I know it might sound strange to say I’ve been busy writing, while the number of posts I’ve made here doesn’t remotely approach the total word count. But, I am forced to keep it under wraps, at least for a short duration.

Michelle at work on her laptop

Writing away on my laptop

I’ve decided to enter some of my writing into various contests, which require that the writing has not been previously published or even within the judging period (not even on a personal blog). The winning entries from these contests are to be published for the first time, so I don’t want to disqualify any work that I’ve entered.

Today, I submitted a short story for this contest: The CRAFT Short Fiction Prize

It’s the first year I have ever entered writing contests, and I have mapped out several for the coming months. One could plan out a whole calendar year of entries! Since I’ve only recently decided to do this, I’ve made 3 contest deadlines in the past 2 days. Keep in mind that these were mainly finished stories that only needed to be tweaked to stay within the entry guidelines. I’ve submitted not only genre fiction stories, but also non-fiction essays/memoirs, poetry, and a children’s story. Most of my ideas for full-length books are still in my head, but these are snippets from them.

Entering contests is one way for me to step into the writing world. They serve to add a little motivation, as long as the timing is right for me to polish an entry.  

Eventually, I will get some things published, but I have to be my own editor, cover designer, etc. for indie publishing. Children’s books require a lot of illustrations, and it all takes time. My memoir is currently sitting at 115,000 words, and I’m not finished. I think it will need to be divided into 2 very different finished books, but I will get there! 

Meanwhile, there is always art to express myself, when words fail. It seems I am always doing one or the other lately (painting or writing), because there is healing to be found through the arts.

To all you writers reading this: I hope this has encouraged you to be courageous and submit your writing. Take a look at some of the past winning entries and honourable mentions that are published on contest websites to see what the judges thought stood out from the rest.

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