“‛I don’t suppose you could speed things up,’ Inigo said.” The Princess Bride, William Goldman
As some of you might have read, one of the Restless Writers challenged me to actually finish one of my short stories and submit it to a literary journal or contest. Well, Beckie will be pleased to hear I have done just that. I just sent off a short story to the Fiddlehead’s 21st Annual Literary Contest.
Now comes the hard part—waiting.
The Fiddlehead will be announcing the results before the end of February, so I’ve got some time to kill.
That means three months before I find out if I placed in the contest at all, and three months before I learn if I can submit the same story elsewhere with better luck (no simultaneous submissions).
To keep myself occupied, here are a few of the things I can do until I hear back about the results (if I hear back—fingers crossed!):
- Read some short-story collections, like Zsuzsi Gartner’s Better Living Through Plastic Explosives or D.W. Wilson’s Once You Break A Knuckle, to better torture myself on how I could have improved my submission.
- Cram in my Christmas shopping. Watch out, Mapleview Mall, I have a VISA and I’m not afraid to use it!
- Organize all my Stampin’ Up stamps, inks and papers into a beautiful craft box, complete with mini-scissors, snail glue and sprinkles…and give them away to someone who digs crafts. I am so not that girl.
- Prepare a business plan and pitch for the Dragon’s Den. One of these puppies has to be a winner.
- Brush up on my Spanish, so the next time someone calls me “Rojita Hermosita” I’ll respond with a blush and a thank-you instead of a blank stare.
- Edit my sock drawer. It’s getting embarrassing.
- Work on—and finish—another story. The Restless Writers are getting sick of my half-imagined, partially completed bits and pieces and want to see me churn something out. Don’t worry, girls, it’s coming!
I know the best thing I can do is keep writing. This is just one contest out of the many opportunities we short-story writers have to get our work out into the world. The secret is to keep writing and keep submitting, so the days spent waiting are productive and your chances of successfully getting published are multiplied.
Who else is playing the waiting game right now?