Thursday, January 27, 2011

Finally...writing again!

I named my blog so that I could post about virtually anything, but it turns out that I blog about my reading at least 90% of the time. So, I am happy to report that I have actually finished the first draft of a new short story. First time I have finished a first draft in a long time, and it feels so good.

I decided to take le plunge and enter a story in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest. Whether I win or not, it's been such a pleasure to experience again the absolute joy of creating a cohesive narrative and exploring the nuances of a character and her backstory, not to mention that the endorphins that are produced when I write fiction are postively addictive.

My reading has taken a back seat whilst I write in the evenings after dinner, but it's for a good cause, right? You'll notice that I've currently got eight books in the "Currently Reading" category in my GoodReads box, although some are bedside books, some are audio books (listening to only in the car when I'm by myself), and some are just sheer good fun--so I'm not giving up reading by a long shot!

Back to the's the scoop on the contest...and let the polishing begin!

Hosted by the The Republic of Pemberley, the contest began on January 1, 2011. Publication of Jane Austen Made Me Do It is tentatively scheduled for publication by Ballantine in Fall 2011.

Contest Highlights

• Eligibility: Previously unpublished U.S. residents over the age of 18
• Entries must be approximately 5,000 words in length
• Manuscript submission January 1 – February 13, 2011
• Voting for the Top Ten finalists February 14 - 28, 2011
• Top Ten finalists announced on March 1, 2011
• One Grand Prize winner receives $500.00 and a contract for publication in the anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It

Grand Prize winner announced Fall 2011 in conjunction with the official release by Ballantine Books (Random House, Inc.) of Jane Austen Made Me Do It.

Jane Austen Made Me Do It contains more than twenty best-selling and popular authors who have contributed short stories inspired by Jane Austen, her novels and her philosophies of life and love. From historical continuations of her plots and characters to contemporary spinoffs and comedies, the stories encapsulate what we love about our favorite author: romance, social satire and witty humor. Contributing to the line-up are best-selling authors Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club), Adriana Trigiani (Brava, Valentine), Lauren Willig (The Pink Carnation series), Laurie Viera Rigler (The Jane Austen Addict series), Syrie James (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen), Stephanie Barron (Being A Jane Austen Mystery series), and the husband and wife writing team of Frank Delaney (Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show) and Diane Meier (The Season of Second Chances). Many Austenesque authors and others from related genres have also contributed stories to the project. One spot in the anthology remains open for the lucky Grand Prize winner.

The anthology’s editor, Laurel Ann Nattress of, is very excited at the prospect of discovering the next star in the burgeoning sub-genre of Jane Austen sequels and inspired books. “Jane Austen has been inspiring writers for close to two hundred years. It seems quite fitting that she should be the witty muse of our anthology and short story contest. Encouraging writing and discovering new talent is in spirit with her true legacy. I am ‘all anticipation’ of what will develop, and am honored to be part of the selection team.”

Visit the official Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest web page for official contest rules and eligibility requirements.

Best of luck to all entrants--I encourage you to enter...the endorphins alone are worth it!

And if you want to read the current entries, you can do so here.


  1. Sounds very positive!

    This contest sounds fun - pity I'm not eligible to enter, but maybe I ought to find the time to write something anyway, just for my own amusement.

  2. Yay, it's great to hear you are back at the keyboard. Time to get my heartstrings tuned.

  3. YAYYYYY!!!!! I'm elated to hear that you are writing again! I'll have to find time to hope over and read the entries (I didn't know that was an option!!) Best of luck, Jane!

  4. *doing the happy dance* Good, good, good for you, Jane! I daresay your adventures in reading have made you an even finer writer.

    For you are the master of the short story, my dear. Nobody in Austen fiction holds a candle to you. You go!

  5. Congratulations on your story-- good luck with the contest!

  6. Great news Jane. So happy this contest inspired you to write again. I look forward to reading your story. But no hint on topic or characters???