Pardon me while I bloweth mine horn. This morning I found out I was named a finalist in Black Lawrence Press’s 2011 St. Lawrence Book Award contest for my collection of short stories, “Desperate Men, Desperate Measures.”
Of course I’m elated. The results of my writing endeavors this year have far outpaced 2010’s—a bushel of stories accepted, a contest win and now this, and I’m starting to think the last six years of work may have been worth it. We’ll see. The last thing I’m going to do is let this go to my head.
Trust me, I’m not big on self-promotion, but it has to be done if I’m to make a career out of this writing business. I keep telling my fiction students that the days of the isolated writer working in a cabin far from civilization, and delivering a manuscript to a grateful publisher every two years are over—if they ever really existed. Personal platforms and self-promos are a huge part of the game, and I, like so many other writers and artists, am only doing what’s necessary. I’ll try to keep it under control.
As for the contest, I can tell you now I did not win. That honor goes to Adrian Van Young. Some kind of mishap in the communications, as the finalists were announced October 25, but I was not notified. In fact, the only reason I found out was because I am an editor with The Los Angeles Review, and am on Black Lawrence’s email list. I even trashed their message at first, but later figured I might know someone on the finals list and ought to take a look. Yeah, I was surprised. At least I didn’t have to spend a month waiting to find out if I won.