In front of me is a stack of writing contest entries. I look at this pile of letters and emails and feel a jolt of nostalgia. My career started with a literary contest, and now our local writing conference is giving new writers that same chance. It gives me pause to remember how it felt to write alone, hoard my manuscripts, and wonder what is the point, and is this stuff any good?
I won a novel contest in a big conference (PNWA) some years ago… geez, a lot of years ago now, and in the audience for the awards ceremony was someone named Don Maass. The next day I pitched him on The Seeds of Time, and he offered representation. That book launched my career. He’s been my staunch supporter and adviser (and agent) ever since.
Write on the River is a small conference with a modest contest Entries must, in a 1,000 words or less, finish the sentence “On the river . . .” The contest (closed now) will have winners announced in May, and the winning entry published in the Wenatchee World. Thanks to hardworking Write on the River organizers Penny Smith and Susan Lagsden for putting this all together.
I pat the nice-sized stack of envelopes sitting in front of me. I hope someone in there will take heart from a small win and keep writing.
Unrelated item: Locus on Line has listed their best of the best, tallying number of lists last year’s books got onto. (Gee, is this like double counting?) Bright of the Sky is in the list. Topping off the list are titles I guess I’d better read, staring with Dan Simmons’ The Terror.