I've been blathering on about it for weeks, but it's finally here! I must say, getting an actual prize did make it seem a bigger deal, I always thought the Mslexia shortlist should get a celebratory certificate (like a swimming certificate, but less penguins or dolphins) or book token or something. It makes it hard to prove it in days to come when we might want to impress and agent or editor. I think the competition idea is good for me, it brought my writing to the attention of a lot of industry readers. One of my writing colleagues said: 'oh, I couldn't enter a competition, I'd be so upset if I didn't make the shortlist.' OK, but sending your masterpiece off to an unknown agent is much harsher, and there is only a winner, no shortlist to work your way up. People quibble over the entry fee, but it costs that much to print off your book and post it multiple times! The Yeovil opens in January and the deadline is in May.
Meanwhile, all is eerily quiet on the book front with several editors still holding it. The good news is that people who my very knowledgeable agent trusts, have declared it an adult book which is great. Much as I admire YA writers (and read them), the rest of my writing is definitely adult, and I didn't want to have to give that up.
I have talked to my tutor about my rationale, which she says would already probably pass but has suggested a number of changes that I could think about. This is a huge relief, and although I have a lot of rewriting to do, it's all possible. So that's my weekend sewn up!