This year I have started entering creative writing competitions. To my utter disbelief, I won the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge.
It was a wonderful competition, and I’m not just saying that because I won! There are three rounds, and in each round you write a story incorporating a specified genre, character, and subject. In the first round, you have a week; in the second round, three days; and in the final round, twenty-four hours.
The tight deadlines were exactly what I needed. I have always loved writing, but as an adult I have just kept putting it off. This competition made me write regardless of how busy I was. Moreover, it forced me to stretch myself to write in genres I wouldn’t normally touch. These were my assignments:
Genre: Political Satire
Character: A middleman
Subject: A water supply
Character: A park ranger
Subject: A sunrise
Character: An undertaker
During the first round, I became so immersed in my story that I wrote it whenever I had a moment: I remember balancing my laptop on my knees while I was on the train. I was thrilled simply to make it to the second round, let alone to place first overall. I will post a link to my final-round story when it goes up on the website.