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The Anniversary

This time, last year I heard about my successful DYCP grant, Arts Council England.

A year has passed, and what a year it has been. More than anything I was helped with knowing that someone believed in my ability as a writer and trusted me. A year on, I am still excited and joyful about this fact. The past year has been a year of learning. I had sessions planed with Mahtab, my web mentor, and Pete, my writing mentor. I have learnt a lot. Jar of Words website is now a reality. My book is also shaping well. Soon I must start looking for a literary agent, so watch the space.

The text below the picture, is what I wrote last year, I am sharing it here as a reminder to myself.

امروز سالگرد اطلاع یافتن از موفقیت پرژه هنریم است. یک سال گذشت. وب‎سایت سبوی سخن امروز به واقعیت پیوسته و جلساتی که قرار بود با مربیان طراحی وب‌سایت و نویسندگی داشته باشم هم همگی با موفقیت به پایان رسیده‌اند. به زودی برای چاپ کتاب باید دنبال شرکت نشر باشم.

متن پایین عکس متنی است که سال گذشته نوشتم و برای یاداوری به خودم مجدد به اشتراک گذاشته‌ام.

What I wrote this time last year

Yesterday a friend of mine sent me a message and asked about the outcome of my grant proposal. I had submitted a DYRP grant form a few months before and I was waiting in anticipation to hear back.

khoshkhabar bashi, a saying in Persian meaning I hope it will be good news was my response. And good news,it turned out to be. Although I was still waiting to hear the Art Council's decision on my proposal, my friend told me that she had seen my name on the Art Council website!

I rushed to the site, my heart was ponding as I was going down the list of successful candidates, a similar experience to checking for Konkoor results over 30 years ago. At that moment, I was the same young Shahireh desperately seeking my own name in the list of hundreds with surnames starting with the same letter as mine, to find out if my grades were good enough for the course of my choice.

Soon after coming to a name similar to mine on the list of successful applicants, everything came to a sudden halt. My friend must had seen this name and thought it was me. How could I expect to see my name on the list when I haven't heard anything from the Art Council directly? I pushed my laptop away and sank into bed. Resting my head back I thought how getting this grant could have changed my life. I was ready to plunge in the world of the Arts but it wasn't meant to be. A few moments and some deep breathing later, I reached for the laptop and continued looking at the rest of the names on the list.

There it was! Row number 296 was dedicated to me. 'The Next Step' written next to my name was clearly indicating I was one of the successful applicants out of 6,137 in Round 9. After a few times checking and rechecking my name. I asked my daughter to double check if what I thought had happened was real, she confirmed it was!

A sense of achievement washed over me. I was still in the same place that I was before, but something had changed. I wasn't stuck any more. Now I had tools to climb up, as if I could open my wings and ascend the mountain in no time. I had a torch to light the path ahead. The next 12 months is all that is needed now for my idea to brew into a book

I quickly wrote an email to the Art Council. I hoped that they wouldn't respond with saying sorry there was a mistake. Well, they didn't. An email came the next day directing me to log on to the Art Council portal and review my decision letter.

My project is funded!. Thank you to everyone on the panel of the Art Council. Dear everyone in the world of literature, please move up and make room. #Shahirehandherbook is coming.

Watch this space! You are all invited to my website which will be going live in a couple of month. I will be sharing my blogs and vlogs about characters of my new book, there will be an opportunity to comment on the story as it develops. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Meanwhile I am saving some of today's feelings in a jar and keep it for trying times ahead, armed with this jar of happiness no doubt I can make it.

Written on 3th May

متنی که پارسال نوشتم

یک سبو حال خوش

فرم خلق اثری هنری (کتابی که می خواهم بنویسم) را مدتی پیش به شورای هنر انگلستان ارسال کرده بودم. دو روز پیش دوستی پیامی داد و معلوم شد که اسم مرا در لیست طرح هایی که شورای هنر آنها را حمایت خواهند کرد دیده. دستپاچه به سایت رفتم و شروع به خواندن اسامی کسانی که طرح آنها برای حمایت پذیرفته شده کردم. حسی شبیه به حس بیست سال پیش داشتم. همان شهیره جوان بودم که دنبال اسم خودم در لیست قبول شدگان کنکور می گشتم. در میان اسامی به اسمی کاملا شبیه به اسم خودم برخوردم. حتما دوستم با دیدن این اسم آنرا به اشتباه اسم من دانسته. ناامید لپ‌تاپ را به عقب سراندم و در تخت فرو رفتم. چه کارهایی که با حمایت شورای هنر قادر به انجام آن نبودم. آماده شیرجه زدن به دریای ادبیات انگلیسی بودم ولی حال چه؟ بعد از مدتی احساس تاسف برای خود و چند نفس عمیق لپ تاپ را برداشتم و دوباره نگاهم به دنبال اسم خودم در میان اسامی برندگان پروژه های پیشنهادی شد. ناگهان در ردیف 296 به اسم خودم رسیدم. بال درآورده ام. دیگر همه چیز برای نوشتن کتابم به انگلیسی آماده هست. وه چه خوش اقبالم امروز! کمی از حال خوش امروز را در سبویی برای روزهای سخت نگه خواهم داشت. با داشتن این سبو کنارم می دانم که موفق خواهم شد از سختی‌های راه عبور کنم و پروژه ام را به خوبی به پایان برسانم.

همه شما به سایتی که به زودی باز خواهد شد دعوت هستید. آنجا در مورد شخصیت‌های داستان خود با هم صحبت می کنیم و شما هم می توانید نظرات، پیشنهادات و انتفادات سازنده ی خود را از آن طریق در اختیار من بگذارید. هشتگ‌های فارسی که برای پست‌های مربوطه بکار خواهم برد #شهیره_و_کتابش و #سبوی_سخن خواهد بود.

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