Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 Writing Hits and Misses

As promised in my last post, here is a list of my significant writing accomplishments for 2012.

In addition to my successes, I've included notes about submissions that didn't make the mark.
Contest Wins

1st Place: 2 essays, 3 short stories

Erma Bombeck Global Humor Writing Contest: “Honey, Can I Borrow Your Garter Belt?”

CCMWG Nonfiction Contest: “The Magic of Writing”
MWG President’s Short Story Award: “Under the Bottle Tree”

Coffee and Critique Contest: “Sins of the Daughter”

OWL Mystery Short Story “Sins of the Daughter”

 2nd Place: 1 flash fiction, 1 blog post

MWG Conference /Saturday Writers Flash Fiction Contest: “A Lovely Shade of Pink”

MWG Conference/KC Writers Blog Post Contest: “Writing Tips from a Contest Judge”

3rd Place: 1 essay, 1 memoir

OWL Essay Contest “Twice Blessed”

OWL Memoir Contest “The Latin Book”

 HM:  1 essay

CCMWG Nonfiction Contest: “A Fine Day in November”
Note: Three contests I entered (Highlights, Green River Writers, and Springfield Writers Guild) didn't garner any wins at all. In addition to my wins at OWL and MWG, a few entries in different contest categories did not receive recognition. 

Publications (doesn't include book reviews and author interviews)

Articles: 2

“Writing Tips from a Contest Judge” on Walrus Publishing Website

 “All About Writing” in MWG Newsletter

Essays: 3

“Take Your Clothes Off and Other Critique Group Advice” on WOW! Women on Writing Friday Speak Out

“The Magic of Writing” in Well Versed Anthology

“A Fine Day in November” in Well Versed Anthology

True Stories: 2

“A Just Man” true story w/photograph in Life Lessons from Dad

“Unexpected Joy” reprint in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Gift of Christmas

Short Stories: 5

“Keeping the Faith” in Cactus Country II

“Look Back, But Don’t Stare” reprint in Writing on Walls Anthology

“Time to Get Your Jingle On” in Fifty Shades of Santa

“Canned Beets” reprint in Cuivre River 10th Anniversary Anthology

“Stairway to Heaven” in Shadows after Midnight

Recipe/with accompanying story: 1

 “Donna’s Hot Glow Wine” recipe and story behind the recipe on Panera Bread Co. Website 
Note: I submitted a few other essays to anthologies last year. At least one of the anthologies was published in 2012 without my submission, so I missed the mark there. I'm still waiting for the results of the others. 
Professional Activities

Panelist for “The Story Behind Saturday Writers” at Saturday Writers meeting

Spoke on “Beyond Networking: The Importance of Building Relationships with Other Writers” at Catholic Writers of St. Louis meeting


Open Mic Reading at Sage Books in St. Charles


Presentation “Think Outside the Book: How Writing Short Stories Can Get Your Work Noticed” to Sisters in Crime (St. Louis Chapter)

Read “Honey Can I Borrow Your Garter Belt?” at Washington-Centerville Public Library in Ohio

Special Guest at Erma Bombeck Workshop at University of Dayton, Ohio


Read at Launch Party of Well Versed in Columbia, MO


Attended marketing presentation by Liguori Publications at Catholic Writers of St. Louis Meeting


Interviewed by Jennifer Brinker of the St. Louis Review for Feature “The Pen is a Mighty Sword” about Catholic writers in St. Louis


Evergreen Cemetery Tour/staff discussion in Bloomington, IL, with All Saints Writers Group in preparation for AS 190th anniversary heritage celebration


Workshop presentation on “Structuring Short Stories for Passion and Profit” at the CCMWG Write Direction Conference in Columbia


Participated in “Chicken Soup for the Soul, Canned Soup for the Body” book signing at The Book House on Manchester Rd.
Note: I didn't include my critique group or writing meetings.
While I'm pleased with my accomplishments, the intent of this post is to offer encouragement to other writers and show how the time spent writing and submitting eventually pays off -- and there's always room for improvement.
How about you? Any significant writing accomplishments you're particularly pleased with last year?


  1. What a great list, Donna! Definitely something to look back on and be proud of.

    I'm proud of going to the Breakout Novel conference this past September and putting my work and myself out there. It was a great experience and I'm so glad I did it. :)

    1. Hi Madeline,
      So cool that you went to the Breakout Novel conference. It sounds like a good one.

  2. Donna--I love this idea of noting your hits and your misses. Your list is quite impressive.

    I was thrilled to do the Chicken Soup book signing with you and Beth. And I hope my hits outnumber my misses in 2013...

  3. Wow! Donna, you are amazing! This is an incredible list of accomplishments. I am proud to know you!

    1. Linda,
      You have a very impressive list of accomplishments mine can't touch.

  4. Congrats on all your successes, Donna!

  5. Such a busy, busy bee! Congratulations on your successes! And even on your misses, because writing is so subjective. I'm sure they were worthy, just not what the pickers were looking for at that time. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.

    It was a treat to meet you at the Chicken Soup signing, and to hear you tell my husband, "We've read all about you." Lucky for me he doesn't catch verbal nuances very well.

    1. Hi Val,
      It was great to see you, Hick, and Pony. What a wonderful family you have and thanks for supporting your fellow writers.

  6. Although I already knew about most of this, it certainly does look impressive in print! Congrats again, Donna, on a fabulous year!

  7. Very impressive, indeed, Donna. You should be very proud of your amazing writing accomplishments. Congratulations!

    Critter Alley

    1. Hi Pat,
      Thanks. It was great to see you at the Chicken Soup signing.

  8. Logging your yearly activity is a great way to keep up motivation as well as mapping out your new year. Other than keeping my blog alive I would have to chronicle my year by sewing projects. Although I'm kicking off the new year with sewing I have been researching writing story outlines...there is an idea starting to roost, we'll see where it goes. Happy 2013!!

    1. Hi Sally,
      Congratulations on your sewing projects. Wish I had some ability in that area, but sadly I don't.

  9. I've always been impressed by you, but now even more so! How motivating.

    1. Hi Lynn,
      Your reading from Fifty Shades of Santa was lots of fun!

  10. Great! You accomplished a lot last year. I posted about my accomplishments on my blog a few days ago.


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