I did it!
My entry into the New Talent Award was emailed to the competition address this afternoon, and the small entry fee paid.
The competition is part of the Love Stories Awards, and administered by the Kate Nash Literary Agency.
For anyone who may have missed the details, the competition was part of this year's Festival of Romance, but when the festival weekend was cancelled, the new talent competition carried on under the Love Stories banner.
This year's competition is looking for writers of the future, so I really couldn't ignore it...
I've learnt a lot from the experience of editing the first chapter for my entry, which will help me in the future when I'm editing my other stories.
A couple of weeks ago when I gave up on my first choice and opted for my Nottinghamshire story, I didn't think there was too much to do. But I was so wrong.
I hadn't realised how much I've learnt since I finished that first draft, nor how the characters had continued to develop while I was away from them.
All that was needed was an opening chapter, nothing else, and as I was almost ready to start the revisions on the Nottinghamshire story anyway, I had nothing to lose by trying.
Well four versions later I was ready to do the final checks this morning (Thursday). The maximum word count was 2,500 words, though I was a couple of hundred under that by the time I finished.
After every set of changes I made, I read the chapter aloud, so five hours later, when it was ready to send, I think I'd gone through it vocally ten times...
It won't be perfect, but it was as good as I could get it for now.
Of course I'd like to make the shortlist, but if I don't, it won't be the end of the world. I still have the rest of the story to revise and edit, and as I've learnt over the past fortnight, change can be good.
I'm looking forward to a restful weekend, then I can get back to creating the happy ending for the couple in my contemporary romance. Once that first draft is complete and put aside, I'll be back to the historical and chapter 2... :-)