Contest transforms writer into true Queen of Wands

My experience with the Denver Woman’s Press Club began when I was an undergraduate at  the Metropolitan State University of Denver, more than a decade ago. Tarot and tea leaf readings were not as significant to me then as they are now, but my connection to these days of course remains.

The Queen of Wands from the Camoin/Jodorowski Tarot holds what appears to be a rather massive pen.
The Queen of Wands from the Camoin/Jodorowski Tarot holds what appears to be a rather massive pen.

In anticipation of the Unknown Writers’ Contest held at the Denver Woman’s Press Club (deadline February 17, 2015), here’s an interview I had via email with Kate Lansing. Kate won first place fiction in 2014  for “La Chusa,” a spooky story narrated by a school teacher.

When and how did you first learn of — and get involved in — submitting your work, particularly to The Denver Woman’s Press Club’s Unknown Writer’s Contest?

I first heard about this contest from my mom, who placed in the nonfiction category a while ago. When I started writing fiction a few years back, she urged me to enter, particularly for the judges’ feedback.

The first short story I submitted needed a lot of work. The judges’ comments were critical, but so helpful and encouraging. The next year I submitted another story, much improved, but still lacking an emotional punch.

Third time’s a charm, I guess.
What do you feel is the most rewarding part of the experience of entering the contest?

Seeing my hard work pay off. Comparing the judges’ feedback this time to my prior submissions was amazing; it showed just how much I’ve grown as a writer.

Also, it was a dream come true to hear that people found my story moving.
Why should others submit?

Writing can sometimes feel isolating, like you’re writing in this void with no idea if you’re heading in the right direction. This contest is a great opportunity to get honest feedback on your work from very talented professionals in the publishing industry.

The word count limit of 2,000 words is a fun challenge too. Constructing a story with a beginning, middle, and end in that short amount of time is great practice, especially if, like me, you have aspirations to write novels.


What is a favorite sentence from your winning submission?

Now I’m haunted by the sound of beating wings.

Get your writing in, too! The Unknown Writers’ Contest is open to men and women. All entrants are invited to tea on April 12, 2015, 2-4 pm, at the Denver Woman’s Press Club, 1325 Logan St., Denver 80203. Winners will read from their work, and prizes will be awarded. Entrants are encouraged to attend with family and friends but need not be present to win.  

Entries are due by midnight Feb 17, 2015. Guidelines are here.

The Creative Spark Tarot reading was created in honor of the Unknown Writer's Contest
The Creative Spark Tarot reading was created in honor of the Unknown Writer’s Contest

In honor of this interview and the Unknown Writer’s Contest, I have created the Creative Spark reading. I’d be delighted to do one for you with Tarot or as a tea leaf reading.

Thanks for the read.

If you’d care for a cup of imaginary tea, help yourself at my Etsy shop, where I offer Tarot and tea leaf readings. I also have a newsletter and a website if you’d like to stay in the loop.

Special thank you to Hal Weeks, creator of the Wickwillow Tarot, for offering this headline and sharing this photo when I asked him to help me connect this lovely interview to Tarot and tea leaf readings.

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