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My First Writing Contest
Or Why I Stopped Letting Fear Win...
By the time you’ve read this, it will have been about one week since I submitted to my first writing contest ever. It’s strange to think about even now that I’ve spent the last 20+ years of my life writing and have never actually entered a contest. I’ve also never submitted my writing to any publication either. I guess it boils down to two things in my case (and probably for other writers as well) fear and confidence.
Fear that I’ll be rejected is a big one. Even though I know rejection is a part of the game and in order to get that “yes” you need to get a whole bunch of “no” slung at you. And I’d like to think I’m prepared for that mentally. But no one can really prepare for that. I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get there and I fully expect to be joining the ranks of so many other brave writers who’ve received countless no’s soon.
Confidence is something I lack. Don’t we all? We are passionate about a thing, the way I am passionate about writing. But if only I can match my lack of confidence to my level of passion I think I would be in a much better headspace about things like entering contests and submitting to publications. Until then I find myself second-guessing my choices. Talking myself out of starting something new or trying something creatively different from someone else. Should I stand out or blend in? Will I be seen as a copy or appreciated for my uniqueness? What will they say?
But then I think, who the heck are they and why should I care what they think? As long as I like what I’m writing and putting out that really should be all that matters. I’m not trying to be popular or famous. I’m just trying to earn a reasonable living doing what I love and hoping what I do brings joy to other people. Is that such a terrible ambition to have? I don’t think so.
In short, I’ve entered a contest. The contest I entered was the first-ever LeVar Burton Reads Writing Contest. It’s sponsored by FIYAH (a literary magazine for POC) and Tor(dot)com. There are cash prizes for the top three finalists and all three will have their stories featured on the Tor website. But the grand pooh-bah of prizes is the 1st place winner who will have their story read by LeVar Burton on his podcast! That’s pretty freaking amazing in my estimation. The man is a national treasure and I won’t hear any argument about it.
The winners will be announced on Friday, October 15th, and should I not place, which I don’t expect to, then I plan on reading my submission in its entirety on my YouTube Channel as a special on Saturday, October 16th. I’ll share more info, like links and such, in my next First Edition on October 1st.
A fugitive from the law, Kelsie had no choice but to find refuge where no one, not even the Hounds, would find her. Known for their incredible sense of smell, she arrived at a small coastal town in Maine where she hoped to mask her scent with the fish of the sea.
It worked for five years. Every morning she’d go out on a small fisherman’s boat and spend the day hauling in fish of various shapes and sizes. And spend all evening selling to the highest bidders.
Then two Hounds stepped off the local bus and sniffed the air.
WORTH THE WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEO
BOOKS I CAN’T BUY (YET) BUT REALLY WANT TO
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart [fiction]
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon [non-fiction]
BOOKS AND ‘STACKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Through the Stars and Sea by Nel Thompson debut novel is coming in late October/early November. Here is the teaser trailer and cover reveal:
I love finding a couple where both of them are writers. Reminds me of myself with my wife (who happens to be a screenwriter). And so I’d love to share Rene Astle’s latest sci-fi series starting with book one A Dead Ship in the Deep Black. And her better half has an awesome ‘Stack too:
Check them both out and show them some love. Tell’em I sent ya!