I’ve won something. No really, I have. Sadly it’s not an Academy Award but it’s close. I’ve won a place in the Romance Writers of Australia Little Gems Competition. Me and 15 others. Which doesn’t sound terribly exciting but let me tell you something sister (or brother) it is! For me – it means validation and that I can do this.
The strange thing is, I entered two stories into this comp. And the one that I thought judges would lap up didn’t get a look in. The other one. My outrageous, crazy, fun, wrote-it-cause-I-wanted-to Australian historical romp got the gong.
The story I wrote is not about the Regency period. It has no Lords and Ladies (not any real ones anyway). The heroine is a thief and she carrys a rifle - but the judges thought it was tops.
Which got me thinking about competitions and the people who judge them. The reality is – we don’t know who they are. We don’t know what they’re interested in or what their experiences are. All we can do is write what we’re passionate about in a way that we think is brilliant and hope to the devil of publishing that someone, somewhere is like you. Someone is spitting out their tea as they laugh at the right places and lifting the edge of their shirt to wipe away a tear when they’re supposed to.
So although I am over-the-top thrilled with my place in the anthology I’ve decided I’m not going to let competitions or rules define my writing. I’m going to write however-the-hell I want and hope somewhere, someone is as amused by it as I am!
If you want to read more about the Little Gems competition – here is the link: http://romanceaustralia.wordpress.com/Jen