The Writing Magazine really has opened up a whole new world to me. Buying the April issue (on March 11 though, they are out early) has shown me so many ways to submit my work. Yes, I am talking about the contests calendar that came with the magazine. I spent quite a few hours (our flight from London to Portugal), circling the appropriate contests and ruling out the ones that don’t fit my agenda. No way am I submitting poetry or poetry collections or picture books or screenplays. I actually kind of like to use the exclusion method. It is somewhat reassuring to know that I don’t really have to participate in all the hundreds and hundreds of contests listed in the calendar! So much less pressure! I also ruled out ones with an unfavourable entry fee/prize money ratio. If I am going to pay for my entry, it has to be worth it. And as many contests actually require you to forget about multiple submissions (sending the same stuff all over the place), it’s easier to pick out the really great ones and focus on these. Pick quality over quantity!
Anyhow, I am quite sad that I cannot order the paper issues of the Writing Magazine to Estonia. Yes, I do know I could have the digital one but I know myself too well to not give in to this temptation. It could go great with the first issue, I could even get 25% through it. Even. But then I’d get fed up. Go to a website and log in? Ah, no thanks, give me the printed version and I’ll happily take it on a picnic with me. Or to bed. In some ways, I’m old-fashioned, I like the printed word. And really printed on actual paper that I can touch. I am all touchy-feely like this, yes, indeed.
Back to the point! April 5, day 745, the first Friday of the month. For the Australian Writers’ Centre, it’s Furious Fiction time! Nah, I haven’t moved to Australia all of a sudden, although many Estonian youngsters (am I young anymore, at 31?) work their asses off all the way on the other side of the world. Luckily, this competition is open for everyone. The clock’s already ticking and it will stop on Sunday, April 7, 23.59 – Australian time. If you’re not sure about the time zones (I certainly am not!), check their website where you can see the intimidating clock ticking and ticking. You are given 55 hours to write. The prompts have come live by now and you need to write up to 500 words. As they have just launched a writing course which focuses in dialogue, the topic this time is dialogue. They have given 3 prompts that should be included in the flash fiction piece. These 3 lines come from famous books: J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, and Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange.
The lines of dialogue to incorporate are:
- “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”
- “He’s never done anything like this before.”
- “What’s it going to be then, eh?”
I have yet no idea how to use them or what my story is going to be about even. But I do know that I want to be in this challenge. Not only because of the $500 prize. No. I want to write something new and fresh. And what’s better than a little spark to ignite a fire and a limited time, during which to have that merry bonfire night? I need pressure. As I am also running a marathon on Sunday, I really hope that the time at airports and on planes tomorrow shall be fruitful. I’ll be writing. And submitting. If I set my mind to it, the right story fill find its way to me. I only need to listen and the character(s) will speak to me. And then… then, I can mold some flesh around this skeleton of dialogue.
Are you in? Think fast, the countdown timer doesn’t sleep!
1. Own and live in a house.
Gave a finger to a few projects. Little bit of this, little bit of that, and the money will come. Before I dive, head first, into the IT studies, I do need to work at least a little bit. Intense studies ahead!
2. Write AND publish a book.
Decided to take part in the Furious Fiction contest. So far, I’ve written down the pieces of dialogue that need to be included in the 500-word flash. My notebook is ready, let the words come tumbling in.
3. Win a major race.
A complete rest day. A marathon ahead, remember? I did walk to the store to buy some laundry detergent (a 10-minute walk). Somehow managed to get my 10,000 steps done. Did laundry at home, etc.