The Journey: Day 1

5:39 PM Posted by Lori Calabrese

It was an ordinary Sunday in Boise, a bit rainy and gray. I had no idea when I checked my email that morning, something big was about to happen. Super big. In fact, for a writer, things don't get much bigger.

Of course, I'm talking about the day I got the email announcing I'd won PM Moon Publisher's New Author Contest...which included a publishing contract.

Like a lot of writers, when I see a response in the mail box or the in-box, I say to myself, "[sigh] Another rejection." Then I hope for the best, that it might have a personal comment or an invitation to submit work in the future. Imagine my surprise at seeing the words '...are pleased to inform you...'

I had to stop and process those words. Pleased to inform me? They're either really happy to reject me or... or...

I read on.

'...2008-2008 Grand Prize winner for your entry titled The Iron Bodkin.'

Wow. Seeing the words 'Grand Prize' and 'Bodkin' in the same sentence was overwhelming. I read the words again. I took a breath. I did what any writer would do.

I checked the sender's email address to make sure one of my friends wasn't playing a trick on me. Nope. Next, I decided it must be some gimmick by a self-publishing house, so I googled the publisher. Nope again. PM Moon is a neo-traditional publisher printing real books and paying royalties. But it couldn't be true; there had a to be a catch. Next, I went to Preditors and Editors, sure I'd find something that would keep this from being a real deal. (I can't help it--I'm German. Everything is suspect). But no, nothing listed on P&E.

I stared at my computer and had this conversation with myself.
O.M.G. It's real.
No way. No way. It's a trick. I bet Rhonda sent this.
No--the email really is from PM Moon. It's real.
It's real?
I'm getting Bodkin published?
[long pause]
But we can't tell anybody.
That's what the email says. We have to wait for the announcement to be made on the website first.
Ooooo....I have to tell somebody.
Nope, nobody.
Hmph. I knew there was a catch. I'm going to die if I can't tell anybody.
We just have to wait until the announcement.

And that, people, is how one of the happiest moments of my life led to two of the longest weeks I've ever lived through.

To my fellow writers, waiting on responses from editor and agent alike: keep submitting. You never know when that magic response will come through. The one that starts out: We are pleased to inform you....

Posted by Amy Allgeyer Cook
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