People often say it's an honor just to be nominated and it's usually a bunch of hooey. They want to win. But what constitutes a win, really. Nominations aren't always hooey. But anyone can give an award. Usually everyone wants the prestige that comes with one. Like if you say Pulitzer many authors will salivate. Or if you say RITA, Golden Heart, or RT Award romance authors will squee with joy. Me? I like trophies and medals and all kinds of stuff like that. I have't won many writing awards but let's break it down on the ones that I have.
The blogging awards. I seem to attract a lot of those. My readership fluctuates but even when it's relatively low I'm happy that anyone saw it. I've gotten several blog awards and I've been nominated for a BLOGGY AWARD for Most Creative Blogger. I'm up against some people who are way out of my league and I feel like I crashed the party. Kind of like the indies crashing the Academy Awards. I know I'm good and I wanted the honor but people are way more prepared for this than I am. I have like 60 followers and the big dogs have close to 1000. So I guess I'm just hoping not to be slaughtered.
To the writing awards, I recently entered the Moondance International Film Festival short story competition with my ebook from MuseItUp Publishing Another Way to Die. This is the rare film festival that honors its writers and is prestigious on the level of say, Sundance. I semifinaled this last Friday and I about had a halelluah breakdown. I don't know what that means in the long run, but I hope it will open some doors to me that have remained closed to me for a very long time.
This past winter I received my first professional writing award for Best Romance Short Story from the 2011 Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Poll. To say I was proud is an understatement.
The first award I ever won in adulthood was the NYCMMM short screenplay awards with my sometime co-author Missy Goodman. (She's a fantastic author in her own right, you should checkout It's Your Love, out now on Amazon and Smashwords), the screenplay was Back On Top and was first runner-up. Awesome experience.
My first ever validation that I may have talent was when I was 13 and I won Young Authors with the WW2 romance A Candle in the Dark. It's not an experience I'll soon forget.
What does this all mean? Honestly I just think writing awards are what they are, an encouragement to keep plugging away. Do you need them to validate you as a writer? Not necessarily, but I have to say winning is nice and I'm nothing if not a competitor. But the best reward is when a reader comes up to you and says I really enjoyed your book. That, my friends, is the best reward of all.