Cheryl Andrews Gets Wicked … and Gets Published

Here’s what past workshop participant Cheryl Andrews has to say about her recent publishing credit:

In May of this year the Writers’ Community of Durham Region launched Wicked Words, an anthology of best entries from their recent prose competition.  The contest attracted more than 125 submissions from across Canada and around the world.  Although my story didn’t progress beyond semi-finalist level, I was thrilled when the invitation arrived to include my fictional story “Four Forty-Four” in the anthology.

That every piece submitted would receive feedback from the judges at each tier achieved was the real draw to enter this writing contest.   I’ve been working on a novel since January 2009 — that’s when the main protagonist started nattering away in my head — and the ending she (Anne) wants, a serious challenge for this rookie, involves a dream sequence.  The WCDR Wicked Words contest provided the perfect opportunity to practice … and with feedback.

An emerging writer in the formal, published sense, I have been drawn to and energized by writing for as long as I can remember.  Other than decades of business writing and a lifetime of journalling, I’m a late starter having taken my first creative writing course in 2006.  The hook … what compels me to write?  It’s slipping into that enchanting place, brightly lit and infinite, as if there were no such thing as time.

In January 2009 a small group of grads from Allyson’s memoir writing courses formed the “Lifers” (Life Writers Ink) an intimate writing group focused on education and writing skills development. Without their encouragement and support this short story would never have made the contest deadline, let alone been published!

Getting “Four Forty-Four” researched, written and rewritten, critiqued by the Lifers several times, and then left to percolate for a few weeks before completing the final version was pure, timeless joy … as was the outcome, of course. And, I got the feedback I so desired — honest, critical and tinged with just enough emotion to make me believe the story grabbed my readers.

Read “Four Forty-Four.”

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