When it comes to contests, who doesn't want to win? But if you don't win, can you still feel a sense of pride and accomplishment if you at least make the winner's podium?
Such was the case for me in the MAUREEN EGEN WRITERS EXCHANGE AWARD, an honor bestowed via Poets & Writers magazine. I recently learned that a short story of mine (actually a self-contained excerpt from a novel of domestic fiction, in-progress) garnered second runner-up.
Each year, poets and fiction writers from one state, who have never published a book (or no more than one book), are invited to apply for the award. Winners are selected by outside judges based on individual manuscripts. This year, the annual prize, which introduces emerging writers to the New York City literary community, was awarded to a writer who resides in the state of New Jersey. While I am disappointed that I didn't win first place, I was very pleased to learn that Nahid Rachlin served as contest judge. I have long admired her beautiful prose and how her work successfully conveys the complexities of family relationships. Therefore, I appreciated her comments about my piece, which included, "This story effectively conveys issues of betrayal and family loyalty."
You can't win them all, but a word of encouragement from an accomplished writer always helps when you return to your writing desk, roll up your sleeves and once again, try to wrestle words down onto the page.
Congratulations to the winners! Link HERE to read their work.