Fantastic news today: My short story “Foreign Bodies” has won the 2017 Open Season award for fiction! It’ll be published in the Spring edition of the Malahat Review.
I’ve been writing and sending out short stories for over a year, but this will be my FIRST publication. The fact that my story will be published in one of Canada’s most prestigious literary magazines is incredible, and the cash prize is amazing.
Basically, I am running out of adjectives to describe how ecstatic I feel.
My life as a writer is mostly quiet and solitary, especially since I’m working on a novel that won’t be finished for a long time (a year? That sounds daunting but it’s probably accurate, or even optimistic). Other than my monthly writing group, I don’t have many opportunities for feedback on my work. I sit down at my desk every day, open up my laptop and launch myself into whatever scene is next in my outline… but nobody’s there to reassure me when I dissolve into doubts or to pat me on the back when I’ve written something great.
This award is the most validating, encouraging outcome that I can imagine.
As a beautiful bonus, sharing the news on Facebook has brought out so many positive reactions from people near and far! I am very moved by everyone cheering me on and celebrating this moment of success. I was worried that people wouldn’t understand or support my decision to stop teaching and start writing full time; instead, there’s nothing but love and approval. Thanks, all you lovely people!
(The image I’m using is the artwork from the current cover of the Malahat Review: it’s their “Indigenous Perspectives” issue. Definitely worth reading!)