It’s been a few months since I blogged about my short story collection, FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY. Back in September I wrote about my journey up to that point:
“Warming Up To Adele (and Short Story Collections)”
Since that time one of the two university presses that was reading the collection has said no, and the other press is still reading. I also queried a small indie press, so they are also reading it now.
Meanwhile, I was looking at the contests listed in Poets & Writers Magazine and one caught my eye:
This award is for an author’s first collection of short stories, so my book definitely qualifies. The winner receives $1000, publication by Livingston Press, and 100 copies of the book. I sent in the manuscript a few days ago.
I looked at the list of previous winners, and there I found my friend M. O. “Neal” Walsh, whose first short story collection THE PROSPECT OF MAGIC won the award the fifth year it was offered. I remember when Neal read from this collection at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi when it first came out in 2010. (He was leading the annual Yoknapatawpha Summer Writers Workshop, which I attended for about seven years. It’s now known as The Yokshop, and it’s the best writing workshop ever. Ever. I don’t think the date for next year’s workshop is set yet, but watch the website.) Neal went on to publish a novel MY SUNSHINE AWAY, which was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Pat Conroy Southern Book Award for General Fiction.
So, my fingers are crossed that FRIENDS has a chance for this award.
And yet . . . if I hear back with an offer from one of the two presses currently reading the collection, I’ll have a (nice) quandary. So far none of the four books I have published have won any awards. It’s not the money I’m after, but the recognition, and the marketing benefit of having an “award-winning” book. I think more people would be inclined to purchase and read the book.
Stay tune . . . you know I’ll keep you posted! Have a great weekend.