I was absolutely delighted this week to find that I had received a commendation for my short story ‘Basic Geometry’ which I had entered into the Retreat West Short ‘Smoking’ themed story competition ( http://www.retreatwest.co.uk/blog/smoking_comp_winners )
To be shortlisted was exciting enough knowing that my story would be read by Vanessa Gebbie, editor of the short story guide Short Circuit. But then to receive a commendation from her put me on cloud nine. Her comment – ‘Very strong writing here, and an unforgettable, hopeless scene’ – meant that I haven’t stopped smiling since!
It was after reading the book that Vanessa edited that I submitted this story, perhaps having absorbed some of the great advice within, as I feel this is certainly the best result I have had regarding my short story writing so far. So although not a winner, I definitely feel that if someone like Vanessa Gebbie has recognised some value in my work, then I have won some credibility as a writer. It has certainly inspired me to keep going and improve my work.