And the Winner Is… Me??!!

That’s right, I am proud to announce that On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness has been awarded a GOLD MEDAL in the category of Psychology & Mental Health in the 2015 eLit Book Awards!

Man_with_trophy

I’ll admit I had basically given up on entering writing contests. I entered a whole bunch back when I was writing a lot of short fiction and was even a finalist in two of them, but never a winner. Once I had accumulated a large pile of other writing credits, however, the potential benefits of winning a contest no longer seemed to outweigh the money and effort involved in submitting to them, and I wasn’t too terribly sad to scrape that time-consuming and onerous task off of my always-full plate. But, unlike literary contests, where the only people who are likely to see that you’ve won one are the obscure readers of even more obscure literary journals, having an award like this can actually really help with book sales, especially if you’re an indie author trying to prove your book’s worth to always-skeptical potential customers. So I sighed and dug out my spreadsheets and wallet and sent my book off to five or six such competitions on the oft-spoken lottery theory that you can’t win if you don’t play. At least it seemed reasonable to hope that the odds would be better than at a Reno roulette table.

Evidently they were, because here I am, now able to proclaim myself an award-winning author! I still don’t know whether, practically speaking, I’m going to get much out of this in terms of my writing career. But it sure is nice to enjoy one very bright spot in an otherwise rather dim-looking 2015.

And for those of you who might be inspired by my experience to submit your books to a contest, you might want to check out this list of book awards for self-published authors by The Book Designer, Joel Friedlander:

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/book-awards/

What about you? Have you ever submitted your work to a contest?

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39 thoughts on “And the Winner Is… Me??!!

  1. Paula Reed Nancarrow

    Abso-fraggin-lutely Congratulations! (I had to think of something different to say) Someone who overcame the obstacles you did to leave home and get a Berkeley education certainly doesn’t need an award to prove her mettle; she’s already done it several times over. But I do hope it opens doors for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Norah

    Congratulations Lori! Maybe this prize in that category will help in promoting your book to those organisations we’ve discussed as possibilities previously. I hope it is just the beginning of a productive and rewarding journey! :)

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. mandy smith

    You enjoy the spotlight my friend!! You’ve done a great service with your writing about mental health. I’m dancing a little jig with you! :)

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Mary Rowen

    Lori, I’m so happy for you! I’ve entered contests but have never won, and am thrilled to hear that you did! I hope it pays off in book sales, but even more importantly, it must feel amazing to be recognized like this! Congratulations!!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. lorilschafer Post author

      Thanks, Mary! I can’t get over the feeling that the whole thing is kind of a crap shoot, so I do feel very lucky, all things considered. If nothing else, it is a neat thing to add to the old CV :)

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    1. lorilschafer Post author

      Honestly, there’s such a big element of chance in these things, especially if you write in a popular genre, that even the most fabulous writers can’t be confident that they’re going to place. Of course, all of publishing is like that ;)

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  5. Alaina

    Having read dozens of memoirs on the topic of mental illness over the years, I can say with confidence that yours is one of the best — head and shoulders above the majority. In fact, while I can think of a handful of others in this genre that are as good as yours, I can’t think of a single one that I like better. So winning an award doesn’t surprise me, although it does make me happy for you.

    Congratulations. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

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      1. Alaina

        Thanks for asking but I don’t even know how to give anyone access other than me… I am sure I could figure it out, however I am going to go public again soon, and I will be sure to let you know when I do. I only went private — for my eyes only — temporarily, while I worked through some issues. Writing my memoir has been stirring up a lot of strong emotions, which I am sure you can relate to. And when our sweet companion dog Lady died unexpectedly in my arms several weeks ago…. whew. That hit me very hard. She had lived with us in our home for 8 years. I have never been so close to a pet. She was like our child. She tried so hard to live… it was heartbreaking.

        This is simply the reality of life, but it isn’t easy sometimes, you know? I try to focus on gratitude, which does help. I am very grateful for the years we had her, and so grateful that she did not seem to be in any pain when she was dying. Oh but I miss our sweet Lady love.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. lorilschafer Post author

        I am so sorry to hear about Lady Love! Sounds like she was really an integral part of the family. I’m sure she was very grateful to be in your arms when she went – you just can’t help showing that kind of love.

        I’m glad to hear you’ll be going public again soon. I know you’re pretty protective of your privacy, so I didn’t want to bug you unless I heard from you first, but I was a bit worried, I confess. Feel better soon.

        Liked by 1 person

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