Jenna Black: Funny, Crazy, Upsetting Publishing Stories
As you can see, this is a prize well worth trying for. And I tried for it. Repeatedly. I entered quarter after quarter, year after year. I never even made the semi-finals.
Enter my dear husband. Before he married me, he'd never read science fiction or fantasy, but he was a writer--of humor columns. He helped me edit one of my novels and some of my short stories, and he developed a taste for the genre. So he decided to try to writing some. He sat down to write not knowing if he was going to write a short story, or a novel, or even a screenplay. But he didn't need a plan, he just winged it.
When he was finished, he had a novelette somewhere around 15,000 words. I knew he was thinking of entering it in the Writers of the Future contest, but come on . . . This was his first attempt EVER at fantasy and science fiction. Surely it couldn't be any good.
Then, of course, I read it. And I knew there was going to be trouble. It was good. REALLY good. Funny. Quirky. Original. *Sigh*
I'm sure everyone can guess what happened: he won. First prize. The trip to L.A., the anthology . . . the works.
So what's the silver lining? Well, for one thing, I let my husband live. I thought that was very big of me. For another, he was very, very nice to me for a long time thereafter. (Of course, he might just have been trying to avoid losing any body parts.) And best of all, I did eventually manage to sell some of my own novels (About five years later, but who's counting?)