When I write, I often write for my own enjoyment. There is nothing like writing a story that just flows and feels right. So it is that last Valentine’s day I wrote a story entitled My Queen of Hearts. It was not a romance, although the whole tone of it was leading the reader to think that it was. It was instead a bit of a twisted tale that told the story of a man, Joe Curr, meeting the family of his queen of hearts. When I read the story to my writing group, they all were hooked on it and did not see the ending coming until it was revealed in the last paragraph. They all expressed they liked the story – and they can sometimes be quite vocal when they don’t like my stories. I filed the story away in my giant notebook that houses all my writing group writings.
Fast forward to the waning days of June, A good friend of mine from Germany, messaged me that she had seen an advertisement for an international short story contest with no submission fee. She had read some of my short stories on this blog and wondered if I would be interested in submitting a story. She sent me the details. As I read the description of the type of story they were looking for – a short story that had a surprise ending – I thought of the Valentine’s day story. Hmm, that would be perfect, I thought. Not only was the subject just right but because the submission deadline was in a few days, I figured I could polish up the story quickly and be able to submit it in time. And on a whim – I did. That very night I uploaded that story to the contest – The International Literary Competition for short stories.
I know! Who was I to think my story would be even a contender among an International group of short story writers? I didn’t even look to see if the winner would get anything other than bragging rights – after all, there was no submission fee! Without even researching the contest, I just brazenly sent off my story, hoping to at least get an honorable mention or something.
Then, a week or two later, I received an email stating I was one of the contenders in the competition and would I fill out a short bio for them? Oh! That’s nice. I thought, without any idea that I could actually be in the running for anything. Then the thought came to me. Could this be a scam? I messaged my German friend, “Did you get an email stating you were in contention?” “No.” She replied. Hmm, well, maybe it wasn’t one of those contests where everyone was a ‘winner.’ Maybe it was legitimate.
Last Friday I had another email from the competition. This time it said that I had won First Place, what? Can this be true? I scoured the Internet – Googling International Literary Contest. I couldn’t find anything. After several tries, I realized it was the International Literary Competition, and when I brought up the website – there was my name as the First Place winner!
It took some convincing, but I finally got the message that I was the First Place winner of the 2019 International Literary Competition for the short story My Queen of Hearts. You can read the story and my bio on this website; https://database.az/en
Comments are welcome!