Until earlier this year I was posting on - ahem - a certain writers' forum and wrote that I was thinking of writing my first short story and submitting it for the Bridport Prize. The response was universally negative. It felt like a wet dishcloth being tossed into my face. This threw me for short while but I soon rallied and wrote the story anyway. Why not?
The Bridport is, of course, a prestigious event and highly competitive but surely isn't so august as to make me think I couldn't be a good enough writer to enter it. Anyone can, provided they pay the fee.
I now know that I've been unsuccessful so you might say "There you are then" but there's probably one of two reasons for not even winning a Highly Commended - an award I would have been delighted with:
a) I'm a bad writer.
b) The story was offputtingly eccentric.
You won't be surprised to learn that I favour the latter. Not wanting to waste the tale, I've entered it for a writers' magazine competition.
I'd be interested to know what other writers think about entering these contests as a way of getting noticed and gaining a quotable achievement for submissions.