Well the news is (finally!) out and I am ecstatic. I’ve placed first in the Writers of the Future Contest for the third quarter. I’ve known for a couple weeks, but have had to wait until Joni Labaqui (the contest director) had posted the results. During the wait I’ve been scouring the Writers of the Future website (watching the podcast of the last awards ceremony, et cetera), and reading blogs of past contest winners. (I’ve also been writing a new story but to be honest this whole ‘excited over winning’ thing has been a bit distracting)
First, I want to congratulate the other third quarter winners Adam Colston (2nd Place) and Brad Torgersen (3rd Place). Brad has an excellent post describing the years of work he has put into developing as a writer and it really does sum up my own experience as well (though I have accumulated slightly more rejections than Brad).
My winning entry to the contest was my nineteenth contest submission and this was the second time I had earned a finalist position, the last was a couple years ago. For the other finalists whose story did not win this time, don’t lose heart! It just takes the right story at the right time and along the way, as you continue writing more stories, your skills are constantly improving. This is a tough contest and managing to earn a finalist spot says a lot about your ability.
I am really looking forward to next summer when I get to meet the other winners and embark on what, according to past winners, seems to be the writing experience of a lifetime.
The contest has always been the first destination for most of my stories. I am thrilled to have won, but as I ‘retire’ the Writers of the Future market in my submission tracker, I realize that I have passed a crucial phase in my career. This win, along with my recent stories in On Spec, and Tales of the Talisman, have confirmed for me that not only is writing something I want to do but something I can do. And that’s both exciting and scary.
I have several half-finished stories I want to complete and I’ve just begun the research phase of a novel.
So I’d best be getting back to work…