Last night I got a very exciting email from the organisers of the Jeremy Mogford Food and Drink Prize to sat that I have been short listed for the prize. To reach the final short list of 15 candidates out of 430+ entries on my first attempt has been a massive and much needed boost to my confidence and self esteem as a writer.
My head and my heart often disagree about the quality of my writing, and to make matters more frustrating they don’t always stick to the same sides of the argument. I know that my writing is good, because I’ve studied writing and I know how to identify good aspects of quality writing and can see logically that they do exist in my own work. But will other people see them and agree with their quality and significant? I also know that the submission rate for magazines and contests is huge, and while my work might be of good quality, much like any effort in the arts you need to be a stellar quality artist in order to get noticed. Being good is one thing. Being successful is something else.
While I love writing and I don’t think I could ever stop, there is a big jump between writing for yourself and putting your work out into the world for other people to read and judge, especially when it comes to big competitions like this. It’s like finally getting proof that you can swim in the rough and tumble of the ocean after getting used to peacefully wallowing in a small swimming pool or bath tub.
The prize is part of the Oxford Literary Festival and has a prize of £7500 for first place, so the next two weeks are going to be quite exciting while the final winner is chosen and notified.
The money would be lovely – I mean, of course it would! – but what’s more exciting is the idea that my work has been reviewed and selected from amongst a pretty talented and experienced batch of writers. Having a nice boost like this has reassured me that hard work and effort are getting me somewhere and I am not just shouting into a hurricane. I shall await the results of the Jeremy Mogford Food and Drink Prize with interest and will definitely be entering again next year.
Stay tuned for further news later this month!*[Got something to say? Submit to Project Shandy]*