I just submitted my latest non-fiction story entitled “A Homeless Man and What His Proposal Taught Me” to the CBC Books annual Non-Fiction literary contest. The prizes are unbelievable! First place is publication on CBC Books, $6,000 and an invitation for a two week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four runners up receive publication and $1,000 each. Even the long list of finalists (30 entries) get their bios published.
I don’t know why but I find the submission process incredibly emotional, and this one probably the most so far. Since I began submitting my work at the end of 2018, I have submitted 5 pieces to various contests and open calls.
I was shaking when I hit submit. Once I had the tears started welling. It was only a few moments before I got the confirmation email and then the tears began to flow.
It’s not a fear of being judged. I relish that. I really want to know what people think of my work; not to be praised, but to be critiqued. Having a husband who loves to read what I write and thinks they are all incredible literary masterpieces is flattering and wonderfully supportive, but not particularly helpful.
It’s why I love taking creative writing courses. It’s a place to have others let me know what is working and what isn’t. I have this NEED to do the best I can and I don’t think I am necessarily a good judge of what I write. It’s not a competitive streak, in fact I hate competing. I know this sounds weird but it’s not a fear or even a dislike of failure; it’s a dislike of winning. If I win, it means someone else loses and that hurts me.
OK, so I’m a suck. It’s just who I am.