It’s all about Winning

Wherein I report on how to get a new short story, a writing getaway, a little self-promotion,  and a visit an indie bookshop, all out of one little writers conference.

Last Sunday, I reported that one value of participating in writing contests and/or competitions is that, win or lose the contest, you can end up with a new story. So, even if you lose the contest, new writing is always a win.

In the spirit of the Olympics, I’m continuing this winning attitude.

In December, in preparation for the Bay to Ocean Writers’ Conference I entered the Eastern Shore Writer’s Association writing contest. My story was not selected as the winner. But, I added the story to my story bank and I can send it elsewhere so, again, I lost, but I won.

New Story = Win #1.

On Saturday, my writing friend and I drove through the bucolic, snow-covered fields of rural Maryland to attend this conference. It was great. Workshops about plotting, about social networking, about Internet writing opportunities, about the changing landscape of publishing. I learned a lot.

Studying craft = Win #2

Between sessions, I set out some promotional materials and, throughout the day, chatted up some fellow writers about working with an independent editor.

Pimping my biz = Win #3

Rather than drive back at night, my friend and I stayed at a nearby hotel.  We spent the evening and the next morning indulging in some quiet writing time.

Mini-Writers Getaway = Win #4

Before returning home, we took a side trip to the town of Oxford, Maryland, which sits very prettily on the edge of the Chesapeake. It is a most charming town, and is blessed with a most charming indie bookstore called Mystery Loves Company.

Indie bookshop visit = Win #5

So now, a day and a half later, I’m home, with workshop notes, new friends to email, some fresh business prospects and a bag full of mysteries to read.

Can I get a “win win” here?

Any one of these wins would have been great. The fun is cramming as many into a short space as possible. Judging by my level of brain death, and that I’m smiling while writing this, I think 5 wins is pretty good for a single weekend.


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