The Joy of Being Shortlisted

I recently entered Byron Writer’s Festival flash fiction contest. This year the feature word was “sunlight”. Taking this keyword, I thought about the times I’ve been in the open water early in the morning. The rising sun hits the water in a narrow band and when you’re in that band, you can’t see anything to the front, back or side of you. It’s easy to panic in that moment when you can’t see the people you’re swimming with.

My piece “Escaping the Vortex” focused on that feeling but with a twist. For once I sent a piece away that I was happy with and sent it off with the thought of if you don’t enter, you can’t win. A month wandered by and finally the results came in. I was looking on the festival’s Facebook page and saw the link to the winners. I thought oh well never mind. I decided to click through and have a look at the pieces the judges felt were worthy of winning. At the bottom of the page there was a list of pieces that were shortlisted and suddenly I recognised my own name and my title. It was the most spellbinding moment of my writing career to date. Out of 170 entries, mine had made it into the top 10.

I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who assisted with inspiration and motivation for Escaping the Vortex which will be on display during the Byron Writer’s Festival