Submissions to Show Off: Winter Solstice are closed. Forty of you battled through your fear of failure and submitted something to the contest. That, in itself, is a huge accomplishment. You should be proud.

Submitting work is no easy thing. I once submitted a story to The New Yorker and labored for days to make sure every comma was in the right place, every word perfect. When I finally hit SUBMIT, it felt like my stomach crawled out of my mouth and finally quit me I was so nervous. The story didn’t get chosen and I got a rejection letter to hang on my wall. This is the writing life.

You must hit SUBMIT. You must release your work into the world. All the practice in the world is worthless unless you do. As Steve Jobs said, “Real artists ship.” Forty of you proved this week you are real artists. Well done.

Now, to Business.

Winter Solstice

Photo by Duane Tate

1. Go “LIKE” Your Favorite Story

Acquisitions editors have the challenging job of choosing one manuscript out of hundreds or even thousands. Can you imagine having to say “no” to so much great writing?

Today, let’s practice imagining it.

Go through and read a selection of the stories. If you want, you can start reading from the end or the middle so everyone doesn’t skip over the same ones. Then, choose your favorite by clicking “LIKE” in the bottom-right corner of the post.

Your vote will add somewhat to my decision about whose story wins the contest. Let’s say 24.786% of the judging will be based on votes.

2. The Winner

The winner will be announced later this week or early next. The winner will then work with me to edit their piece to perfection (but since I don’t believe in perfection, we’ll just do our best to make it shine like a fresh layer of ice on the pond).

Then, the finished piece will be posted here at the end of the month day, and be included in our forthcoming Write Practice anthology.

Very exciting.

PRACTICE

Practice your acquisitions editor skills:

1. Read three or more entries from our Winter Solstice Writing Contest.

2. Vote for your favorite (by clicking the “Like” button at the bottom-right of the post).

Enjoy the stories!

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).