I ended up having fun with a writing contest. A $20,000 prize? Requirements include a surprise $20,000 as the crux of the story, and a little black notebook as a macguffin? And Moleskin is ponying up the prize money? Oh yes please. If you’d like to check out my story, it’s called “Hiding in Plain Sight,” and it’s here.
I also had fun submitting a story to FracturedLit, for their “fractured fairy tales” flash fiction contest. (I’d put up a link for viewing that story, too, but it’s a closed contest until the results are in. I’ll post my story here if I don’t win. And if I do, I’ll share a link to their page instead.)
Perversely, 2020 was a good year for my writing, even though I got none of my trilogy published as I’d planned. Novels just take time…far more time than I’m used to taking. After all, I published multiple articles and a story back in the 90s, and my record included only one “loss”–one place I submitted that I didn’t get accepted–and that turned out to be because I’d inadvertently chosen big game. Publishing then was on a very different time scale, involved many other people doing the actual work of publishing for me, and…well…submitting to someone else put all my work up front, which allowed me to coast once I was done. This is not at all the way publishing works now, and this old dog is having to learn all kinds of new tricks.
But frankly, participating in writing contests has been a blast. I haven’t had this much fun since I wrote my story “A Good Arrangement” for the Cat Ladies of the Apocalypse anthology. And before 2020, in which I submitted twice and hit twice (once in Cat Ladies and once in Unspoken: Writers on Infertility, Miscarriage, and Stillbirth), I haven’t had an all-win season since the 90s. So spending all of 2020 and the first part of 2021 knocking out short stuff has been a lot of fun, plus a very pleasant boost to my ego.
Now it’s time to show some discipline and get back to the trilogy. It ain’t gonna publish itself.
Update: Unfortunately my fractured fairy tale didn’t win. But it survived really deep into the contest, so I’m feeling mighty proud of myself nonetheless. (The link is up in that second paragraph, if you’re looking.) 😁♥️