My Accidental Publication

Between Christmas and New Year I was tremendously bored. We were shipwrecked by the second wave of Coronavirus, forbidden to travel or see friends, and the university had shut down so I could hardly even work. So I decided to enter a short story competition with a deadline the following week, even though I hadn’t written a short story in over 30 years.

I wrote it as therapy more than anything. Instead of sulking about how much I wanted to travel and to get a dog, I wrote a story about those things turning into snowballing disasters. It was pretty rough – I only finished a first draft the day before the deadline, and I didn’t feel I could send it to anyone for a critique on such short notice. But I thought it had a few laughs and a good structure, so I sent it in.

If this were fiction, it would have won a prize, but of course it didn’t really. But then I found out that the Cambridge Writers’ Group publish a book of all the entries, not just the winners. I was torn – would my family really tell me if it was too embarrassingly bad to publish? Would any acquaintance who read it assume that the main character’s disgraceful behaviour was autobiographical? In the end, the lure of vanity publishing I didn’t have to pay for was too strong. You can purchase your copy here:

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One response to “My Accidental Publication

  1. Tim Love

    “I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky.” – Sharon Olds

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