How I Became a New Man and What Good It Did Me
'How I Became a New Man and What Good It Did Me was originally written for the Verulam Writers' Circles President's Competition, where the prompt was to write a story inspired a piece of music. Under its original name of Re-Make / Re-Model (yes, it was inspired by Roxy Music), it was, quite reasonably, passed over by Nick Cook, the judge. This was almost certainly because it was a really terrible story, full of shoe-horned Roxy Music references (even if I'm still quite proud of the pseudonym I used, Roxie Mucus).
It did, however, contain the bare bones of a half-decent idea, which I went on to re-use for Task Seven of the 2007-8 SlingInk Eurofiction Competition. The prompt used was "Write a story set in a beauty salon". Under its next title of A New Man, it was placed 20th equal out of a total field of 57. The (unnamed) judge commented that "as a story it's enjoyable and humourous, and the post-modernist gender-stereotyping messages in there are insightful."
After a long series of rejections and continual minor tweaks, I finally changed the title to How I Became a New Man and What Good It Did Me and was immediately rewarded with a shortlisting in the Spring 2010 JBWB Short Story Competition.