Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Anthology results and a Cheshire cat grin!

On Friday the awaited anthology results were out. The Writing Buddies ran an anthology competition to celebrate their first anniversary. There were seven categories in total: Non-fiction article, Non-fiction filler, Short story, Flash fiction, Drama, Poetry: Rhyming and Poetry: Non-Rhyming. I had submitted four entries in three categories.

My main hope for the results was with the non-fiction filler. It was my first attempt at a non-fiction article other than pieces on my own life experience. The non-fiction category was called out first and the judge Simon Whaley was in attendance to hand out the certificates and prizes. Penny Legg (Writing Buddies founder and organiser of the event) announced the winner's and I was delighted to get second place in the filler category.

With that I was very happy to sit and enjoy the rest of the show. The poetry results followed and then the drama category. This had been my fourth entry to the competition and it very nearly didn't get entered as I had struggled to be content with the storyline. After having both my 15 minute plays rejected last week I figured that my first attempts at playwright were indicating I wasn't cut out for it! So I knew my drama piece would not be selected.

So after third and second being called out I was utterly amazed to be selected as first place for my ten minute drama. Today I have read back on this piece and can see how this works and my previous two plays didn't. It certainly shows you can improve with practice and I'm so glad I made the effort to finish this piece.

At this point I was grinning like a Cheshire cat! The next category was flash fiction and I had two entries for this. I had skated through one the night before and dissected it mentally and decided it wasn't good enough and even though it was my favourite it wouldn't be picked. So once again I was absolutely delighted when Penny called my name out in second place. I checked out which of my entries had won and took my seat again and then finally the winner was announced! I was totally astounded when Penny called my name again.
My Cheshire cat grin with Simon Whaley (Non-Fiction Judge)
and Penny Legg (Writing Buddies Founder & Organiser)

Only in my wildest dreams do these kind of things happen so I am still pinching myself now! My hope had been to get a place in one of the categories and gain a place in the anthology. To have won two categories and two second places has amazed me particularly as many of the Writing buddies are firmly established writers and I did not expect to win any categories. It does start to help confirm the notion that I am making the right decision in pursuing my writing dreams.

Straight after the meeting I headed away for a weekend away on the Isle of Wight. I had taken a photo of my certificates and checked it several times to check I hadn't dreamt it (I have very real dreams sometimes. One of the flash fiction pieces 'Guinea Foul' is based on a dream I had!).

It was also a delight to meet Simon Whaley, a full time writer who, along with Penny, was very encouraging. He is also a Writer's Bureau tutor and he has a very useful blog. I'm going to add this to my blog roll (Not bog roll as it sounds like in my accent!) and would recommend looking at Simon's website.

The only problem now is coming off of cloud nine and getting back to the hard work of writing. Over the weekend I wrote up a fairly long list of the projects I need to do over the coming months. Most are started and not yet completed so I need to try and schedule what I am doing to make sure they get done. It now includes the one act play again as I put that to one side but this has given me the confidence to continue this. My first task will be to send a bio and picture to Penny for there publication in the anthology.

The anthology will be available before Christmas this year and the four pieces you can read by me are:

'Permanant Ink' Drama - A ten minute play - 1st place
'Keisha' Flash fiction 100 word story - 1st place
'Guinea Foul' Flash fiction 100 word story - 2nd place
'Can the hashtag bring the writing community closer together?' Non-fiction filler - 2nd place

A big well done to all the other winners and to everyone who took part. I hope everyone has found the experience as encouraging and useful as I have. You can see the complete list of winners on the Writing Buddies website.


  1. Think I might have already said this on twitter but wow huge congrats!!

  2. Well Done Catherine!! That's absolutely fantastic & the grin is well deserved xx

  3. Thank you to you both! Meant a huge amount to have done so well! x x

  4. Congratulations, Catherine! It's a real boost to know you've been successful in a competition isn't it? Best wishes for lots more writing and successes x