Some Good News….

Finally, some good news. No, it’s not going to stop raining. I mean, on the writing front.

Nothing too exciting BUT, firstly, I’ve been ‘longlisted’ (top 30) for the May/June Multi-Story Short Story competition.

I have to wait until the end of the month to find out if I’ve actually been placed but as they said they had ‘a large number of entries’ (probably, like me, attracted by that £500 first prize!), then I’m chuffed that my story has at least been recognised.

And, (thanks to Tracy Fells who alerted me to this), my story came in the top 5 in last month’s Telegraph Short Story Competition (yes, the one that I keep going on about!). Hurrah!

Funnily enough, it’s with a story that I deliberately wrote to try to get out of my ‘comfort zone’ (see post here for more on that).

And I’ve changed it a lot since the first version. My writing buddy Sally commented on it and I changed bits of it that had jarred with her; then I sent it to May’s Telegraph competition (it came nowhere). Before I re-submitted it for the June competition, I edited it again. I changed the title, cut out some clichés and generally ‘tidied up’ the writing a bit.

Was that the reason it was shortlisted the second time around? Maybe – but it might also have been because the story was read by a different ‘sifter’ this time and he/she liked it, whereas last month’s sifter didn’t.

They’re asking the shortlisted writers to post their stories on the Telegraph short story club webpage – which is very tempting and very flattering (although of course there is always the risk that I’ll be stung by the comments!!) BUT I’m loath to do that because once it’s there, it will be ‘published’ – and I want to improve it some more and send it to another competition.

It’s not going to be suitable for either of these free competitions, but they might be of interest to you:

1. Closing date: 31st July
Prize: ‘How to Write Biographies, Memoirs and Family Histories’ course from the Writers’ Bureau.

If you fancy winning this, just send an email explaining, in 100 words or less which famous person you’d like to write a biography about and why.

Send your entry to draw@writersbureau.com

More details here.

2. Closing Date: 30th September

Fleeting Magazine is running a competition for a Six Word Short Story (Hemingway famously did this with his exquisite, “For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.”). If you think you can do better and fancy a night in the The Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan OR £100 cash alternative, read all about it here.

My OH has got a BIG birthday next week (it has a big fat NOUGHT in it), so we’re off to Cornwall tomorrow for a few (no doubt rain-sodden) days with some friends to celebrate.

It’ll be fun, I’m sure, regardless of the weather. (And sssh, don’t tell him, but I’m taking my laptop….!)

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10 Responses to Some Good News….

  1. adelesymonds says:

    Congratulations, you are definitely doing something right with your writing, Keep up the good work.

  2. Congratulations on the successes, Helen!

  3. Well done Helen, good luck. I joined the Telegraph short story club today – I think, or it may have been the book club. I’m on there doing something anyway, so hope to have a go at the story competition as well. Thanks for the links on those others, will have a go at them. I just heard I’ve won a competition as well. Exciting isn’t it?

  4. KH says:

    Well done, Helen. Great to hear your good news and hope it get’s even better! Good wishes. KH

  5. Julia says:

    Congratulations. I’d entered that one, so you’ve beaten me! The nearest I’ve come to a prize in the last month is being shortlisted for (and then not winning) a Writers Toolkit Flash Fiction comp. Fingers crossed for you for the end of the month.

  6. Congratulations on the long listing and the placing.

  7. Tracy Fells says:

    Congratulations again Helen (& thanks for the mention 🙂 ) – obviously paid off to try something different in your writing. Sound advice to all of us. Interesting that this was your 2nd go for the comp with same story. You could be right about the readers too. So I will definitely keep trying.
    I think you’re wise not to publish as you could try the story elsewhere. Also the commenters on the Telegraph Blog look a cliquey bunch – reading some of the posted comments has put me off a bit….

  8. Helen Pike says:

    Hooray! Well done you, Helen.

  9. viklit says:

    Congratulations!

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