Tonight was the launch of PulpIdol Firsts 2015, which included my chapter ‘Difficult First Album’. It was organised by the excellent Writing on the Wall organisation and hosted by Siren. Liverpool.
There was a similar format to the final in May, and included six of the people who took part that night.
It was good to meet up with the other writers and see how they were progressing with their novels. It was also good to hear and read the other chapters on the night also.
The physical copies were available, I had already downloaded the Kindle version earlier on in the week, and I was given a couple of free copies. I also picked up a number of others that will make good Christmas presents for friends and family.
It is great to see my creative work published for the first time, especially in printed form. As I’m in the process of editing the novel, things like this are inspiring in attempting to get my novel finished.
Last year, I entered the PulpIdol writing competition, held each year as part of the Liverpool Writing on the Wall Literature Festival. It is something that I have circled in the diary, but it was the first time I had something substantial to submit for. I was selected for the heats, although I didn’t make it to the final, but the experience was a good one, especially the chance to meet other writers and to get feedback from the judges who are all published authors. I would say that the experience kick-started my desire to take the more creative writing side a bit more seriously and led to me signing up for my MA.
Fast forward twelve months, the Writing on the Wall Festival and in particular PulpIdol is back, and yet again I submitted a chapter of a novel for the competition. It is one that I had been working on this term during the workshops as part of my MA. It had been polished, restructured and generally bashed about to make it worth listening to (or reading). I was successful in making it to the heats again this year.
The heat that I was selected for took place in the wonderful setting of the Liverpool Central Library. There were a number of heats taking place there over two nights, as well as an online one. From these they would select ten writers for the final, who would all have the prize of being published in the yearly Firsts anthology.
Having been given my heat, and dodged the bullet of going first (I ended up reading fifth). I sat through a number of really good and interesting first chapters. In my mind I was trying to place mine alongside the others. Once all the chapters had been read the judges sent everyone outside while they had their deliberations as to the three that would go through. Milling around outside gave us the chance to chat to our fellow contestants and a wonderfully supportive bunch they were. I was even chatting to someone who had travelled down from Newcastle to take part – there’s commitment for you. After what was only a short delay, but with the nerves kicking in, it seemed longer. They called us all in to hear who had made it through to the final.
They called out the first winner, who was sat next to me and while I was congratulating her, they read out my title, and then my name. To say I was shocked was an understatement. I was still taking it in, when they called out the third name, I nearly forgot to applaud him given that I was still processing what was going on.
So I have made it through to the final. Delighted, doesn’t quite cover how I feel after this. The final will select a winner, but knowing that I will be published in the anthology next year, is enough of a reward. Just to be in the final is a great achievement.
Liverpool is again staging its annual Writing on the Wall Festival and as usual it has an array of interesting talks and events. There is also a writing competition as part of the festival called Pulp Idol, which is now in its fourth year.
For years I have been meaning to enter this competition and this year was no different. The competition sees writers submitting the first chapter of their novel and then read out the chapter in front of an assembled panel of judges at a designated heat.
The finalists work is then compiled into a compendium of work called Firsts, I read a couple of these in preparation for my submission, to see what styles had been successful in previous years. I decided to enter with a newer chapter of an idea I had on the back burner, and not the one that I was working on for Nanowrimo last year.
Having written up my chapter entitled An Eighteen Year Winter, I entered the competition and I was thankfully shortlisted for the heats which took place in The Kumaba Imani Centre in Liverpool.
Though I made it to the heats, I wasn’t successful in reaching the final stages. Although it was disappointing not to proceed to the next stage (I could see why when reading my work again and from seeing the level of work produced by the other writers). The experience was worthwhile for the feedback received by the judges. I think this has been a worthwhile experience and one that will spur me on to go further with my writing.