I’ve begun to think of myself like the amethyst I’ve got on my shelf. Pretty craggy and old on the outside but shiny and multi-faceted within. I’ve had the particular stone pictured here for years – it needed dusting off. But now it’s sparkling again.
Last Autumn, after taking two courses with Kathy Fish – one weekend and one two week course – I decided to submit to literature magazines as well as to competitions.
Since the end of last year, two pieces I wrote on those workshops have been accepted for magazines. (Many other people find this when they do a course with Kathy – it’s magic how she gets writers going). I have a micro in the December 2015 issue of Flash Frontier. Last week, a longer flash fiction of mine was accepted for the inaugural issue of Halo Literary Magazine. And these are the first two non-competition pieces I’ve ever sent out, apart from ones submitted to Visual Verse each month.
In the same week as being accepted for Halo, I heard I was longlisted in a Retreat West contest and and longlisted for Flash500 second quarter competition. I’m waiting to find out if I’m going to reach the short list for Flash500. If not, both stories are going travelling again, maybe out to other literary magazines. To cap a really great week I won the Faber Academy’s weekly Quickfics contest and a pile of books with my flash fiction piece. ‘Are we nearly there?’
So what can I learn from this? The obvious thing is that I have to keep sending my fiction into the world if I want it to be read by others. Competitions, magazines – whatever. And it doesn’t matter how old I am. I can still carry on developing – be a really, really late developer. Editors out there are focused on the writing, not the age of the writer.