Last autumn, the wonderful Tin House launched a competition to finish an unpublished short story by the legendary Shirley Jackson. The contest was to be judged by the Tin House editorial team, Shirley Jackson’s family and awesome short story mistress, Kelly Link – what an opportunity! How could I resist?
Of course I didn’t win – this was Tin House, this was Kelly Link, this was Shirley Jackson!! (Kelly Link was a brilliant discovery for me last year, I’d just finished reading everything by her I could get my paws on, and I’ve loved Shirley Jackson forever; she’s just one of those authors – every time I reread her, there’s something more…) but I WAS A RUNNER-UP!!
As you might be able to tell, this is incredibly exciting for me – I (truly) couldn’t believe it. It took a couple of emails and a phone call to Tin House to convince me that that ‘Megan Taylor’ was actually this one.
After the competition, I was contacted by Jessy Randall, another Jackson devotee. She’s been posting the alternate Jackson endings on the brilliant mystery publishing blog ‘Hey, There’s a Dead Guy in the Living Room’ – http://www.heydeadguy.typepad.com/ – (including the wonderful winning entry from Pazit Cahon, the brilliant piece by Bill Gavula who came first runner-up and Jessy’s own excellent ending). This week, mine’s up there too –