Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I've entered a few writing competitions.
I try to enter ones that will give you back a critique.
How are you supposed to improve, otherwise?
I really like the Abbey Hill competitions.
They give you a prompt
and basically tell you to run with it.
The catch (if you can call it that)
is that the story MUST begin with the prompt.
Or you're disqualified.
My first submission received a good critique.
They made positive suggestions,
which I incorporated into my next submission.
Although I didn't win,
I received another great critique:
"This was a compelling story with a crisp, surprise ending that was well hidden by the author over the course of the narration. Several sentences, paragraphs and descriptions were particularly attention getting, especially as related to Venom’s appearance, gross and/or threatening actions, smell, etc. The author transports the reader to the dark, dangerous streets, and never allows Venom and the narrator to fall out of character – keeps the pressure on until the end. This story, in fact, was a finalist that was included in the group sent to the primary judge."
Can you believe that?
I was short-listed.
That's as good as winning to me.
Or, as my old mentor and boss, Bob MacKinnon, used to say,
That's as close as damn is to swearing.