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Encouragement Through Recognition

This month my novel-in-progress, Under the Almond Trees, made the semi-finals in the 2011 Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. I am so pleased by this you might think I had received an offer of publication! I did not. It is a prestigious writing competition, though, the kind that is scary to contemplate entering.

When I first heard about this annual competition, I encouraged my writer friends at The Next Big Writer who planned to enter. I told them how much I enjoyed their work, how strong the writing was, how they most certainly would do well. When they said the same of my writing, I laughed it off. Later, I reconsidered. Why should I expect others to like my work, even publish it someday, if I had no confidence in it? So I entered On a Wing and a Dare in the novel category, and Under the Almond Trees in novel-in-progress.

I promptly forgot I’d entered. When my online writer friends began buzzing about semi-final lists being posted, I exclaimed with delight when each of them saw their names. I didn’t check the list until today–and THERE was my name. The finalists have already been posted, and I didn’t make it, but I am thrilled with the semi-final step.

Today I feel like everything I write will be golden. After all, I’m a Faulkner-Wisdom semi-finalist. My keyboard will flow with words others will be eager to read. I’ll do a blog post, or two, and write new chapters for my new novel. Maybe I’ll even submit my YA fantasy to a few publishers.

A little recognition is a heady thing. It’s helpful to be reminded of that. I’ll have to work on recognizing my student writers for their work. The more the merrier! Maybe some of my former students will enter the Faulker-Wisdom high school category next year.

In hardback: The Secret Prince by Violet Haberdasher

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