Friday, 9 January 2015

Shortlisted, deactivated

New Year's Eve, daytime. I say to Mario:
"This is the first year since I started sending writing out that I haven't had anything published or shortlisted. But that's ok. I mean, it's how it works. Ups and downs. Ebbs and flows."

CUT TO: New Year's Day, morning. I open my emails, this from Magic Oxygen Literary Prize:
"Dear Teresa, Your story 'Waking', has made it through to our shortlist of ten..."

GET THIS: The email was sent at 11.59am, in the very last minute of 2014. Funny, huh?

Goes without saying I'm mega happy about this. A great end to one year and a boost of a start to the new one. It's a story that started out as a flash a few years ago, then took on a new life and more words and various edits, has been sent to quite a few publications / prizes and got nowhere...

Here is a photo of my Rejection Section 2014

It's a bit blurred but I can tell you the word 'Waking' appears 4 times, so that's how many times it went out last year.

Note all those crosses. When I hear (or don't hear) a piece of work hasn't made it, I have to say I enjoy making those little crosses, they're cathartic. It's like the end of hope and the start of hope all at once.

So, fourth time lucky (probably double that if I checked how many times I subbed it in previous years). That thing has happened where a particular reader / judge has read it, and it's risen to the top of a big pile (800 entries). It might even now win a prize. I won't know if it has until mid-February, but it will be published in an anthology, and just being in the last ten is a wonderful feeling. I will, of course, keep you posted.

I have also deactivated Facebook ('What, all of it?!' a friend quipped when I announced this to him a few days ago.) No, just my account, as I have done before, when the fug of Facebook gets too much and I need a good soul clean. I am a fan of Facebook, I love and appreciate many of the people I talk to on there but I am also a bugger for getting lost in it and that can make me feel a bit lost from myself.

So I've done a bit more Tweeting in the past few days, but I've also written a lot more, and read a lot more, and felt more peaceful. GOOD.

No big end of year post, but I will say 2014 was the happiest year I've had in a while, maybe because I got a fringe cut in my hair ('bangs' in some parts of the world). Myself and my fringe wish you nowt but good stuff for the year ahead.


Vanessa Gebbie said...

Ha! Hello Teresa - Happy New Year indeed. Lots of good luck! xx

Teresa Stenson said...

Ah, thanks Vanessa. Nice to hear from you - many good wishes to you for 2015 too x

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Congratulations on your good New Years Eve/Day news. Very glad for you.

Tracey West said...

Hey Teresa,

Waking is a fabulous piece and speaking as a writer myself who has submitted the odd body of work here and there, I think watching your literary cream rise to the top is the result of a hot blend of skill, fair wind and perfect timing.

There is no earthly rhyme or reason, it seems, behind the fact that one set of judges didn't get it and another set (we had 22 on our team incidentally) loved it to bits.

Ride the wave with Waking lady! It's a good one to be on and you absolutely deserve it.

We hope it fuels you to pen more...and soon.


Tracey and Simon West
Magic Oxygen Publishing

Teresa Stenson said...

Thank you, Elizabeth. Much luck to you and your writings for 2015. Looking forward to checking your stuff out :)

Ah - Tracey - hello and thank you so much for such lovely comments about Waking. I love how you put that: 'a hot blend of skill, fair wind and perfect timing'. Totally agree. I've mentioned elsewhere on this blog when talking about The Bridport Prize how that made me realise how many hoops a story must jump through and how much is about timing. Timing you can't ever really be in control of. So we keep writing and we keep sending that writing out. And way-hey sometimes it sticks! Thanks for stopping in and for your encouragement. Looking forward to the next bit of the journey with Magic Oxygen.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hello again, thanks for stopping by my blog and following. Have a great day.

Nik Perring said...

Congrats! Great way to start and end a year!

Nik Perring said...

Congrats! Great way to start and end a year!

Teresa Stenson said...

Thanks, Nik - I appreciate you saying that twice. It's helping it to sink in :)

Nik Perring said...


Anonymous said...

Congrats on your shortlisting (and fringe!) -- anthologies are ace. Here's to 2015 being a brilliant writing year. (I'm almost tempted now to start another online submissions diary, do I, don't I...?)

Tracey West said... keep an eye on - we'll be announcing the dates for our literary prize soon...

Tracey West

Teresa Stenson said...

Hi Tracey (the 'tu' one, two Traceys in one comment thread here) - Thank you for the congrats and best wishes. Good luck with your diary if you end up making one - and for 2015 in general.

Tracey West - will do - do you mean the dates for the next prize you're running?

Tracey West said...

Hi Teresa,

Yes indeed - plans for the second Magic Oxygen Literary Prize are bubbling away nicely.


Teresa Stenson said...

Lovely stuff.