The Mary Street Shield is a bi-annual award that alternates with the Gwladys Bungay Rose Bowl for a Novel (any genre/subject); both require a synopsis and the first three chapters.
(The latter of the two ladies was published by Mills and Boon as Gwladys Duke in the 1960's.)
My winning story is actually a contemporary romance for a change- and my current work in progress.
The synopsis and first three chapters were written in just over six weeks, after my intended entry just wasn't working and it got temporarily shelved.
The contemporary idea had been lurking in my brain for some time, inspired by a book purchase, the cover instantly created a visual image in my mind, my heroine Felicity is stood looking up at a painting, and she's wearing an identical outfit to the woman in the portrait- and that moment eventually turns up in chapter four.
This competition was judged by Suzanne Ross Jones, who also writes as Suzanna Ross, and has had five My Weekly Pocket Novels published, (four now on Kindle), and lots of other published stories.
I'll admit now, there were a few minor points that would need a little work, but I agree with Suzanne's remarks regarding them.
Here's a bit of the feedback:
"I adore stories about writers and about libraries - and this has the best of both of those subjects. This is a traditional romantic set up and you've met my expectations of the genre with characters and situation. The writing is polished and assured and I was thoroughly entertained as I read the three chapters."
Now I have to admit that my hero is a little bit older than you usually get in romances, he's forty, but an attractive forty; Felicity is a thirty-two year old librarian, and has recently been made redundant from her job. Life is about to change for both of them...
"I was actually quite sad when I got to the end of chapter 3 - this is the sort of book that I'd like to read through at one sitting."
Now normally I'd have a picture of me with the trophy, but the shield got left behind when the other trophies were transported to the venue earlier in the day. It was only realised when we collected the silverware from the locked cupboard. So I'll be getting the actual shield in the New Year.
As it was also the Christmas party I dressed up in a seasonal colour.
|NWC Awards Night 2014|
And if you wondered what the book was that inspired the story, and the item that appears in it, well it's this...
|Inspiration for my |
I'm not going to tell you more, you'll just have to wait until I finish writing it, and it gets published. But this is the priority project for early 2015...