So everybody knows that I love all of the writing genres. But, if I was pressed to say which one I love best, it’d be fiction. It’s much simpler than writing, say a screenplay, or a poem. (Not that fiction is simple, it’s just easier for me.) Anyway, Keystone College holds two writing contests every year: The Cameron Poetry contest, and the Cogswell Fiction contest. Like every person who wants too much, I decided to enter both about a month ago.
Yesterday, I got an email about the contests. My poem, “I Never Said Thanks,” won the poetry contest! I was pretty surprised about it, especially because writing poetry is not my schtick, even though I’m told I’m good at it. My eyebrows arched when I got to the second line in the email, stating that my story “Healing Speed,” was first runner up in the fiction contest. It came as a shock to me, not because I think that I’m so great and should win everything, but because it seems that I may have mixed up my genres along the way. It’s ironic that the next publication credit I will be getting is a poem titled, “I Hate Writing Poetry.” This poem and two others will be appearing in the Spring edition of The Plume, Keystone’s literary magazine. I think that says it all. 🙂
This whole thing makes me laugh when I think about my first Creative Writing class. It was an introductory class in the summer session, with poet Brian Fanelli. My first couple of poems were such a disaster; they weren’t pretty. I remember telling Brian, “I hate writing poetry!” In fact, he uses that line to introduce me whenever we read somewhere together! But, like all type-A’s, I decided I just HAD to learn to write poetry. I took an advanced poetry class at Keystone, an outside poetry workshop with Brian, and attended a writing group at the Vintage Theater. I worked really hard, sometimes to the point where I’d want to bang my head off of the desk in frustration. I know I never thought (in a trillion years) that I’d ever win a poetry contest.
Over-all, I’m pretty honored that my work was so well received. I’ve been asked to read “I Never Said Thanks,” and an excerpt of “Healing Speed,” at the Undergraduate Celebration of Research and Creativity this coming Wednesday, and I’m excited to do so.