It all started with an email which promoted a competition run by Wordpress.com. Writers were encouraged to enter submissions written around the theme of 'Take a Leap', as 2012is a leap year. The competition was also promoting flash fiction and the word count was 750, an encouraging figure, long enough to develop an idea but short enough to allow fairly instant gratification. I set to writing a couple of entries, not with confidence of winning but from the joy of having a reason to write something other than my novel which is frankly stuck, and the widely interpretable theme. The editors Sarah and Muli were confident that they would find five good stories to award as competition winners and publish in an e-anthology on Kindle. In the event they were pleasantly surprised by the standard and number of entries and chose ten stories to publish.
The email announcing the winners was sent on 5 March and I was very happy to receive it. Sending off your writing to faceless editors and judges is a bit like sending your child to school on her own for the first time. There is a relinquishing of responsibility while retaining a pride in the relationship and trust that all the hard work put in about looking both ways when crossing the road and not speaking to strangers has paid off. The attention to voice, theme, character and setting pays off and when a professional in the field approves of your finished product, that is reward in itself.
Being able to log on to Amazon and see my name next to a book advertised for sale is also a reward, one which I find unaccountably amusing. After all I just entered a competition in response to an email, how random is that?