I really should start entering more competitions: sometimes you win! Haha. I’ve only entered my writing into four competitions this year, and in the last week I’ve received the results for three of them and got the result of the fourth about six weeks ago… Winning awards in three out of four isn’t bad hey?
So whilst each of these could be a blog article in themselves (and for some already have) I’m going to try to pull it all together as concisely as possible so that I can quickly communicate a lot of things at once… Cos I’m kinda firing on a lot of guns at the moment and time’s not exactly in abundance ;)
- The Writer’s Digest Awards are by far the biggest of all the four awards I’m mentioning here and are given to the year’s best self-published books in a few different categories (such as Mainstream/Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction and Nonfiction). I think it’s the world’s biggest international competition of its type (which is why I made sure I got around to entering - although I was about a week late) and I’m not sure the exact numbers, but it’s maybe a thousand or so entries that are considered world-wide? Of which only one Winner and a handful of Honorable Mentions (as judged by a panel) are given out in each category.
- So I was pretty stoked, not to mention a bit stunned, that my horror novel The Dark Horde was one of the handful of books to be awarded an Honorable Mention in Genre Fiction. It’ll be a few weeks before I can show you a picture of my award or point to the website where it’s announced, but here’s some of the text of the email I received yesterday:
Congratulations! Your book, The Dark Horde, was chosen as an Honorable Mention in the Genre Fiction category of the 20th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.
Competition was particularly fierce this year; your accomplishment is truly impressive. All winners have been notified, and will be formally announced in the March/April 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest and on WritersDigest.com.
- The Freeplay Awards are given to the year’s best games (as judged by a panel) in Australian Independent Games Development. Awards are given in a number of different categories; Technical Innovation, Audio, Art, Design, etc; but among these is an award given for Best Game Writing, which I was one of three finalists for, with Infinite Universe, the digital gamebook I published through Tin Man Games as part of their Gamebook Adventures series. I was very pleased with the result, considering some 115 entries were considered for the Freeplay Awards, but I wrote more about this award HERE.
- The Windhammer Awards (now in their fifth year) are given to the year’s best (as judged by popular vote) independently written gamebooks, and are probably the world’s premier Awards for amateur gamebook writers. There were 22 entries in all but my entry, Trial of the Battle God, was not in top three… However I must say that the winners were all well-deserved!
- I’ve half-finished my fairly detailed reviews of all 22 Windhammer entries HERE and plan to finish off the other half very soon :)
- I’ll also do a post on the feedback for Trial of the Battle God soon and maybe sometime in the not too distant future you may hear about some future developments on that front too ;) -In the meantime, those who’ve played it can still be honoured in the Trial of the Battle God Hall of Fame!
- This wasn’t THE Coffin Hop Awards because there isn’t one. Coffin Hop is an annual event of over a hundred horror artists getting together for fun, prizes and competitions in the week leading up to Halloween. I entered a bunch of competitions (won a prize or few), but only one of these was actually a writing competition (the others, like my own competition were simply prize-draws). This one was the “Flash Fiction for a Treat” contest run by writer Kim Koning for horror short-stories of 500-1000 words. And I won :D
- I’d actually forgotten I’d entered, since all I did was put a title on one of the chapters from The Dark Horde and send it off. So it was a special buzz to find out a couple of days ago I’d won, even if I found out at about the same time that I hadn’t gone so well in the Windhammer competition. You can read my winning entry HERE.
I think it’s fair to say that everything I’ve done has been “outside the norm”; a gamble I’ve pushed to extremes; and of everything I’ve done people tend to have polarised views as a result (some love you for being different, others hate you: it seems to evoke more divergence in opinion than sticking to “safe conventions”). And getting recognition for the quality of your work is hard work (believe me, harder by far than any other aspect of writing), but it feels like my efforts are finally starting to pay off and that I’m starting to earn my title of “writer” and register on the consciousness of others’… And hopefully those others will be inspired enough to throw a couple of dollars my way, spread the word and encourage others to do the same :)
Details on The Dark Horde, including extracts, reviews and how to get it, are all HERE.
Details on Gamebook Adventures: Infinite Universe, including screenshots, reviews and how to get it, are all HERE.
And if you’re lucky enough to be in or near the UK, paperback copies of both The Dark Horde and Evermore: An Introduction are currently on sale for the ridiculously low price of £2.99 and £3.99 respectively. Why so cheap you ask? Because there’s almost a 1000 copies currently collecting dust in a UK warehouse that’ll get pulped soon if I don’t sell them. So consider this a public appeal to help :)
(And then maybe I’ll get closer to clearing my mountain of debt, and even be able to fantasise about breaking even one day haha)