As some of you may remember I attended a six week writing course from October to November 2015 at Waterstones Nottingham. My tutor was author Megan Taylor and the classes were an introduction to short story writing. I attended them because I wanted to know if my writing was on the right track, as I tend to look at sentences and think about what I can cut rather than what I should add in, and I was wondering if I was writing enough.
Megan has a gift for writing scents, textures, atmosphere and detail without wasting words, which is what I wanted to learn from her. I was nervous attending those classes, as it was the first time I’d really put my writing in a place where it would be judged by a professional author. Megan was kind, generous and pushed boundaries. She encouraged me to be brave, dig deep and write fearlessly, so I did.
She also challenged me to write in the second person, which I’d never tried doing before and a piece called An Education flew out. I showed it to Megan and she recommended that I send it somewhere. In the end I entered the full piece into the annual Galway RCC writing competition, which I spotted on author Paul McVeigh’s Facebook timeline, and this week I learned that it had made the shortlist. I did cry when I opened that email, to know that a writer like Celeste Augé appreciated my story was an amazing feeling and has boosted my confidence. Entering this competition has also introduced me to some great writers as I congratulated my fellow nominees on Twitter. Whatever happens I will keep writing and putting my work out there.