I told you all that I would let you know when I knew how my entry into WotF had done. The response came only a few days before they announced the finalists. I did not rank among them. I also did not receive honorable mention, but on that count, I suspect I was close. In the past, if I got a rejection, it was completely a form letter. This time, it came with two documents focusing on different aspects of writing and was (if I am to believe the email) specific to my own story.
While these documents weren’t made in reference to my story, they related to areas I should focus on to improve future submissions. No, they didn’t do this for just me, since I realize the two documents were prefabricated prior to the contest and sent (most likely) based on notes jotted by the judges. Still, with as close as it came to the announcement and with the personalized response, I can’t help but feel I came very close to an honorable mention.
I have filed the two documents and the original story in a file together so that I can allow time to pass and look on it with fresh eyes for a re-edit. Another story is already in for the 4th quarter contest and we will have to wait and see how it goes. I suspect I may have shot myself in the foot by doing the story in first person present tense, but it was the best choice for the story I think. I won’t give too many details, but the reason for needing that unusual perspective for the story was that the main character wasn’t human. Having different senses and ideas, I needed to make the story more intimate. Being fixed on the character as she interacts with her world meant I could make the sensory descriptions more a part of the story and prevent a disconnect between the reader and the character.
As before, I will keep you posted on what happens with this latest quarter of the contest. This one may be a real nail biter as well. It’s made even more tricky since the judges are different for each quarter, so I can’t adjust the story to the tastes of the judges. Until then, I will keep working on my novel as well as a number of smaller projects.