Why I will not win the Costa Short Story Award.

Last year I entered the Costa Short Story Award with naive ambition. This year I am entering with no misconceptions. I have no expectation that I will win and I doubt I will even be nominated for the long list. 

Yet this year I know my story is a thousand times better. It is, quite possibly, the best short story I have ever written. It has, I have been informed, emotionally moved several people – one or two almost to tears. But I have no confidence that this will matter to the judges. I would find it nice if only they could communicate my improvement from last year’s entry. Though I realise this is an impossibility.

Yet, if I feel like this, why am I entering?

Because I have to. Because even though I have no expectations and very little faith in myself, I have to believe in my story. And it’s a good story. Could other authors perhaps tell it better? Probably. But could they tell tell it like I have? No, I do not believe so.

Entering this competition is not about me. It is about my story. I have tiny, hidden hopes that my story might win. I have to believe this otherwise I have not given the piece due attention. Once I send this story off into the ether it is no longer mine. It belongs to whomever might read it.

Therefore, it is almost impossible that I will win the Costa Short Story Award.
But possibly, maybe, conceivably…my short story just might.


9 responses to “Why I will not win the Costa Short Story Award.

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  4. Good luck honey! 🙂

    I’ve spoken to lots of short story judges and the general consensus is that your story could be brilliant, but if it’s a subject matter that the judge can’t relate to you won’t win. Unfair in a way, but it also gives you confidence that it isn’t always about the quality of the writing 😉


    • I hope that’s not what you are insinuating about my story 😛
      Many of my own attempts have made me cry…though for many different reasons. Usually never good ones!

  5. Good luck, I hope you make the long list. I’ve entered my short story in a competition and waiting! I don’t expect to win but I felt I had to enter it and will probably do so again.


    • Thanks doll. Good luck with your competition. It’s always good to have something else to work on to distract from the time we have to wait. By the time results are out, we’ll have other stories ready to submit somewhere else!

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