Here I am in ‘the ring’ with her (you can’t see but there were about 20 entries in the ‘Cutest Puppy’ category and I am fraternising with the eventual winner!).
I had high hopes – and we were, I think the ‘People’s Choice’ – as several people (including the whole of the Pony Club, bless ’em), came up to us afterwards and said we were their favourite – so there!! But, dear reader, brace yourself.. we didn’t even come in the ‘shortlist’ of 5 puppies called forward by the judge. 😦
We had to retreat from the ring, with our respective tails between our legs. Children around us, who’d also been ‘rejected’ were crying. It was hard not to do the same.
OK, so we weren’t ‘rejected’ but, for a few seconds at least, that’s what it felt like.
It occurred to me that entering a dog show is a bit like entering a writing competition (bear with me on this one!). You can look at the other entries and think ‘Hmm, well that one’s not going to win’ (actually, I did think the little one next to me would win and I’d have been happy with second place…) and you can think that perhaps you’ve got a good chance but at the end of the day, it’s all very subjective and down to what that particular judge likes – or doesn’t like.
I have my own theory as to why we didn’t get placed actually but I will leave that for your over-active writerly imaginations to work out! Suffice to say, next time I will take a crisp £20 note into the ring with me! No, I’m only joking! I think, to be honest, because our puppy looks very young for her age, the judges didn’t believe that she was 4 months old. That’s the thought I’m sticking with, anyway).
Competitions, of any kind, are tough. But I still think writing competitions are worth entering for all kinds of reasons, which I’m sure I’ve talked about on here before.
Just remember that if you don’t win, it doesn’t mean there’s necessarily anything ‘wrong’ with your story (or your puppy!) it just didn’t appeal to that judge. Polish it up a bit (the story), get a second opinion, try it somewhere else.
I am not deterred! We are going to another dog show on 11th August and this time we’re entering every category, from ‘fastest sausage eater’ to ‘waggiest tail’ and ‘best trick’. And if we don’t win this time I’m just going to buy a red rosette and pin it on her collar, regardless!
Oh, and if you’re shortlisted or ‘highly commended’ as a couple of my stories have been recently, don’t be downhearted. Celebrate! That’s a success – and next time, you could be the winner!
Free Poetry Workshop – Tamworth, Saturday 8th June
On a different note, if you live in or around the West Midlands, you might be interested in a FREE poetry workshop, which is being run by Staffordshire Poet Laureate, Malcolm Dewhirst, from 10am – 2pm at the Library in Tamworth.
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Library moving into its current building, Malcolm is running a workshop using a series of items that the library staff have selected as being unique to Tamworth Library.
To sign up contact Tamworth Library at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 01827 475646