My part in the Next Great Horror Writer contest came to an end last week after it was announced, in the most recent podcast, that I finished in 5th place. Only the semi-finalists, Naching T. Kassa, Daphne Strasert, and Jonathan Fortin, will have their horror novels pitched to Crystal Lake Publishing, and only one of them will emerge victor (following a nail-biting wait, I’m sure), with a nice shining book contract to show for it. I wish them all the best, and say so with no bitterness at all. Honest.
When I first sent my bio, entry form, and micro-fiction to HorrorAddicts, I had only just begun to take my writing seriously. I did not expect to be among the selected few; I entered purely on a kind of ‘why not?’ basis. I received news of my place in the contest just before heading to the pub, and blame HorrorAddicts entirely for how drunk I ended up that night.
Upon seeing the talent I was to face, I did not anticipate finishing anywhere near the top 3. To end up 5th feels like a great achievement; though undeniably something of a disappointment too.
In the final podcast, I received cheek-reddening comments from the resident judges, H.E Roulo and Emerian Rich, as a kind of sending off. They gave me plenty to think about. This contest has showed me that I shouldn’t concentrate on horror as my primary output. Aside from the fortnightly challenges assigned to me, I have been crafting fiction that is often surreal, occasionally grim, and sometimes creepy, but you’d be hard pushed to call it horror. I’m still in the process of finding my voice, and it’s becoming clearer that I shouldn’t limit myself to any specific genre.
It’s been an awesome experience, and through it I’ve discovered plenty of horror writers keeping the genre alive whose careers I will follow with great interest. The folks over at HorrorAddicts have done their utmost to make me feel welcome, and I can’t thank them enough for that.
So what’s next? Well, fuck knows. I didn’t expect this whole thing to happen, but here we are. I’ll be in my room, writing, and playing music too. Where that leads me–if indeed it leads me anywhere–is anyone’s guess. I can say, however, that I hope to be doing some more non-fiction in the future. I’m also currently working on a new album after neglecting music creation in favour of my writing pursuits. And of course I will continue to pen unsavoury stories and poems for whoever will read them.
Thank you, as always, for being here.