Writing Contest

“The Youth’s Friend has accepted a little sketch I sent them a fortnight ago,” said Anne, trying hard to speak as if she were accustomed to having sketches accepted every mail, but not quite succeeding.

“Anne Shirley! How glorious! What was it? When is it to be published? Did they pay you for it?”

“Yes; they’ve sent a check for ten dollars, and the editor writes that he would like to see more of my work. Dear man, he shall. It was an old sketch I found in my box. I re-wrote it and sent it in—but I never really thought it could be accepted because it had no plot,” said Anne, recalling the bitter experience of Averil’s Atonement.

“What are you going to do with that ten dollars, Anne? Let’s all go up town and get drunk,” suggested Phil.

-Anne of the Island, L.M. Montgomery

O HEY! The Write Practice and Short Fiction Break have chosen my story, The Cidery, as the grand prize winner of their 2017 fall short story contest. HOORAY! 

I would like to say that the honor is prize enough for me. I would like to say that. But I cannot. Because writing, my friends, is not an art form that lends itself to making a living quickly or easily. If I wanted to make an entry-level salary from writing alone, I'd have to win 79 more contests like this one. So far, I have won...one. So even though I should be content to be recognized and satisfied with the validation that I'm not a talentless hack, I'm afraid that the allure of feeling a check in my greedy little paws again is stirring something inside me, some shameful lust for filthy lucre.

What am I going to do with my winnings? I could spend it practically. We need...lamps, and things. But I am not known for my practicality. Alternatively, I could buy:

  • 400 donuts
  • Seven and a half hours of karaoke
  • 24 copies of John Green's Turtles All the Way Downwhich comes out today (with enough left over to buy half a dozen Reading Donuts!)
  • A 15-foot trampoline with mesh Don't-Kill-Yourself-Enclosure (for some reason I thought trampolines cost so much more--what a lovely surprise!)
  • One hour of an Elvis impersonator's time
  • Enough balls to make the attic into a ball pit, thereby achieving The Dream
  • 1/36th of a trip to swim with narwhals
  • Two sets of these taxidermy bride and groom minks (since it's our two-year wedding anniversary today and I've been struggling to find the perfect gift for Bill)

But I think I know what I want to buy. It's a secret wish I've harbored for years, something very special and close to my heart which will bring me (and others, perhaps) joy for years to come.