WE HAVE A WINNER!
After a long month of head to head commotion, playing it nice and thoughtful in the comments, weathering near-constant technical difficulties (yeah, we’re sorry about that… but hey, it added some spice, right?) and establishing clear leads in each round, P.D. Walter and his story “Sick to Death of Stories” have emerged victorious in the Indie Writer’s Deathmatch 2017!
His story will be published in Broken Pencil alongside runner-up Susan Read’s story, “Failure to Cooperate”, and our semi-finalists “Fogger” by Vicky Savage and “I Want You Around” by Rachel Rosenberg.
PD will also be taking home $400 cash and undergoing The Ultimate Literary Makeover, including eetings with: editor Veronica Liu of New York’s fabled Seven Stories Press; Literary agent Chris Bucci of the McDermid Agency and writer/podcast genius Jonathan Goldstein.
While we look forward to catching up with PD in the future, we asked him a few quick questions about how it feels to be the 2017 Champion!
How does it feel to have won?
To be honest, it’s a very mixed feeling, and a bit lonely. Of course, I am ‘happy’ to have won, and very excited about the doors that this will (hopefully) help to nudge open, but I wish it was possible for more people to win.
How was the Deathmatch overall?
It was fun, but quite stressful at times. The first weekend was sheer panic as everyone tried to figure out how the system worked. Then it felt like tiptoeing though a minefield of potential hazards. As the number of authors narrowed in subsequent rounds, I felt more and more like a dancing monkey trying to keep everyone happy and entertained. It struck me as very much like an election, or a high-wire act where anything could knock you off at any time. But, fortunately, my brother has quite a bit of experience with political campaigns, so he gave me some strategic advice that I think worked.
What are you gonna do now that it’s done?
Just keep writing and keep submitting until more things stick. I have been working on this grand life project of making a living as a writer for a long time, and have a big backlog of stuff I want to publish. But, probably like most would-be writers, I am happiest when I am working on something new and it is going well, so I’m pushing ahead with new projects. My next literary gig is presenting a story at the Saints & Sinners literary festival in New Orleans this March. I’ve never been, so that’s exciting.
What was the highlight for you, and what was the greatest challenge?
The highlights were connecting with some of the other authors, who I hope will be friends for a long time to come, and seeing the tremendous support there was for my story. The biggest challenge was just putting myself out there and trusting that people would respond to what I had to say. I am not a huge fan of social media, or self-promotion in general, so having to generate thousands of words of comments over the course of the competition, and asking everyone I know to support me was a useful kick in the pants that way. Also, trading silly little poems with the other authors to defuse the tension and pass the time was a lot of fun!