May 29, 2009

3 Contests, 4 Stories, 33 Pounds...

...and nothing.

The shortlists were announced earlier this month and I am nowhere to be seen. This is not entirely surprising as I have never done much in writing contests before - a long-list here, an honourable mention there - but it is a little disconcerting.

Perhaps I am simply entering the wrong competitions. Perhaps the pieces I am submitting are just not what they are looking for.

Or maybe I'm wrong and I'm just not good enough.

Nah. Can't be that.

Momentary crisis averted. Onwards...

8 comments:

Sophie Playle said...

Never mind, Brian. You gotta remember that a HELL of a lot of people submit to these things, and there are a lot of good writers out there. Most people have to submit and submit and submit and submit some more before they get recognition. Better luck next time though.

Ian said...

Obviously it's a plot, Brian - they're going for the lowest common denominator instead of the highest. ;)

Brian G Ross said...

Yeah, I know these contests can be big business at times. I'm just grumblin' and bein' over-eager.

...but that lowest common denominator theory of yours Ian, does sound like a valid one...

;o)

Steven J. Dines said...

Are you entering your best stories to so-so comps? Or perhaps entering so-so stories to the best comps? ARE any of your stories in fact so-so? ;)

Um, keep at it, Bro...

Helen Ginger said...

I'd say, keep sending them in. But be sure you're sending in ones that fit their guidelines. You might even look for ones that give you a critique or a score sheet so you can see what they were grading you low on.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Brian G Ross said...

Steven - I think I'm lookin' at some pretty good contests, and some fairly average ones too. The difficulty is throwin' them somethin' that is unpublished, fits in with the guidelines, and I feel is good enough to be worthy of a shot.

Helen - thanks for droppin' by. I have never really looked into ones that offer a critique service (and tend to avoid them if they do so at extra charge). Perhaps that's another way of thinkin' that I need to amend...

:o)

Bob Jacobs said...

Keep sending them in. Competitions are something of a lottery. The poorer entries won't place, and there are often plenty of those, but after that there's probably a fair few to choose from and it becomes subjective.

Not placing doesn't tell you anything about the quality of your story or of your writing. It only tells you that the judges preferred something else.

The great thing is, you can send the same story out again. And who knows, maybe you'll strike lucky next time. It's not uncommon for a story to bomb completely in one competition then place in another.

One of my stories was rejected by a two-bit ezine, then placed first at JBWB with a cheque for £150. Who was right? Both of them. One liked it, the other didn't.

You're always in with a chance. Don't ever take it to heart if you don't place.

Cheers,
Rob

Brian G Ross said...

You're right Rob - of course you are - but the frustration of missin' out when you know the story deserves it makes you wanna rip out your fingernails sometimes...

But you just have to pick yourself up, dust off your butt, and get on with it.

So I'm doing that instead.

:o)