Well, I didn't win but I didn't come in dead last.
The 3 Day Novel Contest winner was announced on the website this morning and it was not my name or my book at the top of the list.
Or in second.
However, I was in the 14-book shortlist that followed. Somewhere in the top 17 out of 379 entries. Which is certainly better than nothing, and pretty much what I'd expected. It certainly won't hurt when I edit and flesh out the story and try to shop it around to SF editors.
I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall when the contest judges were debating the stories. The winner, despite what I have said earlier about a dearth of fantasy literature in the contest, is a horror/comedy story called Day Shift Werewolf, by Jan Underwood. It's about a werewolf demoted for being unproductive, and also features a claustrophobic mummy and distractable zombie.
Looking back at the previous winners, they veer unexpectedly from what sounds very much like earnest "capital L" literature to quirky stories, with a couple that are magic realism. No traditional fantasy, and definitely no standard SF. What on earth did they make of my story, or of the other serious SF and fantasy epics they no doubt received? Were they immediately shunted off to the side, with a few of the best left in the shortlisted category, or were they seriously considered on their merits for the top three prizes? I imagine it depends on the judge. And the fact that a comedy in the Terry Pratchet vein ultimately won obviously supports the idea that it came down to pure merit, with no genre restrictions.
I'll certainly buy Day Shift Werewolf, and I urge anyone reading this blog to pick up a copy, too. Support struggling authors! We need money.
I've already made a personal vow: I will win this contest, or die trying. I've just got to think up an idea for next year.