, and we look forward to reading your stories.
The very first winner of the flash competition was Martin Sorrell. You can read his winning entry HERE. Martin has written for radio, and recently, a memoir about his French/English family during the 20th Century. Paulette, published by Impress Books, is a beautifully written book.
What they did next...
Scroll down to find out about our previous winners.