“A lot of people’s girlfriends are in there…”

I’ve been working over the past several weeks on a story that I had planned to submit for a local creative writing contest.  Today I went through it one more time for what I swore to myself would be the FINAL EDIT.  After putting the finishing touches on it, I went to the site for the contest to make sure of the formatting guidelines and all that good stuff. 

I say that I had planned on submitting because due to a guideline that I missed on my first go-round I am ineligible for the contest.  Turns out the contest has a “no professionals” rule–which is fine.  I hardly consider myself a professional writer at this point.  However, there was a footnote I had missed on my previous reading that explained that by professional they mean anyone who has ever been published. 

I had participated in this contest before.  I even won third prize in the short story category.  Before that entry I had been published in library science journals and had written book reviews for Library Journal.  This was all unpaid “prestige” work.  At that point, I had asked the powers-that-be of the contest and was assured that those works did not disqualify me.  This was two years ago.

Since that time, I have had two articles published in a gaming magazine.  This was professional, paid work (I made a total of about $75).  So, I’m out of the running this year.

In a way, I’m mighty disappointed but understand that the point of the contest is to showcase amateurs.  I certainly don’t begrudge the contest in any way.  In fact, if you haven’t already been published and want to give a shot, check this link.  I just feel that as a writer I’m currently more in the amateur camp than in the professional.  I’m looking through the gym windows at the school dance but I lost my ticket.  So it goes.

I now have this little story that I am still quite proud of.  Maybe I’ll shop it around and see if I can make some that professional cash off of it.  If not, maybe I’ll share it here.  Closed doors can sometimes open other opportunities.

About Shedrick

I am a professional librarian and a part-time writer that's working to do that the other way around. I currently live in North Texas in the lovely city of Denton (“The Home of Happiness“) with my lovely wife and the obligatory demon-spawn cats. When not writing, gaming, or watching cheezy kung-fu flicks, I can sometimes be found in a pub (or the American equivalent) enjoying a fine brew.
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