|Follow the rules |
but stand out
It’s the time of year when shops are trumpeting their ‘back to school’ offers. Children are bought new shoes, shirts and socks, trousers and pinafores, ready for the new academic year. Fully kitted out in their uniforms, they will be indistinguishable from their classmates as they respond to that first school bell.
In this morning’s short course on Writing for Competitions we were told to ‘put on the uniform’. That is, to read the rules so our entries follow the requirements as to word length, font type, etc. Then comes the tricky part. Having made the format of our entry uniform, we need to make the content of our submission unique.
Later this afternoon I listened to the prize winning entries from the ‘Write your way to Swanwick’ competition. I didn’t win.
The Open Mic Poetry this evening was excellent with some very talented poets performing their work. I wasn’t one of them.
Tomorrow evening I will watch the Prose Open Mic. I shan’t be reading.
The reason why is that, in all three cases, I failed to enter.
To continue the analogy, I had the uniform but didn’t walk through the school gates. So now no one will know how uniquely wonderful my writing is.
I know what should be written on my Swanwick School Report: “Must try harder next year”.