I’m very excited to say that my short story ‘A Bus Ride with Mr Briggs’ has been selected as a finalist in the 2017 Newcastle Short Story Award run by Hunter Writer’s Centre. I am no stranger to entering writing competitions but this is the first time I have ever been shortlisted and for that I am very grateful.
I’ve been thinking about what made this story different to some of the others I have entered into competitions before. I have a pretty dedicated writing practice these days and I can definitely see some improvement in my style. They say that practice makes perfect!
This particular short story was a labour of love for me and I contemplated not even entering it due to how overly attached I became to it. It’s difficult to send your baby off into the world knowing that it could be completely overlooked. It really would have upset me to see this one slide by unnoticed. I usually don’t let things like that worry me too much but this story was different. I just wanted someone else to love it too. It’s unusual for me to feel so strongly about a piece, especially a short one. Writing for the love of it certainly makes for a better story.
Funnily enough, I also think it was different because I wrote it not long after I had read an article on The Write Practice called How to Win a Writing Contest. It gave me a lot of things to think about and consider as I started writing. It also helped clarify some of the things that the judges might be looking for. We’ll have to wait until April 7 to see if the advice in the article can really prove itself though!
I’m very happy to be a finalist (finally) and I can’t wait to read some of the other entries once the anthology is published in a couple of weeks.