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Apr 15

Susan Shiney

7 Things I Learned from Losing a Writing Contest

Many people ask: Is it worth it to pay for a writing contest? The odds of you losing that contest are extremely high, so that is a factor. However, I think it is worth it if you get feedback from judges, so you are basically paying for a professional critique. In January 2020 I participated in the NYC Midnight's Short Story Challenge. The entry fee was $48 if you signed up early before Dec. 12th and $58 if you signed up afterward. They pin writers from all around the world against each other to write a 2,500 word story in 8 days. They assign a genre, character, and subject to each group of writers. Three judges for each group of about 40 writers choose the top 5 stories to progress to the next round. Every writer that participates gets feedback on what the judges liked and what they think the writer should work on. The participants received the results and the judges feedback at the end of March 2020 just in time for the next round of the contest to begin.

Dec 15

Susan Shiney

Five Things I Learned from Reading Alice Munro

An Analysis of the Short Story: Dance of the Happy Shades

Alice Munro is a Canadian short story writer that won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013. I remember hearing bits and pieces about what a gifted writer she was, but I never made the time to actually read her until my writing group decided to start analyzing short stories this year. Alice Munro is the first author we have been studying.