Well, Task 10 has gone in, so it’s just a matter of waiting for the scores. Actually, it’s not worth waiting at all, because I’m way off the pace. Part of this is due to missing a round just before Christmas for reasons too boring to go into, but most of it is due to unbelievably poor time management. I have no idea what went wrong this time around, but I seemed to be continually finding myself with nothing written with less than 24 hours to go. Now of course if I were presented with a series of prompts and told to write something in the next hour, I might possibly come up with something. But if you’ve got two weeks, you like to think you can take a more leisured approach and come up with something really good. And that can be fatal.

Last time around, this was what I came up with, and what happened to them:

Task 1: (In competition)

Task 2: The Great Gandolfini and His Wife (came second in the City of Derby comp, as The Amazing Arnolfini and His Wife)

Task 3: The Birdman of Farringdon Road (accepted by Litro)

Task 4: (Currently submitted)

Task 5: (Awaiting its next competition)

Task 6: The Inheritance (published by apt as The Guitarist’s Inheritance)

Task 7: (Currently submitted)

Task 8: (Awaiting its next competition)

Task 9: Somewhat Less Than Thirty Pieces (longlisted in Cadenza, published by TheRightEyedDeer)

Task 10: (In its first competition)

So they’re all working stories, and I don’t anticipate any of them being retired for a while yet (although Task 7 is showing signs of fatigue). This time around, though, I’m less sure. Here’s what we’ve got:

Task 1: Mirror Image (published by EDF as Mirror, Mirror)

Task 2: (In competition)

Task 3: (Needs some work before I decide what to do with it)

Task 4: (High hopes for this one, once I’ve worked on it)

Task 5: (God knows)

Task 6: (Missed)

Task 7: (God knows)

Task 8: (Might sneak into a horror mag if I do a lot of work on it)

Task 9: (My highest mark this year – might be a competitor for a shorter short story comp)

Task 10: (My favourite of the lot, but not sure if others will see it that way)

What’s for sure is that none of them is going to turn into a Bridport contender. Well, you gotta dream. In the meantime, the Whittaker Prize starts up again in a couple of weeks’ time, and this time I’ve gone in for the poetry as well. I must be mad.