Monday, October 21, 2013

Writing Competition Success

If you look at most New Zealand writer biographies there is a competition win or a short listed story mentioned that leads to future success in publication.
Following this apparent approach to success, I have been entering literary competitions. At the same time as filling out the forms and diligently attempting to follow the layout rules, I have been keeping in mind the words a successful New Zealand writer once told me, "The chance of winning a competition is the same as finding a needle in a haystack."
A few weeks ago I received back an email from a competition I had entered. I hardened my soul for the rejection.
But no...
I had to read the email several times. My piece was short listed!
I didn't really believe it. I had to keep reading the email to double check I was right.
The next stage in the competition involves 40% of the judging being placed on public opinion. I told only a few people until this part was made public mostly because I still couldn't believe I was short listed.
I had felt the prick of that needle hidden in the hay.
So here it is the public survey for the 2013 Kobo/NZ Authors E-Publishing Prize.

I can add "short listed for the 2013 Kobo/NZ Authors E-Publishing Prize" to my biography. I am intrigued to see if this will make a difference to acceptance for publication of other work.
Now to await the results of the next stage of the competition when the winners are announced in November.

Writing Retreat Fun

The writers' retreat went very well.
The Friday afternoon was more earth shattering than expected with the Seddon 6.6 earthquake being felt here while I was preparing the base for our writers' soup. It reminded me of Feb 22 when I was preparing a cooking class that evening when the quake struck Christchurch. This time was the pantry began to rattle, I shouted, "Not again!"
But in Nelson most of the aftershocks were not felt and we went ahead with the retreat.
The atmosphere was so friendly and supportive. Becky Siame was a great speaker who shared with such honesty and humour. Her achievements by self publishing are impressive. She had many helpful ideas and was very encouraging to finish those manuscripts and get them to our readers.
I had not anticipated the sharing of helpful tips and resources between everyone - participants and speaker and workshop leaders. I made a resource list during the weekend to capture all the tips being shared before we forgot them all.
I unexpectedly also managed to get some writing done.
So we are looking at 2014 and planning on running another retreat. Talking with the participants more time was thought to be better.
Queen's Birthday weekend is the new date.
Again with a local writer speaker who has made it to publication success will share the insights from their journey to inspire the finishing of those writing projects.
We will  be providing more practical workshops next year. The creating characters workshop was fun and was a great way to learn from each other so we will include more of those.
Time to get on with the planning!

5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.