I’ve been hugely privileged to be involved with the last couple of Kindle Storyteller Awards. As a writer – and a busy writer at that – it can be tempting to get buried by the work and the deadlines, and not find the time to look around and see what others are doing. Fortunately, thanks to the ease with which authors can discuss issues with like minds in online groups and forums, I’m able to keep abreast of the many challenges facing other in my position, as well as also being able to enjoy examples of other writers doing what they do best – write.
Being a judge has been a wonderful opportunity for me to do the latter. It’s exciting to read new voices creating wonderful new stories, and I find that that after I’ve spent enjoying their submissions, then reflecting on what they’ve done, I can return to my own work with renewed enthusiasm.
The writing community as a whole is hugely supportive. Even after all the books I’ve written (more than thirty now), there are still occasions where I need support or guidance. The support and feedback I get from my readers is hugely welcome – it’s good to hear what works, and what might not work, and whilst it is dangerous to react impulsively to feedback good or bad, it’s a good way of taking the temperature.
I wonder how it used to work, and how authors found feedback before the whole world was available in our pockets – if they were writing today, would Dickens have had a Facebook page, or would Hemingway have got into flame wars on Twitter? (Almost certainly).
I recommend looking at all the writers on the short-list for the Award, even if the books themselves might not be in genres that you usually find yourself reading. Those on the shortlist show incredible talent and innovation and are most definitely worth following as their careers proceed. Every single book on the shortlist deserves acclaim and attention, with LLAMA DRAMA by Anna McNuff a very worthy winner.