22 June, 2012

A Win At Last!

Easdon Tor from Moretonhampstead.
Yesterday, I was very pleased to be informed that I won last month's Txtlit competition. I've mentioned Txtlit before, but for those who don't know,  it is a monthly competition where participants have to write a story on a particular theme within the length of a text message. I've won once before and been runner-up a few times, but I don't enter very often and am not always successful, so it's nice to get this win - three years after my first!

The theme in May was The Final Straw and I was fortunate enough to both win and claim a runner-up space with my two entries. You can read my microscopic stories here.

It's been almost a year since I've won a competition. I was shortlisted for Choclit earlier this year, but other than that, the few entries I've put together haven't got anywhere. I've entered a lot fewer competitions in the last 12 months, in favour of concentrating on writing my current novel and trying to edit some older work, but I admit I've missed it. I thought to be a "serious" writer I should concentrate on magazine submissions, but I enjoy the challenge of competitions - particularly themed ones - and, just this week, decided that I'm going to keep going at them on top of regular submissions. Perhaps it's because my youth revolved around running competitively - I'm not actually that competitive against other people (well... not much), but I love to push myself. Now that I can't push myself to run faster, I can push myself to get better placings in writing competitions. I learn a lot from what does well and what dives!

It's been a long time since I've had any personal writing news to bother blogging about, so while I'm here, a quick update... Having just finished the second draft of my current novel - Thousand-Word Things - and abandoned it to my lovely readers, I am doing my usual post-draft exercise of writing a few bits of flash fiction to clear my head out from Novel Mode. I'm enjoying it a lot and looking forward to spending a couple of months working on short fiction and non-fiction while I let my novel stew before the final (I hope!) draft. One of my current pieces of flash fiction is based on the same idea as one of my Txtlit entries, so I'm torn now whether to keep going with it or quit while I'm ahead! When I entered Txtlit I didn't think there was much chance I'd be in this dilemma!

As I can't think of a suitable picture for this post, I have resorted to my usual tactic of posting a random photo of where the husband and I live. Today it's the view from my writing room on a misty morning, back when the sun used to shine. Remember those days? Thanks for dropping by!

16 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I know what you mean about the conventions around being a serious writer. I've come to the though that all you need to be a serious writer is to be serious about your writing. (And to write, of course.)

    Competitions are a great way to try new approaches, learn to work to a brief and a deadline, and to build up your confidence and repertoire.

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    1. Thanks, Derek. I like the boundaries competitions give me - it's the scientist in me!

      I'll remember your comment on being a serious writer!

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  2. Woop! Woop! Congrats. Nice story. Here's to more competitions!

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  3. Hooray! Talent strikes again! Well done. You just write whatever you want to, especially between huge projects that require a lot of discipline. Feel the fresh air! Go dizzy....! Ceve

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    1. Thanks :) That's what I love about having finished a draft - I feel justified in playing around with short things for a few weeks! Worked on three separate bits of flash fiction this week and whenever I got bored of one, I swapped to another. Bliss!

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  4. Congrats, Chloe! (But please stop putting up those pics of the view from your writing room - it's not fair!!!)

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    1. I'll stop when I get three book deals in a day... :)

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  5. Congratulations, Chloe! Great little story (and the runner-up's a good 'un, too).

    I haven't entered TxtLit for ages, but you've reminded me we're supposed to be competing for the hat-trick, aren't we? Two-all with everything to play for... Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Dan. At this rate it will be about October 2015 before I win again, so you've got time...

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  6. Congrats on the win! And thanks for stopping by my blog so I could discover yours. That writing room view is absolutely stunning - no wonder you're inspired to write great things. ;-)

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    1. Thank-you! We moved here from the centre of a city, so I am still amazed every day!

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  7. Belated congratulations Chloe. You deserve every success purely from the aspect of the effort you put in. I have to admit I've never heard of the Txtlit thing so I'll have to check it out.
    Your view is outstanding. I've holidayed down there many times and love it. Having said that, my favourite place is the Scottish Highlands which is where I went a couple of weeks ago.
    Once again, nice work on the winning streak.

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  8. Angie Greenwood17 July 2012 at 14:36

    Hi Chloe, I've just visited the Txtlit page again and thought I'd have a look at your blog. What a busy, talented young lady you are. I haven't had time to read all your pages but I will. I am the second runner up (the one about Sam) and I was so pleased as it is only the second time I've entered. I love themed competitions too but I'm fairly new to entering them. Good luck with the ones you have entered.

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  9. Hi Angie, great to hear from you! Thanks :) Loved your twist on 'the final straw'.

    I've been writing for a few years but long stretches of that have been working on trying to figure out how to write novels, as well as writing lots of rubbish stuff! It takes such a long time to get good, doesn't it? I'm only just beginning to not feel like a beginner now - and some days I still do.

    Good luck with your competitions too. When we find good themed ones we should e-mail each other - they can be hard to find!

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