Em SaddingtonA friend from my online critique group submitted a personal essay to the group a few weeks ago. She wanted to send her entry to a contest that had the theme "My Writing Journey." Her plea to our group members was to help her whittle the words from the 2000 she had to the maximum 1000 allowed. Not an easy task.
She and I visited a bit about the competition and I asked if she'd be alright with me sending an entry, also. I had a piece already written that could be revised and cut down a bit. She wrote back that she'd love to have me enter and also some of our other members. So the invitation to our members went out with Em urging others to enter the contest. Several wrote essays and submitted to the competition.
The deadline was June 30th and each entrant received a nice note letting her know that the entry had been received and the winner would be announced on July 10th. That's a fast turnaround for a contest. The contest was sponsored by the NZ Writing College, which is an online school for writers with outlets in the UK, New Zealand, and I think Australia. They were accepting entries from around the globe, however.
The prize was $250 or equivalent in other monies, depending on where the winner lived.
Every one of the entries I read from our group impressed me. Same theme, yet all so different as we have lived in various countries, born in different times and our journey took us down myriad roads. I had high hopes that one of us would win, but then I'd think about the many other entries there would be.
This morning, the winner was announced and I was thrilled to learn that my dear friend, Em, had come out on top. She, who had started the ball rolling for all of the others and proved to be the best. She, who had to cut her word count in half, came out victorious. Em lives in a small village an hour or two north of Capetown, South Africa. She is a wonderful writer and is also an artist who paints beautifully.
Em has won R1000 which is the equivalent rand to our dollar. While the monetary prize is nice, the joy of being the top essayist in this contest is worth far more to her, I'm sure. Contratulations, Em! Think of all the contests some of us have passed by thinking we had no chance to come out on top. If you don't enter, you can't win! Next time you see a contest that piques your interest, go for it!