Upcoming Writing Contests

Taking a brief fantasy project break this week. Very brief, I mean it. Today is the beginning of a new year, and I’m feeling a lot of pressure (from myself) to finish this project and move on to edits. But, one thing I’ve been wanting to do more of, and as yet haven’t done, is enter more writing competitions.

I didn’t know writing competitions were a thing, not really. Until I took James Patterson’s masterclass last spring and got involved with the forum there. I did enter the Rehoboth Beach short story contest in June, but I haven’t done anything since.

There are two contests with deadlines on January 31st that I’m planning to enter, The Chattahoochee Review and The Iowa Review Awards. If I do it right, I can submit the same short story for both contests. One has a 6,000-word limit, and the other a 25-page limit, so I think I can manage to meet both of those at the same time. I’ve already checked the rules, and stories can be submitted to multiple contests simultaneously, provided that you notify them if the story wins somewhere else.

I’m not well versed in short story writing. My first attempt was the Rehoboth Beach contest, and I really struggled. I didn’t think it would be that hard. A major problem I had was that my story idea was too simple. There wasn’t enough plot, and I had a hard time writing a fulfilling story without it dragging out and being boring. But, like everything else, it was a learning experience.

I already have my story idea, but I haven’t fleshed it out very much. It’s going to center around a young woman. She’s being plagued by dreams involving a snake. When she wakes up, things that happened in the dream are represented on her body, either in bruises or some form of tattoos. Turns out she is being pursued by some kind of deity, who wishes her to enter into their service.

Like I said, it needs fleshing out. But I think it’s a good start, and I’m going to take some time this week to try and make it contest-worthy. At the moment I’m about to start doing a little research on mythologies involving snakes, to give me a solid and believable basis from which to work.

My fantasy project will be waiting for me to return, hopefully in just a couple of days. I finished up chapter 18 yesterday, pushing through because I didn’t want to turn over the year stuck in the middle of a chapter. There’s no logical reason for that, it just seemed like it would be a bad omen. Chapter 19 awaits, and I feel like the ending of the story is looming ever closer.

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