Thursday, 23 February 2017

The scary idea of pitching and a shortlisted story

It's taken me a couple of months but I decided to order a print copy of Gold Dust magazine in which a story of mine was published in December. I wanted time to read the rest of the magazine, and though it is freely available to read online I was struggling with the small print despite zooming in. Yesterday my copy arrived. I'm glad I spent money to get hold of it. It is concrete proof I was published there! I was that excited opening it.

I can also tell you that I was shortlisted for the Retreat West Prize (short story). I heard a while ago that I was longlisted and thought that would be the end of it. I was thrilled even so. I then got through to the next level - shortlisted. Unfortunately I heard the other day that I didn't get into the top three. I am disappointed but then again I got further than I ever thought possible and it has given me encouragement. My story will be published in the anthology due out in the summer and I believe there is a cash prize and an invite to the launch. So, when I have recovered from the disappointment I will see what a great run I've had with this story. I am proud of this achievement.

February has been a busy month for me. I've been going crazy with submissions - competitions and a few magazines. I seem to have reached a stop now. Maybe I'm out of steam. In April I am attending Write By the Beach run by The Beach House Academy. I went along last year for their first writers' conference on a Saturday (held in Brighton). This year is over a weekend and every delegate gets the chance to pitch to an agent/publisher (two if you are there for the weekend). So, I've been tearing my hair out over a sixty word document for a novel to pitch. It was hard to condense an 84,000 word novel down to 60 words and hope it sounds irresistible. I know pitching is a great opportunity and everyone suffers with nerves but I felt ill just preparing this. Sometimes I think I should opt out and just enjoy the weekend because I know I'll worry the whole time. But then again that would be stupid. It's at these moments I think my writing is rubbish and no will be interested, yet I've had great feedback from ladies from my book group on stories I've shared with them  - they are so supportive - my first fans! God bless them!

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