Today's Scribble prompt at CUWP: Write about your good and bad experiences with writing.
They happen to be within the same experience.
I entered my first and only writing contest back in 2004 when I was 8 months pregnant with my first child. The contest was in Helper, UT, and they were offering a cash prize of $300 for the first prize winner; $200 for 2nd place, and $100 for 3rd. Excited to try out my new found talent for the written word, my husband and I booked a hotel in the Price area and I entered the contest.
At registration, the contestants were given an envelope with a photo inside that would be the inspiration for a story. Any story and any genre we wanted to write. The story was due 24 hours later. It would then be reviewed by a panel of readers, ranked, and judged. The top 5 stories would be posted in the window of the small town theater.
I was exhilarated that my story, a piece about a woman who makes literal pact with the devil to save her marriage, was on the window! I read all of the other stories, and felt confident that I would at least place in the competition.
A few hours later, the award ceremony began.
Third place winner was announced.
Not me. Phew.
There was still a chance.
Second place winner... my heart pounded, anxiety rising. If it wasn't me, I could still be named the winner.
I took a breath. Waited.
And my name was called.
I used the $200 bucks to pay for the hotel we got in Helper.
But the plaque still hangs proudly on my wall.