2021 – Review of the Year – Part One

As we approach the end of 2021, I wanted to take a look back at the last twelve months in my writing life.

2021 began with a lockdown for us in the U.K. but as the New Year rolled in, I had one major writing goal for the coming twelve months; to get a piece of fiction published.

I also had a bonus goal of getting paid for a piece of fiction, but it was the first one I put my energy into as January began.

In the summer of 2020, I’d dug out an old story of mine called “Weird Mirror”, first written in 2005 or 2006, gave it a rewrite and a new name (it became “Mirror Mirror”) and began submitting it again.

In February 2021, I saw a competition organised by WriteHive with the theme “Duplicitous” and felt that “Mirror Mirror” fit the bill nicely.

So I submitted it, then thought no more of it, believing that, like every other piece of fiction I’d submitted it would be rejected.

Then, in March I got an email from the head judge telling me that not only had it not been rejected, but it had been selected for the long list.

After I regained consciousness, I read the editorial feedback that the head judge, Cass Kim, had provided, and promptly set about revising and resubmitting for the final judging.

An anxious wait followed until, during the Write Hive Conference 2021 I found out that my story had made the top 10 & so had been published in the conference handbook.

Goal one achieved… ish. It was published, but only to conference attendees, which was thrilling in itself, but I felt that, to truly achieve my goal, I needed to have a story published in a collection or magazine that could be read by anyone.

A few days after the conference however, I got another email advising that all shortlisted entrants could, if they chose, have their story published in a print anthology that would raise funds for WriteHive and would be put together by Cass Kim & the team at inkedingray.

Of course, I accepted the offer and on 15th June 2021, Duplicitous, featuring my story “Mirror, Mirror” was released to the world.

It was an amazing feeling to see my name on the cover of a book for the first time.

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of this is that it was “Mirror, Mirror” that became my first published piece.

My story, “Weird Mirror” had always been a favourite of mine and I really believed in the concept behind the plot.

On the surface it’s your standard ghost story; a couple move into a creepy looking home and weird things start happening. But the mirror of the title gave the story just the twist it needed to make it different and reworking it in summer 2020 and then again after the editorial feedback truly allowed it to shine.

My words in print for the first time!

It was a long time coming, but I’m thrilled that “Mirror Mirror” is out in the world.

It’s still available to buy, and what’s more, all profits from its sale go towards raising funds for WriteHive, so they can continue to support the Writing Community.

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