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I’ve written more short stories in the last year than in the previous decade – and doing so has curiously somehow increased my productivity. As well as the short stories, I’ve managed to draft a pretty awful poem (my first since primary school), finished my romantic comedy novel (Douglas Dodd’s Women) and written the first 6,000-words of another, in a very different genre.

It was a fascinating exercise. Entering 9 competitions earned me: 1 first prize, 2 short-listings and 1 commended, as follows:-

Bristol Short Story Competition – no placing
Writing Magazine Crime Story – no placing
Writer’s Forum Competition – no placing
To Hull & Back Humorous Short Story Competition – Commended
Headway 500-word Competition – no placing
Bridport Flash Fiction Competition – Shortlisted
Henshaw Press Competition – 1st Prize
Writer’s Forum Competition – no placing
Norwich Writers Olga Sinclair Competition – Shortlisted

In addition, I sent a short story to, firstly, Women’s Weekly, and then to The People’s Friend. Both bombed.

I have four other entries ‘out there’ with results due in February/March. In case they are all rejected – which might stop me writing for days/weeks/months while I lick my wounds and whine about my work being only fit for the recycling bin – the plan is to send out a handful more in the next weeks, to keep the pot boiling.

As my husband tells me, if you fall off a horse you’ve got to climb straight back on and keep going.