Before I entered the New Voices comp I made the decision that it was my last one. Actually, I think I said that about a competition two years ago but NV was such an interesting concept I couldn’t help myself. Although submitting to the world turned out to be akin to having to run down a public street naked.
The competition is far from over, and who knows what other opportunities they may throw our way, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that it’s only reinforced my option that the ol’ fashioned submission and slush pile is the place for me to be. Competitions have always felt like publication detours, sometimes productive, sometimes not. They’re very much a gamble and because writing is so close to your heart it’s always painful if you don’t get the response you were hoping for, and it can take a while to pick yourself back up.
Thanks to my fellow Minxes and everyone in blogland I feel like I’ve won this time. I now have a wonderful critique group and just hearing that someone read your chapter and genuinely liked it is the most amazing feeling in the world. I was also lucky enough to get some fabulous criticism from Heidi Rice so I’m definitely not walking away empty handed and I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone for your support during the first stage of the competition and after.
My greatest disappointment is not being able to get my hands on the rest of the stories that followed the fantastic first chapters I read. I tend to skim first paragraphs and chapters of books when I’m buying them and the best ones get stuck in my head and niggle at me to finish them. Needless to say, it’s driving me nuts not being able read the rest of those manuscripts.