Imagine my surprise when I opened the following link to the Missouri Literacy Festival http://www.missouriliteraryfestival.org/2011/09/22/missouri-literary-festival-announced-short-fiction-prize-winners/ and saw my name as a first runner up in the Missouri Writers competition and the winner of the Voters Choice competition. Maybe surprised is not the right word. Stunned, delirious, shocked. Yeah those are better descriptions of my reaction.
This was a story I actually wrote about ten years ago on a dare from a friend. He told me to write him a story about slavery and this is what I came up with. A story of a young girl suddenly torn from her family and bewildered by her circumstances.
When a writer friend of mine, Alice Cummings, http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com/ (who by the way placed second) told me about the contest back in June the first thing I thought of was this story. It'd been all but abandoned on my hard drive all these years and now was it's chance to see the light of day. All I wanted was somebody to read it, finally. Of course I hoped it was good enough for some sort of recognition. After all, that's why we enter contests isn't it? I made a few edits, sent it off with my entry fee and pretty much forgot about it until my writer friend informed me we were both finalists for the Voters Choice award.
I began a campaign, putting all my new found social networking skills to the test. I facebooked, I twittered, I inlisted co-workers, friends and both writer's groups I belong to. I was shameless. And it worked! It actually worked! I appreciate and thank all the people who voted for me.
But, I have to say I am most proud of the first runner up award. This means a panel of judges deemed my story good. Wow!