Every year without fail since 2007, I’ve sent in an entry or two to the Bridport short story prize, essentially regarding the fee as a charitable donation. Given the number of entries involved, I’ve always thought of the odds of making any kind of impression as being absolutely minimal – a sort of literary, slightly less random equivalent of the National Lottery.
This year, for the hell of it, I sent in a couple of entries for the poetry prize for the first time. And today I heard that one of them, “Choking Hazard – Small Parts”, wasn’t in the prizes but had made the shortlist. I know from looking at previous years that it’s probably quite a long shortlist, but I am still pretty gobsmacked by this. And also, I have to say, really rather chuffed, because one of my writing goals for this year was to get on a Bridport shortlist. I just hadn’t expected it to be with a poem.
Today was one of those days when you can believe that almost anything can happen.