I’ve not had great luck with writing competitions so far – i.e. I’ve never won a bean. I must admit that when I finished “Fatal Forgery”, I thought that entering it for competitions would be a doddle – after all, there couldn’t be that many other people with a completed novel ready to enter, could there? And a carefully-crafted synopsis (how I hate giving away the ending, but that’s the nature of the synopsis – it’s a summary, not a teaser), and a witty yet self-deprecating author biography. Could there? Oh yes there could – thousands of them, apparently. So I’ve failed to make the shortlist in the Good Housekeeping first novel competition, and the Lucy Cavendish first novel competition, and the Mslexia first novel competition (this last one limited to women, so even fewer competitors, but still – nothing). Crack out the violins.
But my mama didn’t raise no quitters, and nothing daunted I am trying again. I have sent off “Fatal Forgery” and its suspense-ruining synopsis to the Guardian Legend Time Self-Published Book of the Month competition. This was launched in April this year, and every month – from the 1st to the 18th – you can submit your self-published masterpiece. You have to be an adult UK resident, but apart from that, it seems fairly accommodating. The only thing is that – for obvious reasons – you can only submit your book once. *Bites nails in terror* I didn’t want to be in the first cohort – with all the publicity the prize received, I thought they’d be swamped with entries. I don’t know how many there were in the end – one article talked about “dozens”, which dozen seem that many to me. I left the link to the competition in my email inbox, reasoning that I’d work out the optimum time to send it. And then one day last week I just thought, to hell with it – I’ll send it in. And off it went.
So now the waiting begins. The deal is that, if you’ve won, they will let you know sixty days after the closing date for entries. I entered the August competition, closing date 18 August, so I’ll be standing by my inbox on 18 October. If there’s nothing doing, I’ll have shot my bolt with “Fatal Forgery”, and I’ll have to try again with “Plank 2”. Winners so far have been about time-travellers, suffragettes and assisted suicide, so perhaps a Regency police officer would be in good company.