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:
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.