Last September I started a two-term creative writing diploma at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland, and it was great to get me going on a regular writing schedule. I've been wanting to get some serious writing time in for a long while and it was good to have hard deadlines. And also to be surrounded by other aspiring and accomplished writers. Over the last few months I entered a handful (three, I think) of writing contests and I got rejected from all of them, including the 2015 Writers' Union of Canada Short Prose Competition, for which I submitted three short stories.
Except today I heard that I made the short list , which means I didn't win, but the judges liked it enough to put it in the "maybe" pile before they rejected it. I came in 13th out of 400 entries. So that feels pretty good when you're a new fiction writer and have never heard anything but "no thanks" or worse, nothing at all, when you submit a piece for publication or to contests.
So this feels like my first step to becoming a "real" writer.