Contest Winner - Skip Zetzman

Contest Winners

Skip Zetzman IFW Contest Winner

Skip Zetzman

Winning Entry: Rust of the Soul

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Welcome to the Winners Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL and IFW Contest winners. Today we’re celebrating Skip Zetzman whose entry Rust of the Soul came in Fourth Place in our Sci-Fi First Pages Contest!

What contest was your winning entry submitted to?

Sci-Fi First Pages

How many writing contests have you entered?


Please give the title of your entry and a short summary of the story.
Rust of the Soul
A virulent nanotechnology grows beyond its initial design and literally consumes the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America, forcing people to find ways to get to other countries or islands. The main character, Daniel MacIntosh, is part of a group that made it to an island in the Atlantic. Now they wait to see if the nanos can cross water…while Tosh hides a terrible secret.

What inspired your winning entry?
An article in Wired magazine.

How has entering this contest helped your writing?
Any time I enter a contest, it helps me focus and hone my craft.

How did the critique in the Winners’ Workshop help you?
It was an immense help. First of all, having a published writer tell you she likes what you’ve done can’t help but lift you up. And she caught at least one place where my copywriter training leaked through, which is good for me to hear.

Are you a full-time writer? If not, what is your “day job”?
I’m a full-time writer of marketing content and advertising. I write “my” work whenever I can.

How long have you been writing?
50 years.

What will you do with your piece now that it’s been recognized?
See if the story is worth the length of a novel or if it might make a good novella or short story.

Any fun plans for the prize money?
Looking for a really good jazz guitar.

What do you do when you’re feeling discouraged or blocked? Do you have any tips for your fellow writers?
My copywriting training has taught me to keep working, to not wait for the muse. It’s a job, just like being a plumber. That said, I use music, breathing, walking and doing one chore to shake things loose.

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?

James’ Giant Peach

Anything you’d like to share about your IFW experience?

Again, having a professional writer critique your work is incredibly important, even if it hurts.

Are you our next winner? Check out our Writing Contests today!

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1000 N. West Street #1200, Wilmington, DE 19801

© 2023 Direct Learning Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Crafted by FirstWire
Institute for Writers LLC BBB Business Review