There was a delicious flurry of excitement on Twitter yesterday afternoon when several people tweeted about being shortlisted for The Bridport Prize. The actual winners won’t be announced until October 14th but those shortlisted have been notified. None of these people are winners (although they certainly aren’t losers!) and won’t be published in the Winners’ Anthology, but it is still a big achievement, and worth tweeting about, to have been shortlisted from, in the case of Short Stories and Poetry, over 6,000 entries in each Category and from over 2,500 Flash Fiction entries.
I am pleased to say that both of the Flash Fiction entries I sent in made it to the shortlist of 50. When I received the email telling me this, my heart did the proverbial skip, then tripped off the pavement into the gutter. Yes, delighted that both of my micro stories made it past the first hurdle and landed on the desk of the Competition Judge, but disappointed that they didn’t make it to the finishing line. On the plus side, Bridport are not publishing the titles of the stories shortlisted, only the names of entrants, to enable writers to submit elsewhere, so now I have the opportunity to do this.
However, just because the Bridport readers liked my stories doesn’t mean that they will be successful anywhere else. Interestingly, one of the stories I submitted was rejected by another, much smaller, Flash Fiction competition earlier this year. It wasn’t even shortlisted. This reminded me of Teresa Stenson’s excellent blogpost about her experience at Bridport when a story that had come nowhere in a previous year, won a Runner-Up prize in 2009. She sent in the same story both years.
It all goes to show that writers mustn’t get hung up about being rejected – easier said than done, I know and I need to listen to my own advice.
For now, I’m looking forward to finding out who won at Bridport and to reading all the winning entries! Roll on October 14th.