Monday, September 10, 2012

Utah Original Writing Competition Winners!!!!


Ok, ok, so this is a bit of a self-congratulatory post but I can finally share the news and I'm so excited!

The Utah Division of Arts and Letters holds an original writing competition and there are a bunch of categories and GUESS WHO GOT SECOND IN SHORT STORY!!! Yep, that's my name right there :)

This is the biggest success for me in a long time, and I definitely needed the boost. The story, "Zuri," is one of the most personal stories I've ever written, and I am glad it did well. It's about a gorilla, I will say that much. I'm still sending it out on submissions so I'll say more once it gets accepted, but for now I can say that it placed in a state sponsored writing competition!!!

I also get a bit of a money prize too, and its always nice to be able to tell people that you've made money with your writing. The other awesome thing is that Stephen Tuttle, the first place winner in the novel category, was my creative writing professor at BYU, and I actually wrote "Zuri" for his class. He is completely amazing, (he belongs with Kafka and Vonnegut and Millhauser) and I totally want to read his novel, and I'm just excited to be on a list with him.

Probably the coolest thing, though, was that first and second place winners get comments from the judge. The judge for the short story category was Darrell Spencer, which in and of itself is freaking amazing.

Here are my favorite things that he said:
“Zuri” is almost as short as one of those remarkable short-short fictions that wheedle their way into your consciousness like a noise outside by the back fence at 3 a.m.—vexing and perplexing and nerve racking and more than worth the effort to engage it.
The beauty of “Zuri” is that its form fails; that is, it draws a reader into the comfortable act of linking (metaphor) only to undermine that act.
It's so cool to have my little story talked about so intelligently. Darrell is way, way smarter than I am, I'm just glad he thought there was enough in it to think about and engage him.

Yay for the wins! Because, yes, they do come!

Sarah Allen


  1. Good for you! And I love the doggie pic.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. Congrats, Sarah!! Good luck on submissions, though I'm sure with those lovely judge quotes you'll have zero trouble. ;-)

  3. Congratulations! And what great comments about your story.

  4. Congratulations! And what fabulous praise, too! Sounds like they totally got and loved your story!

  5. That's really exciting. Congratulations!!

  6. Excellent!

    A well deserved feather in your cap and a very solid item you can stick in your query for your novel.

    You may not have it published, but it will make your query stand out above the others in the slush pile.


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