The rest of tonight's post is in response to cdnkaro's comment asking for the rest of the story of the story, er, essay mentioned in yesterday's post. The piece did not place in the contest, but was accepted to appear in the anthology--and I received two free copies. The judge was Lee Martin, whose nonfiction I've read and enjoyed (and whose fiction titles are waiting patiently in a to-read notebook) so it was kind of a kick that way. Here are a few blithering paragraphs from the Spiral Notebook about the day I found out the piece would be appearing in the book.
[Saturday, April 30, 2005]
The wait is over. You probably forgot we were waiting, we've been waiting so long...
The essay I sent out into the Big Bad World of literary anthologies at the end of February, just under the wire of the deadline was accepted for Falling In Love Again: Love The Second Time Around*.
This is the first thing I've written with a truly literary bent--and though I was confident in the flush of finishing it that it was the best I could do, I had no real faith in the reception it would get. It's not as straightforward, not as "linear" as my "regular" stuff--once it was mailed out, a line of it would pop into my head and I would think, "I could've--should've--said that more clearly." The piece was less about "telling" and more about "showing" than anything I've ever written--and I was sure anyone else would "get it." Well, either someone "got it" or they assume that because they didn't get it, it must be superior writing. HA!
*The contest was sponsored by the TallGrass Writer's Guild and the anthologies are printed by Outrider Press. Neither website has been updated since early 2010, but the guild does have a small Facebook following and appears to still be active in the Chicago area. I found out about the contest from Poets & Writers magazine, which features numerous markets, contests, etc for literary work in addition to articles on craft and the writing life.