There were over 200 entries and I'm still hanging on by my fingernails, as one of the remaining 8 writers still in line for one of the winning spots (there will be three spots available, but I'm only entered in one of the categories, so my chances are still slim... 33% chance of making it through). The actual prize is a secret, and it might just be a new pencil with the Ontario Writers' Conference logo stamped on the side, but it's all about letting yourself be judged IN PUBLIC...letting everyone read your words...and trying not to make excuses for your work sounding silly, stupid or just plain ridiculous. Basically, in my opinion, it is an award for being BRAVE and submitting your soul to be judged. Ha!
Here are the top eight writers who have made it to the final round of judging, from the 22 longlisted pieces submitted to accompany the art of Ingrid Ruthig, Allyson Latta and Gretel Boose.
Mona Blaker (2)
Kristy Leigh Logan
Final voting will take place on Friday, May 2nd at the Festival of Authors and on Saturday, May 3rd at the Conference. There are still some tickets available for Friday night, so see the Ontario Writers' Conference website for more information on how to obtain them. There are also a few days left to register for the writing conference, provided they haven't sold out yet.
There is something magical about attending a writers' conference, so, if you haven't experienced that kind of inspiration yet, you should really think about attending one. I love meeting up with all my writing buddies and discussing their successes, buying their newest novels, attending writing workshops and meeting new writer friends, etc.
Seriously, it is money worth spending. This year, I've signed up for a Master Class with Wayson Choy, called "Live Dangerously: Write What Matters"...oh yeah, I'm going to be so inspired coming out of that classroom, I won't be able to sleep for a week...only write!
So, if you are a beginner writer, and you are reading this, I want to share some writerly advice with you, which is something I've just started doing FINALLY...
Write. Submit. Write More. Attend Writing Events.
I hope to see you at this year's writing conference. If you are going, please find me and introduce yourself...I'll be wearing a cool name tag. ;P