Some while ago, I wrote a story for a story challenge. I've mentioned the story here before, but it was written in reponse to a blog challenge to write a contemporary crime story based on a classic fairytale. I had responded to one or two of these challenges before, and realized that it was an enjoyable way to write stories for me. A few years ago I had gotten pretty heavily into the more official submissions world, where you send a story out endless times and hope that someone will take it. I had some results, but frankly, it's a lot of effort, and not just writing effort, for a little return. Writing stories for fun and having them immediately featured somewhere seemed a lot more rewarding. But honestly, since it was just for a blog, I really didn't think about consequences, other than that a few more people would read it than might otherwise.
Well, the blog host, John Kenyon, somehow was in connection with the folks at Untreed Reads, and they thought it was a good idea for an ebook. All of us who participated in this challenge eventually became the authors of Grimm Tales, and the book was published just before Christmas of last year. It connected me to a good group of talented crime writers and has added to my life in that way.
There is an even longer term effect, though, in that Untreed Reads itself has just recently been granted the status of an ITW recognized publisher, which means in turn that all Untreed Reads writers are entitled to membership in the ITW. That's right...even someone with one, tiny, not particularly criminal story gains entrance. And that someone would be me.
Obviously, I hope, I'm not writing this post to brag, because let's face it, it's a pretty poor brag to say you managed to barely sneak in an open door. What I'm really trying to show is that luck is a big factor in the writing game, and you just never know where anything will lead. If you have a story for a story challenge or anything like that, for heavens sake, write it. Because you just never know what's going to happen next.