From Darkness into Light

From Darkness into Light
From Darkness into Light by Dall'ombra Alla Luce courtesy of WikimediaCommons

Saturday, June 22, 2013

An Unexpected Phone Call

More than two years ago I wrote a post titled "The Waiting Game" about the trials and tribulations of waiting on replies to submissions. Since that time, I have found that the more I continually and doggedly submitted my stories, the less I obsessed over the capricious whims of editorial response times and preferences. Joining a new writer's forum helped even more. I now keep company with a group of folks whose goals are the same as mine -- constantly keeping rejected stories in motion to new markets, while generating new stories on a regular basis. A community where we all commiserate over rejections and celebrate the rare successes. Seeing a group of folks all going through the same trials has helped me to focus less on the what-if's and just keep moving forward.

That is, until this past Wednesday, when I got a most unexpected phone call.

The phone rang, sometime after 10:00pm and my husband picked it up as I was getting ready for bed. He handed the phone to me, deadpan. I answered and heard "This is Joni Labaqui with Writers of the Future."

I hadn't been monitoring the contest on the WotF forums or Duotrope because I fully expected another one to two month wait for results to start coming in -- especially in light of the serious accident involving the son of coordinating judge, Dave Farland, during this quarter of the competition. A whole cascade of thoughts went through my mind at once, including why would Joni Labaqui be calling me?and wondering if something was wrong with my submission or the contest. But foremost, was the knowledge that Joni always made phone calls to all the finalists during the judging period. My erudite response to her was "Oh my."

Turns out, yes, she was calling to tell me I was one of the eight finalists for the 2nd quarter, though the rest of the conversation is now a bit foggy. I'm not naturally talkative, but I remember chatting on about this and that for awhile and she patiently waited until I was ready to end the conversation before signing off. She is absolutely the gem of a person everyone says she is.

And now I am faced with a three to four week wait to find out who the three winners will be out of the eight finalists. Well, so much for not obsessing over responses.

For anyone who isn't familiar with Writers of the Future, they're pretty much the American Idol of speculative fiction writing. The biggest SF&F contest I know of, open to submissions from around the world and now in its 30th year.

So here it is -- the official Writers of the Future press release for the 2nd Quarter finals:

Let the nail-biting begin!