The 71st Annual Arkansas Writers’ Conference was held in North Little Rock this past Friday and Saturday. Although I wasn’t able to attend this year, several members of our Village Writers’ Club were there, and from all reports, everyone had a great time. The speakers were good, and the interaction with other writers from across the state was as stimulating as always.
One of our new Village Writers attended the conference, and I was so excited when I learned that he had won an honorable mention for a free verse poem he submitted to one of the writing contests and a first place award in one of the short story contests. Another member won an honorable mention for his essay.
What a thrill it is to hear one’s name called as a winner and to step up and claim a certificate and a check. The judges liked my writing! Winning an award is a great boost to a writer’s morale.
However, there are other times when one’s name isn’t called. Does that mean that the writer did a poor job? Not necessarily. Perhaps there were other pieces in that contest that appealed more to a judge’s emotions or that focused on a theme with which a judge could identify. Of course, a winning entry needs to follow all the contest guidelines and be written with skill, but an entry must still pass a more subjective test—did the judge actually “like” the piece?
This year I submitted four entries, and I had a dry run. No awards. Nada. Nothing! In past years I have won some and I have lost some. However, I have learned that whatever happens, I need to keep writing. Sharing my writing with others is fun! And I’m thankful for all of you who continue to support me.