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I got a really great piece of advice this week.

Hopelessly mired in editorial hell, a close friend said to me:

When working on a project so long, it can help to do a small side thing to get creative juices flowing again.

This may help from feeling burnt out and/or frustrated. When you turn your creative passion into a career, a balance between creative fun and work is needed.

You can’t just write things for fun without working on getting exposure, but you also can’t revise and revise and be so work focused that the passion is dead.”

Yma Seraph: Feb. 2013

She was right. I need a distraction. Something else to think about besides just the work.

Then low and behold, in my email, the answer just appeared. From the desk of @BarbAbney, I was forward a link to a local writing contest!

I know what you are thinking. Didn’t he already talk about contest? Weren’t they just deemed a waste of valuable work time?

I will admit after the Writers of the Future Contest debacle, ( I mean come on, at least send an email to tell the writer you’re not interested in their entry.) and the string of magazine rejections early in this process, I was frustrated. The slush pile manner of getting my writing out there wasn’t paying off, lent nothing to my long term goals, and then the City Pages incident happened all hell broke loose.

I really wasn’t interested in waiting for someone to tell me whether I was good enough for their publication anymore. It was time for me to strike out into the digital frontier and cut my own path.

Yeah, I’m still not getting paid. But I’m a lot close to making a living now than I was making a hundred bucks a week at that local rag.

So the situation has shifted. My perspective vastly different since the last time I put my work out there for someone to judge.

I’m going to participate in this contest just for the fun of it. The distraction is enough of a prize. (Although I will not be turning away any cash or accolades for participation.)

If you want to play too, the details are as follows:

Revolver_Full

Revolver and thirty two (@ThirtyTwoMag) are proud to announce our short story contest. We’re looking for your best story (only one submission per author) between 1,000 and 5,000 words. Submissions must be sent to Revolver through our submission manager.

The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2013 (midnight, EST). The winning story will be published simultaneously in thirty two and on Revolver and will receive a cash prize of $500. Revolver will also publish the 2nd and 3rd-place stories and award cash prizes of $100 and $50 respectively (thirty two may, at its discretion, choose to publish excerpts of these runners-up).

The prize-winning story will be announced and published in the October issue of thirty two and simultaneously on Revolver.

 Submit your story here!

You got the Sand? Ante Up!

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