I got exciting news a few weeks ago. I won first place in a short story contest, which was held by RiverRun Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Portsmouth, NH.
To top it off, Piscataqua Press, an independent publisher through RiverRun, printed an anthology of the winning short stories plus a selection of mentionable favorites, called Compass Points: Stories from Seacoast Authors.
RiverRun hosted a release party this past Sunday, where all the winners read a section of their stories. I was a little intimidated by this prospect. Yeah, yeah. I know I should have been focusing on the fact I won first place, and that my story is in actual print, because, well, you know.
But still. I just don’t do this kind of thing. Public speaking, much less reading my work in front of strangers, is exceedingly out of my comfort zone.
But when it came down to it, I couldn’t let my fear stop me from experiencing what would be one of the most incredible moments of my life.
So, I read the first half of my story, and guess what…?
I survived. Imagine that.
The only give-away to my nerves was my shaking left hand. But, eventually, it settled down and I was able to get through the reading without passing out. Or rushing to the refreshments table for a beer.
My short story is called “Shattered,” and it’s about a teenage girl who, on the night of her prom, discovers a life-changing secret of her mother’s. It’s a little bit drama, magical realism, and suspense all in one winning story! I won some cashola, a gift certificate to the bookstore, and a 1935 Royal typewriter (photo to come soon).
There is a wide variety of stories in the anthology, all written by local authors (local being southern NH and Maine seacoast), and well-worth the read. There’s even a story by a 10-year-old girl, who won 2nd place in the 17 and under category. I am privileged to be part of such a talented group of authors.
I am still reeling, but it has been a rather busy few weeks when I consider the fact I also self-published the first handbook of my non-fiction series, Writer…Uninterrupted. To everyone who has already purchased a copy, thank you so much. Your support is everything to me.
If you’re interested in purchasing Compass Points: Stories from Seacoast Authors, you can find it through major booksellers Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Or, if you’d like to show your support for independent booksellers, please contact RiverRun Bookstore. You can order the book directly from them, and it’ll be shipped to you.
PS — once again, a heartfelt thanks goes out to JM McDowell, who was one of my readers and helped me make the story even better!
Have a writerly day!