The first time is a charm for Vince Matey.
After reading the introduction to The Tribune-Democrat’s “Your Story” competition, the Johnstown resident took a chance and submitted his chapter not knowing what to expect.
He said being selected as a winner was surprising.
“I am happy to be chosen,” the 35-year-old said.
“I wasn’t sure how many people submitted stories, and there’s a lot of good authors around, so it’s exciting.”
Matey said he had never seen the competition before and was intrigued by it.
“I’ve always been a fan of fiction, so when I saw the opportunity to write a story in the local paper, I thought it would be a good way to express myself,” he said.
Matey said he decided to take his chapter into a suspenseful direction.
“With Halloween coming up, I wanted to add a little bit of a mystery,” he said.
“One of my favorite authors is Stephen King. He puts a large amount of detail into his stories and I think that draws the reader in.”
Matey said he doesn’t have an idea on where the story should go and he intentionally left his chapter open for interpretation.
“They can take it wherever they want,” he said.
“Is this ‘her’ an old friend, a relative or someone she (Olivia) has never met?”
After a day of brainstorming, Matey said he sat down and wrote the chapter in about two hours.
Once he was finished, he proofread it a few times, but didn’t show it to anybody.
“I kept it kind of secretive,” Matey said.
“I figured it was bad karma to show a whole bunch of people and then submit it.”
Matey said he has always liked to write, especially while in college, and it was a stronger subject for him and something that came easily.
“This is actually my first story that has been published. I’ve written some short stories but I’ve never submitted them anywhere to be published,” he said.
“They were more for myself. It’s really become more of a hobby.”
Matey added that he might try his hand at submitting another chapter to the story.
“I just have to see where the story goes,” he said.