Isn’t it great when the actual far exceeds the expected? I know that’s unusual…well, it is in my case, if not yours. This past weekend produced one of those rare occasions for me. Let me explain.
I’ve been a member of the Florida Writers Association almost from its beginning. That’s 2001. The organization has been very important to me in many ways. I’ve leaned a lot about the writer’s craft, about publishing, and about the mind-set of the industry. I’ve met a lot of great folks along the way, starting with first leaders Glenda Ivey and Caryn Suarez in its beginning to people like Mary Lois Saunders and Chrissy Jackson today. One of the constants that FWA features is a great annual writers’ conference.
An important part of this outstanding conference is a writing contest, judged by college professors, professional editors, and published authors. Prizes are awarded for poetry, screen/play writing, fiction broken into genre, and non-fiction by sub categories. The competition is tough for the Royal Palm Literary Awards.
I had three novels entered in this year’s event, hoped that one would be a finalist, and if I were fortunate I might win an award, a third placer, maybe even a second. I sat in the award ceremony with no expectations. Would you believe…would you believe…WOULD YOU BELIEVE…I took 2nd place in the suspense/thriller genre with my manuscript for Francis’ Flowers and 1st place (Yes, that is number one!) in the literary/mainstream category for my manuscript The Bully Route Home. Will wonders never cease? Sometimes it does pay to get up in the morning!