A few months ago I decided to enter the League of Utah Writers writing contest with my current WIP Shade. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I placed my entry before I went to the Backspace Writers Conference. Well, I took that same version of Shade with me, and felt exceedingly less confident in my work afterward. In fact, I regretted entering the contest with that version because I came up with a newer stronger one not long after the BSW Conference. However, the deadline was June 1st for the contest, so not much I could do.
I basically said que sera and went on with life, thinking at least when the contest was over I’d get the professional feedback from the judges. I honestly thought I’d get an honorable mention at best.
I also couldn’t attend the awards ceremony, since it fell on the date of my Hawaiian vacation, but again I figured oh well, I doubt I’ll even place.
Then yesterday the email notification of the winners came.
I scrolled through the list, trying to find my category and see where I’d placed. Not third. Not second. But first?! FIRST! Wahoo!
First place winners receive a prize of $150 and the happy credentials of a first place state-wide win to stick in a future query letter. I didn’t think lounging around in paradise could get any better!
As a writer, at least for me, I think we hit spots where we wonder if we’re even cut out for this. We wonder if we should even bother. Maybe our story isn’t really very good after all. But then there are those wonderful shining moments of affirmation that re-energize us to keep pressing forward toward our dreams.
I encourage you all to press forward. You never know when an unexpected first prize is just around the corner. As always, keep on writing!
Your turn. Have you ever entered any writing contests and won? Or have you ever had those re-energizing moments that have helped move you forward with your writing dream? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.