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Today is the UNESCO’s World Book Day, so I made sure to visit one of my favorite local bookstores (shop cat included) and buy a couple more books to add to my growing stacks.

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As for the Short Story Challenge, as expected I got the email last night…but this time, I am not one of the top five who will advance. While I’m pleased to say that my first attempt at a horror story did receive one of the three honorable mentions in my heat, I’m can also report that I’m disappointed it didn’t get me to the final round. Still, it’s been a great experience. Today I received the judges’ feedback on my story, which was extensive, and as my husband put it, well-worth the registration fee, just by itself. They gave me great input on how to improve the story while also confirming that I do, indeed, have talent! All in all, I’d say this venture has been a success…I got a couple new stories out of it, tried new genres, was forced to produce without extensive revision, and received validation of my writing abilities outside of my novel. Though I wasn’t the grand winner, I feel like I did win in many ways. I will definitely try again next year.

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