Last May, on my (now largely ignored) photography/creativity blog, I spread the word about Lee & Low Books' New Voices Award.
I also blogged about my New Learning in writing a picture book.
And then on this blog, I wrote about my Sender's Remorse for sending in my manuscript to the Lee & Low New Voices Award.
So here's what happened: I won their Honor Award. Yep. I did. That manuscript that I doubted so much? Won their Honor Award, their second place. Out of 180 manuscripts they received, mine won second place.
I was, I'm pretty sure, screaming into the phone when I got the call. Pretty sure I was not professional at all. Pretty sure it was completely surreal and still is.
I feel validated. This definitely served to spur me to continue on this writing journey when I was feeling a little soggy about it. But I'm not losing my head. I do realize that my manuscript fit a certain niche at a certain time for a certain publisher and that I am very lucky to have been chosen. Sure, I did a lot of hard work on that story, but I had a great beta reader (Alison DeLuca) and will need to do a lot more work on it so that it is publishable.
But my biggest take away? Finish your shit!* This was my first manuscript that I finished. (Don't read this, Lee & Low people. I'm really very professional and finish everything I start. Ahem.) I have several unfinished starts, but yep, this was the first one I finished. BIG lesson. Finish your shit.*
*from Chuck Wendig's terribleminds blog and book, The Kick-Ass Writer.