August 14, 2020
Welcome to the Winners' Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL and IFW Contest winners. Today we're celebrating double winner Faith Beuligmann! Her entry Wind Weaver came in Second Place in our YA Fantasy First Pages Contest and her submission Insight won Second Place in the IFW Photo Prompt Short Story Contest!
What contest was your winning entry submitted to?
YA Fantasy First Pages
How many writing contests have you entered?
I had the pleasure of winning 2nd place in the Sci-Fi First Pages contest, and I took 2nd place in the Photo Prompt Contest.
Please give the title of your entry and a short summary of the story.
Wind Weaver is the story of a girl with no voice and no name, orphaned and maimed as an infant by a mysterious antagonist called the Biting Wind. But everything changes for her the day she makes a name for herself, and a friend to call her by it—a friend who knows and trusts her with the Wind's secrets.
What inspired your winning entry?
My friend Janelle. We were having dinner and running late for an event, when she suggested we should, "eat like the wind!" By the time we got to our event, I had all the major components of the story gusting around inside my head, and it's no surprise that friendship was a major theme.
How has entering this contest helped your writing?
Writing and editing with a contest's specific requests and guidelines in mind is a great exercise in shaping your ideas and making them marketable.
How did the critique in the Winners' Workshop help you?
As writers we often work in isolation, and it's easy to start making assumptions about our work and/or second-guessing it. Feedback from the judges and other entrants is both helpful and encouraging!
Are you a full-time writer? If not, what is your "day job"?
I look after children, dogs, and houses, and gather all kinds of writing inspiration while I'm at it.
How long have you been writing?
Since early childhood. As far back as I can remember, I've made up stories in my head and tried to write them down.
What will you do with your piece now that it's been recognized?
Expand it into a full-length novel and hopefully find an agent!
Any fun plans for the prize money?
Part will go towards a writers' retreat, and the rest will go in a travel fund.
What do you do when you're feeling discouraged or blocked? Do you have any tips for your fellow writers?
I ask myself questions: Where can the characters go from here? How will they react if X happens? Why? What does that say about them? Etc. The more detailed the questions, the better. I write them all down, then create as many answers as I can, and go with the ones that intrigue me the most, or further the story I want to tell.
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 Bilbo Baggins's yard sale. I've heard Bag End is full of treasure.
What do you like ICL and our opportunities for writers?
There's no better feeling than taking the ideas in my head and transforming them into words on paper. ICL taught me how to do that, and I now have two completed novels and three more in the works. Thank you!
Are you our next contest winner? There's $1,300 of prize money up for grabs! Check out our current contests on our Contests Page.