A writers group I meet with every month has a tradition of writing holiday poems or stories to share for our December meetings. I have belonged to this group for more than twenty years, and I’ve accumulated more than a dozen short stories with a Christmas theme.
I entered a couple of my short stories in writing contests.
MALL MAGIC won a prize from Children’s Writer in their contest for YA (Young Adult) Fiction in 1996.
ONE YEAR AFTER won a prize in Children’s Writer’s Historical Fiction contest in 2011.
ONE YEAR AFTER also won a prize in a Historical Fiction contest sponsored by the Center for Writing Excellence in 2013.
Writing contests have strict guidelines on word count, so I usually need to cut a lot of words before I enter a story in a contest. Doing that taught me a lot about tightening my sentences, which is important in all kinds of writing.