I got some happy writing news a few days back that was announced officially yesterday: I was selected as the winner in fiction for the 2014 Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award: http://www.pw.org/about-us/maureen_egen_writers_exchange_award
I still hardly know what to say. When the call came in, I was sitting at my desk at school, prepping for class. Miraculously, the ringer was on. The caller ID said, “NY,” and I thought, Huh, a telemarketer from New York.
Nope. It was the wonderful Bonnie Marcus, director of P&W’s Writers Exchange Award, to which I had applied back in December but then promptly put out of my mind because it was such a long shot. (Me, one out of all of the talented fiction writers in the whole state of Alabama? Puh-leese!) When the official letter arrived a couple of days later, I carried it around in my bag and would pull it out at random moments to make sure that the whole thing wasn’t some grading-induced, end-of-the-semester fever dream.
For now, I would like simply to float a little raft of thank-yous out onto my sea of gratitude. To Bonnie and all of the folks at Poets & Writers, to the final judge Victor LaValle, and to Maureen Egen: thank you for this wild opportunity, this unexpected fluttering in my sails. To all of the colleagues, teachers, mentors who have pushed and encouraged me: I am forever indebted and grateful. To my dear, lovely, funny friends and family who buoy me at every turn, keep my little dinghy pointed in the right direction: thank you for believing in me, even when (especially when) I don’t.