by Julie Tollefson
I've written before about my “celebrations bowl,” the one I keep on my counter to remind me of my writing successes. Anytime something worth celebrating happens—publication of a short story, let’s say—I toast the achievement with sparkling wine and keep the cork as a memento.
Sometimes, when the news is really good, a cork alone isn’t adequate. When I sold my first story to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, I used part of my payment to buy jewelry. That first sale was a huge boost to my writerly self-esteem, and now every time I wear the ring I bought with that check, I’m reminded that someone liked my fiction enough to pay for it.
The contest is open to unpublished (novel length) writers, member or not, who live in one of the thirteen states represented by the chapter. Guest judges for the member category this year were Danielle Egan-Miller and Joanna Mackenzie from Browne & Miller Literary Associates.
The MWAMW announcement about the award included this lovely bit:
Browne & Miller chose Tollefson’s excerpt based on its “atmospheric and well-composed opening scene,” “noticeably elevated writing,” and “rich, lyrical descriptions.”Wow. I’m overwhelmed (still, almost a month later) and soooo thrilled. I found the perfect pair of earrings to commemorate the award. They kind of match the ring—unintentional, but awesome, right? Every time I wear them, I’ll remember “atmospheric” and “lyrical” and be inspired and grateful anew.
You can read a brief excerpt of In the Shadows on my website.
How do you celebrate the good things in your life?