Last week, I was very pleased to see one of my stories on the longlist of the TSS Cambridge short story prize – the competition I was placed third in last year.
It didn’t progress any further, this time round, but I was still more than happy with the result, for one particular reason.
This was because I had tried the story in several other places, both journal and competition submissions, with no success. It was one I had written in the first lockdown of the pandemic, when my writing was very much up-and-down, or hit-and-miss. Yet I was happy with my efforts in this piece of work, and thought it was a good story. But… nobody out there seemed to agree with me!
After several rejections, doubt begins to creep in – doubt about that story, my own judgement, all my work… Time to throw it away, give it all up, maybe…
But then the longlisting, by TSS, one of the keenest exponents of the short story form out there, who stated that the quality of all the stories mentioned was ‘outstanding’.
This is why I value longlisting. It provides, in effect, a positive feedback to your work, a validation which can give you a boost in confidence, a renewal in self-believe. Out of all the entries submitted – and there are usually a fair number! – your work has been picked out – has stood out – and been praised.
Thank you, TSS (https://theshortstory.co.uk ) . And congratulations to all those who made the short list and the eventual winners.