With Friday’s announcement of the first place for The Blank Page Challenge for February 2018, we can now confirm the first runner-up as
Congratulations to Damon, his story, The Star Collector, received second place from both the judges and the public vote.
Damon will receive:
- 30% off a licence of the Scrivener writing software for PC or Mac
- 10% off editing services from Wrapped Up Writing’s Tamara Beard
Damon was kind enough to give us an interview on himself and his experience with the challenge:
Welcome to The Blank Page Challenge top three interview, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a technical instructor, teaching network administration classes online during the daytime. Writing is a relaxing escape for me and a way to exercise my creativity.
How long have you been writing and are short stories a medium you’ve worked in before?
I started writing long ago, in college, but never really got serious or took it anywhere. Last October I decided to resurrect a novel for NaNoWriMo2017 and had a great time adding 50,000 words to it. I also began writing flash fiction and some short stories at that time. I found that the shorter pieces were not so daunting. I’ve really enjoyed making a hobby out of writing.
What about The Blank Page Short Story Challenge made you want to get involved?
I thought the challenge would be good for me as a way to take a longer project from start to finish. I want to be part of the writing community and this seemed like a really great way to participate.
Did you enjoy working with our prompt? Did you find inspiration easily or did you need to work on it?
Yes, I liked the prompt. I find visual prompts to be easier to work with as there are so many different ways of interpreting the image. For example, when I looked at the image for this challenge, I immediately thought “well what if the light were coming down and being collected rather than shining upward?”
What was the hardest part of writing your story for the Challenge?
I had a very difficult time injecting emotion into this story. When it was first read by my local writing group they said it had almost no emotion. The rewrite was much better but it still could use a stronger emotional punch. And I have a difficult time understanding why everyone thinks the main character is female!
Do you have a process or rituals for writing? If so, what sort of things do you do?
No I don’t have any real processes or rituals. I regularly write at a local coffee shop (thank you Pikes Perk!) so that I’m not as easily distracted.
When we notified you that you’d made the top three, how did you celebrate?
I threw my arms in the air and immediately shared it with my class (along with the voting link, of course!). I then texted my wife, who is my biggest fan. My kids were also really excited.
What advice would you give to people who are looking to enter our next short story challenge, which starts on Monday 19th?
Gift yourself the possibility of success. Just do it – enter! Put something forward and go for it. I honestly did not believe I would show up in the results at all, but here I am. I took this on merely as a learning experience (and it has been!). It is up to you to make things happen.