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Can I Get a Testimony!

Printed From: NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting
Category: GENERAL DISCUSSION
Forum Name: Creative Writing Corner
Forum Description: Discuss NYC Midnight Creative Writing Competitions or Creative Writing in general.
URL: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=20597
Printed Date: 18 Aug 2019 at 11:39pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Can I Get a Testimony!
Posted By: stephenmatlock
Subject: Can I Get a Testimony!
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 5:45pm
So in the spirit of "what is this forum, and who are these crazy people called 'writers,' anyway?", I'm asking all of us to talk about what participating in these forums and these contests means to them.

For me, being here and submitting my work to the NYCM gods/judges has been something that has pushed me forward as a writer. I started my first contest in 2013, the Flash Fiction Contest. I had no idea what was required, and my first story was more than 4000 words long. (I mistook the 1000 word limit as the floor, not the ceiling.) A few hours of hasty cutting after I realized what I did got me down below 1000 words. I submitted it--and along with my next story, I had enough points to advance to the next round!

That was exciting! I've had some good scores since then, I've bombed, and I've tried new types of writing--screenwriting is something I never did before, but now I find it wonderfully challenging.

As far as success goes, well, I've had some stories published, and I've had two of my radio plays performed. I'm probably not going to make a living as a writer, but I know better how to turn out a story.

But most importantly, I think that I'm a better writer. My first efforts were written in a plausible, acceptable style. They were stories. You could read them. They "worked."

As I continued to write, however, my style changed. I deepened my work. I challenged myself to dive more into the characters as people. I worked hard, damned hard, to make their world come alive.

The desire to write better stories about the people in my stories has led me to take classes in seeing--and writing--the other. It has led to many fruitful relationships and opened me up to experiences--and histories--that I never would have entertained for a moment.

Not every story is a home run. In some, I strike out. Some are just a bloop single. Some make it to second base. But I'm satisfied that I know better how to write a compelling story. Sure, these are just first drafts, but I feel like I am turning out good work where language and style and vocabulary and plot and character work together to create a world that you can inhabit as long as you're reading.

That's what I'm here for. That creative spark.

So, what has this forum and these contests done for you? Let the people hear your testimony!


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2019 FFCR1 G11 http://bit.ly/2SlMxmW" rel="nofollow - All the Years Like Yesterdays Departed



Replies:
Posted By: chrissie0707
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 6:38pm
Last time I piped up in a thread like this, I was dismantled for my writing past. But I have a feeling that won't happen this time around.

I was an artist first, before my creativity switched on me in college, or, while taking a break for a semester sophomore year. This is when I accidentally discovered fanfiction was a thing, and it seemed like the perfect way to try my hand at the writing thing. I've been an active fanfiction writer with a decent following for about 13 years now. No ships, no alternate universes, no squicky indulgences - just stories that are as canon and true to the characters and storylines provided as I can while learning who I am as a writer. Since I was 21, I've written nine novel-length fics, and roughly 150 shorter pieces. Of course, those are posted to more of the "loved it!" feedback that is a great ego-stroke, but never really helped to improve. It was just practice.

I saw an ad for SSC last winter, and entered on a whim. Sort of a "well, if I'm serious about being a writer, I better start seeing what I can do with some original work." See if I can DO THIS. And I did pretty well, first place in round one, third in round two, and made it to the finals. So then I was addicted, and hopped into the FFC the first day I could sign up. Finished fourth, then first, and finally ousted with a HM in the third round this year. Now I'm feeling pretty good about my writing, AND I have SEVEN original short stories that I didn't have a year ago, all with PAGES of good feedback from this forum. Just struggling to collect the nerve to work toward trying to get some things published.

This has been a wonderful community and experience, and I feel like I've already grown so much as a writer over the past 14ish months. The confidence gained through these comps and the FEEDBACK from this forum also helped me pound out a ROUGH first draft for the first book of my planned three-book fantasy series during NaNoWriMo in November.

EDIT: I came back today to add - for every round of comp here, I have written for ME. I've read some debate in the forum, about whether you should write for you, or write to impress the judges. I vote write for you. It's served me well so far. And I can stand behind everything I've written.



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FFC#1 - https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22411_post282692.html#282692" rel="nofollow - Green Thumb


Posted By: nod1v1ng
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 6:49pm
Once upon a time, I hadn’t done any creative writing since high school. A few years ago I suddenly found myself pushing 40 & struggling through the aftermath of an ugly divorce. And so the angry divorced lady blog was formed. Therapy, I say. It garnered a good handful of readers- not because the writing was any good but because, sheltered by the illusion of anonymity, I didn’t pull any punches. 

A reader suggested I try the FF comp & I thought, what the heck, could be fun. I was also in that very liberated post-divorce stage where I was willing to try lots of things. 15 years in a controlling relationship & I was trying to figure out who I was. 

My first assignment was a ghost story (surprise!) which I had no idea how to write. But I submitted, no beta readers—didn’t even know what they were. Somehow ended up in the top of my group. Second challenge, third. 

Drunk on my success, I submitted my 2nd round story to The NYer. (This is where you pat me on the head & say, aw cute). It was a lesson in humility. But it did make me look at some of the forum feedback with a more critical eye.  I realized how valuable it was, even when it stung the ego. I was pretty much hooked. 

The forums led me to a writing group that I value beyond measure. I feel like in the past three years I have grown exponentially as a writer. Last year I started submitting work in earnest, and published 14 shorts. Made enough cash to take myself on a nice vacation. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the lessons I’ve learned from forumites & the support of the writing group I would have never met if I hadn’t joined NYCm. Not to mention gaining friendships with some cool, likeminded folk. 

All that keeps me pretty loyal to the comps. But also I respond well to prompts & deadlines. And it’s pretty much the cheapest writing workshop on the interwebs. It’s also exciting to me to see others grow as well and to have access to writing of some individuals I really admire. 

Testify! 





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SSC1 Between Heartbeats-2nd
SSC2 https://bit.ly/2VB96F8" rel="nofollow - Down Payment - HM


Posted By: thesaura73
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 7:09pm
I was just tempted to see if anyone else thought I was OK at writing, and it seems some people agree! I really enjoy the feedback and as a procrastinator enjoy the deadline and trying to come up a story out of three random prompts (though I don't always do well). It's made me finally think about "really" writing and I'm now putting things on my to-do list I wouldn't have done a year ago (website, blog, headshot, other contests, three novels, maybe brushing off some old screenplays).

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http://bit.ly/2L0amAL" rel="nofollow - SC R1 - Hothouse Flowers (Mystery)
http://bit.ly/2HDDbBl" rel="nofollow - SS Ch1 - A Curated Experience (Suspense)


Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 7:44pm
I have always been in love with reading, and from an early age decided that one day I was going to write a book and be rich - little did I know.  A brain injury has hampered my abilities, but I am not a quitter and get a lot of satisfaction from my stories - at least until I do a reread some weeks down the road, and every few weeks after that.  I have written all my life, took long periods of not writing, kept scribblers of ideas.  Then a friend turned me onto this contest!  Have not been the same since!  The challenge draws me back each time, and the chance that maybe this time I will get it right and advance, not win, just advance.


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https://bit.ly/2YdVjZq" rel="nofollow - FFC Magic is the game
https://tiny.cc/0h7m5y" rel="nofollow - Sp R1 Of Flowers, Trees, and Fish


Posted By: Random
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 8:02pm
I started reading when I was three years old.  In Mrs. Shupe's second grade at Deephaven Elementary in Wyzata, MN, she'd send me to the library to pick out a book I liked, so while everyone else stumbled over Jack and Jill I was reading The History of Art.

Then we moved to Iowa, and everything went south.  You really don't want to know, but books were my only escape, and I'd read two or three a day.  I was fifteen when I escaped, but the damage was done and I barely graduated high school.

I never took a class in writing, ever, so anything I know about it is purely from reading (and it shows).  In 2002 or 2003 I attended Robert McKee's "Story" Seminar, though.  Met Faye Dunaway there.  Interesting woman.

This is the only writing 'class' I've ever taken.  There are two people here who have probably had the greatest impact on my ability to tell a story, and in both cases it was the insight they provided doing a beta review. 


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This Sig Intentionally Blank


Posted By: sootfoot5
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 8:04pm
I was a high school dropout who went to law school and became a successful attorney.  I truly had the perfect  carrer —I loved my job and “did well by doing good.” 

Then I took sick and injured my back at the same time. For a while it seemed mt life was over. I have a wonderful husband, but I needed something that was solely mine.  I learned beading which helped some of the neurological problems I was experiencing, but it wasn’t enough. I started screenwriting because it looked interesting.  Then I saw an ad for the NYCM writing comps. 

Everyone needs to feel successful and to socialize with others. NYCM gave me both. I had become so depressed about not being able to practice law that I mostly stayed at home with the drapes pulled shut. But making an Honorable Mention in my first comp was like yanking those drapes open and letting sunshine flood my soul. It wasn’t long before my stories were getting published. My social life bloomed in that I joined online writer groups and have even had one online writer friend visit me for more than a week in my home. 

Participating in these competitions have changed my life. I only hope I can help some other writers. Helping is what I did as an attorney and before that as a teacher.  For me, that is the best part of participation at NYCM but of course, with my health problems, I can’t do much. But it is so gratifying to take one or two fledgling writers each comp and help them build their confidence so they can fly..... 


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/rd1-gp54-the-amenable-librarian_topic22441.html" rel="nofollow - The Amenable Librarian


Posted By: AngofWords
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 8:06pm
I've considered myself a writer since sixth grade. Over the years I wrote and wrote, and I'm glad to say I steadily improved. Fast forward thirty years. I'm still writing, but have never been able to stick with any attempted novel long enough to finish. I'm easily distracted and I really love writing fanfiction,  so while I'm always dreaming of being a novelist, I tend to settle for the instant gratification of AO3. 

Last summer I heard of the Flash Fiction Challenge.  I'd been writing 100-word drabbles for ages, so I gave it a shot. I'd never participated in a writing contest, nor had I tested myself against serious writers, and yet I finished with an honorable mention.  That felt amazing! Now I'm in the Short Story Challenge and I'm starting to take my work seriously.  Seriously enough to finally try submitting work for publication,  and maybe even enough to finish a novel one day soon.


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22400_post282652.html#282652" rel="nofollow - R1Ch1:Thoughts and Prayers


Posted By: nixie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 12:46am
I saw the ad for FFC and used it as a self-challenge to learn to write more concisely. I had never heard of flash before, and thought it looked like a terrific way to force myself to 'distill down to the essence.' 

's Working.


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FFC Ch1: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22540_post284621.html" rel="nofollow - Weep No Longer, Angel


Posted By: Lucie-Bee
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 2:28am
Thanks for this, Stephen. This is what I value most: the sense of community, collaboration and support that this forum offers. It’s quite overwhelming.

I have been writing for most of my life... for myself. My childhood dream was to write like Enid Blyton when I grew up! Life presented many forks in the road, as it does for everyone, and after many zigs and zags, I found myself many (many) decades later wondering if it was too late. 

My best friend (aka my husband) asked me a simple, timeless question just after midnight on NYE last year, “If not now, when?” His question was prompted by my comment about entering this writing contest. So, inspired by his words, I bit the bullet last year and entered the SSC. Somehow I managed to get an HM in round 1, which absolutely blew my mind. That acknowledgment/recognition buoyed me up for months, no — who am I kidding? — it still is! It gave me enough confidence to dust off some old manuscripts and dedicate some time to writing again. 

At the top I said that the most valuable aspect of this competition IMO is the forum. I’ve heard folks mention that the peer reviews can offer far better insight than the feedback from the judges. I agree. I respect and take to heart the insights offered by fellow writers, folks who are generous enough to take the time to read my stories and comment on them. And I believe it is a privilege to read the work of others; there are stories here that we might otherwise never have access to — it’s like our own private library. A library where we can explore the writing process, marvel at the prompt interpretations and relish the myriad of styles that exist here. Some of us may never be officially “published”, but right here in this private space, we are being read by someone. Our stories live here. That’s special.

I feel fortunate to be a part of this community. I’m still learning how to participate, I’m still timid about offering critiques, but I’m finding my way. More than anything, I’m grateful for what I’m learning here and for the impact it has had on my writing, and on me.

Testify! 



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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic20382_post260912.html#260912" rel="nofollow - SSC 2019 R1 - HM

https://forums.nycmidnight.com/round-1-heat-32-silence_topic16985.html" rel="nofollow - SSC 2018 R1 - HM


Posted By: jennifer.quail
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 1:19pm
I do contests because I need hard deadlines. If I don't have them, I never finish or I go a really really really long time on them. (I had a fifteen-year chapter break in a fan fiction. Surprised the hell out of the eight people still following it at the time when it updated.) This one my friends were doing so I did it, even though the entry fee is relatively high. Getting a broad spread of feedback is useful, though more by aggregating--throw out any "this was really good thanks for posting" one-liners, and look and see if the negative critiques in particular have common denominators. If one person just didn't like something it might be them, but if ten people were confused by the same thing, it's not them.

Normally I also like being able to read the direct competition since most contests don't do that and with anthologies or magazines all you can read is what they picked if you want to pay for it later. I subscribe to Katarina Witt's view that if they're going to beat you, you want to see it. This round apparently that's not going to happen. But that's the first time it has. 

Winning would be nice. The ultimate goal is 'get paid.' 4500-1 are not good odds, but you don't win if you don't play.


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/h40-ch1-iconoclast-actionadventure_topic21439.html" rel="nofollow - FFC R1 GR40: Iconoclast


Posted By: Smith Corona
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 6:23pm
I've wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. I remember that my reasoning at the time was that writing an entire book was so hard that you essentially "earned" publication just by finishing. (That mindset - "If I tried hard, why didn't I succeed??" mindset has been my Achilles' heel all my life!)

I wrote throughout childhood and my teenage years. After college, I got serious about novels. I wrote two during my early/mid 20s, then I did NaNoWriMo three times, knocking out three more. I also wrote and subbed short stories at the time.

While I scored some short story publication credits over those years, I also ended up feeling really ground down by a combination of how competitive the industry is; some internal self-doubt that it honestly took me another decade-plus to make progress on; and some life events that made it harder to stay positive. In my late 20s, for the first time in my life, I stopped thinking of myself as a fiction writer and stopped pursuing what had always been my passion.

It was a good 7 or 8 years before I put a toe back in the water. Having worked out a lot of personal/internal stuff, I finally let myself goof around with a couple of story ideas, typing them up on my mom's old Smith Corona typewriter and considering them for my eyes only, with no attempts to measure up to anyone else's standards. Shortly thereafter, I saw an ad for NYCM FF on Facebook and entered on a whim.

I was in very slow, dull office environment at the time and had a lot of hours to kill, so I read and reviewed dozens of entries on the forums. I ended moving forward to round 2/the third story before washing out, but I really liked how it felt to be writing again, and I got into a fledgling online writer's group that's weathered some storms and is now really strong.

In 2017 and 2018, I wrote a lot more and entered a lot more contests and stacked up a handful of publications, as well as getting back in the rhythm of handling rejection. It felt different this time because my identity is less tied up in being a fiction writer; now it's an element of who I am, rather than my "one true destiny in life," as I had made it for so many years. With less pressure - and with the benefits of having more life under my belt now at 40 - I can write with a lot less self-doubt and insecurity.

This year, I'm setting myself monthly resolutions as 2019 unfolds, to help me focus and do creative stuff in bite-sized pieces. I"m finally attempting a new novel/novella, though I"m being slow, careful, and deliberate, and I"m not going to allow myself to hang all of my hopes on it.

Lately I'm using the forums as a way to look up writers with no feedback and share some encouragement. I'm hoping to move forward to the next round but especially hoping to get a prompt that inspires me to write something I can truly love so that I can start pursuing short story publication more regularly.


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SSC Round 1 https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic20211_post259508.html" rel="nofollow - Family Union


Posted By: bleustick
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 6:41pm
I am the opposite of a child prodigy success story. Basically.

Wrote (directed, casted, starred in) my first puppet show in grade 1. Wrote (directed, casted, starred in, had angry director meltdown in middle of performance) my first play in grade 3. Finished my first complete novel in grade 6. Teacher helped me pitch it to a small press by age 12, but they didn't believe I'd written it (as in, stole an adult's work). Wrote/drew my first comic at age 15. Started a blog at the same age that garnered a small fan base and friendships with a strange assortment of other writers, cam girls (back when that meant hosting a live feed [or multiple feeds] into your living room [or whole house] 24/7, the precursor to reality TV), artists, alt models, otaku, and musicians. Spent most of the school day throughout high school in the dark room (discovered passion for photojournalism alongside writing). Spent the rest of my time at my dance studio (competed nationally in ballet from age 4-17, taught the classes for ages 3-11 when I was 15) or writing. Wrote another novel as my senior project. Started journalism school at 17.

I was going to be the next Hunter S. Thompson. I wasn't.

Spent the next 10 years of my life running an artist's co-op with my best friend, which devolved into a band of nomadic drunks and scholars, which devolved into an incredibly toxic violent hurricane of awful. I somehow managed to keep the operation financially afloat almost single-handedly, through a decade stream of sh*t jobs, a few years in the Navy as an Arabic linguist and jet mechanic, engineering school, more sh*t jobs. This whole time I continued to read feverishly and write constantly in the margins of my life.

Eventually... it blew up. Bad sh*t happened. My husband and I cut ties with our mutual best friend and her boyfriend. Last summer, while pregnant with our 3rd kid and after serving tables over 60 hours a week for years, I finally got to quit my day job to stay home with the kids... and write. I was thrilled, but in insanely new territory. Writing didn't have to be in the margins anymore. Life had been shockingly peaceful and free of chaos and terror for a couple years. Now what? Where do I start?

I don't remember where or how I saw an ad or blurb for NYCM, but I did. And on a whim with my very last server tips, I threw $40 down on FFC 2018, pregnant and thoroughly struggling to adapt but desperate to finally live like a real writer in some fashion.

It has changed everything for me. I am not making a living as a writer yet, but there is hope. And momentum. And I finally feel okay about being 34 and unpublished after years of thinking I had to be a teenaged prodigy or bust.

Sorry so long-winded. But already I really get how people end up competing here for years, with or without a win. Because nobody ever truly loses here.


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FFC 1: No Room For Flowers * 2: Flowers Grew Thru Them * 3: Just Us Flower Eaters * 4: Nothing But Flowers
SSC 1: Perfect Little Squares
SC 1: https://tinyurl.com/yxjmb7e8" rel="nofollow - The Way We Lost


Posted By: nod1v1ng
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 6:54pm
Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

. But already I really get how people end up competing here for years, with or without a win. Because nobody ever truly loses here.

I luv this so much. 


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SSC1 Between Heartbeats-2nd
SSC2 https://bit.ly/2VB96F8" rel="nofollow - Down Payment - HM


Posted By: Josh
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 10:43pm
I escaped through reading. I discovered through writing. I grew through teaching/mentoring/critiquing. 

Poetry became a fun way to garner attention from people. It also opened me up to becoming an addict for wanting to be read. Many of my poems attained publication through the school literary journals, from elementary all the way through College. I never had the courage to submit outside of my own safe circles. 

Then it hit me - being a bilingual poet - niched me. Labeled me. Made me "desirable" because I filled a void - a quota. Maybe it wasn't my writing which they wanted or liked or appreciated or enjoyed - but it was the fact I produced a voice they felt they needed. 

So I quit poetry.  

But I had also been writing fiction all that time.  I managed to have a couple of flash pieces be accepted in some of those journals as well - but it was a very rare occurrence. 

So I focused myself to improve my fiction writing. I struggled with it. Why? Because I was good at being a POC writer with Niche Writing styles/concepts/genres. But I wanted to be accepted as a Mainstream writer. 

So I did this contest (flash Fiction version) a few years ago. I bombed. 

I found a group of writers through that contest. We formed online community on Facebook. I became entrenched in learning all I could about writing while supporting my new friends in their goals. 

It has taken me several years and over a hundred written pieces (flash, essays, short shorts) to realize I am a POC writer who does well with Spec Fiction - especially in Magical Realism, fables, and myths. And that alone is worth the price tag of this competition year after year. 

I took First in round 1 of the Short story Comp last year for my heat by embracing this. 

I fell out in round 2 by not. 

But I will still challenge myself to be more than what I am naturally good at. And this is the place to do it. 


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R1 Group 10 Suspense/Oil Rig/Toy Soldier https://tinyurl.com/Worn-Leather-forum" rel="nofollow - Worn Leather


Posted By: topangarose
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 1:44am

I've written all my life. Or most of it. But I've always loved writing. That doesn't mean I was good at it, but I really loved it.
Back in 2007 I felt like my life light was snuffed out. I felt unfulfilled, and I had just lost my job and was uninspired to find another. I hadn't written anything for a number of years which was very unlike me, but I thought I'd like to do it again. 
I went looking for a writing job in the classifieds and found an ad looking for judges for this contest. I thought, well, I can read, and I've read a lot, and I know what a good story reads like, and went to check it out. What I found sounded like so much fun I entered instead.

What I also found was a learning experience like no other with a great community of writers.
Here, I was able to read  hundreds of stories that were so varied and interesting that I went all in. I read and read and read. (unemployed, remember?)

I thew my story on the forum and  held my breath telling myself I could take it. Whatever people said, I could be tough. The critiques rolled in, and all came with really good ideas from all level of writers on ways to make my writing clearer and more focused and they were all helpful. Every one.

I also got the advantage of learning how to critique to the best of my ability from reading others and just trusting myself as I read other people's offerings. I met and become friendly with other writers here. We cheered each other on. For me, it was never about trying to win the prize. It was just about the fun of writing. That's pretty much still true for me. Even though it would be nice to earn that fifty bucks back.

For the first few years I didn't even know what a beta writer was. Then I learned, and friendships formed here offered that service and so we teamed up. Friendships grew and writing groups were formed. Some of us have even managed to meet in the real world.

Without the help, support and love from the writers here and in those groups I spoke of, my writing would never have gotten any better, but now, looking back on the caliber of story that I wrote back in 2007 (which actually went to the final round and won a prize-  a lot fewer people then...) It's clear how much my writing has grown. How much I've learned. And it was all from other generous writers like you all. What has also grown are the friendships along with good advice from people I now trust to support me in my fledgling attempts to get my writing out where other people can finally read it.

This is the next best thing to a writing program that you'd pay thousands of dollars to attend. And it's done with love!




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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/grp-18-love-is-a-fourlegged-word_topic22695.html" rel="nofollow - Click here to read LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD


Posted By: redhart
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 3:59am
Back before a lot of you were even born, in a decade known as the 70’s, I was writing one page stories with illustrations, stapling the pages together and getting my mum to read them.
 I have dabbled over the years, without success or much joy tbh.
So when my husband retired, we moved out of the city to a rural area and I am now semiretired. My interest in writing has resurfaced, and with the internet everything is so much easier to access. Found NYCM on FB and thought why not, $50 for feedback sounds reasonable. My first submission in SSC last year came 5th! Well you could have knocked me over with a feather, now I wanted to win this thing!LOL Round 2 saw an end to my meteoric rise, but I was hooked. I love the prompts and the deadlines.
Just starting to write my first novel and I find the competitions here like exercise for my brain. The more I do, the stronger I get.


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/r1-group-78-mystery-the-gr8-detective-agency&KW=_topic22640_post284375.html#284375/" rel="nofollow - R1 G78 GR8 DETECTIVE AGENCY


Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 6:17am
Originally posted by redhart redhart wrote:

Back before a lot of you were even born, in a decade known as the 70’s, I was writing one page stories with illustrations, stapling the pages together and getting my mum to read them.
 I have dabbled over the years, without success or much joy tbh.
So when my husband retired, we moved out of the city to a rural area and I am now semiretired. My interest in writing has resurfaced, and with the internet everything is so much easier to access. Found NYCM on FB and thought why not, $50 for feedback sounds reasonable. My first submission in SSC last year came 5th! Well you could have knocked me over with a feather, now I wanted to win this thing!LOL Round 2 saw an end to my meteoric rise, but I was hooked. I love the prompts and the deadlines.
Just starting to write my first novel and I find the competitions here like exercise for my brain. The more I do, the stronger I get.


My first got a HM, and that was really something for me too.


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https://bit.ly/2YdVjZq" rel="nofollow - FFC Magic is the game
https://tiny.cc/0h7m5y" rel="nofollow - Sp R1 Of Flowers, Trees, and Fish


Posted By: Nikki99
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 6:29am
Oh my goodness participating in this competition means so much to me.  In what seems like a former life I was a kindergarten teacher, a job I loved but decided to give up for a few years to raise a family. The birth of my second child was complicated and I was very poorly afterwards, this also coincided with the untimely death of someone very important to me. These events just seemed to suck out my life force (I am the Delores from my R1 story!) and led to severe depression and agoraphobia. 

Last year I decided enough was enough and for the sake of my family I had to try and make changes. I thought about how I enjoyed writing when I was a teenager and how useful it could be to distract my anxious mind. It immediately had a positive impact and around this time I stumbled across the NYCM website. On a whim I entered the SSC and came fourth in my heat. The impact was huge - the sense of achievement when I hit the submit button for my stories was a buzz like no other! I had completed something I was proud of - I had connected with the world and with positivity! (The fourth placing certainly a fluke - but hey life throws plenty of curve balls, nice to catch one now and again. Wink)

A year on and still a complete novice in the challenging (though magical) realm of writing, my target this year was to enter the SSC but this time to actually post my story and connect with others on the forum. I am so proud to have done this and oh my, what supportive and inspiring people I have had the joy to connect with (most notably Sootfoot5, a guardian angel to a newbie).

Next year my goal is to try and complete my story ahead of the deadline to have time to Beta - I spend way too much time procrastinating and write to the final minutes, so have not yet submitted a story that has editing time for myself let alone making it to the eyes of another!  This would be huge for me particularly as my grammar and punctuation tend to be somewhat erratic.Embarrassed

It is also amazing how posting on the forum and receiving the support and feedback of others has led to other positive changes in my life. Most notably I joined a local writing group this week. I had known about the group for sometime but it was just too intimidating to imagine attending, getting there, talking, having to share my writing. But I did it!!! And I can honestly say without this forum I would not have attended.

I am sorry if this post is rather melodramatic but I felt compelled to share as I imagine there are others around here like myself who write as therapy and I would urge them to fully embrace this supportive forum.  This post also provides the perfect opportunity to say thank you for the welcome, support and encouragement I have received since joining this community - it truly is a very special competition!



Posted By: Tim G
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 6:40am
I entered the Short Screenplay contest as a change of pace from the novel I was slugging through. Made the final. I was hooked.

In the two and a half years since I've come to realise that I appear to be a better writer of screenplays than of prose (never made a round 2 of prose). As such, and thanks to this board, I've taken the decision to try adapting my MS into screenplay form.

It's a terrifying wonderful thing, and I've got all you guys to thank for it.

Beyond that I've made some great friends on this panel, and it's been a thrill to get to know and celebrate (and maybe exploit in beta!) the different sensibilities and proclivities of many of the 'regulars' as writers. A proper community of people who are (literally) invested in their writing and the writing of others.

Well worth the $200/yr subscription I pay in 4x entry fees :D

TG 


-------------
Final Screenplay: https://bit.ly/2Y6x1g0" rel="nofollow - The Origin Of The Origin Of Species (Open)
CH1 Flash Fiction: https://bit.ly/2GhcoI6" rel="nofollow - The Girl On The Box (Drama)


Posted By: Tim G
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 6:41am
Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

I am the opposite of a child prodigy success story. Basically.

Wrote (directed, casted, starred in) my first puppet show in grade 1. Wrote (directed, casted, starred in, had angry director meltdown in middle of performance) my first play in grade 3. Finished my first complete novel in grade 6. Teacher helped me pitch it to a small press by age 12, but they didn't believe I'd written it (as in, stole an adult's work). Wrote/drew my first comic at age 15. Started a blog at the same age that garnered a small fan base and friendships with a strange assortment of other writers, cam girls (back when that meant hosting a live feed [or multiple feeds] into your living room [or whole house] 24/7, the precursor to reality TV), artists, alt models, otaku, and musicians. Spent most of the school day throughout high school in the dark room (discovered passion for photojournalism alongside writing). Spent the rest of my time at my dance studio (competed nationally in ballet from age 4-17, taught the classes for ages 3-11 when I was 15) or writing. Wrote another novel as my senior project. Started journalism school at 17.

I was going to be the next Hunter S. Thompson. I wasn't.

Spent the next 10 years of my life running an artist's co-op with my best friend, which devolved into a band of nomadic drunks and scholars, which devolved into an incredibly toxic violent hurricane of awful. I somehow managed to keep the operation financially afloat almost single-handedly, through a decade stream of sh*t jobs, a few years in the Navy as an Arabic linguist and jet mechanic, engineering school, more sh*t jobs. This whole time I continued to read feverishly and write constantly in the margins of my life.

Eventually... it blew up. Bad sh*t happened. My husband and I cut ties with our mutual best friend and her boyfriend. Last summer, while pregnant with our 3rd kid and after serving tables over 60 hours a week for years, I finally got to quit my day job to stay home with the kids... and write. I was thrilled, but in insanely new territory. Writing didn't have to be in the margins anymore. Life had been shockingly peaceful and free of chaos and terror for a couple years. Now what? Where do I start?

I don't remember where or how I saw an ad or blurb for NYCM, but I did. And on a whim with my very last server tips, I threw $40 down on FFC 2018, pregnant and thoroughly struggling to adapt but desperate to finally live like a real writer in some fashion.

It has changed everything for me. I am not making a living as a writer yet, but there is hope. And momentum. And I finally feel okay about being 34 and unpublished after years of thinking I had to be a teenaged prodigy or bust.

Sorry so long-winded. But already I really get how people end up competing here for years, with or without a win. Because nobody ever truly loses here.

If you don't write your life story, I will.


-------------
Final Screenplay: https://bit.ly/2Y6x1g0" rel="nofollow - The Origin Of The Origin Of Species (Open)
CH1 Flash Fiction: https://bit.ly/2GhcoI6" rel="nofollow - The Girl On The Box (Drama)


Posted By: fioOxf
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 6:55am
Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

I am the opposite of a child prodigy success story. Basically.

Wrote (directed, casted, starred in) my first puppet show in grade 1. Wrote (directed, casted, starred in, had angry director meltdown in middle of performance) my first play in grade 3. Finished my first complete novel in grade 6. Teacher helped me pitch it to a small press by age 12, but they didn't believe I'd written it (as in, stole an adult's work). Wrote/drew my first comic at age 15. Started a blog at the same age that garnered a small fan base and friendships with a strange assortment of other writers, cam girls (back when that meant hosting a live feed [or multiple feeds] into your living room [or whole house] 24/7, the precursor to reality TV), artists, alt models, otaku, and musicians. Spent most of the school day throughout high school in the dark room (discovered passion for photojournalism alongside writing). Spent the rest of my time at my dance studio (competed nationally in ballet from age 4-17, taught the classes for ages 3-11 when I was 15) or writing. Wrote another novel as my senior project. Started journalism school at 17.

I was going to be the next Hunter S. Thompson. I wasn't.

Spent the next 10 years of my life running an artist's co-op with my best friend, which devolved into a band of nomadic drunks and scholars, which devolved into an incredibly toxic violent hurricane of awful. I somehow managed to keep the operation financially afloat almost single-handedly, through a decade stream of sh*t jobs, a few years in the Navy as an Arabic linguist and jet mechanic, engineering school, more sh*t jobs. This whole time I continued to read feverishly and write constantly in the margins of my life.

Eventually... it blew up. Bad sh*t happened. My husband and I cut ties with our mutual best friend and her boyfriend. Last summer, while pregnant with our 3rd kid and after serving tables over 60 hours a week for years, I finally got to quit my day job to stay home with the kids... and write. I was thrilled, but in insanely new territory. Writing didn't have to be in the margins anymore. Life had been shockingly peaceful and free of chaos and terror for a couple years. Now what? Where do I start?

I don't remember where or how I saw an ad or blurb for NYCM, but I did. And on a whim with my very last server tips, I threw $40 down on FFC 2018, pregnant and thoroughly struggling to adapt but desperate to finally live like a real writer in some fashion.

It has changed everything for me. I am not making a living as a writer yet, but there is hope. And momentum. And I finally feel okay about being 34 and unpublished after years of thinking I had to be a teenaged prodigy or bust.

Sorry so long-winded. But already I really get how people end up competing here for years, with or without a win. Because nobody ever truly loses here.

If you don't write your life story, I will.

It better bl*ody well rhyme.



-------------
FFC '19 H58 https://tinyurl.com/y2jar8wn" rel="nofollow - Edgar's Last Cake (Horror)
SW'19 R1 H5 https://bit.ly/2GBtm49" rel="nofollow - An Apple for the Boatman (Ghost)


Posted By: bleustick
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 7:54am
Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

If you don't write your life story, I will.
Will it be a poem? 'Cause sold, yo.

Seriously though, not a memoir writer. All fiction over here. But plenty of interesting experiences to draw from, so can't complain ^_~.


-------------
FFC 1: No Room For Flowers * 2: Flowers Grew Thru Them * 3: Just Us Flower Eaters * 4: Nothing But Flowers
SSC 1: Perfect Little Squares
SC 1: https://tinyurl.com/yxjmb7e8" rel="nofollow - The Way We Lost


Posted By: beckyrcollins
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 8:14am
Love this.

I've always been drawn to writing -- but I've also been drawn to hundreds of things. Acting. Presenting. Drawing. Stage management. So many things. 

I'm still trying to find my style, genre -- hell, even format. I'm constantly split between whether I'm a screenwriter, novel writer, copywriter, etc. Currently I'm compiling a Novella-in-Flash. Why? Who knows. 

But this comp is an incredible chance to try different things, see other posters' own masterful attempts, receive awesome feedback and generally absorb as much as I can in the hope of finding my 'one' style. The odds ain't great but I'm having fun and (hopefully) improving skills. From HMing in 1st comp to getting to the final round in 2nd, so far so good.

Obvs I'm not in the Short Story comp, but that was just a timing thing. I'm still here!!! 

xxx


-------------
FFC CH1 https://tinyurl.com/yxcn5rnv" rel="nofollow - Special Treatment (Ghost)


Posted By: Tim G
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 8:29am
Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

If you don't write your life story, I will.
Will it be a poem? 'Cause sold, yo.

Seriously though, not a memoir writer. All fiction over here. But plenty of interesting experiences to draw from, so can't complain ^_~.

Not enough rhymes with Bleustick :)


-------------
Final Screenplay: https://bit.ly/2Y6x1g0" rel="nofollow - The Origin Of The Origin Of Species (Open)
CH1 Flash Fiction: https://bit.ly/2GhcoI6" rel="nofollow - The Girl On The Box (Drama)


Posted By: Lookit There
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 9:41am
Being active in the FF competitions has made me a better writer, not a doubt in my mind. I still tend to "over write" and have to slash great gobs of words, but it's also taught me to write leaner prose (just a little, still want to add five words where one will do). I've been slowly going through my gathering-dust novel and finding it's possible to take out a LOT of excess words.
I've gained confidence in my writing agenda, which is to represent gay men in fiction - no matter the genre. This is not uncommon now, but I enjoy writing stories that *feature* gay men but aren't only *about* being gay. I write the stories I never had while growing up. The first "gay book" I was ever aware of was Laura Z. Hobson's (very tame) "Consenting Adult," which was released when I was 14, and which I purchased from The Literary Guild (remember them?!), and read in the closet. No, literally: I hid it in my closet, and would sneak in and read it a few pages at a time.
Most importantly, I feel like I've made a lot of friends here, several of whom I communicate with even outside these forums. That's the real blessing.


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/ch-1-group-105-graduation_topic22040.html" rel="nofollow - Graduation


Posted By: stephenmatlock
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 10:11am
Originally posted by chrissie0707 chrissie0707 wrote:

Last time I piped up in a thread like this, I was dismantled for my writing past. But I have a feeling that won't happen this time around.

I was an artist first, before my creativity switched on me in college, or, while taking a break for a semester sophomore year. This is when I accidentally discovered fanfiction was a thing, and it seemed like the perfect way to try my hand at the writing thing. I've been an active fanfiction writer with a decent following for about 13 years now. No ships, no alternate universes, no squicky indulgences - just stories that are as canon and true to the characters and storylines provided as I can while learning who I am as a writer. Since I was 21, I've written nine novel-length fics, and roughly 150 shorter pieces. Of course, those are posted to more of the "loved it!" feedback that is a great ego-stroke, but never really helped to improve. It was just practice.

I saw an ad for SSC last winter, and entered on a whim. Sort of a "well, if I'm serious about being a writer, I better start seeing what I can do with some original work." See if I can DO THIS. And I did pretty well, first place in round one, third in round two, and made it to the finals. So then I was addicted, and hopped into the FFC the first day I could sign up. Finished fourth, then first, and finally ousted with a HM in the third round this year. Now I'm feeling pretty good about my writing, AND I have SEVEN original short stories that I didn't have a year ago, all with PAGES of good feedback from this forum. Just struggling to collect the nerve to work toward trying to get some things published.

This has been a wonderful community and experience, and I feel like I've already grown so much as a writer over the past 14ish months. The confidence gained through these comps and the FEEDBACK from this forum also helped me pound out a ROUGH first draft for the first book of my planned three-book fantasy series during NaNoWriMo in November.

EDIT: I came back today to add - for every round of comp here, I have written for ME. I've read some debate in the forum, about whether you should write for you, or write to impress the judges. I vote write for you. It's served me well so far. And I can stand behind everything I've written.



Great response! I always write for myself. I hope I write responsively to the prompts, but sometimes the story goes where it's gonna go.


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2019 FFCR1 G11 http://bit.ly/2SlMxmW" rel="nofollow - All the Years Like Yesterdays Departed


Posted By: stephenmatlock
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 10:14am
Originally posted by Lucie-Bee Lucie-Bee wrote:

Thanks for this, Stephen. This is what I value most: the sense of community, collaboration and support that this forum offers. It’s quite overwhelming.

I have been writing for most of my life... for myself. My childhood dream was to write like Enid Blyton when I grew up! Life presented many forks in the road, as it does for everyone, and after many zigs and zags, I found myself many (many) decades later wondering if it was too late. 

My best friend (aka my husband) asked me a simple, timeless question just after midnight on NYE last year, “If not now, when?” His question was prompted by my comment about entering this writing contest. So, inspired by his words, I bit the bullet last year and entered the SSC. Somehow I managed to get an HM in round 1, which absolutely blew my mind. That acknowledgment/recognition buoyed me up for months, no — who am I kidding? — it still is! It gave me enough confidence to dust off some old manuscripts and dedicate some time to writing again. 

At the top I said that the most valuable aspect of this competition IMO is the forum. I’ve heard folks mention that the peer reviews can offer far better insight than the feedback from the judges. I agree. I respect and take to heart the insights offered by fellow writers, folks who are generous enough to take the time to read my stories and comment on them. And I believe it is a privilege to read the work of others; there are stories here that we might otherwise never have access to — it’s like our own private library. A library where we can explore the writing process, marvel at the prompt interpretations and relish the myriad of styles that exist here. Some of us may never be officially “published”, but right here in this private space, we are being read by someone. Our stories live here. That’s special.

I feel fortunate to be a part of this community. I’m still learning how to participate, I’m still timid about offering critiques, but I’m finding my way. More than anything, I’m grateful for what I’m learning here and for the impact it has had on my writing, and on me.

Testify! 



It's kinda addicting, isn't it?

I'm glad you're here and that we're writing.


-------------
2019 FFCR1 G11 http://bit.ly/2SlMxmW" rel="nofollow - All the Years Like Yesterdays Departed


Posted By: Eggcorn
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 10:17am
I love reading how this contest has effected everyone.
NYC will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart.

I've been writing all my life. As someone earlier said, that doens't mean I was good, it was just what I did. I loved reading and I loved hearing stories and telling stories and escaping through stories. Writing is just what I do. I was the girl at the big family parties hiding in the corner with a book or a notebook or both.

I did the young author contests at school and remember being so upset that the winning book was a plagiarism of a Bernstein Bears book I had read earlier that year. (It was a local school contest, so I guess, I don't know the judges didn't know that...??) But anyway, despite this most obvious of hobbies, it took me a long time to truly own writing or being a writer as something that was me or something that I could do even semi professionally.

But ultimately I ended up minoring in Creative Writing with a hopes to go into Advertising. My first advertising professor was so NEGATIVE about everything though, I switched to TV & Radio, and then eventually to English and then when I learned about MFAs and how they were just like, 3 years of writing. I was like yes that's for me!

However as soon as my MFA was over, I didn't really know what to do with myself. I had started adjunct teaching and I LOVED it, but it was also a huge time suck and I didn't write. I just didn't.

Except for NYC. I can't even remember how I found it.
But doing NYC over the years and always ensured I got something written each year, and it gave me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful writers and people. Just, really wonderful people.

I can absolutely say I would not be as confident in my writing or writing goals (and believe I still suffer imposter syndrome and doubts etc) nor would I have the publications that I do (they're not fancy but still) if I did not enter this contest and meet the people I did.

For all my schooling, which I guess really mostly taught me professionalism and allowed me to get a teaching job -- working regularly with other writers, reading and editing their work and getting feedback on mine, hearing about different things they have read or tried... that's what keeps me going as a writer. That's what makes me grow, become better, set higher goals, try new things, and finally accept and love this side of myself.

And I would not have found that without the NYC forum.

I'm not on the forum as much these past few years, but that is largely because I've made so many friends from the forums that I end up turning to them first for writing advice and needs etc in pms and other messaging services, so I don't get back to the actual forum as much as I should.

I'm going to try to make a point to change that. I owe so much to this place.



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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/r2-h25-drifting-fouettes-action-adventure_topic20832.html" rel="nofollow - "Drifting Fouettes" R2 H25 (Action/Adventure, Ballerina, Obligation)


Posted By: Alex Grey
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 11:42am
Apologies and thank you! :-D

The Gushings of a sleep-deprived newbie

I didn’t want to enter,

I thought it was a scam.

I thought they’d steal my entry fee

And then go on the lam

 

I did a bit of research

I couldn’t let it go

I found it was the real thing

It was time to join the show!

 

My genre was a mystery

In every possible sense

The plot got complicated

The word count rather dense

 

But there’s nothing like a deadline

To sharpen up the mind

My pen wrote out the story

But I had to be unkind

 

Many words were murdered

And lay discarded on the floor

I’m sorry cast-off plot lines

There was no room for more

 

I’ve submitted my short story

It’s in the judges’ hands

But then I found the forum

And now I understand

 

The value of this contest

Is not the winning prize

It’s the wisdom and the banter

Of sharing with you guys

 

I’m so glad that I entered

My life will never be the same

I've unearthed a novel's bones

I feel I’ve already won the game!


Thank you everyone - it's been a blast (so far.....)



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FF2019 R1 https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22509_post283659.html#283659" rel="nofollow - Broken Wing


Posted By: topangarose
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 11:50am
Originally posted by Alex Grey Alex Grey wrote:

Apologies and thank you! :-D

The Gushings of a sleep-deprived newbie

I didn’t want to enter,

I thought it was a scam.

I thought they’d steal my entry fee

And then go on the lam

 

I did a bit of research

I couldn’t let it go

I found it was the real thing

It was time to join the show!.............


Thank you everyone - it's been a blast (so far.....)



Huzzah Alex Grey!



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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/grp-18-love-is-a-fourlegged-word_topic22695.html" rel="nofollow - Click here to read LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD


Posted By: bleustick
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 11:52am
Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

If you don't write your life story, I will.
Will it be a poem? 'Cause sold, yo.

Seriously though, not a memoir writer. All fiction over here. But plenty of interesting experiences to draw from, so can't complain ^_~.

Not enough rhymes with Bleustick :)

Haha, if you think that's hard, try rhyming with my real name LOL (Genevieve).


-------------
FFC 1: No Room For Flowers * 2: Flowers Grew Thru Them * 3: Just Us Flower Eaters * 4: Nothing But Flowers
SSC 1: Perfect Little Squares
SC 1: https://tinyurl.com/yxjmb7e8" rel="nofollow - The Way We Lost


Posted By: LaissezFaire
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 12:21pm
I was a wreck when I first entered.  What the hell was I doing?  Then I read the stories and I felt I was way out of my league, what the he'll am I doing?    I had a...disappointing... experience with one beta exchange on top of that.   A thread advised to "get in there".  If you want review get reviews.   I read first. Gave my rahrahs.  Then analyzed the critiques I admired.   I had done some beta for people in a small writing group.  Got "red penned" myself (and rightly so) but always with encouragement.  I learned to handle the "no not my baby you fiend!" Feelings :D.   I was verbose; it was true. I learned to self edit better.   I began to offer impressions critiques, then added "hey, I saw this error", then as my writing got better I added my skill strengths (dialogue and my newly honed extraneous word crusher skillz).   All of that helped me to take risks in my writing, especially reading outside my favorite genres to write.   I gained confidence with the camaraderie in the "forum workshop".  Giving feedback is no longer terrifying.  I have been lowdown and high up.  I have felt an imposter.  I have taken kind words and wrapped myself in them. Last year I stoppedwritinga andm missed a lot of Opportunities

Reading makes you a better writer and, so too, the more you beta the better you write.  Helping others helps yourself. 



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https://tinyurl.com/ycshsk6z" rel="nofollow - R1G150 Crossways
https://tinyurl.com/y72rn3ob" rel="nofollow - Fix Your Sig


Posted By: beadbalm
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 12:22pm
These stories (and poem) are amazing! Thank you all for opening yourselves up and sharing your writer's heart. Knowing more about you just adds to the wonderful work I have seen you all write!

I wrote for me mostly until kids - stashing poems in a file folder, journals with stories and snippets. A professor entered one of my stories in a contest without my knowledge in college. When I got 3rd, he also didn't tell me that until I showed up late to my very last class, mad I hadn't been there for the surprise presentation. Ugh.

I have two children on the spectrum and work full time, so for many years there was nothing but trying to find a quiet time to sleep. (And beading to keep my hands busy while people were talking to me - now I can't find who else it was that did that! Sorry for not connecting with you!).

So during the last FF challenge, on a whim, I wrote my first story since that one in college.
It was so liberating! I am doing something that does not have to do with counselor's appointments, social groups, med refills, action plans, teacher meetings, or other day to day life stuff that is fulfilling and useful (and beautiful), but not personal.

So thank you to this group that gives us the chance to be more of who we are. Authentically. Thank you all for the support and candid moments too. This really is a very special place!


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22406_post284205.html#284205" rel="nofollow - Ch1 Gr6 "The Fertility of Ash"


Posted By: Tim G
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 12:34pm
Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

If you don't write your life story, I will.
Will it be a poem? 'Cause sold, yo.

Seriously though, not a memoir writer. All fiction over here. But plenty of interesting experiences to draw from, so can't complain ^_~.

Not enough rhymes with Bleustick :)

Haha, if you think that's hard, try rhyming with my real name LOL (Genevieve).

There once was a woman called Genny
Whose life was more hectic than many,
But when it was time 
To recant it in rhyme,
It soon became clear that wouldn't work.


-------------
Final Screenplay: https://bit.ly/2Y6x1g0" rel="nofollow - The Origin Of The Origin Of Species (Open)
CH1 Flash Fiction: https://bit.ly/2GhcoI6" rel="nofollow - The Girl On The Box (Drama)


Posted By: beckyrcollins
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 1:00pm
Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

If you don't write your life story, I will.
Will it be a poem? 'Cause sold, yo.

Seriously though, not a memoir writer. All fiction over here. But plenty of interesting experiences to draw from, so can't complain ^_~.

Not enough rhymes with Bleustick :)

Haha, if you think that's hard, try rhyming with my real name LOL (Genevieve).

There once was a woman called Genny
Whose life was more hectic than many,
But when it was time 
To recant it in rhyme,
It soon became clear that wouldn't work.

SOMEONE GIVE THE GUY A BOOK DEAL


-------------
FFC CH1 https://tinyurl.com/yxcn5rnv" rel="nofollow - Special Treatment (Ghost)


Posted By: SakuraHime
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 4:24pm
I'll start by saying I love this thread SO much! Thanks for putting this out there!
 
I entered this competition the first time in 2017. I had been writing casually for about 20 years, had been the president of my high school's creative writing club, vice-president and most published student for our literary magazine, and a journalist and editor for a local craft beer magazine. Beyond that, I'd never really shared my work and I struggled with "imposter's syndrome" on a regular basis.
 
When I entered, and advanced to the second round, I was shocked, but infused with the confidence I needed to start thinking about really doing something with my writing. It sparked my creativity and reminded me of the passion I held for storytelling.
 
More than that, the forums themselves were a catalyst to trusting other people with my words. The writers here welcomed me as if I belonged. I was given the opportunity to join a couple of groups, one of which is a constant source of inspiration and camaraderie. The support I've gotten is the only reason I'm starting my novel and seeking other publications. The writers I've been lucky enough to interact with have given me so much, from feedback to help me improve my craft to support and compassion that keeps me moving forward.
 
My life is truly better because of this competition and these forums. I get to read works by some of the most talented, determined, and passionate men and women I've ever known. Reading other pieces gives light to my own ideas and reminds me of what a beautifully written work looks like, sounds like, feels like. Sharing my work allows me to grow as a writer and overcome the fear that I don't deserve to write. This forum gives me courage, and for that I am forever grateful.


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2019 FFC R1 https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22860_post288464.html#288464" rel="nofollow - Who Needs a Wall? (Gr: 35 – PoliSat/A Garbage Dump/A Grill)


Posted By: Lord Xoon
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 5:14pm
I just haven't had much motivation to write lately. For the past year or so, if it wasn't for these competitions, I wouldn't be writing anything. So, I don't know about measuring success, but it's literally the only new writing I've been doing until I can snap out of this funk, so that's a plus.

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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22669_post284762.html#284762" rel="nofollow - R1 The Last Merry-go-round


Posted By: bleustick
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 5:27pm
Originally posted by beckyrcollins beckyrcollins wrote:

Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

Originally posted by bleustick bleustick wrote:

Haha, if you think that's hard, try rhyming with my real name LOL (Genevieve).

There once was a woman called Genny
Whose life was more hectic than many,
But when it was time 
To recant it in rhyme,
It soon became clear that wouldn't work.

SOMEONE GIVE THE GUY A BOOK DEAL

Right? You are a marvel, Tim Clap.


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FFC 1: No Room For Flowers * 2: Flowers Grew Thru Them * 3: Just Us Flower Eaters * 4: Nothing But Flowers
SSC 1: Perfect Little Squares
SC 1: https://tinyurl.com/yxjmb7e8" rel="nofollow - The Way We Lost


Posted By: LoboGal26
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 7:59pm
Originally posted by Lord Xoon Lord Xoon wrote:

I just haven't had much motivation to write lately. For the past year or so, if it wasn't for these competitions, I wouldn't be writing anything. So, I don't know about measuring success, but it's literally the only new writing I've been doing until I can snap out of this funk, so that's a plus.

I feel your pain.
As I shared in a pre-submission thread, I was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring and all motivation to write withered away. If I tried to write, I stared at the blinking cursor until a new question about my treatment needed my attention and I dived down a research wormhole. In an attempt to kickstart my words, I signed up for the November novel writing event and wrote a sentence...in a month.
For me, just completing a short story and submitting it was an important step toward rediscovering my writing mojo.


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(2019) R1 H44: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/rd1-heat44-pass-in-review-drama_topic20161.html" rel="nofollow - Pass In Review


Posted By: topangarose
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2019 at 6:00pm
Originally posted by LoboGal26 LoboGal26 wrote:

Originally posted by Lord Xoon Lord Xoon wrote:

I just haven't had much motivation to write lately. For the past year or so, if it wasn't for these competitions, I wouldn't be writing anything. So, I don't know about measuring success, but it's literally the only new writing I've been doing until I can snap out of this funk, so that's a plus.

I feel your pain.
As I shared in a pre-submission thread, I was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring and all motivation to write withered away. If I tried to write, I stared at the blinking cursor until a new question about my treatment needed my attention and I dived down a research wormhole. In an attempt to kickstart my words, I signed up for the November novel writing event and wrote a sentence...in a month.
For me, just completing a short story and submitting it was an important step toward rediscovering my writing mojo.


That's a big accomplishment. From one who understands that worm hole, I applaud you. And wish you happy and safe healing that improves more everyday.


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/grp-18-love-is-a-fourlegged-word_topic22695.html" rel="nofollow - Click here to read LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD


Posted By: SEHBicycle
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2019 at 8:30pm
I discovered NYCM SSC by their effective facebook ad--three prompts, write a story, GO. My eyes lit up. This was a game I'd played as a kid writer with my older cousin who taught elementary school, and LOVED it--3 words, 5 words, whatever the other one picked. I'd played it after college with a friend of mine who also taught, Pam, and I still loved it.

But I let my creative writing fall to the wayside because I had bills to pay, and I had way too much fun in my garden, and riding my bike. I let slide the novel I'd started--I didn't have enough time, and I'd gotten stuck. Turns out, I didn't yet know my writing process for novels. My novel, started all because of the word "Mausoleum" Pam gave me, stalled in its folder.

So that first NYCM SSC story year, I was DEEP in the second draft of my first full-fledged novel. The prompts gave me a break, and a breath of fresh air with action-adventure, an invention, and a flight attendant. It took me 6.5 days to figure out my character, leaving 1.5 days to draft the story. I knew nothing of beta reads. The theme of my crits? "It feels like you've crammed a novel into a short story." Er, yes, I had! That was my first short story in something like 20 years.

I critiqued writers whose critiques I respected, and one coached me, hey, embed your post into your footer so folks can find you. Then I got return crits from the folks I'd been doing. I caught the eye of a few NYCM regulars who invited me into a web group they were forming.

This contest brought me a writing HOME. These writers, as a web group, we nurture each other's creativity. I've traveled to conferences, retreats, and met several in person. They're even more wonderful! The way multiple minds can help you dive into what your piece wants to say, that's a priceless gift.

That first story for NYCM SSC? It DID become the character's dilemma for my second novel. And that story game I played after graduation? Two years ago, I drew historical fiction with 3 days. I knew what I'd do. I'd go back to the novel, with the runner cooling down in the mausoleum and meeting a Civil War ghost. I'd use this short story to figure out why someone who died in the Civil War would be kicking around 150 years later. The story didn't advance me, but it DID give me the huge mistake that character made. When I drew historical fic for 8 days this year, I used the short story to figure out what happened to the girl he left behind.

That's my longwinded way of saying, without this competition, I'd never have met writers who push me to grow, who celebrate the ups and downs with me; I'd never have remembered how much those word games forced me out of my comfort zone and FREED me to explore. My novel 3 main character came from another year's SSC, when beta comments said they loved her attitude, they loved my romance about a thief who couldn't help but give back the "last will and testament" she had stolen. Who knew I could write romance? Never, in a million years, would I have tried that on my own. THAT is what this contest has given me--writer friends, novel concepts, and a portfolio of stories.

I hope you'll find those writers who can be your support network as you grow.

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Shari
https://tinyurl.com/y3pgqryn" rel="nofollow - Blown-Gasket Blues, FFC ch1 Gr13
https://tinyurl.com/y5pbtq63" rel="nofollow - Digging My Own Grave, 18th SSC R3


Posted By: nod1v1ng
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2019 at 8:41pm
Originally posted by LaissezFaire LaissezFaire wrote:

Reading makes you a better writer and, so too, the more you beta the better you write. 

I think this is so true. Furthermore, I think it can make you a better person. True confession: Your writing here, and in other venues, has challenged my worldview and often reminds me to check my privilege. The real privilege is to read and recognize truths outside our own realities. 


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SSC1 Between Heartbeats-2nd
SSC2 https://bit.ly/2VB96F8" rel="nofollow - Down Payment - HM


Posted By: topangarose
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2019 at 9:55pm
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by LaissezFaire LaissezFaire wrote:

Reading makes you a better writer and, so too, the more you beta the better you write. 

I think this is so true. Furthermore, I think it can make you a better person. True confession: Your writing here, and in other venues, has challenged my worldview and often reminds me to check my privilege. The real privilege is to read and recognize truths outside our own realities. 


Good point! I hadn't thought of it that way, but that's true for me too.


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/grp-18-love-is-a-fourlegged-word_topic22695.html" rel="nofollow - Click here to read LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD


Posted By: northernwriter
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2019 at 4:26am
I love this group and this post so much!

As soon as I started reading in kindergarten, I decided I wanted to become an author. I read fervently and loved getting writing assignments in school. While I always kept a journal, I didn't write fiction on my own. I think I was always afraid of falling short of those great writers I had loved as a child. I kept reading my way through college and I became an English teacher, and then later a math teacher. 

After I turned 40, I realized I had a great job, husband, and kids. But I always felt like writing was "the one who got away." I realized I had nothing to lose - if I failed at writing, it would be okay, because I have a good life anyway. But what if I succeeded? I saw a Facebook post for NYCM this past summer and signed up for the flash fiction contest. I wrote the first short story I had written since a high school or college assignment.

I joined the forum but was afraid to post my first entry in it. I got zero points and anxiously awaited the feedback from the judges. In the back of my mind, I had this awful feeling that the judges would make this big proclamation, like "You have failed at writing. Try golf instead as a hobby." But the feedback from the judges was fantastic; it listed strengths I didn't know I had and very specific things to work on. I felt like I could do this again. For my FFC round 2 story, I got assigned romance and used my experience as a middle school teacher to write an LGBT YA story. I was still terrified to post my story online, but was lucky enough to join a great writer's group that I found here and became brave enough to get some beta readers. When the scores came out, I couldn't look for about an hour; I was really hoping I had improved enough to get a point this time instead of another zero. When I finally checked, I saw that I had gotten 15 points. (I'm a little nervous posting this. I don't want anyone to think that their story is not amazing if they haven't gotten a high score, because we all know the judging can be subjective!) I had never believed in myself as a writer and I desperately needed this external validation - someone else in the world thought I could write! It was enough to motivate me to continue with NYCM and to sign up for online writing classes (I live on an island off the coast of Alaska, close to where my story for this round is set, so there are no in-person classes I can take). I did the short screenplay challenge this winter, and this is my first short story challenge.

I would love to score well and advance, as would we all, but in the end my goal is to keep improving and find my voice and genres that call out to me. I really believe writing is a craft, and that means we can all improve. I want to spend this first year (of what will hopefully be a lifetime of writing) just exploring and playing with words. NYCM is perfect for that, as I've been assigned genres I never would have tried otherwise. And the writer's group I have found through the forum is the best I could have imagined.

Thanks for reading and best of luck in this competition to all of you! 


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Screenplay R2 HM https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic21277_post277587.html#277587" rel="nofollow - Murderous Intent

FF R1 https://tinyurl.com/yxpvupes" rel="nofollow - Last But Not Leashed


Posted By: ttlbrake
Date Posted: 14 Feb 2019 at 8:58pm
I just binged this entire thread and thoroughly enjoyed it! What a treat to read about where everybody is coming from and to know that there are so many people who love writing as much as I do. 

I've always had a knack for writing whatever I was told to write (eg. essays, speeches, etc.), but my heart has always belonged to poetry. I'm a deeply sensitive person and love nothing more than being cut to the quick with beautiful phrases. Poetry has been a type of therapy for me through years of depression, although there have been long periods of time in which I couldn't get a single word on the page. I have been on the move for most of my adult life, even spending two years in China (I'm Canadian), and luckily have a career (registered nurse) that allows me the mobility I love. 

As I've gotten older, I've kind of come in to my own as a person who can now see her own value, which has made me long to write again. A few years ago, coincidentally, I was in Costa Rica while an online writing workshop was taking place, so I participated. And loved it. And created some pieces that make me very proud. 

I can't say that I write as much as I wish I did, but I have made it a more regular occurrence. In addition to poetry, I've finished a children's story book that I hope to submit for publishing as soon as I come up with some illustrations. When I saw the NYCM ad on Facebook the day before the deadline. I thought, "why not?" and entered on a whim. 

I've loved reading everybody's stories and am sorry that my reviews aren't great. I've never reviewed before, which I think might be obvious. It's also been wonderful to get so many reviews in return; they've really shed light on my blind spots. I didn't know about the beta readers before submitting my story, so if I make it through to the next round, I'm going to try to budget time in to get some feedback before submitting. 

Thanks, everybody! I've been enjoying the forum, if relatively quietly. :-)


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Round 1, Heat 60 https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic20149_post259610.html#259610" rel="nofollow - "Suspended State"


Posted By: trish1206
Date Posted: 15 Feb 2019 at 11:19am
I've always had such a hard time with online profiles.  They want you to label your 'occupation'.  And I am one of those people who have so many.

I make money by being an audiobook narrator for Audible/Amazon.  I am a portrait photographer with a studio.  I aspire to being an author some day.

Who knows what I'll want to do in the future!  Stop trying to nail me down!

Anyway, this is my 16th NYC Midnight competition.  I have made it into the finals a handful of times, and actually came in THIRD for the Flash Fiction 2013 competition.  Out of thousands.   I was so thrilled and have been chasing that high ever since.






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3rd Place Finalist FF2013


Posted By: SEHBicycle
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2019 at 9:39pm
Originally posted by northernwriter northernwriter wrote:

For my FFC round 2 story, I got assigned romance and used my experience as a middle school teacher to write an LGBT YA story. I was still terrified to post my story online, but was lucky enough to join a great writer's group that I found here and became brave enough to get some beta readers. When the scores came out, I couldn't look for about an hour; I was really hoping I had improved enough to get a point this time instead of another zero. When I finally checked, I saw that I had gotten 15 points.

Woo-hoo! I love hearing stories like this--though scoring low on the first, getting solid feedback, and then nailing the next story!

Originally posted by northernwriter northernwriter wrote:

It was enough to motivate me to continue with NYCM and to sign up for online writing classes (I live on an island off the coast of Alaska, close to where my story for this round is set, so there are no in-person classes I can take).


Wishing you happy writing, and always learning!

Originally posted by northernwriter northernwriter wrote:

I want to spend this first year (of what will hopefully be a lifetime of writing) just exploring and playing with words. NYCM is perfect for that, as I've been assigned genres I never would have tried otherwise. And the writer's group I have found through the forum is the best I could have imagined.


You've got all the tools, and the support, to enjoy this writing journey. Congratulations on diving into this. Here's to you doing well in this competition, too!


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Shari
https://tinyurl.com/y3pgqryn" rel="nofollow - Blown-Gasket Blues, FFC ch1 Gr13
https://tinyurl.com/y5pbtq63" rel="nofollow - Digging My Own Grave, 18th SSC R3


Posted By: td333777
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2019 at 10:45pm
Back when I was 25 (which is oooooh so long ago) I was daydreaming while washing dishes at a Domino's Pizza shop, and I came up with an idea for a story...so strong that for the first time in my life, I sat down at the computer and actually WROTE the damn thing.  Showed it to my family and friends, got the usual compliments, and then forgot about it.  Ten years later, a woman I was dating was a big reader so I remembered the story, pulled it out of a drawer, and showed it to her.  Her response was more measured: "Not bad." 

A couple of years after that, she emailed me out of the blue (we'd long since broken up) and said "Hey, I saw an ad for a 24-hour short story contest.  You're pretty good, you should try this."  Figuring why not, I ponied up my $5.00 entry and gave it a shot along with 500 other people.  Much to my surprise, I won!  After that, I thought "Well, sh*t.  Maybe this is something I should nurture."

I spent a few years entering contests, writing shorts, waiting for the first BIG idea to hit me--something that could be an actual novel--and when it finally did, I kinda dived in head-first.  Finished the book in about a year, got an agent on my fourth query, got a book deal from Simon & Schuster.  Woo hoo!  Finish line!!  I'm a big time writer!!!

And the book bombed.

S&S didn't promote it, mostly because I don't think they really knew how, and I was crushed.  Sat around for a bit, listening to the internal voices that I think haunt all writers regardless of talent or ability level:  "You see, you sucked all along.  Failure was always strong in you, young Jedi--you just managed to dodge it for awhile, somehow."

I tried to write another book, but my creativity just seemed to be at an all-time low.  I'd lost my confidence, and it showed in every word I typed.  So I quit.  For about three months.

Then I saw a FB post about a writing contest with an unusual format: the NYCM Short Story Contest.  I figured, "Well, sh*t.  Short story contests were how I got my start--why not try another and see how you do?"  My first round story finished first, which really got my confidence and creative juices flowing again.  My second round story finished 5th (top four moved on to finals), and the feeling I had then really proved to me I was "back" as a writer because I didn't cry about it, I didn't have voices nagging me in the dark.  Instead, I GOT PISSED OFF.  I stomped around the house for a week sounding like a poorly written supervillain: "How dare they not recognize my genius.  They will PAY for their insolence!!" 

Sooo...I entered the Flash Fiction Contest that summer to prove to myself that I could do better.  I got insanely lucky with my genre selections, really wrote to my strengths, and took first place.  And thought, "Well, sh*t.  I just won more money than I got paid for my first novel.  SUCK ON THAT, SIMON & SCHUSTER."

Which meant that I had to enter the Short Story Contest too, but not because of the money or the winning, but because along the way, I'd discovered that I really just LOVED the contest.  The pressure, the excitement of the night they release the prompts, the crazy tight deadlines that force you to be creative but on a clock, the fact that you get to see how other people attack the same prompts, and because the forums are simply wonderful!  The camaraderie, the support, the genuine and heartfelt desire to make each others' writing BETTER.  It's like being in an MFA program, except it costs $50 per semester instead of $15,000.

Anyway, I ended up taking 2nd overall in the Short Story contest and really felt like NYCM was bringing out of me some of the best fiction I've written in my entire life.  If it hadn't been for this site and these contests, I seriously believe I might have given up altogether.

So, yeah, that's an exceptionally long-winded version of what this contest means to me.

The shorter version: everything.

TD


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https://bit.ly/2LY3CCh" rel="nofollow - FFC 2019 - Ch 1, Gr 94 Upgrade
SSC 2018 - 2nd place
FFC 2017 - 1st place


Posted By: SEHBicycle
Date Posted: 21 Mar 2019 at 6:59pm
Originally posted by td333777 td333777 wrote:

So, yeah, that's an exceptionally long-winded version of what this contest means to me.


WOW, now THAT is a tale! Well done on the accomplishments. It's amazing how this family of contests has kicked so many of us into a higher gear. You've certainly capitalized. Good luck on that NEXT novel, whenever you tackle it! And all the short stories in-between.

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Shari
https://tinyurl.com/y3pgqryn" rel="nofollow - Blown-Gasket Blues, FFC ch1 Gr13
https://tinyurl.com/y5pbtq63" rel="nofollow - Digging My Own Grave, 18th SSC R3


Posted By: northernwriter
Date Posted: 21 Mar 2019 at 10:59pm
Originally posted by td333777 td333777 wrote:


Then I saw a FB post about a writing contest with an unusual format: the NYCM Short Story Contest.  I figured, "Well, sh*t.  Short story contests were how I got my start--why not try another and see how you do?"  My first round story finished first, which really got my confidence and creative juices flowing again.  My second round story finished 5th (top four moved on to finals), and the feeling I had then really proved to me I was "back" as a writer because I didn't cry about it, I didn't have voices nagging me in the dark.  Instead, I GOT PISSED OFF.  I stomped around the house for a week sounding like a poorly written supervillain: "How dare they not recognize my genius.  They will PAY for their insolence!!" 

Sooo...I entered the Flash Fiction Contest that summer to prove to myself that I could do better.  I got insanely lucky with my genre selections, really wrote to my strengths, and took first place.  And thought, "Well, sh*t.  I just won more money than I got paid for my first novel.  SUCK ON THAT, SIMON & SCHUSTER."

Which meant that I had to enter the Short Story Contest too, but not because of the money or the winning, but because along the way, I'd discovered that I really just LOVED the contest.  The pressure, the excitement of the night they release the prompts, the crazy tight deadlines that force you to be creative but on a clock, the fact that you get to see how other people attack the same prompts, and because the forums are simply wonderful!  The camaraderie, the support, the genuine and heartfelt desire to make each others' writing BETTER.  It's like being in an MFA program, except it costs $50 per semester instead of $15,000.

TD

I'm a huge fan of yours. I absolutely love the work you have posted in the forums. So I really appreciate that you are willing to be so humble and open about your struggles as well as your successes. (And I really appreciate how much everyone else has shared also - it shows the level of professionalism, trust, and camaraderie in this community.) I agree 1000% that it's a $50 version of an MFA - great description! Best of luck in this competition. :)


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Screenplay R2 HM https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic21277_post277587.html#277587" rel="nofollow - Murderous Intent

FF R1 https://tinyurl.com/yxpvupes" rel="nofollow - Last But Not Leashed


Posted By: sgspeed
Date Posted: 22 Mar 2019 at 3:29pm
Originally posted by LaissezFaire LaissezFaire wrote:

I was a wreck when I first entered.  What the hell was I doing?  Then I read the stories and I felt I was way out of my league, what the he'll am I doing?    I had a...disappointing... experience with one beta exchange on top of that.   A thread advised to "get in there".  If you want review get reviews.   I read first. Gave my rahrahs.  Then analyzed the critiques I admired.   I had done some beta for people in a small writing group.  Got "red penned" myself (and rightly so) but always with encouragement.  I learned to handle the "no not my baby you fiend!" Feelings :D.   I was verbose; it was true. I learned to self edit better.   I began to offer impressions critiques, then added "hey, I saw this error", then as my writing got better I added my skill strengths (dialogue and my newly honed extraneous word crusher skillz).   All of that helped me to take risks in my writing, especially reading outside my favorite genres to write.   I gained confidence with the camaraderie in the "forum workshop".  Giving feedback is no longer terrifying.  I have been lowdown and high up.  I have felt an imposter.  I have taken kind words and wrapped myself in them. Last year I stoppedwritinga andm missed a lot of Opportunities

Reading makes you a better writer and, so too, the more you beta the better you write.  Helping others helps yourself. 


It wasn't me, but I started beading when my last child was born to kill the time between 10 pm and 12:30 am feedings. Now I work with Tahitian and other cool pearls and gemstones. Keeping hands busy is so important!!!!


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SC1 https://tinyurl.com/yxuxxjbt" rel="nofollow - Garbage
SC2 https://tinyurl.com/y64fse3j" rel="nofollow - The Invasion


Posted By: sgspeed
Date Posted: 22 Mar 2019 at 3:31pm
[QUOTE=LaissezFaire]I was a wreck when I first entered.  What the hell was I doing?  Then I read the stories and I felt I was way out of my league, what the he'll am I doing?    I had a...disappointing... experience with one beta exchange on top of that.   A thread advised to "get in there".  If you want review get reviews.   I read first. Gave my rahrahs.  Then analyzed the critiques I admired.   I had done some beta for people in a small writing group.  Got "red penned" myself (and rightly so) but always with encouragement.  I learned to handle the "no not my baby you fiend!" Feelings :D.   I was verbose; it was true. I learned to self edit better.   I began to offer impressions critiques, then added "hey, I saw this error", then as my writing got better I added my skill strengths (dialogue and my newly honed extraneous word crusher skillz).   All of that helped me to take risks in my writing, especially reading outside my favorite genres to write.   I gained confidence with the camaraderie in the "forum workshop".  Giving feedback is no longer terrifying.  I have been lowdown and high up.  I have felt an imposter.  I have taken kind words and wrapped myself in them. Last year I stoppedwritinga andm missed a lot of Opportunities

Reading makes you a better writer and, so too, the more you beta the better you write.  Helping others helps yourself. 




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SC1 https://tinyurl.com/yxuxxjbt" rel="nofollow - Garbage
SC2 https://tinyurl.com/y64fse3j" rel="nofollow - The Invasion


Posted By: sgspeed
Date Posted: 22 Mar 2019 at 4:16pm
I always loved words, always.  As reader, and actor, a director, a teacher. I loved stories, I loved characters, I loved the rhythm and cadence and deeper meanings of words and phrases. I kept writing notebooks beginning in the 6th grade, long stories, and scripts, but I never, never showed them to anyone. I used to be horrified that I might die and someone would find and read all my notebooks and writing. 

Then I got lucky.  I moved to California and a friend of mine from Hawai'i (where I had lived) was coming to do a women's writing workshop near me and invited me to do it and I did. And I read my words out loud. And I listened to others read their words out loud. So I went to some other workshops, and I discovered a wonderful writer/teacher that ran writing workshops where you wrote 1000 words every other day for 20 days off of a choice of prompts, and I discovered flash fiction. After a while I thought maybe I should do something with all these words, and I looked up contests and I found NYC Midnight. I entered the Flash Fiction contest.  I made it to the second round. The Screenplay contest in the spring will bring me full circle for the second time. All the contests twice. 

I've entered a couple of my NYC pieces in other contests, and made the finalist list for the New Millennium Flash Fiction contest and the published (someday before I die maybe) list for the somewhat-shaky FictionWars contest.

I've learned so much from this forum and from the feedback and from being pushed by this contest. How to write a screenplay, how to bomb at Political Satire, how hard Fantasy is, and how to like my own writing, while recognizing how much better it can get. And that's the most important thing. I like doing this. I want others to read my words. I flourish on feedback and criticism as well as praise. I am not writing in a void, and I thank you all my community here for being a part of that.



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SC1 https://tinyurl.com/yxuxxjbt" rel="nofollow - Garbage
SC2 https://tinyurl.com/y64fse3j" rel="nofollow - The Invasion


Posted By: Corrie
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2019 at 9:41pm
Best. Thread. Ever. <3

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Here's my 1st Round story: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22414_post282706.html#282706" rel="nofollow - Out With the Old


Posted By: stephenmatlock
Date Posted: 25 Mar 2019 at 1:30am
This is a great thread, and it's inspiring (yes, inspiring!) to read the stories of your lives. This entire experience, of writing and critiquing and even hoping, has been my way to discover more about my own life's passions and what is really me in the life I'm living. I've used these stories to explore ideas bouncing around in my head, to talk about the people I'm encountering, to project my fantasies and fixes into the world that I create. I know I am "storyifying" my values, but it is something that my soul is doing and saying to show me, first of all, who I am and what I really value. The mind is an amazing thing, and the part of our minds where our real character and values come from will take us on a journey if we let it. Writing has helped me uncover, unbidden, long-hidden trauma in my life so I could deal with it now with my adult tools and adult brain. Writing has helped me develop a better sense of what it means to be a person and a people. I don't claim that writing has helped me understand better, because what helps me understand better is engaging with others, first, but writing has helped me do the deep thinking that's needed in order to comprehend the beauty of individuals and to see their lives as more than just a set of circumstances.

I do get discouraged in the results of the competition when I am judged (yeah, my writing is me sometimes), but it's good to get third-party reviews. And I'll admit that the process of writing and being critiqued by people has uncovered some buried emotional responses that I have to deal with, but writing has been my unique way to think more deeply and be more comfortable with distress and pain.

H.D. Thoreau said "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation," and I think that writing about people has helped me to be more empathetic to everyone who is struggling, which is just about everyone who is living. My stories attempt to tell of these people and their desperate lives, and my goal is to use my writing to help uncover those people for others.

My favorite way to encounter life is best told in the famous opening words: "Once upon a time..."


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2019 FFCR1 G11 http://bit.ly/2SlMxmW" rel="nofollow - All the Years Like Yesterdays Departed


Posted By: TWPress
Date Posted: 25 Mar 2019 at 8:23am
I'm getting valuable background information on these type of writing contests.  This is the first time I've dipped my feet into something like this.  I'm waiting, somewhat impatiently, for the results of the first round!  LOL  I thank those that share information because again, I'm new to this.

I want to make writing a full-time adventure for me and I'm trying to gather as much information as I can regarding writing, formatting, the do's and don'ts of writing and submitting content for publishing.


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I will write the wrongs...



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