As some of you may know, my stories and major blog series are also posted on Vocal–a platform where writers from all walks of life can share their creativity. Short stories, articles, poetry, and so much more can be found there, all divvied up in easy to follow genres. I’m a Vocal+ creator, which means I try to upload my writing there regularly… It also means that I take part in contests hosted by the platform.
This isn’t the first time I’ve made a post about a writing contest I entered on Vocal, but this is the most vital contest I’ve ever been a part of to date. That’s right, I’m talking about The Vocal+ Fiction Awards, where creators can submit their short stories in hopes of being featured in Vocal’s first published book!
Since most of my writing tends to be divided into several parts, I wasn’t confident that I could even get noticed–especially with the amount of creators submitting their works. Even so, I submitted a handful of my original fiction anyway… And I’m delighted to report that two of my stories made it to the finals!
An angel, a demon, and a dreamscape where they share everything.
Though originally inspired by a previous contest, I wrote this piece for lore purposes. In case you couldn’t tell, it’s grounded in the same universe as The Chronicles of Life & Death, and it takes place long before the events of Saturn Rising. The characters depicted here are at the heart of the mission, the very reason the spirit groups are on Earth: they are, in fact, the lost duo. While they’re in their previous incarnations in this short piece of fiction, every word of this passage is canon for the story as a whole.
Some dreams are more than wishes.
Some similarities between this short tale and the previous: both were inspired by Vocal writing challenges, take place in the TCoLD universe, and were exclusively posted on Vocal. Where they differ is their respective places on the timeline–Life & Death is a look back, a glimpse into the past, while Guided By Dreams is a sneak peek at what is to come. It’s an excerpt from Solar Winds, one of the future trilogies of the TCoLD universe, and one of the two series meant to immediately follow Saturn Rising. (Yes, I said two.) It features characters we briefly met in Aquarius and fell in love with in Lizzie’s Diary, so it’s fitting to share this when Lizzie’s origin story is coming to an end this year…
Now, you may be wondering: “Natasha, what does you submitting two short stories into a writing contest have to do with me?”
Well, while I’m not one hundred percent sure how the final twenty-five stories will be chosen–and yes, I said twenty-five. Of the 1,000+ finalists, only 25 can be featured in the book–what I am certain of is that stories with more reads and likes garner more attention. If a piece of fiction is getting noticed, then that means that it would be a wonderful addition to whatever book features it, right?
So, here is your call to action, reader: please help me get my stories noticed!
Step 1: READ my stories
The more reads (in layman’s terms: views) a story has, the more popular it is! I’m not asking that you read both stories over and over, though–just the once is more than enough.
Step 2: LIKE my stories
At the top and bottom of each story is a small heart icon–clicking on this icon will be the equivalent of you leaving a like! Each like tells me that you appreciate my work, and that you’re excited to read more from me in the future.
Please note: in order to leave a like, you’ll probably need a Vocal account, which is free and easy to make! Plus, by making an account, you can subscribe to me and stay up to date on all my writing, including Vocal exclusives.
Step 3: SHARE my stories
Unlike the previous step, you don’t need a Vocal account for this one! After you’ve read my stories, the best way to give them more traction is to share them with people you know. Friends, family, followers on social media–if you know anyone who loves fiction, particularly science fiction, fantasy, and young adult/new adult content, feel free to share these stories with them. You never know who could use the distraction!
Step 4: make a PLEDGE/leave a TIP
This is a new feature on Vocal, but it’s one I’m happy to say I’m taking part in: pledges! You can support your favorite creators by pledging a small monthly amount–only $2.99/month. Pledging helps support my writing, and enables me to pursue my creative endeavors while providing you with more content. Don’t want to commit to a monthly amount? No problem; Vocal also lets you tip your favorite creators whenever you want.
Just as with Step 2, Step 4 most likely requires you to have a free Vocal account.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I’ll be posting a life update once I’ve caught up on commissions and blogs. I’m still technically ahead, so all is well on that front. There are just some other issues that I’m dealing with–emotional, psychological, and financial–that are weighing on me. You could say they’re also why I’m pushing so hard for my Vocal exclusive stories to be read, particularly the ones I’ve submitted to writing contests.
I appreciate every view, every like, and every interaction I share with you all.
Enjoy my writing, and please stay safe. 🖤