Daniel I. Russell is the author of Entertaining Demons, Samhane, Retard, Come Into Darkness, Critique, The Collector Book 1: Mana Leak, Mother's Boys and the huge collection Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem. Daniel is a HWA active member and represented by the Tobias Literary Agency, NYC. Daniel has also been the vice-president of the Australian Horror Writers' Association, special guest editor of Midnight Echo, associate and technical editor for Necrotic Tissue, and Shadow Awards judge.
Uppers and Downers
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012It's a pleasure to write this.
As some of you know, my day job (what? You aren’t a millionaire writer, Dan?) is that of a high school teacher. My degree is in chemistry and physics, but this year I have found myself teaching creative writing exclusively. While the hours are less, I’m enjoying passing on my accrued knowledge on the business, as well as the writing and editing part of the course. Part of the year is to teach the skills of a good short story submission, and of late, we’ve been doing this with writing competitions, both national and interstate. Two of my female students entered a national writing competition just a few weeks back.
Today, I’m greeted with…how can I put it…excited babbling from one of them. She’d received a letter from the competition organisers. While the winners and finalists haven’t been selected yet, some stories have been chosen for publication into a nice hardback anthology.
She was one of them.
This is the first time the student has been published, and at fifteen and via a national competition, I think that’s a fantastic achievement.
But that’s not all…
While trying to get to the bottom of the excited chatter, I felt bad for the other student. There she was, sat at the same table, having entered into the same competition. I didn’t know quite what to say. I wanted to celebrate the publication of one student, but not to the distress of the other.
I was then handed a piece of paper by the student. “Here’s the letter, sir,” she said. “I got one too.”
They BOTH got into the anthology! YES!
After checking the small print to make sure it was legit and the girls weren’t getting swindled by any fees or dodgy agreement over rights, the celebrations began!
It’s part of the business to share our successes as writers, as hopefully that leads to interest and sales, etc. I’ve even had the pleasure of publishing first time writers before in magazines such as Necrotic Tissue and Midnight Echo. All good stuff.
But this is in a league of its own. The winners are announced on the 31st, and due to the bittersweet and beautifully crafted stories the girls produced in class, I await the result with hope, as they certainly stand a chance. But in my opinion, these two are winners no matter the outcome.
Well done, girls!