Imagine blowing up a balloon, pinching the neck between your thumb and pointer finger, and then abruptly letting it go. That’s what happened to me yesterday morning while I was teaching grade 10 English. I didn’t actually flap wildly around the room making a rude sound and land totally flaccid in the corner, but I sure felt like it.
As you probably know, I was really, really pumped about my entry for the 2011 3-Day Novel Contest. The few friends who read it were enthusiastically behind my novella, and I thought I might just have a chance in the competition. Yesterday my email made the blip sound while I was talking about internal conflict in short fiction (or something like that) and I drifted toward my desk to see if it was a critical message needing my urgent attention. There it was, the email I have been waiting for all month: 3 Day Novel results.
I clicked the link and held my breath.
I am not the winner.
I am not the runner up.
I am not in third place.
I am not on the list of honourable mentions.
Cue the fart noises. Fart noises indicate abject disappointment.
Please understand that I didn’t feel the contest owed me anything. It’s a contest. There is one winner and a whole bunch of people who are not the winner. I’m just pretty bummed that I didn’t even hit the top twelve. Maybe it’s the long, long wait for contest results. Perhaps I was just super excited about my piece this year. I’m not too sure.
All three of the writers who placed are professional writers. One masters of creative writing. One PhD candidate in creative writing. One marketing writer. Am I kidding myself to think I can hold my own with people who have advanced degrees in this stuff and write as a career rather than as a hobby? Perhaps. Is it as impossible as rumour holds for a writer with three major strikes against her (unknown, Canadian, female) to catch any kind of break into the publishing world? Some days I really do feel that way. Today, I just feel flat and dejected. Blah.
I will be reworking my entry, The Rarest Kind, Indeed, into a full-length novel and attempting to have it published. Right now it’s about 122 pages, which is lots to accomplish in a long weekend but not enough to be considered a complete typical-length novel ready for publication under normal circumstances. Stay tuned on that one.
If you’d like to read about this year’s first prize novel, which sounds like it has a hell of a plotline, click here to go visit the official 3-Day Novel site. Hearty congratulations to this year’s winners from those of us in the dollhouse. Well done, folks. Well done.
Thanks to those of you who’ve been asking about the contest. I feel the love.
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