In September of 2011, before my mom bought me my Amazon Kindle.. I was wandering through the public library, searching for the next five books I was going to read. At the end of my visit, I passed the bulletin board displaying volunteer and job postings, as well as the odd contest or work-shop. One that caught my eye, was a Children's Story Contest, held by Ascent Aspirations Publishing company. Basically they were looking for ten short stories an anthology of stories that they were putting together. All proceeds would go to the The Old School House (a local art gallery in my town.) The Old School House would then create an art piece from each story. The grand prize winner would win a cash amount and the rest of the contributors would also be published.
So I made a mental note to keep my mind open to new, exciting ideas for a story to write. At first I didn't really know if I would go through with writing a story. I haven't written a story, from beginning to end since I was in grade school. But, the idea really appealed to me and I couldn't get it out of my head.
I work at the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy and my co-worker went to answer the phone in her regular way; but instead said; "The Memory Shoppe, how can I help you?" And that's when it struck me! I could write a story about a mysterious memory shop!!
In the end, it took over six months to hear back from the publishing company. But the wait was more than worth it! My story, The Memory Shop won the grand prize! It's difficult to describe the feelings I had when I read the e-mail confirming that I won. Elated. Overjoyed. PROUD. I took a chance, and wrote this story hoping that it would be good enough to interest readers.. and the chance totally paid off! I get to be published, in a REAL book with art work depicting a scene from the story that came from MY imagination.. And children will get to read this story for years to come. It's a dream come true and I honestly couldn't be happier. The book comes out sometime in November, right before Christmas!
For the first time in my life, I did something that I adore and LOVE to do.. I wrote a story. And I got paid for it! And I have a book (soon) to prove it!! AND- I can't wait to do it again..
To prove I'm not lying- here's a link to the website listing the winners!