How much time and money do you devote to entering competitions? For some it can be a full time job. for others a 'Spur of the moment' thing. When I looked back at my submissions file, I found that I hadn't entered a competition since August 2015 so I think I fall into the 'Spur of the moment' category. A couple of years ago it seems I entered quite a few but without much success. I managed to win a Haiku competition in Writing Magazine 2014 and I can still remember the feeling of absolute delight. It had nothing to do with the prize money of £100 (not to be sniffed at) but the feeling must have been something akin to winning the lottery. More than anything is was the finding out that someone liked what I had written. That it was worthy of being put at the top of the pile. Last September, I finished a module on Writing for Children while studying for a BA (hons) in Creative Writing. Once my stories had been assessed in December, they became free for me to publish. I put them away, waiting for an opportunity and a couple of weeks ago I recieved an email from Flash 500, a website that runs annual and quartely competitions. The quarterly comps are for Flash Fiction under 500 words and the annual comp is for short stories up to 3,000 words. I looked up the rules and it said that they accepted stories for children as well as adults so on the 'Spur of the moment' I sent in one from my course called HIDDEN TREASURE. Early this week I was totally shocked and surprised to find that my story has made the Longlist. You can see the website HERE It wasn't until I saw it there in print that the same feelings of elation, pride, excitement hit me all over again. I think fishermen must feel like that when the tip of their rod starts to twitch. I have now convinced myself that it couldn't possibly make the shortlist but whether it does or not, the feeling can't be taken away from me. I won't make entering competitions a full time job as my studies take up much of my time but my confidence levels are at an all time high and if another opportunity to enter a writing competition lands on my doorstep, I just might do something on the 'Spur of the moment' and go fishing in my files for a suitable story or poem. It may even inspire me to write a completely new one from scratch.