Yesterday, I received my official notification letter congratulating me on the selection of my story as a Lee & Low Books New Voice's Honor Award Winner (webpage to be updated, I'm assuming after this weekend). Along with the letter, I received a $500 check. The top of the letter is stamped with a silver award badge displaying the publisher’s logo. At this moment, I'm feeling so ex-officio, if you know what a brotha means. With the exception of re-reading the letter a couple dozen times, I didn't waste any time framing it along with a copy of the check, and some corrugated cardboard. The cardboard is fitting of the subject I wrote about (I don’t know why I still feel the need to keep my subject a secret, when it won’t be a secret much longer).
I had planned all along to frame the letter, even if the contest didn't didn't turn out as I hoped. Somehow, faking satisfaction with a poorly dealt hand would at least make me feel better. Kinda. So it's nice to be able to frame the letter with "congratulations" in the second sentence. Makes up for all those Society of Illustrator rejection letters I've received over the years (and winning that competition actually cost the winner more money).
I don't want to build my hopes up for a big disappointment, but the letter ends with: "...I will also be getting in touch with you soon with editorial comments so we can begin the revision process. I hope to be able to acquire this story for publication...look forward to working with you on this project..." Am I wishful thinking? Am I reading too much into this?
I'm looking forward to a sit down meeting with Lee & Low’s Editor-in-Chief at this Saturday's ALA conference in San Antonio. Geez, I hope I'll be able to talk. In situations like this, my tongue tends to knot up, and I babble off topic until somebody stops me.
So, what am I going to do with the prize money? Spend it on myself. Actually, it's not as bad as it sounds, although I feel awfully guilty saying it. I'm going to reinvest the money in my children's literary endeavors. Neither the electric or phone companies will be getting my prize money — I refuse. I've always wanted some really nice paint brushes. I normally use the cheapest of the cheap brushes. I'm also going to get some detailed anatomy books; some general pictorial reference books; an Ott-Lite Truecolor Swiveling Floor Lamp (I’ve always wanted one of these); and I may take one of Anastasia's writing/school visit courses, if I can fit it into my crazy schedule, and if it's not already full. Then, there's that conference this weekend.