It's often said in writing classes - "No one ever wrote a book - but rewrote a book." Also, no one ever wrote a short story, but rewrote a short story.
Three years ago, I entered my local library short story competition. The story didn't win a prize nor an honourable mention - I was disappointed, but, lolz - not a new feeling!
I always wanted to write gritty, urban realism, but found myself more often writing fantasy, probably as an escape from the harsh realities I came across in nursing. However, this story is inspired by memories of when I worked in Children's Emergency. I was always struck by the horror and tragedy of teen suicide. We'd brace ourselves, because often in the following weeks, friends or siblings of the teenager would have attempts as well – sometimes these attempts would end in another tragic death.
In writing this story I wanted to highlight how tragedy can happen, all too easily.
The month before the submission deadline for this competition, I'd pull out the story, work on it, rewrite it, take it to different writers groups for critiquing, try another way of storytelling, really look at the characters (again!), boil it down to nuggets, start over - for three years. But I was never successful.
Until this year - the story won second prize in the Monash Public Libraries WordFest competition!
Thank you, Monash Libraries for encouraging reading and writing, and thanks to the librarians for their commitment to raising awareness of issues that affect our society.
This is a link to the story, but it obviously comes with a suicide/depression trigger warning.
Support is always out there –
Find hope in a new day 💚