Those of you who follow me on Instagram (because who doesn’t want to see virtually every meal I ever cook and/or eat, what our garden looks like from various angles and what position our cat is lying in today?) and Facebook will have seen the letter I posted which I received from the Yeovil Literary Prize folk telling me my entry, ‘Comings and Goings’, had been LONGLISTED in this prestigious, international writing competition.
And, almost even before I’d come down off the ceiling from this monumental news, I received another letter from them saying this (see left)! I’m second! SECOND! That’s runner-up! I Know. And if this news isn’t incredible enough, then even more so is the fact I’ve had to keep it (relatively; I have a daughter, a husband and we were with our neighbours when I received the email so they knew something was up when I started shaking and crying) under my hat. Now that reads as if I was crying under my hat. I wasn’t. I don’t do hats. Not yet. Watch this space.
So I’m delighted. Hugely proud of myself and because I’ve known for weeks and haven’t been able to say has actually made it feel even more unreal. But once the names are flashed up on the Yeovil Literary Prize website today, then I’ll believe it properly. And as we’re going to be in the Lakes (yes, I’m scheduling this post as well) I probably won’t even get to see it until we get back home. So I still won’t feel like a real winner.
But I am. And it’s been a long time coming. Being shortlisted and longlisted is wonderful and I hope there’ll be more of those (I don’t even want to think about or count the number of competition entries I’ve sent off which haven’t made it anywhere…) but this – coming second – in such a well-respected writing prize is… well… don’t… it’ll start me off again.
As Roy Castle used to say/sing “validation* hey hey, validation*, validation* is what you need… if you want to be the best, if you want to beat the re-e-e-e-est, validation*‘s what you need …”
*of course dedication helps too – but validation is the cherry on top of the icing and… here endeth what might become a rambling, incoherent analogy… 😉