The winner has been announced.
When I entered the Mslexia novel competition, I did it without a thought to the outcome. When I heard “Naming Names” had been long-listed, I was pretty excited, and there was a good deal of trepidation leading up to the announcement of the short-list.
I was prepared for the worst. I did not expect to be short-listed. I think my book is pretty good, but this was my first competition, and the subject matter is difficult stuff. So, when I was short-listed, I was more than a little bit pleased with myself.
If you’ve been reading this blog for the last couple of weeks, you will have followed me through the ups and downs of waiting for the final outcome of the competition. I did not expect to win. For the reasons that I stated, because of the content of the book, I thought it would be a tough pick for a competition. I didn’t think it would be representative of the sort of thing that other women might have written.
I thought that, today, I’d be happy to have got on the short-list, and even happier that it gave me an opportunity to raise my profile with agents. I could, at the very least, say that I’d been short-listed for the prize.
I also thought, and think, that it’d be nice to get to know the other eleven women on the short-list. I know what they’ve been going through over the past fortnight; I feel we are sisters-in-arms.
I thought this would be a win/lose situation, but it turns out that it is rather more complicated than that.
I did not win this competition. I’m really looking forward to finding out who the winner is, and, I hope, meeting her and reading her work. I do know that she’s an experienced writer, albeit unpublished. I also know that she has had work rejected in the past. She is where I hope to be in a few years time. This is her time, and I wish her nothing but the best of luck. I hope to see her book in print.
I did not win this competition.
Nor did I lose.
I was informed, in a lovely e-mail, which I’ve saved and will probably never delete from my file, that “Naming Names” was one of the last three novels on the table. I was also told that an agent is sufficiently impressed with it to want to discuss representation with me.
I did not win this competition, but I cannot help thinking that I might prove one of the big winners in the long run.
So, in a few days or weeks, I shall be asking you all to wish me luck, again. Next time, you’ll be keeping your fingers crossed that the prospective agent and I like each other enough to want to work together.