Welcome to the Winner’s Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we’re celebrating Middle Grade Adventure Fiction Winner Dawn Beebe!
What contest was your winning entry submitted to?
Middle Grade Adventure Fiction
How many writing contests have you entered?
Tell us the title of your entry and a short summary of the story.
The Impossible Test
Liliana is selected by the red button and brought to an alternate universe. In this alternate universe dinosaurs rule and humans serve. Liliana wants to return home to her family and friends, but first she must pass three tests that challenge her physically and mentally.
What inspired your winning entry?
One day I was driving down the road with my daughter and we passed a semi truck carrying a piece of equipment. To this day I don’t know what that piece of equipment was, but my daughter and I looked at each other and said “WOW!” Right then we began plotting and our main question was “What if?”
I went home and began researching dinosaurs, and eventually had an entire novel outlined. Unfortunately, I put the story away for several years. It wasn’t until I read about the contest that I once more began wondering, “what if?”
How has entering this contest helped your writing?
The contest gave me a huge boost of confidence. Writing a story and sharing adventures can be scary, but entering this contest has taught me the importance of following guidelines.
Are you a full-time writer? If not, what is your “day job”?
At this point in life, I have the pleasure of writing full time. I treat writing as a job and stick to a schedule.
How long have you been writing?
I began writing stories when I was about 10. At that point in time I knew I was going on grand adventures in outer space with Captain Kirk.
What will you do with your piece now that it’s been recognized?
I’m thinking about submitting the story to different magazines. But then again, I may wait and finish the original idea for a novel before I begin the submitting process.
Any fun plans for the prize money?
Right now it’s in savings for a writing conference.
What do you do when you’re feeling discouraged or blocked? Do you have any tips for your fellow writers?
When I’m feeling discouraged or blocked I’ll go for a short walk, get a cup of tea, or pull a few weeds out of my garden. Sometimes that little bit of distraction is all I need to get back on track. I also write with a pen and paper when starting a new project. Looking at a blank computer screen is terrifying, but with a pen and paper I can doodle around the edges and at least have something on the paper. Then that big blank space isn’t as intimidating.
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 think I would go to Alice’s yard sale and buy a tea cup.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your ICL experience?
The writing contest has been a wonderful learning experience. I can’t recommend ICL enough for the help and encouragement they’ve given, not only as a contestant, but also as a student in both courses.