Welcome to the Winner’s Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we’re celebrating Funny Fiction Winner Celeste Bonfanti!
What contest was your winning entry submitted to?
How many writing contests have you entered?
Tell us the title of your entry and a short summary of the story.
“Doggone It” is told from the perspective of a family dog who feels replaced by a baby… until he realizes there really is enough love to go around.
What inspired your winning entry?
I am a huge animal lover and have always felt sorry for pets who lose their status in the family when a new baby arrives. It’s sad to see new parents go on and on about the baby in the same way they used to go on and on about the pet. I wanted to explore how this would feel from the pet’s perspective.
How has entering this contest helped your writing?
It was a tremendous confidence booster, especially in my first attempt. And the feedback, not just from the judges but from the other contestants, was terrific. I have followed the advice given and cut another 250 words!
Are you a full-time writer? If not, what is your “day job”?
I have had five plays published, but I am not a full-time author. I work with deaf people. Currently I am awaiting a visa to take up a post with the Cumbria Deaf Association in northwest England.
How long have you been writing?
Since I could hold a pencil!
What will you do with your piece now that it’s been recognized?
I will shop it around as a picture book and list the contest in my cover letter.
Any fun plans for the prize money?
I’d like a digital camera…
What do you do when you’re feeling discouraged or blocked? Do you have any tips for your fellow writers?
I get outside and take a long walk or garden. This always gets the wheels turning again. But dialogue journals are also fun; there are so many available now.
If you could go to the yard sale of any character in the history of children’s literature, whose would you go to, and what would you buy?
I would go to the yard sale of Greta Addington in “Fog Magic” by Julia L. Sauer and I would buy the tiny teacup she found in the foundations of the house where she was to meet her friend-out-of-time. GREAT READ!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your ICL experience?
I learned a tremendous amount about writing in my ICL course, and the contest was something I will never forget. I urge hopeful writers to take a course with ICL and to purchase the market guides. You can do it!