Short Story Takes First Place!

by Rebecca Olmstead on August 24, 2011

in Author Blog

Blessings Friends!

I’m back from the most amazing writers’ conference ever! My short story “The Uninvited Guest” won first place in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary contest!

I just about passed out when they announced my name. Out of about 1,000 entries, they had narrowed each category down to eight or nine finalists. From there, the entries were sent out to agents and editors to choose the runners-up and winners.

God was there with me, opening the way to share Him with many people. My story isn’t “Christian fiction,” but through it, I was able to share my blog site, and find some new blogs to visit.

I’m so thankful for Laura Christianson and her team at Blogging Bistro for getting my site up in time for the conference. They did an amazing job! I had no idea so many people would actually check it out during the conference!

So much happened over the weekend, my head is still reeling. They had a special reception for the winners, agents, and editors, so I got to pitch my mystery and memoir to even more people.

Four agents asked to see more of my work, so I’ve got some work to do.

The most exciting part for me was when we got to read our winning entries to an audience, and the response to my story blew me away!

I was still trying to digest the fact that I had won, but when people were asking me where they could read more of my work, I suddenly felt very overwhelmed. After a lifetime of programming to the contrary, I was looking into the faces of people wanting to hear what I had to say.

I hadn’t felt that humbled since God turned my 4 inch tumor into a .98 inch blob of nothing the day before my surgery.

Isaiah 26:12 says, “LORD, You will establish peace for us, For You have also done all our works in us.”

It was God who made me a writer, and He has already given me all I need to fulfill that purpose. As long as I remember that, trust in that, I will have His peace. And, boy do I need that.

I’m looking into my options for getting more of my short pieces out for public consumption. Maybe E-books. There’s a lot of info out there. If anyone has tips or suggestions, feel free to share.

It was great to talk with James Rollins, Robert Dugoni, and Chris (C.C.) Humphreys again, they are all funny guys, and great teachers as well.

Steve Berry was a kick (and a great writer), and Jane Porter and Deb Caletti were so nice and very inspirational speakers.

I met so many new friends who share my love of words and some my love of Jesus, which is always great. I’m looking forward to sharing each of their writing journeys.

It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, though. I did meet a few agents and editors who could benefit from a course in public relations–if not some serious therapy.

For future conference attendees, I stongly suggest by-passing any “Boot Camp” classes where you submit your work for public critiquing. In my experience, there is little if any instruction to help you better your craft, and most writers leave these sessions discouraged if not completely demoralized.

It’s also getting to be that time of year again. As I looked out over Bellevue from the windows of the hotel, I couldn’t help but remember that I would soon be back, looking out the windows of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, waiting to take another claustrophobic ride in the torpedo tube (MRI).

I have to confess, the thought makes me want to cry, but I hope that trip in September is as jubilant as this one has been, when I hear those beautiful words again—No Evidence of Disease.!

God’s grace and peace be yours,

Rebecca

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Christianson September 2, 2011 at 6:29 PM

It was a pleasure assisting you with your new website, Rebecca, and I’m tickled that you won the contest!

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Marina Osipova December 5, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Hi, Rebecca!
I remember you from the 2011 PNWA conference. I had the same feeling of unreality when my name was announced (mainstream). I wonder about the fate of your wonderful (hilarious) short story. Because I would like to read it!
Cheers,
Marina

Reply

Rebecca Olmstead December 5, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Marina,
It’s great to hear from you! Thanks for the great comment on my story. You know, I’ve only submitted it to one other contest, I’ve been so busy with other things. I hate the marketing part of our craft, don’t you? It’s difficult to find places to submit short works these days. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

How about you? Any closer to publication?

Happy Writing,
Rebecca

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