Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Writers of the Future

It occurs to me that I haven't said anything about Writers of the Future in my blog posts. There's a perfectly good reason for this omission, and goes something like this:

There are good things that can happen to a writer who is looking for the big break. Getting published is, of course, a good step forward. Getting paid for something you've had published is, without question, a huge leap along on the rocky road. There are competitions. Sometimes they pay and sometimes they might even include publication.

And then there is Writers of the Future. For the amateur genre writer this is the big one. This one has it all: publication, payment, kudos, not to mention a paid-for week in the US hanging out with fellow writers and getting an education from the pros. WOTF is the one every hopeful SF writer wants to bag and it's the one they should try to bag. So when I got the phone call last summer to say I would be one of those fortunate few I was... astounded.

After several weeks of walking around in a daze the doubts start to creep in. They've dialled the wrong number. My name's been mixed up with the wrong story. It's all been a big mistake. They'll find me out.

Then, after a while, the publishing contract arrives and it's got the right story name on it. So then the next round of doubts can start. The global economic collapse will cause it to be cancelled. Swine flu will spread and they'll ban all international travel. Or maybe I'll just simply freak out and they'll have a rule that prevents hair-rending dribbling maniacs from boarding planes bound for California.

But really, at the heart of all this there is the simple conviction – this can't be happening to me. How did this happen? It is a dream.

So I avoid blogging about it. I shy away from even talking about it. I am terrified of putting the mockers on everything. But suddenly there has been a rush of activity. Trans-Atlantic telephone calls, discussions about flights and hotels and... oh my. This thing looks like it's really going to happen.

So there's a new countdown panel on the blog. At time of writing it stands at 75 days. I'll blog about the lead-in. If I can, and if there's time (and if I can find enough wireless hotspots) I'll blog about the event.

Watch this space.

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