A. Marie Silver

A. Marie Silver

Dear Writer’s Digest, I accept that challenge!

It’s that time of the year again when Writer’s Digest hosts its Popular Fiction Short Story Competition.  The grand prize is $2500 and a trip to the 2013 Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City.  The deadline is September 14, 2012 and the submission must be 4,000 words or less. The category I’ve chosen to enter is Young Adult.

As it just so happens, I have a book I’ve been toying with for a couple of years.  It started off as a series of short stories I sent to my husband while he was deployed. He enjoyed the characters so much I kept sending him different “chapters” with the same people.  Since the goal of each chapter was to be a complete story, I have mountains of options to chose from and one particular chapter in mind.

How many pages is 4,000 words?  Trying to stay with in a word limit can be quite daunting, especially when you don’t know how many pages it equates to.  Thank Heavens for Google.  I googled that exact question:  How many pages is 4,000 words and stumbled upon www.wordstopages.com.  This lovely little website asks for the number of words, font type, font size and line spacing.

I entered in 4,000 words, Times New Roman, 12, and double-spacing (because that’s how I write everything) and it came back with 16.5 pages.  Perfect!  Most of my chapters ranged between 5-7 pages, double-spaced so this gives me room to expand and develop: two things I love to do in a story.

Yes Writer’s Digest.  I accept that challenge!  A challenge it will be, especially since in the process of perfecting my piece, I’ll also be in the process of moving to Georgia. Let’s not forget about my little man who can be quite demanding.

So, here’s to 15 days and counting.  Time to dust off my old drafts and get to the actual polishing!  I’ve also added a countdown gadget to my blog to help me stay focused on my deadline. I’ll keep everyone posted with my progess.

Wish me good luck!

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A. Marie Smith

Your short bio telling the story of why you are a writer and the things that you think are important.