A few days before Christmas last year, I sat myself down at the dining table of my English housemate’s childhood home in a village tucked away in the Midlands. In between the hearty home-cooked meals, half-written sonnets, Christmas carols, and an essay on Edmund Burke, I began working on a short story that eventually became “Lily of the Valley”. Upon its completion, I entered “Lily” in the Newcastle University’s International Students’ Short Story Competition, where it was shortlisted early last month.
Last Saturday, I went to one of NCLA’s “Festival of Belonging” events, where I had the pleasure of meeting Hari Kunzru, one of the guest authors in attendance. To my utmost surprise and delight, he announced (on behalf of judge Tahmima Anam, who was unable to make the event) that I had won the competition. “Lily of the Valley” can be now found at the NCLA’s online archive.
A hundred years ago to this very day, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City and sank in the North Atlantic, taking 1,517 lives with her. Since then, the Titanic has been portrayed numerous times in a variety of media including film, television, and stage, eventually becoming a worldwide phenomenon after James Cameron’s 1997 film. I first saw Titanic as a girl of 10, and what could’ve been three hours of simple entertainment turned into a life-changing experience. And so, on the centennial of the ship’s sinking, I’ve made a list of eight ways in which the Titanic has impacted my life.
With the New Year fast approaching (and with some of you already on the other side of the dateline), many of us are finalising our list of resolutions for 2012. Those of you who dabble with words will probably have a writing-related resolution on your list, whether it’s to get those drabbles out there or to finally finish that manuscript. My own list contains some pretty daunting projects and even scarier numbers. So with these resolutions in mind, here are five tips to stay motivated and keep writing throughout the year.