Wells, ah well.

Vicar’s Close, Wells, the oldest continuously inhabited street in existence, apparently.


So, I didn’t place at the Wells Literary Festival, the comp I’d been shortlisted for- but I did get to spend a weekend in nearby Wales with my sis and a day out in Wells – probaby England’s prettiest metropolis (and definitely its smallest).  I’ve also advanced no further than the shortlist with the Meridian Autumn comp – results out yesterday. Which leaves only the HISSAC longlisting for me to watch out there on the horizon- the shortlist will be announced on Thursday.

A friend said that winning sometimes blunts the urge to continue – so I’m meditating on that thought today.


How are all the six monthers going?


About suehealy

Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre and associate lecturer in playwriting at the universities of Lincoln and Portsmouth, Irish playwright Sue Healy’s Imaginationship premieres at the Finborough Theatre in January 2018. Cow (2017) showed at the Etcetera Theatre and Brazen (2016) ran at the King’s Head, funded by Arts Council England. Her work has been performed at the Criterion, Hackney Attic, Claremorris Festival (New Writing Award winner), Brighton Festival (the Sussex Playwrights’ Award Winner) and Sterts Theatre and has been developed by the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Her nine radio-plays have broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. She has won prizes for her prose including the Molly Keane and HISSAC Awards and the Escalator Prize. A UEA Creative Writing MA alumna, Sue spent eleven years in Budapest editing Hungary A.M. She is completing a Ph.D. in Theatre history. Sue also tutors Creative Writing at CityLit. View all posts by suehealy

14 responses to “Wells, ah well.

  • Maria S McDonald

    Sorry to read on the not-so-great outcomes on some of those competitions, Sue. Onwards and upwards! What a thought-provoking concept your friend has presented there… off to ponder on that myself.

  • cathbore

    It’s always nice to be shortlisted though 😉

    • suehealy

      It very much is, Cath. And I’m honestly happy with that – there was a time some years ago, when I never got near a shortlist, now I make them about 50% of the time. So, something is going right. I’ll possibly win the ManBooker when I’m 106. : )

  • empibaryeh

    I’m not sure I agree with your friend. Too many disappointments can be disheartening to be point of preventing one from pressing on. Some good news every now and then is needed, so good luck with HISSAC.


  • Heather F.

    You know, we all have to develop thick skins and accept rejection as a part of this life we’ve chosen…

    But that doesn’t make it sting any less. Sorry, dear. You’ll get ’em next time!

  • Gillian Colbert

    Sorry to hear it, but I’m sure you’ll continue on … it’s the life blood of an author … continuing. I once told my daughter that mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn, I guess that holds true for not winning as well.

    As for the six-months … I’m at roughly 12,500 words.

    Best wishes!

  • amyleebell

    Bummer about the turnout…maybe the last one will go better. At least you must know that you’re a good writer to have made those lists to begin with. Although I would be personally disappointed after having my hopes up, I would try to find encouragement in that fact alone. You must be doing something “write!”

    I was slightly ahead before the weekend, and I used that as an excuse to slack off. I’m currently at 8512, but I haven’t written yet today, so hopefully I’ll catch up to a 500 wpd average.

    • suehealy

      Thanks for your note, Amy. When this happens I fleetingly feel “why the bugger did they shortlist me, only to get my hopes up?” but then I remember that I can put a shortlisting on my CV- and it all counts. And yes, there were a few years in the early days when I never so much as got a sniff of a shortlisting, so I’ve come a long way.

      I’m desperately ashamed of my progress re novel and plan to make up for it at the weekend. Thansk for motivating me!

  • korimiller

    Re: Competitions: I have yet to enter that arena, but I am motivated by you and a few others to give it a try. So, thanks for sharing the “in’s and out’s.” To misquote Barbie, “Writing is hard.”

    Re: word count: I am behind at his point, but writing continues. We’re having our annual Halloween Shindig (2 on the same day), so that takes center stage, but I am around 12,000 give or take. As Walt Disney said, “Keep moving forward.”

    We own two other businesses (writing is our third), and one thing we’ve learned is it’s okay to be the turtle. I doubt you’ll be waiting until you 100+.

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