It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day, and for this first Wednesday of the month we have a special reflection post as we get close to the end of the year and the end of our time writing about Dark Matter: Artificial anthology (Don't worry, there will be a new anthology coming up next!). Our authors share how this contest has changed them, what they've learned, how it will affect what they do as authors moving forward, the hardest parts about it all, and, of course, the best parts.
It's always exciting to connect with a prompt and have a story form in your head... Just submitting a complete short story by the deadline is a great feeling. But getting chosen for the anthology is the best! It's also a bit of responsibility with the marketing, but that part is worth it and can even be fun! I recommend everyone give it a shot--the more you write, the better you get, plus it can be a nice break from your WIP.
I loved being a part of this contest! It’s given me greater confidence in my writing, and I’ve loved being part of a group project--it’s lovely be a member of a collaborative project like this. I feel incredibly privileged to say that the hardest part was keeping up with all the fun promotional activities online! I hope that next time I’m in the United States, I can take part in an event in person!
"Resident Alien" was my first published work of science fiction, and I certainly hope not my last. The timing of this contest gave me the impetus to do something I had been wanting to do in the wake of the George Floyd incident: examine issues of racial justice by posing the question, “What if the entire human race together were an oppressed minority?”
With all this in mind, I created a short story that I hope will be used as a teaching tool, with teaching materials to go with it (available here (2)). I also had the beginnings of a world, with its own distinctive history and languages, that I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to after one short story, so we may be seeing further adventures of humans on Ogygia. Upwards and onwards!
Elizabeth Mueller - Resurgence
The publication of this short story has reminded me of the importance of trying new things and taking creative risks. Writing fiction is especially enjoyable when you're pushing the boundaries. My wife and I recently visited New Albany, Mississippi, the birthplace of William Faulkner, where I received an award from the William Faulkner Literary Competition. Faulkner was perhaps the greatest boundary-pusher of American fiction, a literary experimentalist whose novels are still amazing readers, and we can all take inspiration from his example.