Following the advert on Utusan-Exxon English YA Novel 2006 Contest in April, I thought I might want give it a try again this year. I read the interesting blog comments on such short notice being given and also wondered what was up. I am also aware that most novelists do not write a novel within a month and only crazy ones like moi would attempt a novel in 6 days (2005 entry). So I had a resolution to have a month to work on it (a luxury of time for me!). One thing led to another and then I was caught up in the illness, death, wake and funeral of a close family member when I realised that omigosh I had only a week to go. Being a never-say-die person I decided to still try and a week of frenzied writing started, including writing on Windows Mobile on my Dopod Pro838 PDA during hospital visits, the wake AND the funeral (forgive me). And on the penultimate day I rang Utusan to say I was coming with my script.(It was still unprinted out in my computer then.)So there you are. Get writing. Utusan wants you.
Guess what? It was 3 hours to closing time (April 30) and I was told there wasn't a SINGLE entry yet. So I said to the editor that I thought the lack of entries was because no one usually writes a whole novel in 30 days except perhaps a crazy writer like me. That perhaps the advert should have been out earlier.
Their explanation? .... well, they said that they expected all novelists or would-be novelists to have a novel in progress all the time and they did not expect any novelist to write at the last minute (excuse me, except crazy Cean!). The advert was just to inform writers that they could send in their entries now. So apparently, it will be an ongoing thing like the BM novels and if you have a novel you can send in this month and they will keep it for the 2007 contest. Apparently that has worked for the BM contest for years.
So thinking over that, I guess it makes sense. Now we know the reason for the late advert was the assumption that there will be no last minute novelists. Hahaha still, it's an assumption because I am one. But to be fair, I took a week to write this time but I HAD the idea germinating for a while in my head. Though I must say when I started writing, the story took a life of its own. And hey, if you have small thumbs, try writing on a PDA keyboard. It's so liberating because you can write anywhere!
So, what will happen when there's only ONE entry...frankly...I don't know. And hahaha, in future if you have a writing forum/seminar I might volunteer to talk on How To Write A Novel In A Week! (Hopefully ... And Win A Prize).
Still chuckling over the whole experience...
And Cean - we might well take you up on the workshop idea!