What a wonderful weekend! Two days of instruction from published and enthusiastic authors was a building and fulfilling experience. I entered, Fairy Dust, my current pre-novel in the LDStorymaker’s first chapter contest and won second place in the sci-fi /fantasy division. Having your work validated by published authors is also building and fulfilling.
I was able to get to know Aimee Morgan, the ANWA president, and Valerie Ipson better, as we drove to Provo and back together. I was proud of fellow ANWA members, Marsha Ward, Joyce DiPastena, and Sarah Eden—they did excellent jobs in presenting their knowledge to the masses of hopeful authors in attendance. And I felt especially honored to be present when Kerry Blair received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the writing world and the LDS fiction market. She is an inspiration to all who know her—and is a beautiful person who makes instant friends of everyone she meets.
So, needless to say, I’m anxious to put into action all of the things I learned, and to make full use of my prize. What prize, you ask? As a second place winner, I received a “Get out of the Slush Pile Free” card that is good at Deseret Book, Covenant, or Cedar Fort. I also received a pack of pens, a steno pad, The Believer by Stephanie Black, and Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell—all very good prizes and I’m eager to make use of them all, but as you can imagine, it’s the “Get out of the Slush Pile Free” card that I’m especially excited to use.
A hearty congratulations goes to all of the category winners of the Whitney--my heartfelt appreciation to all of the authors who received nominations and even those of you who worked hard, got your novel published, but didn’t get nominated--for sticking it out, for braving the storm, and for listening to your heart and following your dream. You are all inspirations to those of us who are still wondering if our dreams will come true.
I was sad to hear that Robison Wells was stepping down as Whitney Awards President. Congratulations to him for his new college degree--MBA, and my good wishes to him. He was one of the first authors to inspire my writing style—I should have gone up and introduced myself, but I was just as happy to see him there and take his picture from across the room. After all, I’m too old to be a screaming, swooning fan.