Saturday, August 10, 2013

Laura Award Finalist

Last year I joined Women Writing the West, a group described on their web site as "an association of writers and other professionals who write and promote writing about the West with emphasis on the experiences of western women and girls."

Every year Women Writing the West holds two writing competitions--one for a short story (the Laura award) and one for a book (the WILLA award). I decided to enter the 2013 short story competition with a story drawn from my still untitled novel-in-progress inspired by the life of my great-grandmother who lived in Colorado when the West was still wild. Two weeks ago I received notification that my story, "The Embroidered Sheets," was a finalist for the Laura award.

Stories submitted for the Laura award (named after Laura Ingalls Wilder) "must feature a female protagonist and be set in the American West. For the purpose of the competition, that is defined as anywhere west of the Mississippi River. The story may be set in the past, present, or future."

I was delighted with the news and immediately made plans to attend the group's annual convention in Kansas City MO where the finalists will be honored at a reception and given first, second, third, and honorable mention placements. This trip was not in my budget, but by using a big chunk of my Alaska Airlines frequent flyer miles I was able to cut some of the expense.

During the convention, I will be given the opportunity to sell copies of my novel, Brute Heart, so perhaps I can recoup some of the cost of getting there. I will, however, only be able to carry about a dozen books in my suitcase. That may not sound like a lot, but my past experience tells me I will be lucky to sell that many.

The WWW convention takes place the weekend of October 11-13. After the convention I will post my placement and write a brief summary of my experience.

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