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  • Writer's pictureDana Webster

It's Official!

As someone who writes, at what point do I get to call myself A Writer. When does one cross over from hobbyist to official writer status? I have heard it said that if you write, you are, therefore, a writer, technically speaking. When people ask me what I do, my usual answer is I am a mental health counsellor and I write.

I've always had it in the back of my head that a true writer is one whose work has been published. The idea that other people deem the work worthy of public sharing seems to set one apart from a mere dabbler. Which, in my case, means I became a writer at the tender age of 13 when I wrote a letter to Ask Andy in the Toronto Star complaining about my parents. The letter was published and Andy answered - in my favour, no less. I clipped it and carried it in my wallet for years.

Dana Stuart King - a writer's name if ever there were one

Before that, when I was a kid, like, say, eleven years old, I entered a radio contest up in Owen Sound. The prize was for the best letter written about why I deserved to win two tickets not just to the Ex but to a Rush concert the same night. I made up a story about being a country girl who rarely gets to the big city what with all my farm chores, school and extra curriculars taking up so much of my time. I believe I might also have mentioned a sick and/or dying grandmother's wish to attend the fair with her favourite granddaughter one last time. Yada, yada, yada.

Mine was the winning entry. Possibly, it was the only entry.

But for most of my adult life, I have written behind the scenes. So many stories and poems that have never seen the light of day. Fear, mostly, of exposure kept me back. Then one day I had a stern but loving talk with myself: I'd wanted to be a writer my whole life. I even had a cool writer name. Was I going to let that all go to waste? So, I started this blog. I signed up for creative writing courses and attended writing groups and retreats. I wanted to prove to myself that I had something worth saying.

To that end, I am chuffed to announce that a memoir piece I submitted to the International Amy MacRae Award for Memoir has been shortlisted! My piece, entitled Pile On, will be published in an anthology along with the other ten shortlisted stories. Click the link above which will take you to my and the other shortlisters' stories. The 2022 winner will be announced on October 21.

You can also follow the contest on FB and Instagram (yikes!).

It's official - I Am A Writer.

Interested in my original prose?

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