One Writer’s Experience in winning the Romancing the Story Contest
By: Jamie Lee Mann
A couple of months ago, a dear friend encouraged me to enter a short story contest. I laughed it off at first. I hadn’t written a short story (or should I say, finished writing a short story) since I was in high school. And I was busy working on a novel at the time, which I was doing outside of my day job. As a freelance writer and an aspiring author, I was already doing a lot of writing.
The prize, though, was amazing.
There was the chance to be published in an anthology of short stories if my entry made the short list. And the grand prize was a book publicity package valued at $2500. This prize could really set me up in my dream career (full time author).
It was worth the $20 registration fee. Besides, the contest would push me to write a tight, concise love story about characters a reader would care about, within only a few pages. I was curious to see if I was capable of doing this, quite frankly. As a copywriter, I write punchy bits of content all the time. But fiction is different.
So I said, what the hell, and I sat down to write a story based loosely on two real-life love stories that haven’t left my heart since I first heard them.
Writing that short story felt amazing. The words poured out quickly. I’d forgotten how much I loved putting an entire story down in under 2000 words. I felt confident that my story, Forgive Me Father, would make the short list. I knew it was a good story. I knew it would pull heart strings. But I honestly never considered the fact that I could actually come out on top of the contest.
But as it turns out, that’s what happened.
Sharing Your Dream
I got a phone call from the DigiWriting team on Thursday evening (August 21) and I was floored to learn that the judges chose my story as the grand prize winner. I’ve basically been smiling since then.
I get goosebumps now as I think about the opportunity that’s waiting for me. All I need to do is write the best series I possibly can (winning the contest gave my confidence there an amazing boost too, by the way) and DigiWriting is going to do the important stuff, like actually getting the book into the hands of readers! They will do everything they can to get my name out there and help my work get noticed. I sincerely believe these people want to help me become an established author. And that feels incredible.
I owe a great deal to that friend who encouraged me to enter a simple little contest this Spring. But I think she’s just excited to watch my dream come true. And you know what? After winning this contest, I think that’s what’s starting to happen.
About Jaime Lee Mann
When Jaime Lee Mann was nine years old, she decided that she would be an author when she grew up. Many years later, Jaime Lee’s children would beg her to tell them stories at bedtime. Sometimes her stories were silly and sometimes they were magical. The girls loved one of her magical stories so much that Jaime Lee decided to write it down. That story would eventually become Legend of Rhyme: Elora of Stone, Jaime Lee’s first novel. JL (as her family calls her) lives in a pretty house in Prince Edward Island with her husband and two daughters (who are still little girls for now). She writes every day and plans to do so for as long as people love to read her words.
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Does Jamie’s story inspire you to submit to a Short Story Contest?