But I am good at coming second. This is my certificate for coming second in the Girls High Jump at my junior school in Singapore when I was nine. Given I was only 4 foot nothing at that stage you may think it was a miracle - mind you I think there were only three entries.
Amazing that I have so little from my past - no degree certificates, few photos, no saucepans (which I now miss terribly seeing them on Masterchef every week - they are using MY saucepans), but I still have this certificate.
At senior school I came second in the public speaking competition, and I won the David Renton prize for being good in all subjects but not good enough in any single one to win the subject prize.
You see the pattern here?
When I started writing, I entered writing competitions and would rarely get even an acknowledgment that they had received my sweated over prose. Most didn't answer, I was never told that the results were out, never told "Never mind, better luck next time". So I gave up on competitions.
Until the We Love Memoirs Facebook page published information about a competition for travel writers, and undeterred by previous failure I decided to check it out. It is on Fred's Blog and the competition entry requirements are here They didn't seem too difficult and each month a winner is picked for five months and wins US$50 and at the end, the overall winner gets US$300 which is a Lot of Money.
The last line for my entry came to me as I was feeding the goats and then all I had to do was to fill in the 900 word blank page before it, which I did over a few days, and nervously I submitted my entry together with the requested photo and short bio.
Well you could have knocked me over with a feather when within minutes I had an email reply thanking me for my entry, Saying "I love your story"and promising me the link when it was published in a week or so.
The link duly arrived as promised and if you want to read my entry it is here.
And then, out of nowhere, the announcement of the winner arrived in my inbox. I realised I could now start another one for April and scanned through the message:
"Find out who won the March competitionMany thanks to the 22 authors and writers who entered their travel stories in the first part of our 4th Annual Travel Stories Competition.
Each and every entry was brilliant and they covered such a wide spectrum of travel writing. Thank you all so much for getting involved.
As you can imagine, the selection of a winning story was extremely difficult, but ……..
MANY CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR MARCH WINNER"
Lindsay de Feliz and her story Consequences.
You have no idea how I felt - amazing, fantastic, emotional, running around the living room announcing my success to the goats, geese, chickens and dogs. At last I had actually won something.
So any of you who love travel writing give it a go. I have already submitted my entry for this month, The overall competition runs until July 31st, 2018, so there are still another 4 opportunities to enter your 500-1000 word travel stories in the April, May, June, and July competitions.
Take the plunge and good luck!