Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Star Factory

The winners deadline for the Toronto Star Short Story Contest has come and gone, and since I didn't receive a call to go in for my author's photograph and monster cheque, I think it's safe to assume my story didn't win one of the coveted cash prizes.

Obviously, winning is a long shot, so I didn't really hold out that much hope that I'd be chosen from the hundreds (possibly thousands) of entries the contest receives every year.

Still, it stings a little.

What can I say, I'm a cockeyed optimist.

I think it's one of the better stories I've written, but, depending on how one interprets the story, it does have the faintest touch of a genre breeze blowing through it. The tiniest scent of the supernatural contaminating its otherwise gritty, literary feeling. Genre stories are seldom chosen by the judges and powers that be at the Star contest, so I knew going in it would be an uphill battle. I knew I'd be up against the sheer volume of submissions, the undoubtedly high quality of many of the entries, and the general preference for the literary style. Particularly those which have the feeling of being a "true story" which many of the past winning stories have had.

Oh, well.

Next year I'm gonna kick that football to the moon, Lucy Van Pelt!

Is submitting stories to contests akin
to Charlie Brown's clinical inability to
accept that he will never kick that football?

In the meantime, although some actual paying work is slowing down my rewrites, I have three stories that are only a few scant hours of polishing away from being ready to send out. Since the reply system of the publishing business as it stands is so interminably slow, I'd like to get those stories in the mail before we hit the middle of the year.

Plus, I need to find a new place to submit my fantasy story, "The Weed" which was unable to find a home on its first trip out.

Lots to do, better get on it!

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