When I was in college, my friends and I often joked about the life of being of writer, especially the low pay, imagining a scenario in which a publisher would say something like … “Great story. Here’s a dollar. What else ya got?”
What we didn’t talk about was all the waiting that goes along after sending stories out, and the sometimes in-between emails that can come it.
So on March 17, I got an email from a writers contest telling me of my status in the contest. I was told my story wasn’t lost, that others had been told they hadn’t won, and some had gotten Honorable mentions, but that I was in the “hold” category — which I had never knew existed. The thing is, in one of the write-ups announcing the contest, it had said that winners would be notified around the end of March, so I wasn’t expecting to hear anything — certainly not as soon as March 17.
Thinking of what my friend Amy Biancolli has said (quoting her husband: “There are so few triumphs in this business, you have to celebrate each small victory along the way.”), I want to celebrate this “hold” status — it means I’m neither a non-winner (for now) nor just an Honorable Mention (for now), but still firmly in the running (at least as far as I know). By the way, it looks like my story “The Duck” came in second place in the February Story of the Month contest on Bartleby Snopes (and though I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — thank you, everyone who voted for my story!)
I really appreciate the email, and I have tried not to think about it the last couple weeks. After all, tomorrow is the last day of March, and that is when I was expecting to hear something anyway, and I have been busy with a new job (five week so far at the Tang Teaching Museum). But now, even though I think it may be a waste of precious brain space (I really have been focusing almost all my energies on my new job and only today feel I should be getting back to my own writing, such as this blog and my fiction), I can’t help but wonder that perhaps, just maybe, I have a shot of moving from “hold”status to “winner”status.