I've never considered myself to be a scholarly writer, obviously I have to do that sort of work in the English Department, but I've never considered it my strongest area or an area where I want to focus myself for the future. However, I occasionally write pretty decent essays and research papers (apparently).
My wonderful literature professor has talked me into submitting one of my papers to an intercollegiate women's studies conference. I still have some editing to do before I send it in Thursday, but it may be an interesting experience. If accepted, I'll get to present my paper and discuss it. The subject is the short story "The Hand" by Colette- an interesting piece and very short, worth reading.
In spite of some initial misgivings I have decided to submit it, so we'll see if it gets accepted.
I've also decided to enter a short story contest called "Jane Austen Made Me Do It." Honestly, how could I not enter a contest with that name? I'm drafting a story right now, the deadline's in February, so that leaves me a good timeline to work with. I realize that I will be one of a multitude of entries and will probably not win, probably not even really be the kind of story that they are looking for, but it will be a good experience. I'm bad with deadlines, so it will be a good exercise in self discipline, and since I'm very weird about people reading my work, it will be good for me to send it out and have other people read what I write for once.
I'm also drafting a new mystery novel for my series. I've decided that 2011 will be a productively experimental year for me as a writer. I'm not going to turn down new writing challenges and opportunities, I'm going to embrace them and broaden my versatility as a writer.